One joy of visiting Kuching is the sheer number of potential excursions within the vicinity, including several worthy of an overnight stay. Within an hour’s bus ride north are the beaches and resorts of the Santubong Peninsula, also known as Damai after the beach area at its tip. Nearby is the Sarawak Cultural Village, a showpiece community where model longhouses are staffed by guides from each ethnic group. Bako is the essential national park to visit nearby, but there’s also decent trekking at Kubah National Park.
South of Kuching, the main attractions are the orang-utans at the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and the Bidayuh longhouse at Annah Rais. Sarawak’s remote western edge draws a trickle of visitors who mainly head to the Gunung Gading National Park to see Rafflesia blooms, though the beaches at Sematan and near Lundu, and the stunning Tanjung Datu National Park, further west, are also worthwhile.