One of the stops of my Malaysia trip was Kuching on Borneo island or as I like to call it – Cat City. Kuching is Malay for cat, you see, so it is literally Cat City. I stayed four days in Kuching and to be honest, I could have used another day or two.
Kuching itself is a bigger city with the Sarawak river going through the city. Exploring the city takes you a day or so. There is, however, an awful lot of things to do and see in Cat City’s surroundings.
I first went to Bako National Park, you can go there by public bus, usually hostels and hotels have the bus schedule and can tell you exactly which bus to take. You can go there for a day trip, as I did, or stay a night or two, which I would highly recommend. They have nice hikes there, where you can see all of the national park’s many plants and animals, including the Bornean bearded pig and the proboscis monkey which only lives on Borneo. You have to pay RM20 (~€4,10 or ~$4,90) to enter the park and another RM20 (one way) for the boat trip to the park as the park is only reachable by boat.
The very next day, I went to another national park, Gunung Gading National Park. I actually wanted to see the Rafflesia, a famous flower that only blooms for about five days, and hike through the jungle. Well, the rain made the hiking impossible. I, at least, managed to see the flower. You should ask around the city or your hotel/hostel, when it is blooming as you never know much in advance. You have to take the coach to Lundu and then a mini bus to the national park. The coach is about RM12 (~€2,50 or ~$2,90) and the mini bus RM5 (~€1 or ~$1,20). The entry for the park is RM20 and, since you have to take a tour guide to the flower, that is another RM30 (~€6,15 or ~$7,30). The tour guides might charge you more or less, depending on how they feel.
The highlight of my time on Borneo has to be my visit to Semenggoh Nature Reserve. In this reserve, you can see orangutans. There are two feeding times per day as there are not enough fruits in the forest. During fruit season there might not be as many orangutans around fro feeding time. When I was there, I still saw about seven of them, two being babies or small children. They were so cute and I loved just watching them move around the trees ever so elegantly. Entry for the reserve is RM10 (~€2 or ~$2,40) and really, it is worth every cent.
There lots of other national parks and caves to explore, I only went to those three, though. In Kuching itself, there are plenty of museums, murals and cat statues. And then there is this Sarawak Sunset River Cruise. It costs RM65 (~€13,35 or ~$15,80) and it’s brilliant. It starts every day at 5.30pm and you get a typical Sarawakian layered cake as well as as much orange juice as you like. And they show you a few cultural performances of Sarawakian culture. That, plus the sunset makes it an amazing evening.
Have you ever been to Cat City? Would you like to go sometime? I can only recommend it. Let me know your thoughts on Kuching and its surroundings in the comments.