Kuching is the capital of the state of Sarawak, Malaysia and is regarded by many as the most sophisticated city of Borneo. It is a beautiful melting pot of cuisines, crafts, and diverse cultures. The city takes pride in its bustling streets, some of which still have a colonial vibe while others are extremely modern. There are so many things to do and must-see places in Kuching, that you may be in a dilemma of what to include and what to skip from your travel itinerary. We will help you in making up your mind, with these 10 great things to do as you head out at night in Kuching!
1. Take a city tour from the river
Your visit to the city will remain incomplete if you do not experience a city tour via a river cruise. You can opt for a leisurely cruise when the sun sets along the mighty Sarawak River, that definitely promises to be an exciting and memorable experience. Alternatively, you can book a cruise to enjoy a wedding or event, to spend an exciting evening with your close friends or family on board.
Sarawak River Cruise
Address: 1st Floor, No.124, Lot 42, Section 33, 93100 Jalan Tabuan, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Website: Sarawak River Cruise
2. The Waterfront
A visit to the city will remain incomplete if you do not visit the famous Kuching Waterfront, which is a favorite hotspot for the locals as well as for the visitors. This is the same site where James Brooke landed in Sarawak for the first time. A big amount of money was spent by the government of Sarawak to reconstruct this waterfront and reclaim certain areas of the riverside, which was a docking site for the local residents previously, who used small boats to cross the river. The Waterfront is now a scintillating landscaped esplanade by the Sarawak River and has some entertainment areas and eateries. You can also visit an observation tower and a few historical buildings that enjoy proximity to the site.
Address: 16, Jalan Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Website: The Waterfront
3. Explore the Chinese influence in the city
Kuching is a city known for its diverse culture as mentioned earlier. There is quite a handsome ratio of people of Chinese origin living in the city. To get a feel for this, you can visit Chinatown, which is located at Pandungan Road. A visit to the Main Bazaar here is a must where you will find some coffee shops and several handicrafts and antique shops.
If you love shopping and plan to take souvenirs back home for your dear ones, then go ahead and indulge yourself here. Some of the most famous outlets in this market include Arts of Asia, Atelier Gallery, Sarawak House, Rainforest, Nelson’s Gallery and Native Arts.
Address: Padungan Road, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
4. Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar
This is a hip and unique vintage bar in Kuching that will indeed come as a pleasant surprise to you. Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar boasts a versatile selection of European and German beers. This bar is situated on an old street in Kuching. The indoor area of this bar is completely smoke-free and is also known to serve lip-smacking finger foods of the locality. You need to come over to this bar when you are thirsty for a great drink, like San Pellegrino sparkling water.
Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar
Address: 68, Carpenter Street, Kuching, Malaysia
Facebook: Drunk Monkey Old Street Bar
5. Relax by the riverside at James Brooke Bistro
Imagine enjoying the sunset from the riverside and savoring the pleasant and cool breeze in the evening, as you watch the calm river and sip a glass of chilled juice or a can of refreshing beer. James Brooke Bistro will give you an opportunity to do all of these and even more. The restaurant serves both Western and local dishes and has a beautiful view of the Kuching River.
It is a brilliant site where you can easily access the waterfront. Meals here are reasonably priced so you will not have a dent in your pockets afterward. Try out the special Malaysian Fried Rice here and enjoy the hospitality of the staff. It also has free WiFi!
James Brooke Bistro
Address: Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Facebook: James Brooke Bistro
6. Go frog hunting in Kubah National Park
The most notable features of the Kubah National Park are its amphibians and palms. The park takes pride in its palm trees and there are more than a hundred species of them. The park is also known for its innumerable species of birds, rich plant life, extensive biodiversity, and the amphibians of Serapi Range. It takes about 45-minutes to drive from Kuching to reach here. Tread through Kubah National Park’s tropical grounds while you look out for those famous and exotic species of frogs. If you lend your ears, you will be able to hear them croaking during the night.
Explore this beautiful rainforest with the support of an expert guide who will help you see those Bornean frogs in the darkness with the cascading waterfalls and the natural ponds in the background. There are about sixty species of amphibians in this forest. Though this rainforest is famous for the presence of different varieties of amphibians, you may also come across catfish, shrimp and freshwater crabs that swim in the waters and can be seen at night.
Kubah National Park
Address: Jalan Ke Puncak Serapi, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Website: Kubah National Park
Though it is a bar, it is one with a difference. Monkeebar in Kuching is known to be a cheap bar in the city. But what’s unique about this place is that whenever anyone purchases or orders any items in this bar, a third of the profits go towards a charitable organization called Orangutan Projects, as a contribution from the owner of the bar. The project helps in the welfare as well as the conservation of Borneo’s protected wildlife. If you purchase any merchandise or make any donations, the entire amount is donated to wildlife, which is actually amazing!
Address: 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
8. Carpenter Street
Carpenter Street is a famous street that is located parallel to the well-known Main Bazaar in Kuching. Previously, this street was called “Attap Street” by the local residents as there was a time when all the shop houses here were covered with “thatched roofs”; mostly covered with palm leaves. These houses used to be the dwellings of the local carpenters in the 19th-century, who made furniture to earn their livelihood. The area also used to be known for the usage of opium and gambling in the old days.
Address: Carpenter St, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Website: Carpenter Street
9. Tribal Dinner at Lepau Restaurant
“Lepau” – a Kayan word that stands for “home” – stays true to its meaning by allowing diners to taste traditional Sarawak cooking in a restaurant that is decorated with bamboo and Kayan crafts. It’s not only about food, but the wholesome experience of culture and cuisine blended into one, without breaking your budget! As winner of the Best Innovative Ethnic Restaurant Awards at the 20th Malaysia Tourism Award, you can expect great things from this place! Visit at dinner time after sightseeing and strolling. It’s the best way to cap off the day!
Try their famous Red rice wrapped in banana leaves, Pansuh chicken, or Stir-fried and pounded tapioca leaves for a taste of unforgettable Dayak cuisine! It is located right beside Grand Supreme Hotel in Ban Hock Road, so you can’t miss it!
Address: 395 Ban Hock Rd, Kuching, Malaysia
Facebook: Lepau Restaurant
10. Visit Siniawan Night Market
What is the best thing about night markets? It’s your one-stop for everything – food, locals, souvenirs, and sightseeing! Located about 21 km from the city, Siniawan night market is no exception. Best time to go is late afternoon until nighttime so you can see the glowing lanterns and lights transform amidst the small shops which highlight this town’s old feels from the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of the typical night spent drinking at bars in the city, why not try this out for a change? Eat local food, try to communicate with the locals, buy small souvenirs, and you’re all good for that fantastic night out!
Also, make sure that you arrange your transportation ahead of time. Taxi prices are not very high, so it’s best to ask for your driver to wait for you to avoid any hassle. Travel time will be around 50 minutes and the stalls start opening at 5 pm so make sure you have ample time before and after your visit!
Siniawan Night Market
Address: Jalan Siniawan Bau, Kuching 93746, Malaysia
Website: Siniawan Night Market
Enjoy Kuching's nightlife
Come to Kuching with your dear ones, irrespective of whether you want to enjoy the nightlife or explore the place during daytime. The city has it all starting with great bars, scenic beauty, historic sites, river cruises and much more. There are so many things to do here that you simply won’t keep track of time.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.