From airport to city, go to the airport taxi counter for coupon. RM22 (Apr 09). To Damai RM66.
It taks about 20 mins from airport to city (waterfront). From city to airport, catch any taxi for RM20.
Taxi is quite rare in Kuching. You may want to pre-book through your hotel if you want to go anywhere far from your location. But if you are staying in one of those hotels in the city, pretty much everything of interest is within walking distance. Kuching is quite a small city.
If you are arriving at the airport, you can get a taxi from a counter just after the arrival hall. It costs about RM20+ to get to the city center.
Inside the Holiday Inn Kuching is a small travel agency. They personel is very friendly and helpful. They give you a way better rate (even to the Holiday Inn itself!) then if you would have booked straight at the hotel. Furthermore they can book and organize trips to Bako for you. Tailormade with guide. Which is really recommended in case you want to see all the wildife around you and know where to go.
I managed to hire a Proton Iswara 1.5L Auto sedan for RM200 (2.5 days use). Was definitely happy to drive around but mind you.... signboards are not very informative. The standard map of Kuching City (can be obtained from Tourist Information Office) is quite handy but you are completely on your own once you leave city limits.
I'm not saying its impossible but you must understand that tourist destinations are actually designed for the typical tourist who arrive in chartered buses.
Most parts of Kuching is one way so you must possess a very strong sense of geography!
Kuching's hotels have banded together to offer a free City Tram service that shuttles around major sights once every hour. Ask for a City Tram sticker and route map from your hotel lobby.
There are the following options, walking, buses, taxi, and car rental. Taxi's don't seem to "drive around" . There is also the unfortunate situation where not all taxi's can go anywhere, a particular taxi only services some roads or parts of town. This makes it hard to just flag a taxi and expect to be taken where you want. Taxis are mostly unmetered, you agree on a price given the destination before getting in! Generally visitors find such unstructured arrangements . They are easily to be seen at all hotels , airport, and taxi station Kuching City. Buses are by far the best option, although most places are walking distance it is far too hot to do so. Most of the buses are not air conditioned so sit beside an open window. Ask for more info before using a bus as sometimes the drivers may seem reluctant to provide any assistance to those who don't know where to go. The fares are cheap though, the air-conditioned buses generally cost a bit more and seem to make up perhaps half the fleet.
Airport to town is RM 17.50 – buy a coupon at the taxi stand at the airport. Town to airport is RM 15. Short distances around town are RM 5-7.
-Green - Sarawak Transport Company (STC)
-Blue - Chin Liang Long Bus Company (CLL)
-Orange - Matang Transport Company (MTC)
-Brown/Red - Bau Bus Company
-White with Red, Yellow and Black stripes - Petra Jaya Bus Company
-Brown/Purple - Regas Transport Company
A slip is printed and given to you by an immigration officer. Please retain the slip throughout your journey. Sign and return the slip to officer when leaving Kuching.
Purchase your taxi coupon to Kuching town at the counter for only RM17.50. In this way, you can avoid tout. Town to airport is RM15.
Santubong / Damai area RM47.50
Taxi Radio Call telephone number for your convenience:-
Hiring a sampan to meander slowly up and down the Sarawak River is the best way to get your first impression of Kuching. From the river you will see picturesque malay villages (kampungs), a golden-domed mosque, a Victorian fort, a whole street of 19th century Chinese shophouses and an imposing wooden-roofed palace, all set against a background of distant mountains.
Tourist will mistakenly think that these boats are being used for advertisement purpose rather than for tourism promotion. Telcos in Kuching are no doubt having a fierce competition here. You can find their advertisements in public buses and Tambang boats. What a disappointment or eye sore.
If you don't like to ride on a boat and prefer to go for a bigger boat, then you can opt for Sarawak River Cruise / Sunset Cruise which will depart on 3:15pm daily. Enquire with local travel agencies for more details.
From the Kuching Waterfront, you can get across the river to Fort Margherita and the Astana on one of these small boats or tambang. The tamabng has been a common mode of transportation for the residents across the Sarawak River for decades & hasn't changed since.
The boatmen charge very little (under $1 a journey) for passengers to take a short ride. To maneuver the boat, the boatman uses two paddles while standing on the stern
Roads within the town are of a reasonable standard, though traffic congestion often leads to long tailbacks during rush hour, and especially on Saturday mornings. Because Kuching is located near the equator, expect potholes to develop on the roads during the monsoon season (usually around the end of the year, coinciding with winter in the northern hemisphere). Roads leading outside of Kuching to the interior are of a slightly more dubious quality but are being upgraded from time to time, although the main resort roads (e.g. leading to Damai) are also reasonable.
Transport by taxi is reasonable and in popular tourist spots there always seems to be an abundance of taxi drivers eager to pounce on their unsuspecting prey. It is quite rare to be able to flag down a taxi on the street because they are no where to be seen. Beware the unmetered taxi though. Public transport by antiquated, smoky, non-airconditioned buses is strictly for the intrepid back-packer only. Air transport is served by nearby Kuching International Airport, currently the subject of several expansion projects.
Road signs are written in both Malay (The Malay is written using the Latin script) and Chinese. Kuching is also famous for its many large traffic circles or roundabouts. The roundabouts are efficient at handling medium traffic. But however, as traffic continues to rise in Kuching due to the availability of cheaper Malaysian-made cars and ease of obtaining car loans, several roundabouts have given way to traffic lights and over and underpasses.
If you want to cross the Sarawak river on the other side of the waterfront and sample some village style walk about or some cheap dinner there, try the small boat. It is cheap and fast! The fare is 40 cent (local money) one way. The boat available from early as 6am to 12 midnight. Try and u will love it!
Catch the yellow color Petra Jaya bus #6 to the jetty to Bako NP.
Upon arrival you need to fill in your name. Someone will arrange the boat for you. To charter a boat it cost rm40. For more than 5 person, one person is charged rm8.
The journey to Bako NP takes 15-20 minutes. Great view along the river. The boat will probably drop you by the sea side. So be prepared to take off shoes and walk on shore.
Go to the bus station opposite Kuching post office and catch any bus heading to long distance bus terminal.
From long distance bus terminal, purchase the ticket from Kuching to Lundu town. There are 4 buses in the day to Lundu: 8:30am, 11am, 2am, 4pm. The journey takes about 2 hours.
After arrived in Lundu town, hop on a van (rm5 person each if you have more than 2 person) to the park. Alternatively, you can walk to the park. Ask for direction,the park is about 1 plus km away from the town.
There is higher possibility to get others to share the guide if you catch the earliest bus.
The tambang is a little motorised water taxi that ferries people across the sungai sarawak. They go from 3 or 4 places along the waterfront and go to a malay kampung, Fort Margherita and the Astana. They wait until the boat is full before they go. It costs only 30 sen each.
Air Asia probably offers the widest selection of cheap flights for air travel in SE Asia. They are criticized for not being the most reliable carrier, however out of the 6 flights I took with them, only one was late by 10 minutes.
Air Asia usually has 4-8 flights daily between Kuching and KL. Depending on time of departure and how far ahead you book your ticket, a one-way flight (1h45min) will cost you as little as $40.
Bottom-line: For the budget traveler, Air Asia is a great way to get around SE Asia. They might not always be on time, but you get what you pay for.
I was lucky to have friend in Kuching to get me around. My friend rent a small car (Kancil) from a universiti student cost only RM60 per day. As my friend said, public transports not so convenience in Kuching cause it's quite far apart from one destination to another.