Kuching is an extremely diverse city, large enough for Western-style dining and shopping but small enough to walk around. It has many diverse ethnic groups and traditions in a compact, easy to navigate destination. It's surrounded by natural wonder both jungle and marine wildlife is abundant.
Customs and etiquette
As in all Muslim destinations, displays of affection are frowned upon and though a simple kiss will not land you in jail, it will offend the people you are visiting so be respectful. Clean covering clothes must be worn on entering a mosque and shoes must be removed, as in Muslim people's houses. The majority of people in Kuching are Christian so remember that some shops will close on Sundays.
Alcohol is frowned on in Muslim society but is still widely available as Malaysian culture welcomes people from all walks of life. Tipping is not routine when dining out in Kuching though upscale restaurants may include a 10 percent service charge.
The Malaysian ringgit (MYR) is the local currency. You will have many opportunities to change money as there are plenty of banks with exchange counters. Moneychangers in local shopping areas offer much more competitive rates than those in banks, hotels and especially, the airport.
Cash is essential in the market stalls like those at Sunday Market or Main Bazaar though travelers won't have to go far to find an ATM. Credit cards are widely accepted at large department stores, upscale boutiques and international restaurants.
Most of the more regular Western goods like electrical items, unless you declare them duty free, are about the same price, however, local handicrafts like batik are very good value here, as is clothing.
Kuching has a tropical rainforest climatenot very hot but humid and very wet. It receives an average of five hours sunshine per day and the wettest months are November through to February. It is wise for these reasons to carry an umbrella at all times whilst visiting as downpours can be frequent. In the middle of the year a heat haze cuts down visibility.
Dry season is from June until August when because of humidity, temperatures can rise to 42˚C and make the city a less popular destination at these times. The best time of year to visit is early spring from March through May when there is better weather and visibility.