Monday, July 15, 2013

Kuching



The city of Kuching is the capital of the Eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak, situated on the island of Borneo.  Visitors to Borneo usually use Kuching as the first point of access to Borneo. Kuching is the largest city on the island and though it is very populous, it is surprisingly very clean. Kuching offers a totally different experience as compared to cities of Western Malaysia.
The name of the city, Kuching was thought to have evolved from the Malay term for cat; ‘kucing’ and many people continue to refer to Kuching as ‘cat city’ until today. However, in all probability the name Kuching probably evolved from the Chinese word for port ‘cochin’ or then from Malay term ‘mata kucing’ meaning cat’s eye which is used to describe the juicy longan fruit, often exported from Kuching.
Travel to Kuching
Kuching is well connected to cities like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and various other parts of Asia via air connections at its Kuching International Airport.
Best time to visit
Kuching, which on an average experiences 247 rainy days a year is considered to be the wettest city in Malaysia. The best period to visit Kuching is during the city’s ‘driest season’ generally occurring during the months of April to October.
Notable events
Kuching’s event calendar features several prominent events like the famed Gawai Dayak festival (harvest festival), celebrated on 1st June every year and the Rainforest Music Festival, held just outside the city limits during the month of July.
Prominent attractions
Weekend Market

Kuching’s weekend market known as ‘Pasar Minggu’ is a definite must-do on any visit to the city. Every weekend, traders and farmers from around the city and villages within the vicinity of Kuching congregate on an area in the city’s Satok neighborhood and set up a make-shift market consisting of wooden kiosks covered with multi-hued tarpaulin rain covers. These market stalls offer a wide range of products for sale like fresh produce, fresh fish, plants, fruits, herbal remedies, power tools and much more.


Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita is a little white fort situated on a knoll opposite the Kuching waterfront. The fort which dates back to 1879 was built by Charles Brooke, the white rajah of Sarawak to guard Kuching against attacks by pirates.  He named this white-washed fortification after his wife, Rani Margaret. The fort, which has much historical significance, has not been maintained well by the administrators of Kuching. As a result, the attraction stands in an unfortunate, neglected state and is over-run with weeds but even then it is well worth a visit.
Hong San Temple

This Chinese temple is one of Kuching’s most prominent attractions. The temple which is believed to have been built around the year 1840 was magnificently restored in 2003. The Hong San Temple features elaborate stone carvings and an intricately carved Buddhist altar.

Islamic Museum

The Islamic Museum in Kuching hosts various themed galleries that chronicle the introduction and development of Islam on the Malay Archipelago. The galleries at the museum are named according to the exhibits that they host and provide a platform for the display of the museum’s extensive permanent collection. The museum’s galleries are namd , weapons, Qurans, Islamic architecture, science, technology, economy and literature, decorative arts, music and costumes respectively.

Sarawak Museum

The Sarawak Museum was founded in 1891. The museum hosts a fascinating permanent collection consisting of various arte-facts and exhibits which provide much insight into the lives of the region’s indigenous peoples and their natural environment.
Cat Museum

The Kuching Cat Museum explores the origins of the city’s name and offers a kitschy collection, which features much trivia, photos, movie posters featuring cats, paintings and other cat-themed arte-facts. The more than 2000 exhibits at Kuching’s Cat Museum are arranged within four main galleries and provide much entertainment and amusement for visitors of all ages.

Has the above mentioned information about Kuching, the cat city stroked your interest? Then why not consider including a visit to Kuching on your next trip to Malaysia? You are sure to be charmed by the many attractions of this enthralling cat city of Malaysia.

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