Kuching, the capital of the state of Sarawak in East Malaysia, is the largest city on Borneo Island and a popular base from which to explore the surrounding region. Here are some of the best day tours from Kuching, ranging from ecological explorations to cultural adventures.
Bako National Park — 12 miles (20 km) away
Known for its variety of wildlife and lush vegetation, Bako National Park houses seven different ecosystems, including rocky coastline, sandy beaches, and dense jungle. Keep your eyes peeled for the large-nosed proboscis monkey, a species that can often be seen foraging for food among the mangrove trees.
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre — 15 miles (24 km) away
Orangutan conservation sits front and center on Sarawak’s ecotourism stage, and you shouldn’t leave Borneo without visiting one of the island’s wildlife rehabilitation centers or nature reserves to see these animals up close. Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, located just south of Kuching, provides a sanctuary for injured or captured primates, and you can visit it in just half a day.
Sarawak Cultural Village — 17 miles (28 km) away
Known as Kuching’s Living Museum, the Sarawak Cultural Village brings to life the customs and cultures of Malaysia’s various ethnic groups. Some 150 people live in the village and perform traditional daily tasks, like sago-making and bamboo carving. Several longhouse replicas exemplify the differences between the traditional dwellings of each tribe.
Annah Rais — 40 miles (64 km) away
Annah Rais, a village within an hour’s drive of Kuching, is home to the largest Bidayuh longhouse in Sarawak. A half-day visit to the traditional village offers a fascinating insight into the daily way of life for Bidayuh families.
Gunung Gading National Park — 61 miles (98 km) away
Anyone with an interest in botany should make time for a day trip to Gunung Gading National Park, home to the world’s largest flower: the Rafflesia. The park encompasses four peaks, dense rain forests, and several waterfalls. Besides the giant flower, you might also spot giant squirrels, monkeys, wild boar, or civet cats roaming through the park.