Friday, 24 August 2012

Kuching City Tour

Kuching City in Sarawak, Malaysia is on the brink for greater progress and it continuously receives acknowledgment as a perfect choice for tourist destination with its intense and fascinating sunsets, a number of historical places to visit and the diverse ethnic cultures. Tourists are encouraged to join city tour in order to have a good overview of the interesting city, the tour usually takes about 4 hours. Upon arrival at airport or meet up at preferred pickup point, tourists will be greeted by our friendly tour guide and along the way, the tour guide will provide informative and interesting general introduction of Kuching.

With a population of some 600,000, Kuching was once the capital of White Rajahs of Sarawak. It is hailed as the cleanest city in Malaysia where you feel safe and secure to explore. The name “Kuching” came from a Malay word, “kucing” which means “cat”. Most locals would call it the “Cat City”. Sarawak used to be a part of Brunei, but it was handed over to a British adventurer named James Brooke and ruled it as his own empire as he put up his headquarter in Kuching. The Brooke family governed Sarawak until it was surrendered to the Japanese in December 1941. After approximately 4 years, it was recovered by James Brooke and surrendered it to the British monarchy. In 1963, Sarawak gained full independence from the British together with the other Asian countries like Singapore, Sabah and North Borneo.

Several major attractions covered in the trip were built during the period of White Rajahs, therefore, each of them served as important reminder of their history and the City Tour include:

at Cat Museum with tour guide Billy

The Astana -  A beautiful palace on the north bank of Kuching Sarawak across the Kuching Waterfront. The palace was constructed in 1870 as a wedding gift of the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke to his wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt.

The Kuching General Post Office – Built in 1932 and designed by McClaren of Singapore and Swan’s architectural firm’s Denis Santy. This building that is situated along Jalan Tun Haii Openg used to be a police headquarter and stables for the white leaders. Currently, it serves as Kuching’s General Post Office.

The Courthouse – It is a place which held several historical events and one of the most delightful buildings in Kuching. Built on 1874, the courthouse served as the venue for the time of sovereignty of the state legislature< Dewan Undangan Negeri from 1878 to 1973.

Sarawak Museum
Cathedrals and Museums – In Kuching, you can visit a few Cathedrals like St. Joseph Cathedral and St. Thomas Cathedral. There was also a Cat Museum, which represents “Kuching” which is also called the Cat City. It is perfect for tourists from all over the world who are cat lovers. Visit to the Sarawak Museum is a must and will be an insightful experience as it is reputed to be among the best in South East Asia. In the Museum grounds there is an Aquarium, the Botanical Gardens and the Heroes' Memorial.
Tua Pek Kong Temple – It is believed to be the oldest Chinese temple built in 1770, in Kuching Serawak. Tua Pek Kong is the primary deity of the temple. The temple located near the Waterfront where four main festivals are being held every year - The Hungry Ghost Festival, Tua Pek Kong’s birthday, also the birthday of Tua Pek Kong’s Tiger and the Ascension Day of Tua Pek Kong.

State Mosque – Built in 1847 by the clan of the popular Malay leader Datuk Patinggi Ali, the old state mosque was the largest during that period. In 1965, it had to be reconstructed and was affirmed open by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on October 30 1968.

on top of Civic Center
There are several other significant landmarks and attractions to be introduced along the city tour, enable tourists to have thorough overview of Kuching City within just half a day. I myself originated from and grew up in the city but was surprised by the knowledge gained during the trip, and bashful to realize that there are many interesting facts and landmarks I was totally unaware of..

 Depending on the timing and tourists’ preference, the tour guide will also recommend good places to enjoy local food such as 'Kolo Mee', 'Sarawak Laksa', 'Ayam Pansoh', or stop by trustworthy souvenir shops along Kuching Waterfront for shopping of local handicrafts or the famous colourful Sarawak ‘kuih lapis’ (layered cake).

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