Day trips from Kuching

The 7 Best Day Trips from Kuching

By basing yourself in Kuching you’re in a great position to get out and explore this part of Sarawak during the day and return to the city at night.  The best day trips from Kuching are focused on exploring the natural environment, diverse wildlife, and the rehabilitation of wild animals that are native to the region. This includes hiking trails at national parks to see orangutans, diving into the magnificent waters of Borneo to find sea turtles and dolphins and a visit to a cultural village.  Here are our recommended 7 best day trips from Kuching.

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MOST POPULAR KUCHING DAY TRIP

bako national park

VISIT BAKO NATIONAL PARK

This top-rated day trip from Kuching is the most popular tour from Kuching. Get door-to-door transport from Kuching + Visit the Sea Stacks on this full Day Tour of Bako National Park. Includes lunch, bottled water + English speaking guide.

Kuching is an excellent location to explore the local area by day trip.  You’ll benefit from remaining in your fabulous Kuching Hotel and then heading out for the day to explore Sarawak’s natural environment, hiking trails, the waters, or the superb cultural attractions around. 

The 7 Best Day Trips from Kuching

Here are our best 7 day trips from Kuching.  We’ll start with the most famous Kuching day trip, to see the old men of the forest here in Sarawak.

1.Visit Semenggoh Orangutan Centre

This is absolutely the top day trip from Kuching.  And missing a chance to see orangutans during your holiday in Kuching will be a massive mistake. Huge.  The Semenggoh Orangutan Rehab Centre continues to work hard toward saving and nurturing Borneo’s wild apes that are being left without safe homes due to deforestation and illegal hunting. Our guide to visiting Semenggoh is here.

Orangutan at Semenggoh

The Orangutan Centre of Semenggoh is an hour away from the city of Kuching. You can take a public bus, but you are still required to do a 20-minute uphill hike unless you opt for the new electric bus that takes you through the park. but the easiest way to see Orangutans in Semenggoh is to take a tour that includes transportation and a professional local guide.

If you’ve been to Sandakan and seen the Orangutan rehab center there, then you should also come here, it’s a VERY different experience.

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2. Visit Bako National Park from Kuching

You can get away from the city and get to explore Sarawak’s coast by heading to Bako National Park.  Bako is stunning, and you’ll need to take a combo of buses and boats to get there, but it’s well worth it.  I’ve written about how to get there here, and this trip includes hiking some trails to reach the beach. On the trails, you’ll get the chance to see wild boars, macaques monkeys, and even vipers!  If you want to see the sea stacks at Bako (it’s highly recommended), then you should sign up for a tour here.

Sea stacks at Bako National Park

Although it is completely doable on your own, it makes for a long day, and visiting on a tour gives you more time to explore the National Park of Bako. You can take an easy day trip from Kuching to Bako, or you can stay for at least a night and sign up for a night safari walk and see animals that are more active once the sun has set. The beach itself features unique rock formations, cliffs, and mangroves.

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3.  Visit Satang Turtle Island National Park

Head into the waters off Sarawak by visiting Satang Turtle Island for a truly incredible experience. Every year, turtles return to the Island of Satang to lay their eggs, and during hatching season, you’ll be able to see sea turtles breaking out of their eggs and racing to get to the water to start their new life.  No matter what time of year you travel there’s something lovely to see here on Satang Island.  See what’s available right now.

Satang Island near Kuching

The hatchery on Satang Island also rescues sea turtles that are injured and need proper care before setting them off into the water again. When you visit Satang Island, book a boat tour where you can snorkel at various locations and see marine animals unique to the Sarawak region. Most tours also include other activities such as looking for dolphins.

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4. See Dolphins from Kuching at Santubong on a day trip

The Santubong waters are the area where the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and humpback dolphins live. You used to be able to see Irrawaddy dolphins at Lao’s 4,000 islands, but they are now extinct there, so don’t miss this opportunity.  

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It is only half an hour from downtown, so this is an awesome day trip to do from Kuching. The area of Santubong also has mangrove which is home to wild reptiles such as crocodiles and the famous proboscis monkeys. When you book a tour, it includes transportation, a boat tour, a local guide, and lunch.

5. Visit the Sarawak Cultural Village from Kuching

The Sarawak Cultural Village is a 30-minute drive north of Kuching. A visit here from the city will help you understand the different indigenous groups that are native to this part of Malaysia. And it’s not just looking, visits here are very interactive. You can see what you can do on this Kuching day trip here. The locals will show you how to weave and traditionally carve bamboo. The Village also shows you different types of ancient houses such as Chinese farmhouses, Longhouses, and Malanau Tall Houses.

Most day trips to the Sarawak Cultural Village include a visit to Semengoh Orangutan Rehab Center, so it’s a great use of your time.  See what the agenda is here.

6. Get to see the Annah Rais Longhouse on a trip from Kuching

The Annah Rais Longhouses is south of Kuching, around a 2-hour drive through nature reserves and forests. The Longhouses of Annah Rais are home to about 500 residents who live in traditional Bidayuh Longhouses.    You can read more about Annah Rais here.

Annah Rais Longhouse

You’ll not only learn that there are three different longhouses; Kupo Terekan, Kupo Saba, and Kupo Sijo, but a visit to the Longhouses of Annah Rais will also teach you about the history and traditions of these ancient infrastructures.  What’s great about visiting the Annah Rais Longhouses, is that you’ll also get to visit Semenggoh and Serian Town.  See the timetable and check availability here.

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7. See the Famous Rafflesia Flower At Gunung Gading National Park

Rafflesia Flowers, also known as Rafflesia arnoldii is native to the Borneo and Sumatra rainforests, but can also be found in other parts of Southeast Asia such as Thailand and the Philippines. If you’re in Kuching during the blooming season, then book a tour and find them, they are truly unique.  Although it does look stunning, it is a parasitic flower, produces a foul smell, and the seeds and glossy leaves are poisonous – so be mindful when you see one!  These are the world’s largest flowers, but be quick as their blooming period is very very short!

Rafflesia Flower

You will find Rafflesia at Gunung Gading National Park. There are recommended trails for you to take, which will give you plenty of chances to see Rafflesia. It’s best to plan to visit Gunung Gading National Park for the entire day.

The park is quite a distance from Kuching city center. To get to the National Park of Gunung Gading, you can either drive for nearly 2-hours or take a bus from Kuching City to Lundu and get on another bus from Lundu to the park. If you don’t want to go there on your own, you can always book a tour that includes transportation, entrance fee, lunch, and a professional local guide.

  • Address of Gunung Gading National Park: 94500 Lundu, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Gunung Gading National Park: daily from 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Entry Fees for Gunung Gading National Park: RM20 for foreign adults, RM7 for 6-17 years old, while Malaysians pay RM10 for adults, and RM5 for 6-17 years old

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Final Words on the 7 Best Day Trips from Kuching

Whether you choose to visit the glorious Orangutans at Semenggoh, head to see the sea stacks at Bako National Park or one of the other five of our top day trips from Kuching, there is a great variety that you can see here.  Many of these places you can get to independently if you rent a car, or even on public transport, however, there are some fabulous small group tours from Kuching that will give you a greater cultural experience.

Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.

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