One of the main reasons tourists come to Kuching and the island of Borneo is to see the wildlife. Malaysia has more than 15 national parks, many of them situated in the biologically rich rain forests of the state of Sarawak.
The orangutan, Borneo's most famous native resident, is undoubtedly the star. Spotting one in the wild is unlikely due to the species' endangered status here, but it is possible to see them at wildlife centers near the Sarawak capital—the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is one of the best.
Of course, orangutans aren’t the only fauna of Sarawak worth spotting. Bako National Park, an easy day trip from Kuching, is home to the large-nosed proboscis monkey, as well as leaf monkeys, macaque monkeys, flying squirrels, monitor lizards, wild boar, and hundreds of bird species.
Gunung Gading National Park, another popular day trip option from Kuching, is most famous for housing the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. But even if the 22-pound (10-kilogram) flower isn't in bloom, it's still possible to spot deer, porcupines, giant squirrels, civet cats, wild boar and several species of monkeys along the park's hilly jungle trails.