Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kuching And Sarawak Offer A Great Wealth To The Visitor!

Thursday, October 29, 2009 by Templates · 0 comments

Kuching is the capital city of the eastern Malaysian state called Sarawak. Kuching is the largest city on the island of Borneo with a total population of close to 640,000 people. Kuching was given "city" status in 1988 and is known as Cat City - Kuching being the Malay word for cat.

Sarawak belonged to the Sultanate of Brunei until 1841 when it was gifted to a British adventurer called James Brooke for his help in putting down a rebellion against the Sultanate. Kuching then became Brooke's headquarters - with easy access from the river. The Brooke family ruled Sarawak until the Japanese occupation in 1941 during the Second World War. For almost 4 years the Japanese held power in Sarawak and Kuching which ended in September of 1945 upon their surrender.

The last Raja of Sarawak - Sir Charles Vyner Brooke - who regained power after the surrender of the Japanese forces then ceded it to the British Crown in 1946. Still more turmoil was to come when there was an "undeclared war" between the British and President Sukarno's Indonesia. Finally Sarawak was given independence in 1963 after which it formed part of Malaya, alongside Singapore.

From where the city of Kuching gained its name is not totally clear. The most popular story is that the name is taken from the Malay for cat, however there are other possibilities. It could be taken from the Indian word for "port" which is Cochin. Indian traders are known to have settled in the area hundreds of years ago. Another possibility is that the city is named after the cat's eye fruit or "mata kucing". One more theory is that the name comes from "old well" in Chinese language.

No matter where its name came from or its history, the city currently does not offer the tourist a lot from the point of view that its far from beautiful. Its a really good base however for those who wish to travel throughout Sarawak, which is a beautiful and thoroughly forested part of the world. If you are keen on botany, there is a hugely diverse range of plant life.

If you really enjoy seeing and learning about animals such as the orang utans and crocodiles this is the place for you.

Furthermore, prices are on the whole quite a bit cheaper than they are in the West so for the holidaymaker its an ideal place from a financial point of view too.

By Joseph Archibald

Click the link for my own experience of Kuching hotels and to learn more about the beautiful Damai.


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