Kuching Heritage Sites (Jalan Padungan, Kuching Waterfront, The Square Tower, Old Court House, Clock Tower & Charles Brooke Memorial, Plaza Merdeka, Sarawak Museum)

Continue from the previous post where we took a public bus from Bako National Park to Kuching City Centre. After travel in the bus for about half and hour, we saw the Chinatown Arch and the White Cat Statue at Jalan Padungan (Kuching South City Council).

Cat Statue, Kuching South City Council or the white "waving" cat statue is sitting in front of the China Town Arch (Jalan Padungan Arch). 

We press the stop bell button and get down from the bus in Chinatown, Jalan Padungan. The bus stop right  in front of the famous Noodle Descendent Shop. Since we already have Kolok Mee yesterday, we try the Wan Nurn Barbecue Duck & Chicken Rice instead.

The restaurant is full with eaters! We are lucky to get a table but it took more than 15 minutes for the food to be ready. *so hunry after the hike* We had roasted pork-belly and char-siu (Barbecue Pork) rice as our lunch. It taste good. 

After lunch, we continue to walk up and we found the second cat statue - 4 white cats surrounds a very tall pillar! 

This Cat Statue is located in the middle of the Jalan Padungan, between Kapit Hotel & Everrise Department Store. 

Continue walking on Jalan Padungan till we saw the Cat Statue we drop by yesterday. Nearby this Cat Statue there are Centrepoint (Shopping Centre) and Sarawak Plaza. We browse around but noting much to see (or to buy). We then heading to Kuching's Waterfront.

Khatulistiwa Restaurant & Cafe - a landmark for us to find Kuching's Waterfront easily. However I read from Tripadvisor, the comments about the restaurant is not good at all! So we never try!

Back to Kuching's Waterfront, we start strolling along the paved 1km long Waterfront from East side to West side. 

James Brooke Bistro - A restaurant with nice ambiance located next to the Chinese History Museum and Tua Pek Kong Temple, overlooking the Waterfront. Comments about their food is average. The restaurant offer western food so we did not go for it as we prefer to try local food. 

 Some steel sculptures next to the Chinese History Musuem and Tua Pek kong Taoist Temple.

 Stacked bikes with the colors of the Flag of Sarawak.

A sculpture by Ramlan Abdullah built in 1994 named "Celebration of Sarawak".

We take a short break sitting on the bench under the trees, watching sampans passing by the Sarawak river while quench our thirst with ice cream and cold drinks purchased from the roadside stall.

Sarawak River Cruise

You can cruise along the Sarawak River on this Sarawak River Cruise with cost of RM60 per pax (duration of 1.5 hours). Unlimited free flow drinks and snacks will be provided on cruise. Alcohol may purchase from the bar as well. The cruise pass by Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building. Astana, Fort Margherita, and Malay villages along the river during sunset. We did not take the cruise as we plan to have seafood at Top Spot Food Court but too bad it was raining in the evening yesterday. 

Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building
It is the current state legislative complex of Sarawak, located in Kuching. It is the meeting place where state assemblymen from all over Sarawak will meet and preside over debates and passing of laws.

Next to the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, on the Waterfront's western section is Astana - the stately home of Charles Brooke, Sarawak Second White Rajah. Built in 1970, Astana is now the Governor's residence.

Western section of Kuching's Waterfront.

Pak Tambang Wall Sculpture
The mosaic and sculpture is a tribute to the boatmen who row the tambangs (sampans/boat) on the Sarawak River. This wall has been erected close to the place where Pangkalan Batu was located before reclamation for the new Kuching Waterfront took place.

This building that resemble Fort Magherita is The Square Tower. It was a prison back in year 1879 and currently is a dance hall. You may visit Fort Magherita which is similar to the Square Tower.

Opposite the Square tower, accross the road is the The Old Court House, with a Clock Tower and Charles Brooke Memorial in front of it. The Old Court House was once the administrative centre of the Brookes. Now the building has become Sarawak Tourism complex and National Parks Booking Office. 

The Charles Brooke Memorial 
In front of the Clock Tower is the 6 meter high granite obelisk built in 1924 to honour Rajah Charles Brooke.

 The Clock Tower
Behind the Charles Brooke Memorial is the colonial baroque Clock Tower added in 1883.

 The Old Court House

  Behind the Old Court House, we can see the Old Post Office just one street away.

 The Harmony Arch at Chinatown, Jalan Carpenter is just next to the Old Post Office.

The General Post Office or Old Post Office building with it's Corinthian Columns, is more decorative and was built in 1931.

Right next to Old Post Office or beside the Old Court House is Plaza Merdeka - a modern shopping centre in the middle of all heritage sites. There is a Textile Museum next to Plaza Merdeka that we did not visit.

We took a coffee break at Starbucks before we continue to explore further at Sarawak Museum. We exit from Starbucks as it is facing the Padang Merdeka.

While walking across the Padang Merdeka following the traffic directions. On our right we saw this historical and ancient Anglican Cathedral of Kuching - St.Thomas's Cathedral

Sarawak Museum
Not far from St. Thomas's Cathedral, we reach the Sarawak Museum. Didn't expect the museums closed early on weekend. We arrived at 4.30pm and museum closed at 4pm. Anyway I manage to visit the Museum again one day later with my sister who will arrive Kuching tomorrow.

Sarawak Museum was built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1891 to house a permanent exhibition of native arts and crafts, as well as specimens from Alfred Russel Wallace's extensive collection. Alfred Russel Wallace is the illustrious 19th-century naturalist who spent many years in Borneo, great friend of Rajah Charles Brooke who encouraged Brooke to built the Museum.

The exhibition area was enlarged in 1971. The building was designed by a French aide of Brooke, who copied the design of the Normandy town hall in France. 

Sarawak Museum is located on both sides of the Jalan Tun Haji Openg - split into new wing and old wing. There is a Pedestrian bridge that linked both old and new wing of Sarawak Museum along the busy Jalan Tun Haji Openg.

We walk towards the Sarawak Museum New Wing since old wing is closed for the day. New wing which is known as Tun Abdul Razak Hall apparently temporarily closed down due to renovation (from the Notice we saw on the glass door).

Next to the New wing building is a small park exhibit the Tribal Burial Poles (kelirieng) and hut (salong). The Kejaman, Punan, and Sekapan peoples traditionally bury their dead in these, which are erected in the forest outside their villages.

This burial pole and hut were carved by the Orang Ulu tribes to inter the remains of their chiefs.  

I missed out the description for this. Appreciate if you could tell me if you know about it. 

And this is Megalit Kelabit. This is a reproduction of a dolmen one of the megaliths as found in the Kelabit Uplands in Miri. A dolmen consists of three or more of large natural stones which support a larger one as roof to protect the bones of a chief buried underneath the structure.

After the short stay at the park, we left and back to Plaza Merdeka to get a taxi to go back to hotel. A Business Expo is held in Padang Merdeka so it is crowded.

End of our day 2 visits in Kuching Heritage Sites with the photo of Balai Polis Sentral Kuching  (Central Police Station) which was built in 1931, located just right next to the Merdeka Plaza.