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Kuching
Kuching
/ˈkuːtʃɪŋ/ (Jawi: کوچيڠ‬, Chinese: 古晉; pinyin: Gǔjìn), officially the City of Kuching,[7] is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Sarawak
Sarawak
in Malaysia.[8] It is also the capital of Kuching
Kuching
Division. The city is situated on the Sarawak River at the southwest tip of the state of Sarawak
Sarawak
on the island of Borneo
Borneo
and covers an area of 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi) with a population about 165,642 in the Kuching North administrative region and 159,490 in the Kuching
Kuching
South administrative region[5][9][10]—a total of 325,132 people.[5] Kuching
Kuching
was the third capital of Sarawak
Sarawak
in 1827 during the administration of the Bruneian Empire. In 1841, Kuching
Kuching
became the capital of the Kingdom of Sarawak
Sarawak
after the territory in the area was ceded to James Brooke
James Brooke
for helping the Bruneian empire in crushing a rebellion particularly by the interior Borneo
Borneo
dweller Land Dayak people who later became his loyal followers after most of them being pardoned by him and joining his side. The town continued to receive attention and development during the rule of Charles Brooke such as the construction of a sanitation system, hospital, prison, fort, and a bazaar. In 1941, the Brooke administration had a Centenary Celebration in Kuching. During World War II, Kuching
Kuching
was occupied by Japanese forces from 1942 to 1945. The Japanese government set up a Batu Lintang camp near Kuching
Kuching
to hold prisoners of war and civilian internees. After the war, the town survived intact. However, the last Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke
Charles Vyner Brooke
decided to cede Sarawak
Sarawak
as part of British Crown Colony in 1946. Kuching
Kuching
remained as capital during the Crown Colony period. After the formation of Malaysia
Malaysia
in 1963, Kuching
Kuching
retained its status as state capital and was granted city status in 1988. Since then, the Kuching
Kuching
city is divided into two administrative regions managed by two separate local authorities. The administrative centre of Sarawak
Sarawak
state government is located at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Kuching. Kuching
Kuching
is a major food destination for tourists and the main gateway for travellers visiting Sarawak
Sarawak
and Borneo.[11] Kuching
Kuching
Wetlands National Park is located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the city and there are many other tourist attractions in and around Kuching
Kuching
such as Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Rainforest World Music Festival
Rainforest World Music Festival
(RWMF), state assembly building, The Astana, Fort Margherita, Kuching
Kuching
Cat Museum, and Sarawak
Sarawak
State Museum. The city has become one of the major industrial and commercial centres in East Malaysia.[12][13]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Governance

3.1 Local authority and city definition

4 Geography

4.1 Climate

5 Demography

5.1 Ethnicity 5.2 Languages

6 Economy 7 Transport

7.1 Land

7.1.1 Public transport

7.2 Water 7.3 Air

8 Other utilities

8.1 Courts of law and legal enforcement 8.2 Healthcare 8.3 Education 8.4 Libraries

9 Culture and leisure

9.1 Attractions and recreation spots

9.1.1 Cultural 9.1.2 Historical 9.1.3 Leisure and conservation areas 9.1.4 Other sights 9.1.5 Shopping 9.1.6 Entertainment

9.2 Music 9.3 Radio stations

10 International relations

10.1 Sister cities

11 See also 12 References

12.1 Notes

Etymology[edit] The name "Kuching" was already in use for the city by the time Brooke arrived in 1841.[9][14] There are many theories as to the derivation of the name "Kuching". It was perhaps derived from the Malay word for cat, "kucing" or from Cochin, an Indian trading port on the Malabar Coast and a generic term in China
China
and British India
British India
for trading harbour.[9] Some Hindu artefacts can be seen today at the Sarawak State Museum.[15] However, another source reported that the Kuching city was previously known as "Sarawak" before Brooke arrived. The settlement was renamed to " Sarawak
Sarawak
proper" during the kingdom expansion. It was only in 1872 that Charles Brooke renamed the settlement to "Kuching".[15][16] There was one unlikely theory based on a story on miscommunication. According to the story, James Brooke
James Brooke
arrived in Kuching
Kuching
on his yacht "Royalist." He then asked his local guide about the name of the town. The local guide mistakenly thought that Brooke was pointing towards a cat, and so had said the word "Kuching." However, ethnic Malays in Sarawak
Sarawak
have always used the term "pusak" for cats (cognate with Filipino pusa), instead of the standard Malay word "kucing".[15] Despite this etymological discrepancy, Sarawakians have wholeheartedly embraced the word "kucing" for "cat", and have adopted the animal as a symbol of their city. Some source also stated that it was derived from a fruit called "mata kucing" (Euphoria malaiense),[note 1][note 2] a fruit that grows widely in Malaysia
Malaysia
and Indonesia.[17] There was also a hill in the city that was named after the fruit, which is called Bukit Mata Kuching. While as been written by a British woman to her son in the 19th century, it was stated that the name was derived from a stream of the same name, called "Sungai Kuching" or Cat River in English.[9][18] On page 64 of Bamfylde and Baring-Gould's 1909 'A History of Sarawak under its Two White Rajahs', it says: "Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, is so called from a small stream that runs through the town into the main river...." The stream was situated at the foot of Bukit Mata Kuching
Kuching
and in front of the Tua Pek Kong Temple. In the 1950s, the river became very shallow because of silt deposits in the river. The river was later filled to make way for roads.[15] There is another theory that Kuching
Kuching
actually means "Ku"(古) - Old and "Ching"(井) - Well or "old well" (古井) in Chinese. During the Brooke administration, there was no water supply and water-borne diseases were common. In 1888, an epidemic broke out which later was known as "Great Cholera Epidemic". A well situated in the present day China
China
Street in Main Bazaar helped to combat the disease by providing clean water supply. Due to increased demand for a water supply, the role of the well was later replaced by water treatment plant on the Bau Road.[15][19] History[edit] Further information: Sultanate of Sarawak Sarawak
Sarawak
was part of the Bruneian Empire
Bruneian Empire
since the reign of first Brunei
Brunei
sultanate, Sultan Muhammad Shah. Kuching
Kuching
was the third capital of Sarawak, founded in 1827 by the representative of the Sultan of Brunei, Pengiran Indera Mahkota.[20] Prior to the founding of Kuching, the two past capitals of Sarawak
Sarawak
were Santubong, founded by Sultan Pengiran Tengah in 1599, and Lidah Tanah, founded by Datu Patinggi Ali in the early 1820s.[20]

Kuching
Kuching
was later established as the seat of Brooke government under the management of James Brooke.

Pengiran Raja Muda Hashimit later ceded the territory to a British adventurer, James Brooke
James Brooke
as a reward for helping him to counter a rebellion.[21] The rebellion was crushed in November 1840, and on 24 September 1841, Brooke was appointed as the Governor of Sarawak
Sarawak
with the title of Rajah.[21] It was not announced until 18 August 1842, following Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II's ratifying the governorship, and requiring Brooke to pay an annual sum of $2,500 to the Sultan.[21] Since that time, Kuching
Kuching
became the seat of the Brooke government.[22]

The Kuching
Kuching
state prison was situated beside the Square Tower building in 1896.

Children are pulled through the city's streets by a coolie, c. 1919.

The administration was later continued by his nephew, Charles Brooke. As an administrative capital, it became the centre of attention and development.[14] Improvements included a sanitation system.[14] By 1874, the city had completed several developments, including construction of a hospital, prison, Fort Margherita, and many other buildings.[14] Charles Brooke's wife write his autobiography, (My Life in Sarawak), including his descriptions of Kuching:

The little town looked so neat and fresh and prosperous under the careful jurisdiction of the Rajah and his officers, that it reminded me of a box of painted toys kept scrupulously clean by a child. The Bazaar runs for some distance along the banks of river, and this quarter of the town is inhabited almost entirely by Chinese traders, with the exception of one or two Hindoo shops....Groceries of exotic kinds are laid out on tables near the pavement, from which the purchasers make their choice. At the Hindoo shops you can buy silks from India, sarongs from Java, tea from China
China
and tiles and porcelain from all parts of the world, laid out in picturesque confusion, and overflowing into the street.[14][23] — Margaret Brooke, wife of Charles Brooke.

The Astana (Palace), which is now the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak, was constructed next to Brooke's first residence. He had it built in 1869 as a wedding gift to his wife.[24][25] Kuching continued to prosper under Charles Vyner Brooke, who succeeded his father as the Third Rajah of Sarawak.[21] In 1941, Kuching
Kuching
was the site of the Brooke Government Centenary Celebration.[26] A few months later, the Brooke administration came to a close when the Japanese occupied Sarawak.[21]

A street scene of Kuching
Kuching
town shortly after the surrender of Japan, image taken on 12 September 1945.

A piece of Japanese propaganda in Jawi script
Jawi script
found in the town after the capturing of the town by the Australian forces.

During the Second World War, six platoons of infantry from 2/15 Punjab Regiment were stationed at Kuching
Kuching
in April 1941.[27] The Regiment defended Kuching
Kuching
and Bukit Stabar airfield from being the destroyed by the Japanese.[27] Defence was mainly concentrated on Kuching
Kuching
and Miri.[27] However, on 24 December 1941, Kuching
Kuching
was conquered by the Japanese forces. Sarawak
Sarawak
was ruled as part of the Japanese Empire for three years and eight months, until the official Japanese surrender on 11 September 1945. The official surrender was signed on HMAS Kapunda at Kuching.[28][29][30] From March 1942, the Japanese operated the Batu Lintang camp, for POWs and civilian internees, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) outside Kuching.[31] After the end of World War II, the town survived and was wholly undamaged.[32] The third and last Rajah, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke later ceded Sarawak
Sarawak
to the British Crown on 1 July 1946.[33][34] During the Crown Colony period, the government worked to develop and improve the infrastructure on Sarawak.[29] Kuching
Kuching
was revitalised as the capital of Sarawak
Sarawak
under the British colonial government.[35] When Sarawak, together with North Borneo, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya, formed the Federation of Malaysia
Malaysia
in 1963,[36] Kuching
Kuching
kept its status as the state capital and was granted a city status on 1 August 1988.[37][38] On 29 July 2015, Kuching
Kuching
was declared as "City of Unity" by One Malaysia
Malaysia
Foundation for racial harmony that existed in the city because of cross-racial marriages, multi-racial schools, fair scholarship distributions and balanced workforce patterns.[39][40] Governance[edit]

Local authorities comprising Greater Kuching
Kuching
with a total area of 2030.94 square kilometres:    Kuching North City Hall
Kuching North City Hall
(DBKU)    Kuching South City Council
Kuching South City Council
(MBKS)    Padawan Municipal Council
Padawan Municipal Council
(MPP)   Samarahan District Council (MDS)

As a capital of Sarawak, Kuching
Kuching
plays an important role in the political and economic welfare of the population of the entire state as it become the seat of the state government where almost all of their ministries and agencies are based. The Sarawak
Sarawak
State Legislative Assembly is located at the suburb of Kuching
Kuching
in Petra Jaya. There are 3 Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the three parliamentary constituencies in the city: Petra Jaya
Petra Jaya
(P.194), Kuching
Kuching
City (P.195), and Stampin (P.196). The city also elects eight representatives into the state legislature from the state assembly districts of Tupong, Samariang, Satok, Padungan, Pending, Batu Lintang, Kota Sentosa and Batu Kawah.[41] Local authority and city definition[edit] Kuching
Kuching
is the only city in Malaysia
Malaysia
to be administered by two mayors,[20] the city is divided into Kuching
Kuching
North and Kuching South.[42] Each of these is administered by a mayor for Kuching
Kuching
South and commissioner for Kuching
Kuching
North.[13] The current commissioner for Kuching
Kuching
North is Datuk Abang Wahap Abang Julai, who took over from Abang Atei Abang Medaan on 1 August 2011 while Dato' James Chan Khay Syn became the new mayor for the Kuching
Kuching
South in 2008 after the sudden death of Chong Ted Tsiung.[43][44] The city obtained a city status on 1 August 1988,[37] and since that it was administered by Kuching North City Hall
Kuching North City Hall
(DBKU) and Kuching South City Council
Kuching South City Council
(MBKS). The city is defined within the borders of what is the Kuching District, formerly the Municipality
Municipality
of Kuching. With an area of 1,868.83 square kilometres, it is the most populous district in Sarawak.[45] The area then subdivided into three sub-districts, namely Kuching
Kuching
Proper, Padawan and Siburan. Kuching
Kuching
Proper included the city area and Padawan municipality, while Siburan
Siburan
and Padawan[note 3] is a sub-district. The combined area of Kuching
Kuching
North City Hall, Kuching South City Council, Padawan Municipal Council
Padawan Municipal Council
and the Samarahan District Council is known as Greater Kuching.[1][46] Geography[edit]

Panorama of Kuching
Kuching
City.

Kuching
Kuching
is located on the banks of the Sarawak
Sarawak
River in the northwestern part of the island of Borneo.[47] The limits of the City of Kuching
Kuching
include all that area in Kuching District
Kuching District
containing an area approximately 431.01 square kilometres (166.41 sq mi) bounded from Gunung Lasak (Mount Lasak) in Muara Tebas to Batu Buaya (Crocodile Rock) in the Santubong peninsula following a series of survey marks as stated in the First Schedule of the City of Kuching Ordinance, 1988.[7] As a simplification of the legal statute, the Kuching
Kuching
city limits extend from the Kuching International Airport
Kuching International Airport
in the south to the northern coast of the Santubong and Bako peninsulas; from the Kuching Wetlands National Park
Kuching Wetlands National Park
in the west to the Kuap River estuary in the east.[7] The Sarawak
Sarawak
River generally splits the city into North and South. The highest point in the city is Mount Santubong on the Santubong peninsula, which is at 810.2 metres (2,658 ft) above sea level, located 35 km north of the city centre.[4] Rapid urbanisation has occurred in Greater Kuching
Kuching
and the urban sprawl extends to Penrissen, Kota Sentosa, Kota Padawan, Batu Kawah, Matang, Samariang, Siburan, Tarat, Kota Samarahan, Asajaya
Asajaya
as well as Serian which is located about 65 km from Kuching. Climate[edit] Kuching
Kuching
has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), moderately hot but very humid at times and receives substantial rainfall.[48] The average annual rainfall is approximately 4,200 millimetres (170 in).[49] Kuching
Kuching
is the wettest populated area (on average) in Malaysia
Malaysia
with an average of 247 rainy days per year. Kuching
Kuching
receives only 5 hours of sunshine per day on average and an average of only 3.7 hours of sunshine per day in the month of January (wettest month of the year).[50] The wettest times are during the North-East Monsoon
Monsoon
months of November to February and the city's driest months are June through August. The temperature in Kuching
Kuching
ranges from 19 °C (66 °F) to 36 °C (97 °F) but the average temperature is around 23 °C (73 °F) in the early hours of the morning and rises to around 33 °C (91 °F) during mid afternoon but the heat index often reaches 42 °C (108 °F) during the "dry season" due to the humidity.[51] This temperature stays almost constant throughout the year if it is not affected by the heavy rain and strong winds during the early hours of the morning which can bring the temperature down to 19 °C (66 °F), but this is very rare.[48]

Climate data for Kuching
Kuching
(1971–2000, extremes 1876–present)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 34.6 (94.3) 34.7 (94.5) 35.2 (95.4) 36.1 (97) 36.0 (96.8) 35.6 (96.1) 36.1 (97) 36.4 (97.5) 36.5 (97.7) 35.2 (95.4) 34.8 (94.6) 34.7 (94.5) 36.5 (97.7)

Average high °C (°F) 29.8 (85.6) 30.2 (86.4) 31.3 (88.3) 32.3 (90.1) 32.7 (90.9) 32.7 (90.9) 32.4 (90.3) 32.4 (90.3) 32.0 (89.6) 31.9 (89.4) 31.6 (88.9) 30.6 (87.1) 31.7 (89.1)

Average low °C (°F) 22.9 (73.2) 23.0 (73.4) 23.2 (73.8) 23.4 (74.1) 23.6 (74.5) 23.3 (73.9) 23.0 (73.4) 23.0 (73.4) 22.9 (73.2) 22.9 (73.2) 22.9 (73.2) 22.9 (73.2) 23.1 (73.6)

Record low °C (°F) 17.8 (64) 18.9 (66) 18.3 (64.9) 20.0 (68) 20.6 (69.1) 18.9 (66) 19.4 (66.9) 19.4 (66.9) 19.3 (66.7) 20.5 (68.9) 20.0 (68) 18.9 (66) 17.8 (64)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 684.1 (26.933) 473.3 (18.634) 338.6 (13.331) 272.9 (10.744) 241.8 (9.52) 220.3 (8.673) 185.6 (7.307) 229.6 (9.039) 262.3 (10.327) 338.6 (13.331) 371.5 (14.626) 498.1 (19.61) 4,116.7 (162.075)

Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 22 17 16 17 15 14 13 14 16 19 22 22 207

Average relative humidity (%) 89 88 86 86 86 84 83 83 85 86 88 89 86

Mean monthly sunshine hours 109.5 108.5 135.5 162.1 188.8 188.9 192.9 171.4 147.1 147.1 142.9 125.9 1,820.6

Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation[52]

Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990),[53] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows),[54] Deutscher Wetterdienst
Deutscher Wetterdienst
(humidity, 1975–1985)[55]

Demography[edit] The terms "Kuchingite" have been used to describe the people of Kuching, although it is not official.[24] However, the simplest way to call the people of Kuching
Kuching
is only by "orang Kuching", which means "people of Kuching" in English. Ethnicity[edit] The Malaysian Census 2010 reports that Kuching
Kuching
has a population of 325,132.[5] The city population (North and South) consists of Malays (146,580), Chinese (120,860), Iban (28,691), Bidayuh
Bidayuh
(13,681), Non-Malaysian citizens (7,216), other Sarawak
Sarawak
Bumiputras (Orang Ulu) (3,250), Melanau (2,078), Indian (1,626) and others (1,140).[6] The Chinese are made up of Hokkien
Hokkien
in the city areas and Hakka
Hakka
in the suburbs mainly.[56] Other Chinese subgroups consist of Foochow, Hainanese, Teochew, Cantonese, and Henghua. The Iban, Bidayuh, Dayak and Orang Ulu
Orang Ulu
are mainly Christian, with some still practising Animism, while the Chinese practise either Buddhism, Taoism
Taoism
or Christianity
Christianity
while the most of the Malays and Melanau are Muslim. A number of Hindus, Sikhs
Sikhs
and a small number of secularists also exist around the city. There is a sizeable number of non-citizens, who mostly come from the bordering Indonesian region of Kalimantan, most of whom are migrant workers.[57][58] Since the British period, a small population of South Asian especially Pakistanis have exist around the city by running their business mainly in selling clothes and spices.[59] Other migrants who came during the time included Bugis
Bugis
from the Dutch East Indies and other races from the neighbour Dutch Borneo.[60] Interracial marriages
Interracial marriages
among those of different ethnic backgrounds are common in Kuching, and the city itself is a home to 30 different ethnic groups.[61][62]

Religious sites in Kuching

Kuching
Kuching
Mosque at dusk

Shangdi
Shangdi
temple on Carpenter Street[63]

St. Joseph Cathedral

Languages[edit] See also: Sarawak
Sarawak
Malay Beside being the capital city of Sarawak, Kuching
Kuching
became a business and cultural centre for the Malays of Sarawak.[64] The dialect of Malay spoken in Kuching
Kuching
is known as Bahasa Sarawak
Sarawak
(Sarawakian Malay Language), which is a subset of the Malay language.[65] The dialect used in Kuching
Kuching
is a little different from the dialect used in Miri.[65] Since the second largest population in the city is made up of Han Chinese, the Chinese language
Chinese language
is also commonly used, particularly Hokkien, Hakka
Hakka
and Mandarin Chinese.[66] Almost all residents are able to speak English.[67] A number of special private schools that teach English for expatriates child can be found through the city.[68] Economy[edit]

Kuching
Kuching
as the commercial centre of Sarawak.

Kuching
Kuching
is one of the main industrial and commercial centre for Sarawak. Many state-level, national-level and international commercial banks, as well as some insurance companies establish their headquarters and branches here. The economy is dominated by the primary sector and currently by the tertiary-based industry as the state government wants to aim Sarawak
Sarawak
to be transformed into a developed state by 2020.[13][69][70] There are 3 industrial areas in Kuching, namely Pending Industrial Estate (Mixed and Light Industries), Demak Laut Industrial Park (Mixed, Light, and Medium Industries), and Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone (Hi-Tech and electronics industry).[71] This is intended to boost the city's commercial and industrial activity to making it a major growth centre in East Malaysia, as well for the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area).[70] Kuching
Kuching
hosted numerous national, regional and international conferences, congress and trade fairs, such as the Malaysia
Malaysia
Global Business Forum,[72] Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit,[73] International Hydropower Association (IHA) World Congress,[74] ASEAN Tourism Forum,[75] and Routes Asia Conference.[76] Besides, Kuching
Kuching
was chosen as a permanent host for the biennial Asean International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA).[77] These events are normally held at the Borneo Convention Centre. Kuching
Kuching
Port Authority (KPA), established in 1961, started its operation at Tanah Puteh Port (Sim Kheng Hong Port) in 1975 with annual capacity of 350,000 tonnes. Its operations has since been shifted to Pending and Senari terminals with annual capacity of 2.9 million tonnes and 7 million tonnes respectively. KPA also controls Biawak Oil Jetty that handles petroleum products.[78][79][80] Historically, the Chinese have contributed to the city economy since their migration during the Brunei
Brunei
Sultanate period after the discovery of antimony ore and also during the Charles Vyner Brooke administration who encouraged the migration of the overseas Chinese to planting black pepper.[9] Transport[edit] Land[edit]

The city highway.

New asphalt road connecting the rural areas with the city.

Roads in the city are under the jurisdiction and maintenance of either the two local councils, i.e. DBKU (Dewan Bandaraya Kuching
Kuching
Utara) and MBKS (Majlis Bandaraya Kuching
Kuching
Selatan), or the state's Public Works Department. Roads of the latter category are either state roads or federal roads. Most major internal roads are dual-carriageways and the city is linked by roads to other towns in Sarawak. These roads are mainly federal roads maintained by the national Public Works Department. The city also famous for a number of roundabouts including the oldest and largest one, known as Datuk Abang Kipali Bin Abang Akip Roundabout.[81] The roundabout are usually landscaped and were efficient to handling traffic congestion.[81][82] However, traffic lights are more commonly used now as the city traffic continues to rise. As the city is located near the equator, potholes have the tendency to develop on the roads during the monsoon season, usually at the end of the year due to coinciding with winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Roads leading outside of the city to the interior are of a slightly lower quality but are now being upgraded.[83] Highway
Highway
routes from Kuching
Kuching
include:

1–15 Kuching–Serian Highway Kuching
Kuching
Bypass Kuching– Kota Samarahan
Kota Samarahan
Expressway Tun Salahuddin Bridge Matang Highway

Public transport[edit]

The main taxis in the city are painted in red and yellow.

There are two types of taxi operating in the city, the main taxi is the red and yellow while the larger is painted in blue, which is more comfortable but expensive known as the "executive taxis".[84] In 2014, a smartphone taxi booking application named "GrabTaxi" was launched and making the city as the fifth area after Klang Valley, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya
Putrajaya
and Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru
that have the applications.[85] The main bus terminal is the Kuching
Kuching
Sentral, which just launched in 2012.[86] It is located in the south of the city, about 5 minutes away from the Kuching International Airport
Kuching International Airport
and 20 minutes from the city centre.[87] The terminal serves a long-distance destination to Brunei, Sabah
Sabah
and West Kalimantan
Kalimantan
in Indonesia.[88] Another bus terminal is the Old Kuching
Kuching
Bus Terminal, it is still operating as some of the bus companies that supposed to use the new terminal are unwilling to use the facilities due to some ongoing disagreement.[89] Other minibuses or vans services also available in the city. Water[edit]

A traditional roofed wooden sampan, the main water transport in Kuching.

Kuching, like most towns in Sarawak, has connections to other urban centres and settlements by water transport. Between the banks of Sarawak
Sarawak
River, near the city centre, many 'tambang' (traditional roofed wooden sampan) can be seen carrying passengers from one riverbank to another.[42][90] For those staying along the river banks, it is a short way to getting to the city-proper. The wharf for express boats servicing transport to further areas such as Sibu
Sibu
and Bintulu, is located in the east of the city at the Sim Kheng Hong Port (formerly known as the Tanah Puteh Port) in Pending.[91][92] Air[edit]

Kuching International Airport
Kuching International Airport
at night.

Kuching International Airport
Kuching International Airport
(KCH) (ICAO Code : WBGG) is the main gateway for air passengers. The airport's history dates back to the 1940s and today the airport has undergoing many major redevelopment.[93] The airport terminal is listed as the fourth busiest airport in Malaysia
Malaysia
according to total passenger movements in 2013.[94] Since 2009, the airport has grown rapidly with an increasing number of passengers and aircraft movement. It is the secondary hub for Malaysia
Malaysia
Airlines[95] and AirAsia[96] while became the third hub for MASWings,[97] which serves flights to smaller towns and rural areas in East Malaysia. Other utilities[edit] Courts of law and legal enforcement[edit] The current court complex is located in Petra Jaya.[98][99] It contains the High Court, Sessions Court, and the Magistrate Court.[100] Another courts of Syariah and native were also located in the city.[101][102] The Sarawak
Sarawak
Police Contingent Headquarters is located in Badruddin Street.[103] There is only one district headquarters in the city, which is the Kuching District
Kuching District
police headquarters located in Simpang Tiga Road.[104][105] Kuching
Kuching
Prison Complex is located in Puncak Borneo
Borneo
Street.[106] Temporary lock-ups or prison cells are found in most police stations around the city. Healthcare[edit] See also: List of hospitals in Malaysia

The Sarawak
Sarawak
General Hospital.

There are many types of health services in the city, such as the main public hospitals, public health clinics, other type of health clinics, mobile clinic, flying doctor service, village clinics and 1Malaysia clinic.[107] The main hospital is the Sarawak
Sarawak
General Hospital which is the oldest hospital since 1923. Another hospital is Rajah Charles Brooke Memorial Hospital.[108] Hospital Sentosa (Sentosa Mental Hospital), which built with a half-funded from the British Government was opened in 1958, it provides psychiatric services for the entire state and known as the second oldest hospital in Sarawak
Sarawak
after the main hospital.[109] Normah Medical Specialist Centre in Petra Jaya
Petra Jaya
is the largest private hospital with (130 beds) in Sarawak.[110] In addition, three other large private health facilities are Borneo
Borneo
Medical Centre with (120 beds),[111] Timberland Medical Centre with (100 beds),[112] and KPJ Healthcare with (75 beds).[113] Education[edit] See also: List of schools in Sarawak In the city, all schools under the National Education System (government education institution category), are managed by the Kuching
Kuching
Combined Education Office (Pejabat Pelajaran Gabungan Kuching). There are many government or state schools in and around the city. Like other Malaysian schools, schools in the city are divided into four levels of education — pre-school, primary, secondary (lower and upper) and post-secondary (excluding tertiary). Among the well-established and prestigious boarding schools in the city is Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuching, which is located at Batu Kawa.[114] Other secondary schools including some of the oldest and well known are St.Joseph, St.Thomas, St.Teresa and St.Mary as well as others like Sekolah Menengah Kai Chung, SMK Batu Lintang, and SMK Padungan.[114] Kuching
Kuching
has 4 out of 14 Chinese independent schools in Sarawak. These are Chung Hua Middle School No. 1 (古晋中华第一中学), Chung Hua Middle School No. 3 (古晋中华第三中学), Chung Hua Middle School No. 4 (古晋中华第四中学) and Batu Kawa
Batu Kawa
Min Lit secondary school (石角民立中学).[115] There are also two international schools in Kuching
Kuching
namely Tunku Putra International School[116] and Lodge International School.[117] Other private schools in Kuching
Kuching
are Sunny Hill School[118] and St Joseph Private Schools.[119] There are currently no public university campuses in Kuching, apart from the Universiti Malaysia
Malaysia
Sarawak
Sarawak
(UNIMAS) Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences building situated next to the Sarawak
Sarawak
General Hospital. The Sarawak
Sarawak
state government moved the last remaining public university campus (Universiti Teknologi MARA) from Kuching
Kuching
to Kota Samarahan in 1997 in a long-term initiative to transform Kota Samarahan into an education hub.[120] Kuching
Kuching
is home to two full-fledged private university campuses: the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak
Sarawak
Campus, the only branch campus of Swinburne University of Technology outside Australia; and UCSI University, Sarawak
Sarawak
Campus which houses the Faculty of Hospitality and Management. A polytechnic and community college, both known as Politeknik Kuching Sarawak
Sarawak
and Kolej Komuniti Kuching
Kuching
are also located in the city. Other private colleges can be found through the city with most of the colleges are subsidiaries from universities and university colleges established in West Malaysia, such as SEGi College, Sarawak, Sunway College Kuching, Limkokwing Borneo, PTPL Sarawak, Wawasan Open University, Open University Malaysia, and Twintech College Sarawak. There are private institutions conducting franchised programmes from full-fledged universities (apart from running their own courses) such as SATT College (conducting franchised programmes from Universiti Teknologi MARA) and the Institute of Dynamic Management, Sarawak (conducting franchised programmes from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak). The International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak
Sarawak
or ICATS is an institution created as the state government's initiative to enhance technical and vocational training education among school leavers.[121] The college was established from the former INTI College Sarawak facilities.[122] Operated by a state-owned subsidiary, ICATS focuses on producing human capital for the hi-tech sector, especially for the development of the Sarawak
Sarawak
Corridor of Renewable Energy.[123] Libraries[edit]

The Sarawak
Sarawak
State Library.

The Sarawak
Sarawak
State Library is the major information resource centre and provides information services for the public and private sectors.[124] The library serves Kuching
Kuching
and its outskirts as the main depository of public records. In addition, it administers, monitors and facilitates the operations of 36 village libraries in the state funded by the National Library of Malaysia.[125] Other public libraries in Kuching
Kuching
include the DBKU City Library[126] and village libraries such as in Bandar Baru Samariang, Kampung Samariang Lama and Taman Sepakat Jaya. Culture and leisure[edit] Attractions and recreation spots[edit] Cultural[edit]

The Sarawak State Museum
Sarawak State Museum
building was built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1891 and designed based on the architecture of a Normandy
Normandy
town hall.[127]

Kuching
Kuching
maintains several museums showcasing its culture and history. The Sarawak
Sarawak
State Museum, is one of the finest museum in Asia and known as Kuching's oldest and most historical building, which exhibits collections of the indigenous races in Sarawak.[128][129][130] Directly opposite the Sarawak
Sarawak
Museum is the Tun Abdul Razak Hall which serves as an exhibition venue and the office of the Sarawak
Sarawak
Museum Department. While located right behind the hall is the Islamic Heritage Museum. Other museums in Kuching
Kuching
include the Chinese History Museum, Kuching Cat Museum, Sarawak
Sarawak
Timber Museum and Textile Museum Sarawak. Kuching is also home to the first ever planetarium in Malaysia,[131] the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium
Planetarium
which adjacent to the Kuching
Kuching
Civic Centre. Historical[edit]

The Astana, one of the historical landmarks in the city.

Interesting historical landmarks and sites of Kuching
Kuching
include The Astana (the former palace of the White Rajahs
White Rajahs
and currently the official residence of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak), and Fort Margherita. The oldest street of Kuching
Kuching
is the Main Bazaar, a row of 19th century Chinese shophouses located along the Kuching
Kuching
Waterfront overlooking the Sarawak
Sarawak
River. It offers the city's best concentration of antique and handicraft shops. The Main Bazaar is part of Kuching's old town, which also includes the Carpenter Street and India
India
Street.[63] The old Courthouse building, which sits in between Carpenter Street and India Street, has undergone major renovation and now houses the Sarawak Tourism Board complex.[132] Some other interesting areas around the central business district include Padungan Street, which is the Chinatown of Kuching.[133]

Kuching
Kuching
General Post Office building.

Leisure and conservation areas[edit] A number of leisure spots and conserved areas can be found in Kuching. The Talang-Satang National Park was established with the primary aim of conserving Sarawak's marine turtle population.[134] It covers a total area of approximately 19,400 hectares (47,938 acres), and comprises all lands below the high tide marks on the respective islands.[135] The park also comprises the coastline and sea surrounding four islands of the southwest coast of Sarawak; Talang Besar, Talang Kecil off Sematan, and Satang Besar and Satang Kecil off Santubong, near Kuching.[134] All these four "Turtle Islands" are responsible for 95% of all the turtle landings in Sarawak
Sarawak
and the park also includes the Tukong Ara-Banun Island Wildlife Sanctuary, two tiny islets which are important nesting sites for colonies of bridled terns and black-naped terns.[135] Damai, one of Sarawak's main beach resort area, is located on the Santubong Peninsula, about 35 minutes drive from Kuching.[136] The area has sandy beaches at the foot of an imposing jungle-covered mountain. Damai features three world-class resort hotels such as the Damai Beach Resort, Damai Puri Resort and Spa and One Hotel Santubong.[137] Each resort has their own private beach, swimming pool and offers jet-skiing, waterskiing, windsurfing, mountain biking, tennis, squash and fitness centres. There is also an international standard 18-hole golf course designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer located nearby.[138] Other attractions include the Damai Central, Permai Rainforest Resort, Sarawak
Sarawak
Cultural Village and the sleepy fishing villages of Santubong and Buntal with their excellent seafood restaurants.[136] While for visitors who like adventurous activities, there is a trekking activity on Mount Santubong.[137]

Part of trekking activity in Mount Santubong.

Aside from that, Damai is also one of the perfect places in Sarawak
Sarawak
to see the Irrawaddy dolphin
Irrawaddy dolphin
as the mammals can be spotted along the Salak River, Santubong estuary and at the Bako-Buntal Bay.[139] The Santubong Peninsula offers a few sites for bird watching with the BirdLife International Organisation has registered the whole area on Bako-Buntal Bay as an 'Important Bird Area'.[42] Between October and March, the Buntal River become an important wintering ground for bird migration.[42] A number of birds that have been spotted by the Malaysian Nature Society ( Kuching
Kuching
Branch) at Buntal including a variety of plovers, sandpipers, egrets, terns and other rare migrants, while resident birds including collared kingfisher, the white-bellied sea eagle and brahminy kite.[140] Numerous natural attractions including National Parks, notably the Bako National Park[141] and the Kuching
Kuching
Wetlands National Park[142] as well as the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre which operates an orangutan orphanage and rehabilitation program.[143] Also, available near Kuching
Kuching
are the Gunung Gading National Park[144] and the Kubah National Park.[145] Located about 40-minutes drive from Kuching
Kuching
is Santubong, a prominent beach resort area home to numerous world-class beach resorts. Other beaches accessible nearby Kuching
Kuching
are the Lundu Beach and the Sematan
Sematan
Beach.[146] The Borneo
Borneo
Highlands Resort is also nearby Kuching
Kuching
and offers a fresh and chilly highlands resort experience located 1000-metres above sea level.[147] Other sights[edit]

The Sarawak
Sarawak
River along the city's waterfront.

New Sarawak
Sarawak
State Legislative Assembly Building.

Former Madrasah
Madrasah
Melayu Kuching
Kuching
(which is now as Islamic Heritage Museum).

The Kuching
Kuching
Waterfront is a 2 kilometre long riverside esplanade stretching from the main hotel and commercial heartland of the city to downtown Kuching.[148] Designed by Sydney architects,[148] the waterfront landscaped is served with food stalls, restaurants, benches and offers an excellent views of the Astana, Fort Margherita
Fort Margherita
and the New Sarawak
Sarawak
State Legislative Assembly Building.[20] The waterfront also features an observation tower, an open-air theatre and musical fountains.[20][127] The Kuching
Kuching
Orangutan
Orangutan
Murals are vital images of a wheelbarrow filled with eight young orangutans and another baby orangutan swinging from a pipe. It was painted by Ernest Zacharevic
Ernest Zacharevic
along Power Street in the city on 27 April 2014. This latest mural is painted in Zacharevic's usual interactive style, with an actual wheelbarrow sliced into half and secured to the wall to enable the public to take selfies while holding onto the handle. On the other hand, the baby orangutan was painted over a nail on the wall, where people can 'place' items in its hand.[149] Shopping[edit] See also: List of shopping malls in Malaysia Kuching
Kuching
features a number of shopping malls. These include VivaCity Megamall, The Spring, Boulevard Shopping Mall, Plaza Merdeka, CityONE Megamall, Kuching
Kuching
Sentral, Emart Lee Ling, Emart Batu Kawa, EG Mall, Giant Petra Jaya
Petra Jaya
Mall, Giant Tabuan Jaya Mall, Giant Kota Padawan Mall, Sarawak
Sarawak
Plaza, Tun Jugah, Riverside Shopping Complex, Genesis Parade, Green Heights Mall, Wisma Saberkas and many more.[13] More shopping malls are set to open in the city as construction continues.[13] The Satok Weekend Market is located at Medan Niaga Satok and operated in Saturdays and Sundays. A varieties of vegetables and fruits can be found there including other handicrafts, forest produce (such as wild honey), orchid plants and a whole range of local snacks and delicacies.[150] Entertainment[edit] See also: List of cinemas in Malaysia

A puppet show in Kuching, c. 1919.

There are four cinemas located around the city with most of its located inside shopping malls buildings. Most of the cinemas are owned by either Golden Screen Cinemas, MBO Cinemas, Lotus Five Star
Lotus Five Star
and TGV Cinemas.[151] Bookaroo, a children's literature festival, travelled from India
India
to Kuching
Kuching
since 2016 and takes place in April on the city every year to featuring the Bookaroo Kuching
Kuching
Fest. The festival invites authors, illustrators, storytellers and performers from all over the world and urging children to bring books with them.[152][153] Music[edit] Since 1997, Kuching
Kuching
has been host to the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), an annual music festival which brings performers and spectators to the region from all over the world. Hosted by the Sarawak
Sarawak
Cultural Village near the Mount Santubong, the festival is now one of the largest musical events in Malaysia.[154][155][156] RWMF had been voted as Top 25 Best International Festivals by the British-based magazine Songlines.[157] Radio stations[edit] Music radio station set up in Sarawak
Sarawak
is Radio Klasik FM (87.6), Nasional FM
Nasional FM
(88.1), Sarawak
Sarawak
FM (88.9), TraXX FM (89.9), Ai FM
Ai FM
(90.7), Hot FM (94.3), Hitz (95.3), Era (96.1), My (96.9), Mix (97.7), One FM (98.3), Lite Sarawak
Sarawak
(100.1), Bernama Radio
Bernama Radio
(100.9), Sinar (102.1) and Melody (103.7). International relations[edit] See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Malaysia Several countries have set up their consulates in Kuching, including Australia,[158] Brunei,[159] China,[160] Denmark,[161] France,[162] Indonesia,[163] Poland[164] and the United Kingdom.[165] Sister cities[edit] Kuching
Kuching
currently has eight sister cities:

Dali, China.[166] Kunming, China.[167] Xiamen, China.[168] Zhenjiang, China.[169] Pontianak, Indonesia.[170] Johor
Johor
Bahru, Malaysia.[170] Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.[170] Guro, South Korea.[171]

See also[edit]

Sarawak
Sarawak
portal Malaysia
Malaysia
portal

Archdiocese of Kuching Greater Kuching Kuching
Kuching
Heroes Cemetery List of roads in Kuching

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Notes[edit]

^ Mata Kucing is a close relative of Longan (Euphoria longana). ^ Mata Kucing is similar to that of Longan fruit. ^ Not to be confused with Padawan municipality.

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