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Latitude: 1.48, Longitude: 110.35
Kuching International Airport (KIA) is Sarawak's main international airport and is situated 11 km (6NM) south of the city of Kuching. The airport is also an airbase for the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the newly renovated terminal complex is capable of handling 5 million passengers per annum and it is the third largest airport in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport ...
As Kuching is in Sarawak, which retains control of its own immigration procedures, some additional complications apply and an ordinary Malaysian visa may not suffice. Most visitors, though, can get visas on arrival at Kuching International Airport. See Sarawak for details.
The Express Bahagia and Express Sejahtera express boats run an alternating once daily service from Kuching to Sibu, each boat returning the next day. RM38 (RM45 1st class) one way and the journey takes 5 1/2 hours, with stops at Sarikei and Tanjung Manis. The boats depart from the Pending wharf to the east of the city at 8.30AM. You can usually buy tickets at the wharf. Getting there/away: Chin Lian Long buses No. 1A, 17 and 19 go to the express boat jetty. 60 sen one way. Taxis usually charge RM15.
Kuching's regional express bus terminal is located along Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli, also dubbed as "3 and a half miles", located south of the city, just before the Boulevard shopping mall. All long-distance express buses arrive from and leave for major Sarawak cities like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, as well as Pontianak in Indonesia. Regional buses for some towns near Kuching such as Lundu (for the Gunung Gading National Park and Tanjung Datu National Park) and Sri Aman also arrive/depart from here. However, buses for some towns and destinations nearer Kuching, such as the Bako National Park, Bau and the Semenggoh Orang Utan Centre, leave from various locations in the city centre, depending on the bus company being used. See the individual destinations below for details.
There are some cruise liners operating daily between Kuching and Singapore. One of them is StarCruise.
In case you are in hurry or in the event to experience luxury, helicopter and other method of air transports are available by using Hornbill Skyways.
Kuching International Airport is Sarawak's main gateway. There are near-hourly connections to Kuala Lumpur as well as frequent flights to Singapore, Johor Bahru, Labuan, Kota Kinabalu and other cities in Sarawak like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. MASwings, which took over the rural air service from Fly Asian Express (FAX) on October 1, 2007, links Kuching with Mukah. International connections are rather limited, although there are a few weekly services to Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Macau and Pontianak. Flights to Kuching are also operated by AirAsia. International airlines operating in Kuching includes SilkAir, Royal Brunei, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Airways and Batavia Air.
The airport underwent a major facelift in 2005-2006 and is now modern and pleasant. When checking in, note that all flights outside Sarawak are considered "international", even if you're only going elsewhere in Malaysia. A restaurant is on ground floor at the far end and a 24-hour McDonald's outlet, before security. There is also a KFC outlet and a Starbucks outlet on the 2nd floor (departure level), left of the departure gates.
Getting there/away: Kuching city is about 20 minutes away by taxi, a fixed RM26.00 from the taxi coupon stand just outside arrivals. Ignore the touts, even if they show you price lists. From the city (Tune hotel) you can get a private vehicle (RM20.00) or catch a mini bus (RM8.00)leaving hourly from 8:30 to evening.
The Sarawak Transport Company (STC) Bus No. 12A no longer serves the 5 daily trips between the airport and the city centre. There is a series of other buses which can drop you off or pick you up approximatly 1 Km west of the Airport (turn left as you exit the airport and walk to the main T intersection, turn left again and walk until you reach the big roundabout (Have a look on google maps)and catch a bus heading north to town...3A, 6, 8g, 9). The most convenient place to catch these buses back to the airport intersection is at the main bus terminal located in the city.
Boats are sometimes available for visitors who wish to travel from one place to another along the Sarawak River.
Kuching stage buses nowadays have quite a sad reputation for a few reasons. The most obvious fact is that the bus companies are still using old chassis (half of the fleet is 15-20 years old) despite covering it up with (apparently) modern bodywork. It results in cheap fares, but passengers will have to bear with the inconvenience of noise (like you hear in old cars) and heat (for non-A/C buses). Although all buses show route numbers, most (if not all) buses neither show names of bus termini (the last bus stops) nor en route landmarks or places of interest. Therefore, it is wise to ask the bus driver where the bus ends its route and whether your destination lies along that particular route before grabbing the seat of the bus.
Do not expect any brochures showing route information from the bus companies. It is best to just ask around if you really need a bus to wherever you want to go. To add things worse, the Kuching City Centre does not have a main bus terminal.
Local stage buses are run by 6 companies of colourful assortments, 5 of which are in a consortium, but there's a reasonably logical route numbering system and bus stops usually have some signage indicating bus route numbers.
All major roads in Kuching city and suburban areas are well tarred and fairly maintained. Driving orientation is on the left (like most of the former colonies of the British Empire) and is generally slow-paced. Speed limits on dual-carriageway roads can reach a maximum of 90km/h and can be reduced to 80km/h or 70km/h during festival seasons.
Tourists from cosmopolitan cities may not appreciate the driving attitude of local road users. Some drivers tend to make a turn or overtake without using indicators, and others drive beyond the speed limit. You may also find a handful of road hoggers (cars, lorries and even motorcycles alike). Honk car horns and flash high beams with careful discretion.
Self-driving in and around Kuching can be challengingly fun. Directional signs in Kuching are so inadequate and it takes a good road map and a good sense of direction to get you around.
Car rental companies:
Cruised might not be available at the posting date. Previously, it was available for tourists who wish to go for sightseeing along the Sarawak River.
In case you are in hurry or in the event to experience luxuriousness, helicopter and other method of air transports are available by using Hornbill Skyways.
For a leisurely commute across the Sarawak River, river taxis locally known as tambang or penambang offers daily services at various points along the Kuching Waterfront, with a one-way fare at RM0.40. The fare hikes up to RM1 from 10.00PM to 6.00AM the next day. Kindly place the exact change on the designated plate instead of giving it to the operator, as you disembark the river taxi at your destination.
Yellow roofed kereta sewa or shuttle vans fill the void left by stage bus operators, offering somewhat more frequent trips throughout Kuching to as far as Tebedu and Bau. Each shuttle van has their own commuting routes so watch out the routes by reading the destination on the body of the van. Minimum fare for each trip is RM1 and increases with respect to distance. Fares also differ from one shuttle van to another plying the same route by commuting frequency, peak and off-peak periods and passenger load. If in doubt, ask the passengers, not the driver.
Speedboats are available for people who wish to go to Taman Negara Bako, Satang Island and Layang-layang Island from Santubong. Rate differs according to hotels, and in regards to public holidays, peak hours and etc. Check schedule and rates at the respective hotels, such as Damai Lagoon.
Taxis are somewhat expensive in Kuching. Although taxis are metered, the drivers seldom use it and normally they will charge you any fare they like. Reasonable taxi fare from Kuching city centre to Santubong is RM42 (after considering June 2008 petrol price hike). Some hotels provide their own shuttle vans or buses to designated tourism spots and city centre. Kindly check with your hotel should they provide this kind of service.
Kuching is unusually pedestrian-friendly for a Malaysian city, with tree-lined sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, and the city core is compact enough to cover on foot. Good walks include the Kuching Waterfront and the pedestrian shopping street of Jalan India (Kuching's Little India).