Kuching is the capital
and most populous city of the East Malaysian state of
Sarawak. It is the
largest city on the island of Borneo, and the fourth largest city in
Kuching was named after a tidal stream called Kuching River (Sungai
Kuching) that ran between the present-day Tua Pek Kong Temple, and Chinese
History Museum. The stream originated from Cat's Eye Hill (Bukit Mata
Kuching) where there was an abundance of a local fruit called Green Longan
(Isau, Dimocarpus longan ssp malesianus), vernacularly known as Cat's Eye
Kuching is the only city in Malaysia to be administered by two distinct
entities; a local authority (City Council) and a state government
statutory body granted a City Hall status.
The city's twin administration was born out of the need of an efficient
system which would allow for a balanced development and population
distribution for the two territories. It will also ensure that the local
authority of the city proper will not be hampered by the former
jurisdiction of Kuching Rural District Council (KRDC).
The City of Kuching is divided into two areas; Kuching North and Kuching
South. Each of these is administered by a Mayor (Malay: Datuk Bandar);
legally called Mayor for Kuching South and Commissioner for Kuching North.
The city delimitation exercise also resulted in the city centre being
split into East and West.
Roads within the city are of a reasonable standard, though traffic
congestion often leads to long tailbacks during weekday rush hour. As
Kuching is located near the equator, potholes have the tendency to develop
on the roads during the monsoon season (usually around the end of the
year, coinciding with winter in the northern hemisphere). Roads leading
outside of Kuching to the interior are of a slightly lower quality but are
being upgraded from time to time. The main resort roads (e.g. leading to
Damai) and Borneo Highlands are good.
Bus travel is available by either antiquated, smoky, non-air-conditioned
buses or newer air-conditioned buses or the 'van sapu' (mini-van converted
into mini-buses) which are cheaper.
Air transport in Kuching is served by
Kuching International Airport (KIA), 12 km away from the city.
KIA is the secondary hub for Malaysia Airlines and has been growing
rapidly to tackle the demand of the travellers in the East Malaysia
Those trying to get a bird-eye's view of the city have the option of
hiring a helicopter or small plane from Hornbill Skyways which is operate