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About

History Kuching

The City of Kuching, is the capital and most populous city in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. It is in the west side of Borneo Island and situated on the Sarawak River. It covers an area of 431 square kilometers. 

Return to editingMemory of 1980s - historical kuching old town

Welcome to the information of history Kuching.

In 1841, History Kuching became the capital of the Kingdom of Sarawak. After the territory in the area was ceded to James Brooke for helping the Bruneian empire. He crushed a rebellion particularly by the interior Borneo dweller. Land natives people who later became his loyal followers. After most of them being pardoned by him, they joined his side. The town continued to receive attention and development during the rule of Charles Brooke. 

history kuching

In 1941, the Brooke administration had a Centenary Celebration in history Kuching. Kuching was occupied by Japanese forces from 1942 to 1945 during world war 2. The Japanese government set up a Batu Lintang camp to hold prisoners of war and civilian internees. However, the town survived intact from the war. Hence, the last Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke decided to cede Sarawak. This is due to part of British Crown Colony in 1946. History Kuching remained as capital during the Crown Colony period.

After the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Kuching retained its status as state capital and was granted city status in 1988. Since then, Kuching city is divided into two administrative regions. It is managed by two separate local authorities. In the Kuching North administrative region it has population of about 165,642 . However, in the Kuching South administrative region it has population of 159,490. This brings a total of 325,132 people in this city.

Kuching has an unusual name. The word Kuching means cat in Malay. There are a number of stories as to how this name came about. However, it is unlikely that it has anything to do with cats. The more likely explanations are that it derives from the Chinese word kochin, meaning harbour.

Take a walk along the Waterfront and you will enjoy the historical buildings. Today, many of which are well-preserved and still in good condition. The Square Tower which is located at the Waterfront was built in 1879. It used to be a jail for the city. The architecture is similar to an English castle.

Chinese History Museum which was originally a Chinese courthouse built in 1912. Here, you get to learn about culture and history of the Chinese in Sarawak. Admission to this museum is free.

The Astana which stands for palace in the Malay language. It is just accross the waterfront river. This palace was built by Charles Brooke in 1870 as a gift to his wife, Margaret Alice. This building had undergone extensive renovation. It is currently the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak.

Remember to visit Fort Margherita by taking a boat ride from the jetty. It was built in 1879 by Charles Brooke to guard the city against the pirates. Hence, this fort was named after the consort of Rajah Charles Brooke, Ranee Margherita. Today, this fort houses the Police Museum which exhibits the history of the police in this state.

There are boats or sampan taking passengers across the river all day until late at night. The river crossing during the day costs less than a ringgit per person. You can also hire the boat for a cruise that will cost about 30 ringgit per hour.

Remember to visit The Courthouse just in front of the Square Tower. This structure was built in 1874. Now, it is the Tourist Information Center of Sarawak Tourism Board. A granite obelisk of 6 meter, a memorial to Rajah Charles Brooke was erected in 1924 at the compound of this building.

The Pavilion, a 3-storey colonial style building was built in 1907. It is located in front of the General Post Office. This building houses the Textile Museum today. It exhibits anything related to the textile history of Sarawak.

Kuching Mosque which was built in 1968. It is an important worship place for the Malay. Hence, remember to visit this landmark when you are in the city.

Learn more about the history of Sarawak by visiting the Sarawak museum. Admission to the museum is free of charge. The museum opens from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

For more information needed when you visit Kuching, remember to check our 2 sections. Both explain on the attractions and culture of the city as well as good eating places in Borneo. Furthermore, we are proud to share with you the biggest event in Borneo, Rainforest world music festival, do not miss this event if you are visiting south east asia.

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