Arts + Culture

Asia Undercover

by Christopher R. Cox, Deborah Dunn, and Colin Hinshelwood

Kuching, Borneo

If you're expecting Borneo to be the last surviving outpost of cannibals with blowpipes, think again. Sarawak's capital, Kuching, is one of the most elegant and tidy cities in Asia—like a Singapore without the neon signs and high-rises—and is a fusion of cultures in every way, combining several local tribes, Malay administration, Chinese business savvy, and charming British colonial architecture. Though few tourists travel here, there are a great many things to do: Visit the tribal village and the former homes and fortresses of the British colonialists; drive to the orangutan reserve or to an isolated beach; or take a river cruise through the mangroves. If visiting in July, join the party at the World Rainforest Music Festival.

Where to stay: The Hilton Kuching. For outstanding views, ask for a river view on a high floor.

When to go: Thanks to Kuching's location close to the equator, temperatures are in the 70s and 80s year-round. Expect rain daily between November and March.

How to go: Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia fly here from Kuala Lumpur.

Hilton Kuching
Tel: 60 82 248 200
Doubles, $82–$119

Next: Isolated Indonesia >

Photo: Courtesy of Chang'r, Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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