In pictures: The charm and elegance of Kuching, Malaysia

KUCHING has to be one of the most laid back, elegant and attractive centres in Southeast Asia. Lying on the banks of the Sarawak River, it’s the capital city of the province of the same name in east Malaysia. And while just 90 minutes by aeroplane from the national capital of Kuala Lumpur it’s a world away in terms of pace and lifestyle.

The city boasts a tropical rainforest climate and is replete with lawns, parks and flora that help give it a green touch. The high humidity doesn’t encourage over activity but there is plenty of bustle and points of interest to make it one of the most enjoyable places you’ll visit in Malaysia.

Must sees include the Sunday market, watery sojourns by ferry on the river – or simply watching the fishermen, the old fort, various Chinese temples and a visit to one or more of the national parks nearby. There are also some fine colonial buildings, excellent dining options and good museums – in other words plenty to keep you actively engaged.

These images should give a taste of what’s on offer.

Colourful and elegant buildings along one of the main streets - excellent for shopping and dining options.


Clean and pleasant river side walking by the Sungai Sarawak - a huge feature of Kuching.


Every space is utilised along Jalan Carpenter - one of the city's most vibrant and busy streets.


Fort Margherita harks to a different time in Kuching when Borneo's last white raja reigned. It was built in 1879.


The Kuching mosque is a striking feature but the city has a record of religious tolerance with a Hindu temple, Sikh temple, Chinese temple and Roman Catholic cathedral all within the inner limits.


Lit candles in the Tua Pek Kong Temple that dates back to 1876 or 1846 - it could be the oldest building in the city.


Girls make their way to school.

An orangutan and baby at the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre - a popular excursion outside the city.


Chickens for sale at the Sunday Market.


Paper money burnt during the festival of hungry ghosts.


Boating on the Sungai Sarawak.


Stall keepers prepare their wares at the Sunday Market.

All images are by Joanne Lane from