Kuching Waterfront was built on the very riverbank where the city itself was born.
The new Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, or DUN (Dewan Undangan Negeri) is located on the opposite side of the Sarawak River, between Fort Margherita and the Astance, facing the Kuching Waterfront. This stunning nine-storey complex is a reminiscent of the Bidayuh Longhouse and resemble the Melanau tribe hat.
Stretching approximately 1 km long, with a riverside walk linking the hotel precinct with downtown Kuching, the Kuching Waterfront is 'self-contained' with facilities for entertainment, refreshment, relaxation, cultural enjoyment and arts appreciation.
The Waterfront starts from Riverside Majestic Crown Plaza to the former Sunday wet market downtown Kuching Selatan. It was a place where the institutional buildings from the Brooke era was built. Along the river, the well-preserved Court House, Fort Margherita, Square Tower and a few other historic buildings was erected. It was also a busy maritime port in Sarawak where trading would take place. That was probably the reason for the establishment of Indian and Chinese shophouses along the riverbank.
There was also a dynamic between the contested edge; where water meets land. With a tidal difference of 5-6 metres, Kuching Waterfront is an area that is prone to flood. The local used to complained it being a mudflat.
Therefore, this project sets for itself a clear criteria for the designers. There is a tension between dealing with the flood events and preserving the rich history and intellectual memory of the city.
Kuching Waterfront in the year 1957
Kuching Waterfront in the 1960s - a small settlement to a busy port with warehouses and wharves
Basically, the design decisions was to reclaim a strip of land along the riverbank to have a firmer ground, opening up corridor views towards the river from the city.
A promenade was designed along the strip, with the a few preserved historical buildings running along ie. the Square Tower, the Sarawak Steamship Company (now used as Bazaar for souvenirs and food outlets), an unknown colonial structure (now used as a performance stage), Chinese Pavilion and the Chinese Museum. The pavements along the waterfront uses the floral motif common among the indigenous, the Iban people.
Opened in 1993 upon the beautification project of the Sarawak river has successfully created a lucrative atmosphere for leisure as well as business. You can see this within 500 meters radius from the Waterfront- revitalized shop houses, international hotels, shopping complexes are sprouting within this area.
1Km long Kuching Waterfront.
Kuching Waterfront, this is the place English adventurer James Brooke landed and created history in Malaysia.
Kuching Waterfront was a kaleidoscope of the past, the present and the future where the history and heritage of Kuching, Sarawak, were laid in full colour the whole 1 kilometre stretch. From being a small settlement and river port during the days of the English adventurer, James Brooke, in the 19th century, Kuching Waterfront had developed into a picturesque landscaped esplanade, and even powered with environmentally-friendly solar energy in the extension phase.
Kuching Waterfront Solar Energy - Newly installed in April 2010
The Kuching Waterfront ran parallel to the Sarawak River.
Drab warehouses have been replaced with 900m long esplanade of beautiful landscaped and dotted with wooden benches, food stalls, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
Local waterway taxis (tambangs) at left and right. White ship in the Middle is the MV "Equatorial", the Cruise ship that cruise the river every day.
Each step of the way is paved with mosaic panels depicting ethnic motifs. Kuching of by-gone days is revealed along the panels on this promenade.
Its wide and long walkway was tiled with eye-catching ethnic designs and motifs, perfect for abstract close-up shots of the contrasting swirls and whorls
As you walk along you can see a few artworks or sculptures by Malaysian sculptors.
Spread along the pavement of Kuching Waterfront were numerous carts displaying local handicrafts and souvenir items and kiosks selling local food and beverages.
Under this canopy, you will find several handicraft stalls that greets you with many Sarawakian treasures.
A pizza joint with other light refreshments..
There were a couple of gazebos built on the edge of the Kuching Waterfront and the Sarawak River, where you could sit and watch the local waterway taxis (tambangs), gliding noiselessly as they ferry passengers across the river, for less than RM1.00 per person one way
Witness how the boatman adeptly propel the wooden boat across the river. There are two wooden oars tied in a cross-path formation which the boatman used to navigate the sampan. There is a small boat engine at the back of the sampan . For about a few minutes, the engine will propel the boat across the river, with the oars used to turn left or right, depending on the final destination. The boatman will switch off the engine at some distance away from the destination jetty and let the boat momentum carries the sampan slowly and steadily to the docking point.
Located along the waterfront are numbers of Jetties for this Tambang to pick and drop off their passenger.
Sarawak River was the city's main highway and still retains its importance in the modern Kuching City.
The structures and facilities at the Kuching Waterfront represent a blend of existing historical buildings and additional modern facilities set in a beautifully landscaped background. The features also reflect a combination of local culture and modern technology and are characterized by the use of raw materials and designs unique to the Kuching Waterfront only. Examples include granite slabs and sets; copper roofing; granite and marble mosaics; cast aluminium and "belian" Kuching Waterfront railings; Kuching Waterfront rubbish bins; insect-repelling promenade lights; sculptures; etc.
Another legacy of the White Rajah of Sarawak, the Square Tower was built in 1879 as a detention centre during the British time. Iwas later converted into a fortress and then a dance hall. It was originally built as an annex to Fort Margherita. Fort Margherita which was erected the same year is on the opposite bank of the river. The Square Tower's architecture reflects the Victorian era’s fascination with native culture.
The Square Tower is located at the west end of the Kuching Waterfront, on the Sarawak River, across from the Astana. Its is only about 1.5 blocks away from the Round Tower. It also marks one end of the popular Kuching Waterfront.
During the Japanese occupation the Square Tower was used as a torturing chamber.
Now it had been turned into a multimedia information center and video theatre, providing information and documentaries on Sarawak’s tourist attractions. It is very close to the Old Wet Market. The upper floor houses some visuals on the ancient Kuching town and a brief history of this Square Tower. Here you can catch a glimpse of the olden days Kuching town.
CHARLES BROOKE'S MEMORIAL
Just across the road…opposite the square tower is the Charles Brooke’s Memorial and the Old Court Complex which housed the Tourist Information Centre for Kuching.
Nearing the last leg of the Kuching Waterfront, the red Chinese Pavilion with its intricate designs of Chinese deities and floral motifs.
A relic of the past, it was dismantled from its original location in front of the old courthouse, restored and transported to its present site.
Chinese cultural music serenade the romance of the evening.
The Land of The Hornbills is translated into modern art in this water-cascading metallic sculpture. The Land of The Hornbills is translated into modern art in this water-cascading metallic sculpture. This fountain is placed near the Historical Marker.
SARAWAK STEAMSHIP COMPANY BUILDING
The Sarawak Steamship Company building on the Waterfront was built in 1930. Previously the offices and warehouse of the Sarawak Steamship Company, is now the home of the Kuching Waterfront Bazaar, with dozens of stalls selling a wide range of handicrafts and souvenirs.
In 1875, a group of Kuching merchants engaged in the lucrative sago trade founded this company. One of its luxury liners. the Vyner Brooke, saw wartime services and was lost at sea. Today the company no longer owns ships. While the river was the artery of Sarawak's commerce, the waterfront was lined with warehouses which have given way to the esplanade. The SSC godown was restored in 1988.
CHINESE HISTORY MUSEUM
The Chinese Museum which is painted pale pink was built in 1912 housed exhibits which traced the settlement of the Chinese in Sarawak… their migration from various regions in China and also their traditional trading activities.
The Chinese History Museum, steeped with historical facts and figures, images and exhibits about Chinese cultures, traditions, pioneers, leaders, languages and dialects in Sarawak. It was indeed a feast for the eyes.
It is an open space mini-amphitheatre with seating capacity for approximately 200 persons. The Amphitheatre is regularly used for cultural performances, talent shows, product launchings, singing competitions, colouring contests and many more activities.
The mini amphitheatre, which used to be a godown or warehouse by the dockside in the old days; hence its name – Godown Amphitheatre at the Kuching Waterfront. The amphitheatre with its funnel-like membrane roofing exuded a cosy and vibrant atmosphere during night performances, while functioning as a sheltered area for rest and relaxation during the day or in between performances.
Monthly Dance and Music Performance
Rounding up the 4th Sunday of each month, the dancer groups will be strutting their multi-ethnic diversity of Sarawak at the Godown Amphitheater Kuching Waterfront between 8:00pm - 9:00pm. The main routines will be focused on ethnic and traditional dances using their individual costumes accompanied by music and audience are encouraged to participate by joining in the dance!
The busy weekly schedules to expose the artistic talents of Sarawak are part of the efforts to bring up a generation of artists and enhance the appreciation of local cultures and ethnic traditions. These will lead to better understanding of the arts and crafts, cultures of Malaysia locally and also among visitors.
THE MUSICAL FOUNTAINS ON THE KUCHING WATERFRONT SQUARE
The musical fountains on the Waterfront Square, creating spectacular night views with fast streams and jets of splashing, tinkling water, dancing to the rhythms of piped music, and highlighted by a rainbow of colourful lights; and in the shadowy background, stood the Square Tower, modest yet regal in its stature.
BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF KUCHING WATERFRONT
A breezy bird's eye view of the Waterfront. It has a kiosk at the podium.
SARAWAK TRADITIONAL BOAT CRUISE
1. SARAWAK TRADITIONAL BOAT CRUISE - CENDERA JIWA
boat name : cendera jiwa
boat type : perahu bandong; sarawak traditional boat
builder : Kanok. Kampung Selabat, Kuching.
year built : Mac 2006
length : 8.23 m
beam : 1.65 m
draft : 0.35 m
weight : 2 tonnes
engine : honda 13HP
seating capacity : maximum 8 persons
Boat Operation Schedule
location : Kuching Waterfront, Kuching Sarawak
boat schedule : anytime based on boat availability
boat capacity : 2 - 6 persons
cruise rates for 45 minutes cruise duration : adult- RM20 per person / child- RM5 per person
add-on RM5 per person for extra 15 minutes cruise duration.
operation hours : daily 10 am-7pm (last boat 6 pm)
attractions : Kuching Waterfront, Ceko Market, State Mosque, the Astana, Malay villages.
For booking and enquiries, contact :
blog : cenderajiwa-cruise.blogspot.com
email : email@example.com
phone : +6 012 882 2353
2. SARAWAK TRADITIONAL BOAT CRUISE
For More Inquiries: Ssoonz Resources, G.P.O. Box 1822, Pejabat Pos Besar, 93670 Kuching,
Tel: + 6 012 – 893 3230 / + 6 016 – 358 2628
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
MODERN SARAWAK RIVER CRUISE
The MV Equatorial ship offers a few packages that are related to sunset viewing inclusive of dining on board.
Welcome Cruise : 1 hour and 15 minutes. It starts on 3.15pm daily.
A leisurely cruise to view Kuching with its highlights on Kuching Waterfront, historical buildings, traditional houses built on stilts, and recent developments within the vicinity.
Departure : 9:45 am OR 3:15pm (1 hour 15mm)
Price : RM 45 / adult, RM 25 / child
Inclusive : Coffee / tea; PA system / karaoke set
Remarks : Minimum 10 person / trip
Romantic Sunset Cruise : 1 hour 30 minutes. It starts on 5.30pm daily.
The most popular cruise for you to enjoy a memorable evening with your loved ones. In addition to the scenic highlights along the river, you will also be entertained by our dancers / performed aboard.
Departure : 5:30 pm (1 hour 30min)
Price : RM 60 / adult, RM 30 / child
Inclusive : Snacks, Coffee / tea / drink
Remarks : Minimum 2 person / trip
STARLIGHT DINNER CRUISE
The best cruise for all types of corporate functions / private charters for guests up to 130 persons / trip. With your choice of buffet menu & themed party such as Hawaiian & Pirates Nite served by our friendly crew onboard, you'll find this cruise experience entertaining and unforgettable...
Departure : 7:30 pm onwards
Price : from RM 35 / adult, RM 20 / child
Inclusive : Welcome Drink, Co/fee / Tea ; PA / karaoke
Remarks : Optional Buffet Dinner : Minimum 30 person (Early hooking required)
Themed Cruise Party (Promotional Packages)
(Hawaiian Party / Pirates Nite / Sarawak Fiesta / Sail in the 70's / White Rajah Party / Treasure Hunt / Singles Night / Valentine's Party / 'Just Married' / Creative Teambuilding etc.)
SILVER CRUISE PACKAGE
-1.5 hours cruise (+ 7z hr at waterfront for 50 persons & above)
-Complimentary use of karaoke set & PA system
-Arrangement of cultural performance / dance party / quiz / games with prizes
Buffet meal : minimum 20 persons
Menu: Fruit Salad, Chicken (Lemon / Roasted / Bamboo), Fish Fillet / Terubok (Sweet & Sour / Deep Fried), Squid Fried with Thai Sauce, Mixed Vegetable / Midin Belacan, Fried (Rice / Mee Hoon / Noodle), Cordial Drink, Assorted Cakes / Seasonal Fruits
20 - 49 person RM 65 / adult, RM 35 / child (aged 4 to 12)
50 - 130 person RM 57 / adult, RM 27 / child (aged 4 to 12
GOLDEN CRUISE PACKAGE
- 2 hrs cruise (+ Vi hr at waterfront for 50 pax & above)
- Complimentary use of karaoke set & PA system
- Arrangement of cultural performance / dance party / quiz / games with prizes
- VIP Reception & Lucky Draw
- Buffet meal; minimum 20 persons
Menu: Fruit Salad, Ulam-ulaman, Soup (Local / Fish Maw), Cold Dish - Jelly Fish, Chicken (Lemon / Roasted / Bamboo), Fish Fillet / Terubok (Sweet & Sour / Deep Fried). Squid (Butter / Fried with Thai Sauce), Mixed Vegetable / Midin Belacan, Steam Rice (White / Fried with Seafood), Fried (Mee Hoon / Noodle), Assorted Cake - Layer Sarawak Cake, Seasonal Fruits, Cordial Drink, Coffee & Tea
20 - 49 person RM 65 / adult, RM 35 / child (aged 4 to 12)
50 - 130 person RM 57 / adult, RM 27 / child (aged 4 to 12
Contact : Harbour Cruises Sdn Bhd
Company address : No. 37 Pandungan Road, 93100, Kuching, Sarawak
Phone : 6082240566
Fax : 6082426966
There were always events being held in the public square where the Square Tower sits. One of the most common one is the annual regatta; an boat race event. Participants would use long boats, that are still being used to get into the deeper areas in Sarawak. It was also said that the long boats are used in the memory of the Dayak war boat.