AIR – Malaysia: Regular MAS flights connect Kuching with Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Miri and Sibu. Malaysia’s budget airline, Air Asia operates frequent flights to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Penang Miri, Bintulu and Sibu. MAS Wings operates the Rural Air Service, flying Twin Otters (baggage allowance 10kg) & Fokker 50s to 40 destinations across East Malaysia.
AIR – International: MAS operates a twice daily Kuching-Singapore service, whilst Silk Air, Air Asia and Tiger Airways all offer daily flights. Royal Brunei flies to Kuching from Bandar Sri Begawan 3x weekly, Batavia Air flies 3x weekly to Jakarta via Pontianak. Connections to other destinations are via Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, or Singapore. Check airline websites for ticket prices and the latest deals.
Airport departure tax is RM 6 (domestic), RM 20 (within ASEAN) and RM 45 (international). Airlines may levy fuel and insurance surcharges which vary based on the sector; contact them for the latest fees.
Airport Information. Tel: +6082-457373/454242.
Air Asia. Wisma Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor, No. 291 Sub Lot 4, Jln Abell. Tel: 283222 Call Centre: 03-76512222. Online booking & enquiries: www.airasia.com.
Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) and MAS Wings – Tel: 1-300-88-3000. Fax: 411767. Online booking & enquiries: www.malaysiaairlines.com.
Silk Air. Call centre: Tel: +65 62238888 (Singapore). Online booking & enquiries: www.silkair.com.
ROAD: The Trans-Borneo highway connects Kuching to all major cites in Sarawak. Kuching to Sibu takes about 5 hours by car. Roads in and around Kuching are generally good.
BUS SERVICES: Sarawak Transport Company’s (STC) (Tel: 451573/242579) green and yellow buses serve the Kuching area and south-west Sarawak. Major bus stops at Jln Mosque and the Post Office. Petra Jaya City Bus (Tel: 429418) serve Bako, Buntal and Kota Samarahan. Their white and yellow buses depart from the open air market near Electra House. Bau Transport Company (Tel: 763160) buses depart from the near the Saujana Car Park for Bau Town. Long distance buses depart from the Regional Express Bus Terminal on Jln Penrissen. The most convenient place in the town centre to buy tickets is the Biaramas Express booking office (Tel: 429418) on Jln Khoo Hun Yeang (near Electra House). Biaramas also have an office at the terminal (Tel: 456999, open from 6 am to 10 pm) and post their latest bus schedules on www.busasia.net. Other long distance bus companies include Vital Focus Transportation (Tel: 453190 or 461277. www.vftransportation. com.my) which operates the PB Express, Suria Bus. Bus Asia (Tel: 1 300 888)
*Download your Kuching Bus Timetable.
Express, Borneo Highway Express (tickets also available at Borneo Interland, 63 Main Bazaar, Tel: 413595), Kirata & Sapphire Pacific Express and Sri Merah Express bus services; Syarikat Bus Baram (Tel: 576700); MTC Express (Tel: 463161); Sungei Merah (Tel: 571888); Borneo Express Bus (Tel: 452717); Eva Express (Tel: 577333); TransBorneo Resources (Tel: 452271) and ATS (Tel: 457773). Buses to Sibu, Bintulu and Miri often involve a change of bus in Sarikei. Phone the bus companies for the latest timetables. The Visitor Information Centre has a display board with the latest bus schedules and prices.
Bus Asia (Tel: 1 300 888 287 Hotline: 411111) www.busasia.net
Kuching Airport. No public bus service to and from the airport.
Bako. Rapid Kuching, 1 hour. First bus (from Kuching) 7.00am, last bus 6.00pm. Last regular bus back from Bako 5.00 pm. White minibuses (bas sewa) also go to Kampung Bako). They operate from 6 am to 5 pm and depart from the open air market. There is no fixed schedule – minibuses leave when they are full.
Bau. STC bus No. 2 or Bau Transport Co. bus No. 2, approx. 1 hour. Every 20 mins. First bus (from Kuching) 6 am, last bus 6 pm. Buses depart from near the Saujana car park
Betong. STC Bus No. EP10. Buses at 8 am and 1 pm.
Buntal. Petra Jaya bus No. 2D. 35 mins. First bus (from Kuching) 6 am. Last bus back from Buntal 6.40 pm.
Damai / Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV). A Kuching-Damai shuttle bus service departs regularly from outside the Hotel Grand Margherita with drop offs at the resort hotels and Sarawak Cultural Village. One way fare is RM 12 (adults), RM 6 (children), takes approx. 40 mins. First bus (from Kuching) 7.30 am, last bus 10 pm. Last bus back from Damai 9 pm. For the full timetable check with the bell counter at the Hotel Grand Margherita.
Fairy and Wind Caves (from Bau Bus Station). Bau Transport Co. Bus No. 3, every 1/2 hour from 6.20 am to 6 pm.
Kota Samarahan. Petra Jaya Bus No. 10A. First bus (from Kuching) 6.30 am, last bus 5.15 pm. Last bus back Kota Samarahan 5.30 pm.
Kubah/Matang Wildlife Centre. No bus service from Kuching. Take a white local minibus. These white mini buses wait at the alleyway next to the shops in the Saujana car park complex. There is no fixed timetable, mini buses leave when there are enough passengers.
Lundu. (for Gunung Gading) STC bus No. EP07. approx. 2 hrs. Buses depart from the regional express bus terminal.
Mukah. TransBorneo Resources and Biaramas.
Penrissen Rd. Bus Terminal (for long-distance services). STC bus Nos. 3A, 4B, 6, 9, and many more (at STC counter, Jalan Masjid). First bus (from Kuching) 6.15 am, last bus 7 pm. If you are catching an early bus you may have to take a taxi to the terminal.
Pontianak (Indonesia)., approx. 8 hrs. Buses depart from Penrissen Rd. Terminal. Biaramas/Tebakang Express (Tel: 456999) Kirata Express, Sapphire Pacific and Sri Merah Express – book through Vital Focus Transportation (Tel: 453190 or 461277) or Borneo Interland (63 Main Bazaar, Tel: 413595). ATS (Tel: 457773), Eva Express (Tel: 577333) and Damri (Tel: 572098)
Sarikei. 5-6 hrs. Biaramas Express, Borneo Highway, PB, Suria Express, Syarikat Bus Baram,. MTC Express, Borneo Express ,TransBorneo, Sungei Merah , Eva Express.
Sematan (via Lundu). STC bus No. EP07.
Semenggoh. STC bus Nos. 6.
Serian. City Public Link – K3. STC Express bus. No 3A. approx. 1 hr. Every hour. First bus (from Kuching) 6.15 am, last bus 7 pm. Vital Focus Transportation, approx. every hour. First bus from Kuching 6.30 am, last bus 10 pm.
Sibu. 7 hrs.
Sri Aman. STC Express bus No. EP09. RM 19, approx 3 hrs. Departs from regional express bus terminal.
EXPRESS BOATS (Kuching to Sibu): Express Bahagia, service departs daily at 8.30 am, 4 hrs. Tickets are sold at the jetty in Pending. It’s advisable to get there 30 mins before departure.
SAMPANS (known locally as Tambangs): To get across river take one of the small ferries that connect the riverside kampungs to the town. Place the fare on the seat as you leave. Hiring a sampan is a great way to see the river and the waterfront villages. From the river you’ll have great views of the city, get in close to the villages and get some good photos of river life.
TAXIS: Airport to town is RM 26 – buy a coupon at the taxi stand at the airport. Town to the airport is RM 26. At the moment not all Kuching taxis use meters so agree the fare first. Taxis can always be found outside the big hotels and at the taxi stand where Jln Gambier becomes Leboh Jawa. Alternatively, call 343343/342255 or 348898 for 24-Hour Radio Taxi service (RM 1 surcharge). Short distances around town are RM 7-12.
CAR HIRE: This is a great way to explore in and around Kuching. A number of tour operators provide chauffeur-driven cars, vans or 4WD vehicles, but there are only a few fully-fledged self-drive companies operating in Kuching. Be wary of unlicensed operators, as they will not be fully insured – look for the Hire & Drive Permit fixed to the windscreen. At peak periods it is advisable to book a car in advance.