For many travelers, Kuching will be that first taste of eastern Malaysia and Borneo.

And where better to start? This 200-year-old city is the capital of Sarawak state, and comes with a backstory of British colonialism and sultanate rule.

You can see that in buildings like the whitewashed Astana, and in the bustling worshipping halls of the Jamek Mosque.

Kuching is also known for its diversity – Chinese markets throb with five spice here; Indian kitchens churn out paneer fries and bhajis there.

Oh, and that’s not even mentioning the town’s enticing proximity to wonders like Bako National Park and the Semenggoh orangutan reserve!

Get Updates & More

Thoughtful thoughts to your inbox