Kuching is a perfect destination for a traveller to start exploring Sarawak in Borneo, especially if you travel with children and are aware of responsible travel.

Kuching  is a nice town offering a wide range of good museum – maybe among the best in Malaysia -, nice heritage buildings from the 19th century, wide and safe sidewalks that allow you to discover the place slowly  – everything is at a walking distance –  and the best sunset I have ever seen in Malaysia

Kuching giant spider BakoNature and wilderness – proboscis monkeys, orang-outan, turtles,birds, big spiders..- are easily accessible at less than one hour, as well as nice and quiet beaches. And no leeches waiting for your blood, that’s great! 

The place offers also many opportunities to learn about the indigenous communities of Sarawak.

Check out the 2 posts we already published :

The Society Atelier, which conducts research and promotes the traditional craft of Sarawak, especially weaving. Now you can even have your lunch in the beautiful bungalow.

The Tun Jugah Fondation, Kuching, Sarawak : a must see museum for textile lovers especially for the indigenous ikat weaving of the Iban, called Pua Kumbu.

Check out our selection of useful links before I finish my writing about Kuching.

Where to stay :

Kuching Fairview front doorFairview Guesthouse a traveller-friendly heritage guesthouse managed by a local family who always has good tips on Kuching and good contacts to organize tailor-made tours. Tell them you come from Greenselipar, you will have the best of it.

 


What to do

Go for a self discovery of Kuching heritage trails .

Visit the Textile Museum housed in the Pavilion, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, Kuching. It has four galleries on the traditional textiles of Sarawak.

 

Kuching Proboscis male Bako JPG

Visit the proboscis monkeys and their friends at Bako National Park. It’s better to spend at least one night there. I must confess that the service is not at all traveller friendly and it’s getting worse : the chalets are really dirty and the food is bad (we came back last wek with food poisoning). But the environment is gorgeous, the wildlife amazing, the trails are well maintained and it will be a memorable stay if you are lucky enough to spot the funny proboscis monkeys. Don’t forget to fill a form to complain about the quality of service at Kuching Tourism Information Center. 

Visit the Semengoh Orang-Outans Sanctuary at morning feeding time (9am) : Semengoh website

Spot Greenturtles in the protected island of  Satang Besar : contact Fairview for enquiries.

Learn about the Dayak indigenous communities of Sarawak at the Sarawak Cultural Village: a living museum built in 1990 on a 7 hectare site at the foothills of Mount Santubong. You can easily spend half a day visiting the seven museum houses of seven major ethnic groups in Sarawak. Take your time and have a look at the traditional craft demonstrations in the longhouses.

You can spend the night in one of the Longhouse home-stays within the Cultural village or choose to spend a little bit more money to enjoy the view over the China Sea from a tree-top house at Permai Rainforest Resort. The place is hidden into a protected portion of forest, 5 mn walk from the Cultural Village with access to 2 private tiny beaches. Once again we regret the poor service provided by the staff more aware of groups than individual guests. And its a pity that they never answer enquiries through email. 

Learn about the local handicraft and be aware of what you buy. Here is our selection of places with selection of real made-in Sarawak handicraft :

The Artrageously Art Gallery, 94 Main Bazaar, Kuching : a friendly place where you can enjoy permanent exhibitions of local artists, appreciate or buy local handicraft.

Check out at the Sarawak Craft Council next to the Sarawak Tourism Information Center in Kuching about a Craft fair or demonstration. 

Visit the Sarakraft Pavilion where you can meet craftsmen and women, see a demo or join one of the craft workshops. Lot 78, Section 43, KTLD Jalan Tabuan, Kuching, 

The biggest EVENTS of the year are

The Rainforest World Craft Bazaar, 8-12 July 2009, at the Cultural Village. It will be their second times in 2009. An initiative of Crafthub, a non-profit organisation which aims to promote and sell Sarawak handicrafts in an economically viable way, with international standard quality control. Check out their website

The event coincides with the Rainforest World Music Festival , 10-12 July, at the Cultural Village. This festival has been attracting huge crowds from all over the world for 11 years – 12,000 persons attended in 2008!

Check out the Tourism information Center for other events at http://www.sarawaktourism.com.

Greenselipar’s selection of books

 “My life in Sarawak, the Ranee of Sarawak,” BROOKE Margaret, (in French Reine des coupeurs de Têtes), Editions Olizane, Genève, 2000, 255 p.

Iban Ritual textilesGAUVIN Traude, Singapore university Press, 2004, 356 p

« Bornéo, Des “chasseurs de têtes aux écologistes “», GUERREIRO Antonio and COUDERC  Pascal Ed. Autrement, Paris , 1991, 219 p. (FRENCH)

Borneo a photographic Journey”, LAU Denis, Travelcom Asia, 1999, 98 p, 115 photos.

Dream Weavers of Rumah Garie”, Video, Mac LANAHAN David 2006, Jungle Arts and Flora, www.jungleartsandflora.com

« Voix de la forêt pluviale », MANSER Bruno, ED. Georg, Genève, 1994, 314 p. (FRENCH)

Sarawak, Thrills and Treasures of Historical Landmarks”, MUNAN Heidi, Ed. Marshall Cavendish, Malaysia, 63p 

“Pua, Iban Weavings of Sarawak”, ONG Edric ,ED. Society Atelier Sarawak, Kuching, 1986, 105 p 

“Beads of Borneo”, MUNAN Heidi Ed. Didier Millet, Singapore, 2005, 144p

Selection for children :

“Payah”, LIM H.L. Margaret, Fairy Bird Ed., Children’s books, Kuching Sarawak, 2005, 32 p.

Four eyes another Payah AdventureLIM H.L. Margaret, Fairy Bird Ed., Children’s books, Kuching Sarawak, 2006, 40 p.

Precious Jade and Turnip head” Payah’s third adventure, LIM H.L. Margaret,  Fairy Bird Ed., Children’s books, Kuching Sarawak, 2007, 44 p.Iban stories”, MUNAN Heidi 2005, Utusan Ed., Kuala Lumpur, 88p.

For a short write up it’s quite prolific. I have now to insert some pictures.

Soon

you will get more information about Fairview, Bako and Sarawak national parks and Crafthub, for a real responsible journey in Kuching.

Written by C.Bossis, Kuala Lumpur, 18 May. 09.
Permission granted to reproduce for personal use only.
Commercial use is prohibited

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