Kuching, situated on the island of Borneo, is the capital of Malaysia's province of Sarawak. Kuching offers a glimpse of what Singapore or Bangkok must have been like half a century ago - laid back, yet full of cafes and bars and the traditional Chinese shop houses. The Sarawak River flows through the city centre, flanked by Brooke Raj palaces, courts and the glistening white Fort Margherita that marks the first White Raja's landing.
Perhaps the most memorable time in its history dates back to the 19th century when the city was ruled by the Brooke family of the "White Rajas," namely James and his nephew, Charles. The Brookes spread their European values and ideals throughout the region until the end of the Second World War. The British then took control and ruled until 1963, the year of Malaysia's independence. Today Sarawak is home to the largest mix of Malaysian cultures, as evident by the numerous tribes living in "long houses" in the tiny villages along Sarawak's many rivers. The cultures of this region originated from ancient Indian and Arab traders who settled on this land long ago.
A short drive from the centre of Kuching is the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre within the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Established by the Forest Department of Sarawak it managed for the conservation and rehabilitation of Orang Utan. The Matang Wildlife Centre is situated within the Kubah National Park some 38 km to the west of Kuching. Dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife, it has large enclosures located in the rainforest where animals and birds, including orangutan and sun bears, are kept in an environment as similar as possible to their natural habitat.
Situated just 32 km from Kuching is the Sarawak Cultural Village. This 17-acre site nestled on the foothill of the legendary Mount Santubong, fronting the South China Sea offers an excellent introduction to the local culture and lifestyles of the ethnic people of Sarawak.
The following 10 cruises call at Kuching.
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