My weekend trip to Kuching from Sep. 15 to 16 wasn’t my most productive trip.
By productive, I mean having a planned itinerary packed with activities from the minute I set foot in the airport to the second I head into the boarding room.
You would think that as the author of 24 hours in Kuching, I would have everything planned out.
Nope, I didn’t.
Instead, I accidentally left my guidebook at home and didn’t really bothered doing much research.
So, here’s what really happened that weekend.
1:18 pm Walk out from Kuching airport
I was adamant to find the public bus into the city, despite Lonely Planet saying it will be a difficult task. I walked from Kuching airport to the east (left) in search of the long-distance bus terminal.
D who took a cab some days before said it’s within walking distance from the airport with an umbrella or else it’s a RM17 ride.
So I walked on the side of the road, stepping on broken stones and grass. I don’t think the road builders were expecting anyone to walk on that trail so it was pedestrian unfriendly.
While I walked, trucks and cars zipped pass. Some in the truck would cheer (or cat call, depend on how you see it) me on. I considered hitchhiking.
1:37 pm Reached Kuching Sentral
It wasn’t long until I saw the two-storeyed Kuching Sentral. There were loads of shops inside the airconditioned building but I needed to find my bus.
A man working for the long distance bus companies asked where I was going. He pointed to the opposite side of the road and said I can find my bus there.
I asked if there’s a bus stop. He told me to wait at the side of the road which bends in.
1:44 pm Bus that never came
I waited for about 20 minutes under the sun, with my umbrella. No bus came.
1:58 pm Had milky cold coffee
I gave up and went to a coffeeshop nearby for a drink. The coffee was more milky than the usual ones I have in Singapore.
2:29pm Waited more for bus
I walked around Kuching Sentral and saw a real bus stop. The bus didn’t come.
2:41 pm Got on cab
I gave up and took a cab. RM30. I should have saved myself the time and took a cab straight to the hotel.
The cab ride felt really far. I even passed many places I was sure was opposite the bank of where I was supposed to go. I did reach my hotel in the end.
3:10pm Reach hotel
I made a video of Tune Hotel Kuching before heading to the shower. I’ve included the video in my review of Kuching Waterfront Tune Hotel.
3:42pm Checking out Kuching city
I walked along the Kuching River. There was the Sarawak Regatta happening so it was really packed.
I checked out the Chinese temple which I didn’t manage to see during my last trip.
As it was the last day of Ghost Month, people at the temple were busy preparing for the night’s event.
I walked among the shop houses, found two other nice temples.
I walked to Padang Merdeka but couldn’t find anything fun to do.
It suddenly started pouring. I had my S$2 umbrella with me so I braved the heavy rain and went to the open air food center nearby.
Most of the stalls were closed. I ordered a kolo mee which was tasted slightly better than the regular “gan lao mian” I have back home. I am not sure why people are obsessed over it.
When I finished my meal, it was still raining heavily. I stood at the sidewalk of the shops, listening to a mix versions of Adele’s “Someone like you” and Psy’s “Gangnam Style“.
4:47pm India Street
I head to India Street while it was slightly drizzling. Only the smell of incense shows that it’s India Street as the wares sold are seen on any other street.
5:02pm Hide from rain by river
I walked to the river again. My umbrella was collapsing from the wind.
One of the rowers shouted from his boat about my umbrella. I waved. They hoot.
One of the stall owners told me to hide from the rain under the roof of the stalls. I was given a chair later. I chat with the people there. A kid was speaking pidgin Chinese but not directly at me.
One of the man asked if I needed a ride tomorrow. RM300 for a day’s tour. I said, No thanks.
When it looked like the rain was slowing, I said my thanks and left the stall.
5:34pm Had bad cake watching Silent Hill
As I walked along the street, I saw a sign for Maria’s Cake House and headed in.
My coffee cake wasn’t terribly good. My coffee was so so. But I enjoyed watching Silent Hill.
During my teatime, J, who moved back home to Kuching, asked me if I was free during the night in a text message. I happily said: “Yes.”
I was in the shop for a long while before I went back to the hotel for a nap.
7:43pm Wake up from nap, play Pocket Planes
Woke up. Received a message from J that she was waiting for her friend to carpool.
Played more Pocket Planes.
10:29pm Supper with friend till late midnight
Car came to pick me up. We went to a restaurant nearby for food and gossip.
Night ended at 1 a.m.
Day 2 in Kuching
The last 6 hours of Kuching was filled with food which is a very good way to end a trip.
Woke up at 9:30 a.m.
Laid in the comfortable bed for a long long.
10:10am Check out and off to museum
Very surprised that D & M were already at the museum before 10 a.m. I packed quickly and check out.
The Sarawak National Museum was only so-so. There were a lot of stuffed dead animals, if you’re into that kind of thing.
The special exhibition on funeral rites was a lot more interesting.
11:33pm Breakfast of Sarawak Laksa
After the museum, we head to a random kopitiam for breakfast. My Sarawak laksa was great.
We walked around the area and to India Street. It was market day so the narrow corridors were cramped with stalls and customers.
12:17 noon Drink at Little Lebanon
Found the Lonely Planet-famous Little Lebanon where we stopped for non-alcoholic drinks. My mint tea was quite good.
We walked along the river, among the crowd. Nothing much to do and it was hot.
We went to hide in a shopping mall for the airconditioning. Most of the shops were closed.
Found a lunch place. Service was very very slow. I had cheap lamb chop.
2:00 p.m. Cab back to airport
Hailed a cab to the airport. RM27.
Have you been to Kuching? Was your trip productive?
2 thoughts on “The real 24 hours in Kuching”
Cool story Yun Qing.
Really, a shuttle service between Kuching Airport and Kuching Sentral would be awesome or AT LEAST some pedestrian-friendly paths.
I remember in 2013 I did a similar trip like yours but in the opposite direction. I have been to Kuching many times but this one time I wanted to try getting to the airport from hotel by bus instead of cab. I checkout out from Tune Hotels and walked to the India Street area to catch a minibus to Serian (I think) that passed by Kuching Sentral. This was a proper bus with tickets and numbers, not a van that picks up passengers. The latter is quite common also around Kuching. At Kuching Sentral I realized there was no connection with the airport except the cab which quoted me RM20 at that time (6pm) for a 5 minute drive. It was then that I decided to just walk with my backpack on the totally not pedestrian-friendly roads but I don’t mind saving RM20 at all lol