You won’t soon forget that Kuching shares its name with the humble cat; the visual references are everywhere in this charming, rambling city, including a rather imposing statue in the centre of town. But there is an animal with an even stronger claim on Sarawakians’ affections: the orangutan. You’ll find street art dedicated to the endangered animal all across the city, and for the perfect day-trip look no further than one of the many orangutan wildlife reserves just out of town.
The Sarawak river flows through the capital city, providing both a sense of tranquility and a picturesque border between North and South Kuching. Hop into a wooden sampan to cross the river in search of the colourful, intricately layered kek lapis (traditional layer cake), or wander the streets to find the Sarawak specialities: laksa (spicy coconut milk based soup), kolok mee (dry noodles tossed with meat and shallots) and the state’s own style of barbeque.