Kuching with kids: 4 kids’ activities in a row!
What to do in Kuching with kids? Kuching is quite a large city located near the jungle. Many families with kids use this city as a base to visit the various national parks in the area. You go to Kuching in Borneo mainly for the nature. In this blog, we list the best children’s activities we undertook around Kuching.
Table of contents
#1 The center of Kuching
The center of Kuching is nice to visit. You have a nice boardwalk along the river where you have several restaurants, stores and stalls. Especially in the evening, the promenade is very lively with many lights. We enjoyed walking around here.
Across the water you also have some beautiful buildings, where in the evening you can also see various lights flashing (you could call it a light show). It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and a drink near the water at the end of the day.
#2 Semenggoh Wildlife Park
In this park you can spot the Orangutans. Orangutans live in the wild in this park. The rangers put fruit on a platform twice a day and then the Orangutans are likely to come. However, this is not a guarantee. A ticket for admission costs about 2 euros for an adult and 1 euro for a kid.
In addition, you can ride a golf cart to the platform for about 3 euros per person. We recommend taking the trolley with small kids. It’s about a half hour walk but with some steep climbs and it’s very humid in the jungle so you’ll be sweating a lot in no time. Besides, the hike is not very special because you just walk along a paved road toward the platform.
There are two feeding times per day. 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. We had the afternoon shift and could then enter the park from 2 pm to 4 pm. Outside of feeding times, the park is also closed. We took a Grab cab from the city to the park and we were there in about 30 minutes.
When we arrived, there was already a line at the box office and it was already quite busy. You will then be taken by golf cart to the food platform collection point. Here you then have to wait until about 3 p.m. and until an Orang -utan is spotted. They state very clearly that it is also possible that you may not see one.
We saw four Orangutans on that day, including a baby Orangutan. On the way back, we also heard people say that they had been before and had not seen any then. So you have to have a little bit of luck.
#3 Bako National Park
Bako National park is about a half-hour drive from downtown Kuching. You can easily get there by Grab cab. We paid about 8 euros for the outward journey. In this park you can spot different animals such as; the Macaque (monkey species), the Silverleaf monkey, bearded boars, snakes and crocodiles.
However, Bako National Park is best known for the proboscis monkeys found there. So to get to Bako National Park, as mentioned earlier, take a Grab cab from Kuching. After that, you need to buy an entrance ticket at the entrance. For adults it is 4 euros and for kids about 1.50 euros. In addition to the entrance ticket, you must also buy a ticket for the boat. In fact, without a boat, you cannot enter the park. We paid 40 euros for a private boat return.
It is 20 minutes one way and the boat goes back whenever you want. At the reception, they call the captain and he comes to pick you up right away. Please note that you can’t return by boat later than 3 p.m., so make sure you get back before then or arrange for an overnight stay in the park itself in advance.
At the entrance to the park, you can also choose to hire a guide. We did not do this because we had read that the trails are also easy to walk without a guide. And it certainly is. Most of the animals appeared to be a short distance from the visitor center, so were also fairly easy to spot.
When you arrive at the park by boat, walk a few hundred meters to the visitor center. Here you need to register and specify which trail you want to run. We were advised to walk the Paku trail with our eight-year-old daughter. This is a relatively short trail that leads through the jungle and out to the beach. At the beach, you can choose whether to walk the same route back or take the boat back to the starting point.
The trail is about 800 meters and it takes you about 1 hour to do this. It is very humid in the jungle so in no time you will be all sweaty. Make sure you have plenty of water with you! The trail is relatively easy to walk. There are some steps and some bits where you have to climb a bit, but that’s doable even with kids.
We took the boat back to the starting point instead of walking the same route back. The boat back costs about 10 euros. They then first sail you past the beautiful rock formations that lie a little further on. This way you can take beautiful pictures from the water.
Of course, we came to Bako National Park to at least spot the Proboscis Monkey. During the trail, we did not see the Proboscis Monkey. Arriving there were a number of these monkeys at the central point not far from the visitor center they were quite easy to spot.
We just asked some guides where they were and then went to find them. Furthermore, near the beach we spotted the Silverleaf monkey and around the visitor center several bearded boars were also walking. So you don’t necessarily have to walk a trail to spot the animals.
We really liked the Bako National Park. Anyway, it is also fun to take the boat through the beautiful nature. Besides, we thought our trail was just right; having the adventure of walking through the jungle, but not having to do an hour-long hike.
So the nice thing about this trail is also that you take the boat back and then you can also admire the beautiful rocks from the water.
#4 Wetlands National park
In this park you can take a cruise. This means taking a boat down the wide river while spotting animals. A cruise lasts about 4 hours and you can choose a morning or a sunset cruise. On both cruises, you have a chance of spotting proboscis monkeys, macaques, crocodiles and dolphins.
On the sunset cruise, you can also see fireflies. We did the sunset cruise and left around 4 in the afternoon on a big bus from Kuching to the Wetlands national park. Once there, we see a rather ramshackle jetty on which the boat is moored. Make sure you have been to the toilet beforehand, as there is no toilet on board and the toilets at the jetty are incredibly dirty.
The boat can accommodate about 16 people (including captain and guide). Everyone gets a life jacket on. We sailed across the wide river and immediately saw a few macaques running across the beach. After sailing for a while, we also spotted crocodiles and dolphins. From very far away, though.
Make sure you have a good camera with zoom function with you otherwise it is very difficult to get them properly in the picture. We also saw proboscis monkeys, unfortunately also far away and high up in a tree. Finally, the sunset was beautiful and we also spotted fireflies. On the way back, the captain frisked the eyes of crocodiles on the over with a large flashlight. Sophie found this really exciting.
We spent about 3 hours on the water. We liked this tour because you’re out on a boat and actually get to spot animals very relaxed. What was less is that the animals were far away so you can’t see them very well. If you are really going for spotting the proboscis monkey, you are really better off going to Bako National Park. But if you have time to spare in the Kuching area with kids, this tour is definitely recommended.
We booked the tour through a tourist agency called Para Desa in downtown Kuching and paid about 40 euros per person.
Where to stay in Kuching with kids?
We slept in Kuching at the Citadines Uplands Kuching hotel. This hotel is a little outside the center of Ipoh, but by cab we were in the center within five minutes. We had breakfast at this hotel, but we ourselves did not like it. Opposite the hotel was a mall, where we got delicious sandwiches and sweets in the morning.
The hotel has a spacious pool and we had a spacious apartment. Apart from the breakfast, we found it a fine hotel to stay overnight with our daughter. For more information on the Citadines Uplands Kuching Hotel, take a look here.
If you want a list of all family-friendly accommodations in Kuching, take a look here.