For most parents, choosing the right holiday is so important, especially when you’re going away with the family. We travel for the experience and that’s also what parents want for their kids. I think we all truly agree that it’s the experiences and the journeys in life that makes us.
So here are some tips for parents on things to do with kids in Kuching, Sarawak. The following tips are for parents that want their kids to experience a different culture, a different nature and adventure.
Travel far enough, you meet yourself – David Mitchell
So the following places are my recommendations to parents on the types of adventure experiences for their children. Most of it mind you is nature based and outdoors.
Sarawak Cultural Village
This award winning living museum is a perfect start for those who want to have a sneak peak into the diverse cultures of Sarawak.
Here is a good opportunity to take a closer look at the infrastructure of the various traditional houses of the various tribes in Sarawak. Namely into the 7 tribes of Sarawak. The Malays, Chinese, the coastal Melanau, Orang Ulu or the up river tribe, the Iban or Sea dayaks, the Bidayuh or land dayaks and also the semi nomadic Penan.
The Sarawak Cultural Village also have homestay facilities and give visitors an opportunity to overnight in one of either the Iban longhouse, Bidayuh longhouse or the Orang Ulu longhouse for a very reasonable price which includes breakfast lunch and dinner.
I would recommend you take the stay and learn package for your family. Stay at the village and pick up a new skill such as bead work, learn the kajat or the traditional dance of the Ibans or if your family are those kitchen enthusiasts, learn to cook some of the traditional dishes of Sarawak.
You may want to check their website for details on this stay and learn packages.
One of the packages on offer by Sarawak Cultural Village.
Sarawak River Cruise
One of the lovely sunsets taken on board the Sarawak River Cruise
The Sarawak River Cruise is one to try while staying in the city as it gives you a different perspective of the city compared to seeing it from a bus or car. Technically, it is a Kuching city tour but from the Sarawak River perspective.
If you have like 3 hours before dinner to kill, take this cruise. It departs from the Kuching Waterfront at 5.30pm and sets sail for about one and a half hour along the Sarawak river.
Here you will get to see various landmarks of Kuching such as the State Mosque, the Astana, Fort Margherita, the iconic state legislative assembly building and of course the peaceful Malay kampungs.
They have an onboard commentary and you will be given brief explanation on the sights that you see.
They also have a small cultural troupe performing various traditional dances on board and the show usually last about half an hour and this gives the tour some colour and not forgetting great family photo opportunities.
My favourite part of this river cruise is the lovely sunset that shines accross the Sarawak River. For kids I guess it gives them the sense of thrill being on a boat ride.
For more details about this lovely sunset cruise you can can check it on their website.
Bako National Park
Bako National Park is about 1 hour drive from Kuching and another half hour boat ride from Bako Village. There are public bus shuttles to Bako or you can take up a guided tour which is a lot more convenient.
Bako National Park is the oldest and first national park in Sarawak. Gazzeted in 1957 this park is 2,727 hectares in size and a perfect introduction to Sarawak’s forest.
Here it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. 25 distinct types of vegetation form seven complete eco-systems – Beach Vegetation, Cliff Vegetation, Kerangas or Heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest.
Silvered leaf monkey on the prowl for food in Bako National Park.
All the eco-systems can be explored via the numerous jungle trails laid out throughout the park and the best part is most of the trails are not that far for the park headquarters.
The trails are up kept pretty well and is not a problem for kids to walk these trails.
Along the trails you would most likely encounter some of the main superstars of the park, the proboscis monkey, silvered leaf monkey and also the bearded pig.
The wildlife here are used to visitors so it’s quite possible to see them as they don’t shun away from visitors.
So I definitely recommend Bako National Park to parents that want to get their kids closer to nature, to nurture that respect towards the environment and natural heritage.
Exploring parts of Bako can be done by going on a day trip but best to stay overnight so that you have more trails to explore together.
One other place which you can visit as a family is the Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. if you have half a day free, do take this tour.
Semenggoh Orangutan Centre is about 30 kilometres south of Kuching and is about 40 minutes drive from Kuching. Tours are available at most of the main hotels in the city centre and it can be also be done personally by taking the public bus or by taxi to Semenggoh.
The Orangutans are definitely one of the main icons of Sarawak and has been on the forefront in Sarawak’s effort in promoting tourism to its shores.
The best time to go to Semenggoh Orangutan Centre is during the feeding time. it is most likely to spot some orangutans during the feeding times. The feeding times are 9am and 3pm everyday.
Photo by Mark Eveleigh showing Orangutan and her baby during feeding time.
Definitely a good experience for kids as the trail to the viewing platform is very easy and just a short hike. My best experience here was a few years back when during the morning feeding time, there was about 9 orangutans that came out. such an unbelievable sight.
Fairy Caves – Bau
View from inside Fairy Cave
This is a very good introduction to caving for Kids and the duration of this experience would be half a day.
Fairy caves is located in Bau, some 30 kilometres from Kuching.Bau was once a famous gold mining town during 1840s and during the 1970s, after which has ceased its gold mining activities after the 1996 asian financial crisis. Bau is doted with limestone hills and mountains which is very conducive for nature to make caves in some of them over time.
The name Fairy cave were given by the locals as one of the many stalagmite formation in the caves resembles that of a Chinese deity and inside, you will notice the great contrasts between the light entering the cave and its shadowy darkness, along with hues of brown and grey of the rocks – highlighted by the rich green of the moss – which offer many opportunities for the avid photographer.
The other cave which is also worth visiting is the wind caves which is named after the constant cool breeze that flow through the cavern. To explore this you would need to bring a torchlight as some parts are dark, and is normal for such caving experiences.
If you are to drive to Bau from kuching, it would take you about 40 minutes depending on traffic. and about an hour plus if you were to take the public bus.
So there you go, some of the recommendations on things to do with kids if you are coming to Kuching. if you were to do an itinerary on it it would be something like the following
Day 1 – Full day tour Bako National Park
Day 2 – Visit Semenggoh Orangutan in the morning and in the late afternoon take the Sarawak River Cruise.
Day 3 – Half day tour of Sarawak Cultural Village in the morning and exploring Kuching city in the afternoon
Day 4 – Half day tour of Fairy Caves in Bau.
The half day tours you can bring your kids to explore the areas of Carpenter Street, Main Bazaar or you may also want to bring your kids and explore the Sarawak Museum, or dash across the Sarawak river and explore the Malay Kampungs and also Fort Margherita which now houses the Brooke Gallery. So much more to explore here in Kuching.
With that I do hope that you have some ideas now and if you do have any comments or feedback please do leave your comments. Till my next story, take care and happy reading.