Places to visit in and outside Kuching during long weekends

A file photo of Kuching Waterfront.

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, April 20: In view of the Hari Raya long weekend and many more other weekends combined with public holidays to come, DayakDaily hopes to provide some ideas of where to visit in and outside the city for Kuchingites and tourists alike.

The places recommended here are either in the city itself or reachable within less than two-hour drives (some may involve boat rides) where visitors may spend half a day or a full day, if they were to take their time.   


With many places to visit in and around Kuching, here are some places you can visit over a short period, and see what the city and its unique attractions and surroundings have to offer.

Borneo Cultures Museum 

A file photo of an aerial view of the Borneo Cultures Museum.

The Borneo Cultures Museum, the second largest museum in South East Asia and largest in Malaysia to date, offers a mesmerising and inspiring trip through Sarawak’s storied heritage and history.

Located in the heart of Kuching city and just adjacent to the old Sarawak Museum, Borneo Cultures Museum is home to hundreds of historical artefacts.

After a smashing success since its grand unveiling on March 9, 2022, visitors to Borneo Cultures Museum since Aug 1 are required to pay a small entrance fee. For Sarawakians, a one-time admission fee is priced between RM5 to RM10.

On public holidays, the museum will open from 9.30am to 4.30pm. For any inquiries, visitors can contact their information counter at 082-548215 or email to

Main Bazaar and Carpenter Street

An antique shop at the Main Bazaar. (Photo by DayakDaily)

The Main Bazaar, the oldest part of Kuching and Carpenter Street, located parallel to it, houses some of the oldest cultural structures including two Chinese temples and many century-old shophouses.

The whole area may be explored on foot, where one can still witness how tin-smithing, carpentry and other handicraft are executed by local artisans who are residents there.  

Eateries and coffeeshops with special themes come in abundance with a high concentration of antique and handicraft shops for visitors to get a good bargain or just window shop.  

The area is a vibrant and bustling place to experience the local culture, sample delicious local food, and shop for souvenirs.

The Kuching Waterfront 

An aerial view of the Kuching Waterfront.

Kuching Waterfront is considered one of the best places to chill out when visiting Kuching, due to its picturesque scenery and vibrant atmosphere. 

For Kuchingites and tourists, there are some interesting places nearby the Kuching waterfront that you can explore, especially the Riverside Walk.  

The Riverside Walk is a beautifully landscaped promenade along the Sarawak River, offering stunning views of the river and the city skyline. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll, jog, or bike ride, with ample sitting areas to relax and enjoy the scenery.

From there, one can also walk up to the Darul Hana Bridge. This iconic pedestrian bridge spans the Sarawak River and connects the Kuching Waterfront to the north side of the city.

It’s a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying panoramic views of the city.

Once crossing the river, one can see the iconic Fort Margherita, the Sarawak Assembly Complex and the Astana, making it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.

There’s also the Sarawak River Cruise. which will take visitors along the Sarawak River to enjoy the scenic views of Kuching’s waterfront and skyline. 

Gurung Gading National Park 

A nine-day withered rafflesia and a two-day blooming rafflesia alongside each other at Gunung Gading National Park on Jan 16, 2023. (Photo by DayakDaily)

Gunung Gading National Park is one of the most incredible places in all of Asia to witness the breathtaking blooms of the rafflesia – the world’s largest flower – and is therefore a must-visit for tourists and locals seeking a half day adventure. 

The parasitic plant may measure one metre in diameter and blooms for only a few days.  

This weekend is one of those times (April 19 to 23) that rafflesias are in bloom. For those who have yet to see a blooming rafflesia flower, this will be a suitable break to take a trip to Gunung Gading National Park.

Although most people come for the rafflesia, there are actually quite a few other things to do in the park. There are a number of jungle trails, including the Gunung Gading Summit Trail, and a series of waterfalls and clear jungle streams that make excellent bathing spots.

Bako National Park 

Bako National Park is one of Sarawak’s top tourist attractions. (Photo courtesy of Sarawak Tourism Board)

Bako National Park is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers, providing a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity of Borneo up close. 

Located about 37km from Kuching, and another 20 minutes via boat ride, the park is known for its unique landscapes as well as diverse flora and fauna.

It is one of the best places in Borneo to spot the proboscis monkeys, which are endemic to the island and known for their distinctive long noses, including other wildlife such as silvered langurs, bearded pigs, monitor lizards, and a plethora of bird species.

Apart from that, the park hiking trails take visitors through diverse landscapes, such as dense forests, mangroves, and rocky beaches, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and the South China Sea.

Borneo Happy Farm

A file photo of a curious boy looking at the guinea pigs at Borneo Happy Farm. (Photo by DayakDaily)

Those looking for a rejuvenating break from city life should take a trip to Borneo Happy Farm to get a taste of farm life experience, reconnect with nature and meet domesticated animals like chickens, horses, turkeys, goats, ducks, buffaloes, turtles, rabbits and guinea pigs.

Borneo Happy Farm is located 18km off Kuching city near Jalan Sungai Moyan along Jalan Batu Kawah-Bau with a travel distance of about 30 minutes.

Surrounded by lush greenery and offers breathtaking views of the suburb, the farm features an Arowana Station, where visitors can feed the majestic carnivorous fish through a bamboo chute, a Bunny’s Farm to cuddle with cute fluffy rabbits and guinea pigs, the Longevity Village where turtles live and stroll the green grassland where goats, sheep, cows, calves, geese and chickens wander freely, while the water buffaloes are sunbathing.

Visitors can also learn about agriculture farming at the Padi Village where scarecrows stand at attention to protect the hill paddy, corn and several other crops planted; as well as the Farmer’s Paradise with various fruit trees and plants like mulberry, rambutans, pineapples and bananas.

Aside from that, visitors, especially kids, can also enjoy the thrill of ziplining across the farm at the Kiddyland Playground spreading more than 5,000 sq ft.

Borneo Happy Farm is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 8.30am to 5pm, while ticket counters close at 3.30pm.

Jong’s Crocodile Farm

A file photo of two peacocks posing proudly at Jong’s Crocodile Farm. (Photo by DayakDaily)

Jong’s Crocodile Farm is home to hundreds of crocodiles of different species and sizes, making it an ideal destination for families with children and those interested in learning about these fascinating reptiles.

Situated at Mile 18 in Siburan which is only a 30 minutes leisurely drive from Kuching city, visitors can experience walking freely in the jungle’s of Borneo while taking a closer look at the crocodiles’ natural environment and learning about the behaviours of this ambush hunter.

One of the main highlights of the farm is the crocodile feeding show, where the crocodiles showcase their incredible strength and agility as they leap out of the water to catch their prey. The feeding time is at 11am and 3pm.

Aside from crocodiles, the farm also houses other animals such as rare species of birds found in Borneo Island, monkey, peacocks, leopard-cats, sunbears, bear cats, pheasants, civets, barking deers, sambar deers, turtles, fruit bats, monitor lizards, pythons and even Arapaima, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.

Jong’s Crocodile Farm is open daily including public holidays from 9am to 5pm, with last admission at 4.30pm.

Mount Singai

The statue of Mother Mary at Catholic Memorial and Pilgrimage Centre at Mount Singai.

Mount Singai is the perfect spot for a getaway hike to burn off calories from all the Hari Raya goodies and delicacies over the long weekend.

The hike from the starting point up until the summit, which is located 550m above sea level, takes two to three hours, depending on individuals and their stamina.

About 30 minutes from the starting point, there is the Catholic Memorial & Pilgrimage Centre, a church popular among the Bidayuh community in the area.

There are intermittent resting platforms featuring the Stations of the Cross built towards the church, and from the church onwards is a trail leading up to the summit of the mountain.

The trail up to the summit can be challenging for beginners, so always plan your journey ahead and bring enough water to rehydrate.

Bung Bratak Heritage Centre 

The trail leading to Bung Bratak Heritage Centre. (Photo by DayakDaily)

Bung Bratak is an ancient site of great significance to the Bidayuh community, especially to the Jagoi-Bratak sub-tribe scattered in 35 villages in the Lundu and Bau districts.

Over 750 years ago, a group from Sungkong (of Kalimantan Barat) had trekked to Bung Bratak, possibly to get away from a disease, in search of padi planting fields, or to avoid some serious village conflicts.

They settled at Bung Bratak because there was a spring and a waterfall, and that the altitude was not too high, thus allowing padi to be planted at the foothills.

For centuries, the people of Bung Bratak lived in peace until 1837, when a hostile group attacked their settlement and razed it to the ground. 

To get to Bung Bratak, visitors may drive all the way up to the site, or they may climb from the foothill to the heritage centre.  

The uphill trail is made up by concrete slabs or wooden planks, making it an easy walk of about half an hour. 

For those who find the trail challenging, they may stop every now and then to take a break and eventually they will reach the top to enjoy an amazing views of Mount Singai and Mount Serapi at the horizon.

Siniawan Night Market 

The scenic Siniawan town. (Photo by DayakDaily)

On every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Siniawan, the small town in Bau, transforms from a slumbering hamlet into a bustling enclave.   

Weekends at Siniawan Night Market are renowned for their delectable gastronomic spreads.

Simply visit Siniawan after the sun has set, and you’ll see its street filled with dangling red lanterns and food stalls that will tantalise your taste buds.

The traditional Bidayuh delicacy of pitcher plants stuffed with steamed glutinous rice is a must-try, as are “kompia”, the mini Foochow burger which are tough buns stuffed with meat and various fillings and chicken, which are cooked in bamboo.  

Here, diners can enjoy their meals in an outdoor setting under the night sky, surrounded by the town’s distinctive-looking old shophouses.  It is an experience that visitors should not miss. 

Semengoh Wildlife Centre 

The alpha orangutan feasting on bananas at Semenggoh Wildlife Center.

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is where adventure begins with the fuzzy ‘man of the forest’

Consider embarking on an exciting journey here, where you’ll witness the majestic orangutans emerging from the lush rainforest during feeding time. You’ll also have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close and personal with the orangutans as they swing down from the trees to receive a snack of fruit.

The majority of orangutans are orphans or have been rescued from injuries or illegal animal poaching. 

Apart from the main attraction of orangutans, visitors are also able to observe additional endangered species at Semenggoh. 

In the surrounding forest, it is possible to hear gibbons that have been rehabilitated as well as the songs of wild birds.

Paku Maze Garden, Bau

A look at the interior of the Paku Rock Maze Garden. (Photo by DayakDaily)

The Paku Rock Maze Garden is the latest tourist attraction in Bau.  It is a primitive stone forest featuring a natural rock formation behind a Chinese temple located at Kuching-Baru road, about a 45 minute drive from Kuching.  

The taller rocks look ancient and majestic, while the shorter ones crop up here and there, forming a totally different landscape Sarawakians are used to.  

If it is not because of the familiar secondary forest around it, one would think that they have been transported to another country once entering the garden.

As the whole place consists only of rocks, one can easily lose their way among the various rock formations. 

It is thus advisable to visit the place only when there is still daylight. For the time being, admission is free.

The Wind Cave and Fairy Cave, Bau

The Fairy Cave Festival is held annually at Fairy Cave, Bau.

Both the Wind Cave and the Fairy Caves which are about 40 minutes drive away from Kuching have been gazetted as nature reserves.  

The Wind Cave which got its name from the constant cooling breeze blowing through the cave system is home to not only swiftlets but 14 species of bats, and 12 distinct species of snails. 

There are also rare plants which are unique due to the surrounding limestone forest.

About 8km away is the Fairy Cave, which is also a limestone cave system. 

It is said the cave got its name from the local belief that it houses many Chinese deities.  

The legend has become more convincing when in one dark corner, one can spot a stalagmite which looks like a statue of Guan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy.

Serikin Market, Bau

The Serikin Market, a great place for getting bargains. (Photo credit: Flickr)

One can often find great bargains at the weekend-only Serikin Market, Bau.

Serikin is a small town about 80km from Kuching that only opens for business on Saturdays and Sundays.

It is a weekend market paradise for bargain hunters who have household items, clothes, furniture, handicraft works and dried foods on their lists. As most merchandise here are from neighbouring Indonesia, they are relatively cheaper.  

Those not interested in buying and bargaining will still have an enjoyable trip just by looking at the myriad of colourful goods and products offered by the Indonesia traders. 

Lundu-Sematan Beach

Telok Melano of Lundu is located the most southern tip of Sarawak. (Photo by DayakDaily)

Sematan, the seaside town in Lundu district located 110km from Kuching, is a place to hang out if you have half a day to spare.

With resorts and chalets dotting the beach and village homestays offering the best price on top of a village life experience, Sematan is the place to go for relaxation after months of hard office work.

There tons of activities such as snorkelling, diving, fishing, jungle trekking and Tanjung Datu National Park awaiting visitors, both local and foreign.

Other recommended places of interest are the Sebat Waterfall, about 15 minutes drive from Samatan, and Jangkar Waterfall, about 25 minutes drive from Lundu town.

For beach goers, there is Pandan Beach, which is located 20 minutes away from Lundu town or Siar Beach, 15 minutes drive from Lundu town. — DayakDaily