Kuching is a fine choice for an enriching vacation that's as packed with learning as it is leisure. Its many museums and impressive planetarium will enthrall even the tiniest travelers, and a quick climb to the top of the Kuching Civic Center will reward you with jaw-dropping 360-degree views. Grab a snack from a stall on the bustling waterfront, and don't miss the absolutely massive Sunday market, which is an electric experience for shoppers, vendors, and observers.
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4.5 based on 413 reviews
First off... the park, the wildlife and the guides are amazing. So if you're thinking of going, go!
We spent 2 nights at the park and it was well worth it. You'll see a lot more wildlife during the night and early hours of the morning.
Now I don't want to sound like a Negative Nancy. But the room we stayed in (Type 6, house 2, room 2), was something straight out of a horror movie.
I mean, we're budget travellers and have stayed in some pretty bad places. But this thing takes the crown.
The ceiling is almost completely black and covered in mold. It smells like wet dog yachts been rolling in poop. The fridge was a nice addition if it wasn't collapsing into itself because of the rust and filth. And the bathroom was like a frog pond from hell with a busted toilet in the middle. It was literally flooded ankle deep.
I find I very odd that a place like this can't afford to maintain their rooms. To me it seems they're making plenty of money off their visitors.
But hey we were there to see the wildlife and not to sit in our room. Even though the few hours we spent in there were horrific and probably very unhealthy it was totally worth it.
Tips: Do the night walk and if you're fit enough, take trail #7 to Talor (waterfall and beach).
4.5 based on 209 reviews
We had planned to climb Mount Santubong on our last trip to Sarawak in 2015, but for a number of reasons that didn’t eventuate so when I heard we’d be staying at the Permai Rainforest Resort again this year, climbing Santubong became a priority.
After grabbing breakfast at the Feeding Tree we (Wife, Mr 15, Mr 13 and I) strolled down the hill past the Sarawak Cultural Village and around the corner to the rangers hut on Jalan Sultan Tengah. We signed in at 0850h and I realised at the outset that we were already an hour behind my planned schedule.
The ranger handed us an A4 rudimentary map and explained that the blue marked trail was the Jungle Trek and the red trail, the Summit Trek. We’d already chatted about whether or not Wife and Mr 13 would attempt the summit because they were both already feeling the heat (we pasty white Westerners from a cool temperate climate really do find Sarawak’s 30C and >80% humidity a bit of a challenge). After looking at the map we decided we’d at least try for the waterfall marked at F5 and then reassess.
The stroll along the combined red and blue trail is rated as a 3-4 on the park walk rating…not too challenging and very similar to the jungle trail around the Permai resort or the walks through Bako…undulating trail, some ups and downs, a couple of river crossings and twisted roots waiting to trip the unwary walker. So far, so good, although our travel rate remained slower than hoped.
At marker point F2, where the Summit Trail diverges from the Jungle Trek, the walk increases its difficulty to grade 5-7. It is significantly steeper in places, although not for sustained distances, and there are a lot more fallen trees, rocks etc. to negotiate although in a number of places there are fixed ropes to assist (it is already apparent that this walk could use some maintenance…broken Bridges, steps and ropes are encountered throughout, along with a fair amount of rubbish strewn along the trail). This is where Wife and Mr 13 started to struggle in the heat and our rate decreased even further due to more frequent rest stops.
After negotiating the near vertical descent immediately before the stream via fixed ropes, we eventually arrive at F5 and the waterfall just on 1100h. The falls are lovely, the jungle pool delightful…the bags of rubbish, the collapsing pergola, and the broken picnic benches not so much. A drink, a chat and it was decided that Wife and Mr 13 would spend some time at the falls and then enjoy a leisurely stroll back whilst Mr 15 and myself would push on for the summit. Onward and upward…the trail remaining at grade 5-7 between F5 and F7.
We finally arrive at F7 @ 1130h. I’m already a little concerned that we may struggle time-wise with 1500h the park’s mandated turnaround time, and me having set a 1400h turnaround time for ourselves due to being in unfamiliar terrain. Now the trail becomes a serious challenge rated at 7-9 with the incline rarely falling below 60 degrees and often up to 90 degrees with rope and ladder assist (although the ladders do look somewhat dubious under my 110kg frame). We take a few snaps (although the view is quite overgrown) and head on up.
F8 @ 1210h, F9 @ 1220h (and the first of the questionable ladders), F10 @ 1220h, F11 @ 1250h (and some very long sketchy ladders). This is climbing as much as hiking and you really are a true quadruped for much of the way relying upon your hands as much as feet. Now the skies are darkening, I’m pretty toasted and Mr 15 is also toasted but gamely says he’ll continue up if I do.
Hmmm…there’s probably another good hour of climbing ahead of us, plus the additional half hour that will add to the return leg. I’m concerned that we may get caught in the dark on a trail that with the looming sky threatens to be at best slippery, at worst a raging Torrent and I want to make sure we both have enough left in the tank to get down safely.
Prudence wins out over valour and we begrudgingly turn our backs on the summit and commence the long journey back down. It is still quite a gruelling climb/walk descent although it is drier and quicker than I had feared…45 min from F11 back to F7. We then head down to F5 and the waterfall where a well-deserved drenching in the cool water is absolutely required.
By now the air is completely still and oppressive under the looming thunderstorm and I struggle to shed heat...oh for a breath of breeze! A couple of rest breaks and finally the relief of the river crossing where the Jungle and Summit trails diverge provides an opportunity for a large mammal to drench his glowing head and cool down a little.
A few more minutes rest and we walk the final stretch to the ranger’s hut arriving at 1500h (I was most relieved to see that Wife and Mr 13 had signed out an hour earlier). The walk back to Permai was broken with a cold drink and Slurpee break (couldn’t really deny Mr 15 after his excellent efforts on the hill) at Damai Central.
All in all a great day’s walking that I’d recommend to anyone that enjoys a little exertion…and if we’re back in these parts again we will definitely have another attempt at conquering Mount Santubong.
My recommendations to those considering the Mount Santubong Summit Trek:
• Leave the rangers station no later than 0800h
• Wear proper hiking boots (Mr 15 suggests gloves for the ropes if you’re that way inclined)
• Take more water than you normally would – I’m a large guy and went through about 5 litres, Mr 15 is very slight and still went through 3 litres.
• Don’t try and treat this as just another stroll in the park, it is not. It is steep, it is sustained, and if you’re not careful, it’s quite possibly dangerous.
4.5 based on 2 reviews
If you're in Borneo, you go see the Orangutans. Simple as that.
In Kuching, Semenggoh is the simplest way to encounter them. Cheaper and easier to access than Sepilok in Sabah, though maybe less developed. It is about 30-40 minutes out of Kuching, and can be accessed via the no. 6 bus from the wet market opposite Elektra house. Google maps will work.
"Penrissen buses depart Kuching from the bus station at 0820, 1030, 1100 and 1330 hrs. The last bus back to Kuching leaves Semengoh at 1700 hrs."
Cost is about Rm3 (US$1). The walk from the stop to the feeding platforms is about 15-20 minutes, it's a nice tarmac walk within the compound that you'll have to do. Feeding times are at 9am and 3pm, but the orangutans usually take a while to emerge. These are wild orangutans who are habituated to their feeding time, so while this is a special and worthwhile encounter, do NOT provoke or get too close to them, they can be seriously injure. Local rangers should be there to manage the crowd, it can be quite packed. Please follow the instructions of these guides as they are there for your safety. Do not underestimate the apes.
I would say it is very likely to see the orangutans, and you can follow them around (from a distance) as they sometimes walk around the carpark. Count yourself lucky if you see Richie, the big boy orang-utan.
Definitely recommend for those wanting to see these amazing Bornean creatures. A wonderful way to spend your day with them. Please be attentive to the guides, don't push and shove, and no flash photography; that way everyone can have a good time
4.5 based on 209 reviews
We stayed in the hostel accommodation which is basic but functional with a well equipped kitchen including a gas stove and a fridge freezer. There's a large common area too which was nice to hang out with other tourists.
The trails aren't easy, at least not for us but we're cake and beer kinda people. Lots of hills, some are quite steep. The waterfall is lovely though, a perfect place to cool off after walking up and down hills all morning.
But night time is where this park comes into it's own. We spent a few hours after dark looking for frogs around the frog pond and along the sealed road. We found loads, so many different types. We stayed two nights then headed off somewhere else we'd booked, then came back a couple of days later for another night of frog bothering.
There's not much "big" nature, you won't see monkeys or anything on the trails, but if you like small nocturnal stuff like l insects and frogs it's amazing.
4.5 based on 88 reviews
Open from 24th September 2016, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the State of Sarawak, the Brooke Gallery tells the story of one of the most remarkable kingdoms in history: Sarawak and its 'White Rajahs'. In the 1830s Sarawak, a province of the once-mighty Sultanate of Brunei in north-west Borneo, was ravaged by piratical raiding and rebellion against Brunei rule. Inspired by stories of its natural wonders and diverse indigenous cultures, a bold English adventurer, James Brooke, arrived on its shores in his yacht, Royalist, in August 1839. He was to forge a unique bond with its peoples and together they built the foundations of today's Sarawak. The displays focus on the people, places and events that have shaped the state. They take us on a journey through a century of 'White Rajah' rule that began in September 1841, was shattered by the Japanese invasion of December 1941 and ended in July 1946 with Sarawak's annexation as a British Crown Colony. The subsequent move towards political independence culminated in Sarawak's part in forming the Federation of Malaysia in September 1963.
4.5 based on 481 reviews
We took a 45mins drive from Kuching town to the Fairy Caves. Best to wear shoes with grip (Adidas kampung was the best shoes) as the cave is wet from water drippings and slippery. A few people wearing slippers slipped and fell. Bring a torch/headlamp and a hat if you’re worried of bat droppings
You will have to take a walk up a tower of staircase to reach the entrance of the cave, which you will then enter a pitch black tunnel of stairs, and up 2 flights of steep wooden staircase which after that you will be greeted by a beautiful natural landscape of the Fairy Cave.
Cons: Safety is not highly practiced, i.e no railings, lack of handles/tall ropes for some of the stair routes within the cave. They should also fix some of the ropes which are lopsided as some people can’t reach it.
4 based on 1 reviews
The Sarawak Cultural Village is a great place to meet and understand the different local Sarawakians. The different houses depicts the local culture and the way their ancestors live. The performance is interesting and shows the local cultural dances and music. The highlight of the show is the solo act depicting the hunter and his blowpipe. Do not miss the cultural show. Worth the visit
4 based on 333 reviews
Fell across this place and it is so beautiful! A beautifully maintained garden which is easy to walk around. Sat in there for a while and enjoyed the tranquility.
4 based on 856 reviews
A very popular waterfront area with a variety of food vendors along the way. There are water features in some places and park benches throughout. Walk at least part way across the new pedestrian bridge to experience the walk from a different view. Don't miss the echo chamber Seating areas on the bridge.
4.5 based on 154 reviews
This 2 or 4 week multi award-winning orang-utan volunteer project, based in the Matang Wildlife Centre, focusses on the conservation and protection of Borneo's most fascinating and enchanting species - the orang-utan. Please Note: This page is solely in reference to the 2 or 4 week orang-utan volunteer project offered by The Great Projects
September 2016 I spent 2 weeks on The Great Orangutan Projects tour starting off at Matang wildlife centre. The people that work/volunteer here are so knowledgeable and dedicated. We stayed here for 2 nights and in our time we: Walked around the park seeing the Orangutans, Sunbears, Crocodiles, Hornbills, Deers....too many species to mention. Made enrichment for the Sunbears/Orangutans in the form of ice lollies and boxes hand made with hidden treats. Went on a night walk with a guide whom had the eyes of a hawk pointing out the creatures in the dark. Ate amazing beautiful food. This was just the first two days to the start of what was an experience of a life time, far too much to say on the rest of the tour here...everyday was an adventure making beautiful memories meeting beautiful people seeing beautiful animals!!!
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