The Island of Langkawi in Kedah, Malaysia was gazetted as an international travel bubble to revive the tourism industry that has been affected by Covid-19. With it, fully vaccinated international tourists can stay from 3 to 7 days on the island by booking tour packages from an approved travel agency.
From Langkawi, tourists can then travel to any other state in Malaysia, so why not take a short trip down to nature-filled Sarawak? Nicknamed the Land of the Hornbills, Sarawak is almost as big as all of West Malaysia combined, with most of it being the very best of what nature has to offer. To make the most out of your trip, we’ve prepared a 3-day itinerary for a short getaway to Cat City (Kuching).
Book a morning flight from Langkawi to make the most of your stay in Kuching. We recommend flying as early as possible using Malaysia Airlines, as you’ll need to transit in Kuala Lumpur before arriving in Kuching.
Book here: https://www.malaysiaairlines.com
Upon your arrival, check into the Astana Wing of Riverside Majestic Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of Kuching Town. Enjoy a panoramic view of Kuching from the comfort of your hotel room, overlooking the majestic Sarawak River.
Tip: For breezier bookings and extra benefits, use the Insider’s Club app, which can be downloaded from the AppStore for iOS, and Google Play Store for Android.
Address: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak.
Make your way down to Choon Hui Kopitiam for some Sarawak Laksa, described by the late Anthony Bourdain as “Breakfast of the Gods”. With vermicelli rice noodles soaked in a perfectly balanced shrimp-based broth thickened with coconut milk and topped with beansprouts, shredded chicken, boiled prawns, slices of omelette and fresh coriander, it’s no wonder Sarawak Laksa was crowned Taste Atlas’ Best Asian Food.
Hungry for some art? Check out the newly opened Hoan Gallery at La Promenade Mall and their opening exhibit: Rebirth – Sarawak is Art, Past & Present. Featuring over 40 artworks by 10 different artists, Rebirth pays tribute to Kuching Art Club and Sarawak’s art, and how far it has come since its inception in 1949.
Have a sip of coffee dubbed “one of the world’s best coffee experiences” at Black Bean Coffee & Tea, La Promenade. An extension of their original café at Carpenter Street, we highly recommend trying out the local Sarawak Liberica blend!
Have dinner at Round Tower 1886 Café and Restaurant, situated in one of Kuching’s most iconic buildings. Originally intended for military-use, this fort-like building also houses the Sarawak Craft Council. Indulge in their decadent Heritage Sher Black Wagyu or their Mushroom Truffle pasta and top it off with some wine.
Close out the day with a short walk towards your hotel along the Sarawak River Waterfront and check out the Darul Hana Bridge and Musical Fountain performances and light show held daily! Each performance lasts for 15 minutes so make sure you catch them at 8.30pm or 9.30pm as well as an extra show at 10.30pm from Fridays to Sundays.
If you need a pick me up, head over to the Royal Chamber bar over on Jalan Ewe Hai for an elevated feel of Kuching. Enjoy some whiskey while lounging at their roof garden before heading back to your room for a good night’s sleep.
Address: 102, Ewe Hai St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak.
On your second day, take one of the many guided tours on offer. We recommend the 6-hour Gunung Gading Rafflesia safari, which offers entry into Sarawak’s main conservation area for the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia.
After an exhausting tour, take a break back in your room at Riverside Majestic Hotel and maybe order some room service. Alternatively, walk along India Street, one of Kuching’s busiest streets with a long pedestrian walkway lined with shops selling traditional textiles, clothing, apparels and gold jewellery.
Address: India Street, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak.
Have dinner at Top Spot, one of the best, yet affordable places for fresh seafood. Order some of our local favourites, like fried Cangkuk Manis, butter prawns, bamboo clams, midin, and oyster pancake!
After dinner, take stroll around Kuching Waterfront and maybe grab some cold treats at IG Ais Krim. Don’t miss out on their Gula Apong Bubble Milk Tea, which is Sarawak’s own palm sugar-flavoured milk tea with tapioca pearls topped with ice cream and syrup.
If you’re hankering for some supper, head over to Lok Lok at Ban Hock Road for some burgers at the Yellow Burger stall or some of their signature lok-lok, fried chicken butt or gizzards on skewers with their signature freshly brewed Liang Teh (Winter Melon Longan tea). They’re open until midnight so what better way is there to spend your last night in Kuching?
On your last day in Sarawak, why not wake up early and check out the daily specials at the James Brooke Bistro & Café? Featuring a relaxing atmosphere as well as delicious Western and local signature dishes, this cosy bistro is situated right at the heart of the Waterfront.
After breakfast, take a boat across the Sarawak River using one of the traditional ‘penambang’ boats available at the waterfront for only RM1. These colourful boats are a staple here on the Sarawak River and each trip takes about 15 minutes.
Make your way to the Brooke Gallery in Fort Margherita, the formidable white fort that houses the mini museum that tells the story of Sarawak and its White Rajahs during the time of the Brooke dynasty.
Before heading back over to the other side of the river, drop by Mira Cake House for some kek lapis Sarawak (Sarawak layer cake), which are unique to the State. Have your pick of flavours or have them recommend their most popular flavours and bring home a slice of Sarawak.
Try out local cuisines and delicacies by having lunch at Pinggai Café! They offer authentic Dayak cuisines such as Manok Pansuh (chicken cooked in bamboos), Dayak Char Siew (wood-fired barbecued pork belly) and Sup Ayam Tempoyak (Fermented durian and chicken soup) as well as other options such as Nasi Lemak.
Address: 37, China St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak.
If you’re looking for more souvenirs to take home, check out the local handicraft stores at the Main Bazaar (adjacent to the Waterfront). While you’re at it, take pictures with the many cat statues round town. Kuching’s most photographed monument, the Cat Family statue is located at the traffic triangle opposite Grand Margherita hotel before checking out from your hotel.