Museums – A magical place of cultural, scientific, and historical importance.

Planning a trip to Kuching? Maybe you’re a bit burned out from the glorious food hunting sprees? Or perhaps you’re looking for a bit of insight on the history of this bustling city?

Museums offer a great look into the history and heritage of a destination. Generally, museums house artefacts and content related to a destination’s history. So if you’re a history buff, we’d definitely suggest visiting the many interesting museums scattered around the city if you have the time.

Moreover, travellers with young children will have a great time exploring these museums. Who says education has to be boring, eh? Furthermore, It’s also one of the cheaper activities to do in the city with some museums having no entrance fees. And last but not least, it’s a good reason to avoid the searing sun (most museums are air-conditioned and indoors) of Kuching.

With that said, here are museums worth visiting in Kuching.

1. Sarawak Museum

sarawak museum
Image via timothytye.com

Founded in 1888 and opened in 1891, the Sarawak State Museum is one of the oldest museums in Borneo. The museum is located in the city centre of Kuching.

kuching waterfront & open air market
Images via getteaspoon.com, sedctourism.com

Don’t know how to get there? The museum is within walking distance from other major attractions in Kuching, namely Kuching Waterfront and the Open Air Market. So do head on over for a look once you’ve had your fill of the food and sights!

sarawak museum exhibits
Images via blog.sarawakborneotour.com, learnmelanau.nativeglot.com, travel.sygic.com, travelmalaysia.me

What can you see at the Sarawak Museum? The museum exhibits a wide array of collections related to the natural history of the state. For example, you’ll find exhibits on the traditional life of the indigenous people i.e. their arts and crafts.

The Sarawak State Museum is also home to one of the most comprehensive archaeological, natural history, and ethnographic collections in Borneo. We’d definitely recommend paying a visit when you’re in town.

2. Cat Museum

cat museum exterior
Image via sarawaktourism.com

Founded in 1993, the Cat Museum is not at all a surprising entrant on our list. After all, we’re talking about a city named Kuching (meaning cat in Malay). This museum is located some 20 minutes from Kuching Waterfront.

cat museum collection
Images via sarawaktourism.com, whereswil.com, sarawakhotelbooking.com, imagegallery.tourism.gov.my

The Kuching Cat Museum has one of the largest collections of cat-themed artefacts in the world. Some of these collections include a mummified cat from ancient Egypt, a gallery of feline-related advertising, and the five species of wild cats found in Borneo.

cat museum view
Images via jalanja.blogspot.com, fairfun.net, mapio.net

If you’re not big on cats, we’d say that the trip is still well worth your time for the sole reason of sightseeing. The Cat Museum is located on Bukit Siol which is 60 metres above sea level. You’ll be able to get a picturesque and panoramic view of Kuching unlike anywhere else. For this reason, Cat Museum is definitely worth a visit in our books.

PS: entrance is free but do note that you’ll be charged a fee of RM3.00 for taking photos/videos in the museum.

3. The Brooke Gallery

brooke gallery
Image via brooketrust.org

If you’re purely a history buff, then the Brooke Gallery is just the place to visit. The Brooke Gallery showcases various artefacts and historical documents from the era of Sarawak’s White Rajahs.

darul hana bridge sampan
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The gallery is located just a short walk (or boat ride) across the Sarawak River from the waterfront. We’d highly recommend using the recently completed Darul Hana Bridge to cross over from the Kuching waterfront.

Tip: Bring an umbrella, some shades, and a cap, it’s going to get sunny!

sarawak dun & astana
Images via Flickr

Once you’ve crossed over, take the time to immerse yourself in your surroundings. Notable structures you can check out other than the Brooke Gallery include the Astana and the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building.

fort margherita
Image via ilovekch.com

The gallery itself is housed within Fort Margherita, an incredible historical landmark in its own right. So do make the time to check out this fascinating piece of Sarawakian history.

4. Chinese History Museum

chinese history museum
Image via sarawaktourism.com

Located just a stone’s throw away from the waterfront, the Chinese History Museum is next on our list. If you aren’t already aware, Sarawak has a very diverse history in terms of race. And this museum traces the history of the Chinese community in the state.

The Chinese History Museum is definitely not to be missed out. The museum was formerly the headquarters of the Chinese Chambers of Commerce in Sarawak but has been opened to the public since 1993.

chinese history museum displays
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Furthermore, the Chinese museum in itself is full of history. The venue was used for discussions and trials involving the Sarawakian Chinese in the past. At present, the building houses various artefacts of past eras and contains many memorabilia of Chinese affairs. Some exhibits you may expect include early trade routes, early pioneers, and so on.

The Chinese History Museum does not charge an entrance fee, however, you may give small donations if you like what you see. Donations are used for museum operations and to preserve the exhibits.

So if you’re all tuckered out from all the food and sights, why not have an educational time at the Chinese History Museum? We promise you won’t lose out, instead, you may gain a whole new perspective from it!

5. Islamic Heritage Museum

islamic heritage museum
Images via Wikipedia, commons.wikimedia.org, sarawaktourism.com

The Islamic Museum is dedicated to preserving the rich historical heritage of the Muslim community in Sarawak.

What do you get from a visit to this museum? Exhibits and displays that traces the development of Islam in Sarawak.

islamic heritage museum displays
Images via ttnotes.com

The museum consists of seven galleries set around a central courtyard garden. Each of these galleries having a different theme. Examples of these Islamic themes include history, technology, weaponry, arts, and so on.

We’d definitely recommend giving this free museum a try when you’re in town. After all, the museum is located within walking distance to the Kuching waterfront. A minor detour isn’t going to cost you much, right?

Conclusion

Well there you go, the best museums we feel that’s worth a visit while you’re in Kuching. Of course, there are a couple more that didn’t make our list for some reason or another. But if you’re not interested in the above-mentioned museums, you can check out the Sarawak Cultural Village (not a museum per se), the Textile Museum, and the Ranee Museum instead.

Whether you’re interested in history or you simply want to do something cheap, museums are the way to go. Not only will you be educated on the history of the land, but you may also find yourself “woken” to a whole new perspective!