Kuching, Malaysia Cruise Port
Attention, cat lovers: Now there's a trip custom-made for you! Located on the Sarawak River, the cruise port of Kuching, Malaysia has the nickname "Cat City," which is evident by the statues that have come to symbolize the city in addition to an entire museum dedicated to felines. British adventurer James Brooke gained area as a reward for helping stop a rebellion in 1840; afterward, Brooke became the Sarawak's governor and was given the title of Rajah. The capital of the state of Sarawak (one of two states on the island of Borneo), Kuching is a pleasant mixture of old colonial buildings and more modern structures. With a varied history – including being used as a Japanese internment camp during World War II – it has since become a major commercial and industrial center, and popular with tourists. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Kuching, Malaysia:
- The oldest park in Sarawak, Bako National Park includes steep cliffs and sandy beaches. Although one of the smaller parks, it contains multiple biomes, waterfalls, walking trails, and a plethora of wildlife. Intriguing rock formations have also been a draw. For those fascinated by carnivorous plants, you'll find several species of those to examine.
- Right on the riverbank is the Astana, a former palace of the White Rajahs. Built by Charles Brooke as a wedding gift to his wife in 1870, it's still the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak; although the house itself isn't open to the public, its beautiful gardens are.
- Charles Brooke was also responsible for the Fort Margherita, erected to thwart pirates. Built in 1879 in the style of an English castle, it eventually became a police museum and then a tourist attraction. It does take a bit of a trek to reach, but architecture fans won't be disappointed.
- For a bit of kitschy fun, a visit to the Kuching Cat Museum should tide over any kitty fan. Located inside the North City Hall, there are more than 4,000 artefacts, paintings, and cat memorials – even the entrance is a giant tabby head.