Kuching - Heaven on Earth
Amanda Lim Yen Thang
HELP University College
Kuching - Heaven on Earth
KUCHING: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Situated on the island of Borneo is Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, where its capital, Kuching, lures tourists and travellers over with its beauty of a great green environment and the friendliness of its people, who are also known as Kuchingnites. Kuching is known as the one place where one can get closest to living in heaven. It’s one of those places that welcomes everyone from anywhere in the world and at the same time, offers a home, be it to permanent citizens or just temporary visitors. Kuching is a special place, everything about it - its people, its food, its culture, and its diversity, just makes it unique and a wonderful environment to live in. Kuching offers tourists many spots to visit and many things to experience, and among the tourism segments, the more widely known tourism in Kuching would be its culture, heritage and historical tourism, and nature tourism. This essay will discuss these segments of tourism in Kuching and explain why Kuching is known to be “heaven on Earth”.
CULTURE, HERITAGE & HISTORICAL TOURISM
Culture, heritage, and historical tourism is defined as tourists’ trips that sport cultural activities, as well as experiences and interaction with local people. Culture and heritage, as cited by John R. Walker (2009), are “our legacies from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.” According to onecarribean.org, culture, heritage and historical segment has been growing increasingly at a rate that is higher than that of tourism worldwide over the last five years. Estimated that around 20% of tourists’ trips worldwide feature some form of cultural, heritage, or historical activity, the size of this particular market is likewise estimated to be over 160 million trips annually. Since it is widely accepted and foreseen that the cultural, heritage and historical tourism market segment will be continuously growing in future, one can be sure that Kuching’s diverse cultural and historical tourism is likely to distribute a higher income per annum to Malaysia’s economy. SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE
Located in Kuching, the Cultural Village of Sarawak is known as “The Living Museum”. The village was built to showcase the culture, traditions and lifestyles of all the ethnic groups found in Sarawak, including Chinese, Malays, Bidayuh, Iban, Melanau, Orang Ulu, and Penan. Each group has a typical house of its own, and are widespread on the 14 acre are. These houses can be differentiated by its structure, as each ethnic group has its own style of architecture and way of decorating their homes. In each house, representatives of the people display, explain and demonstrate their respective traditions such as dances, music, handicrafts, food, and their own beliefs. Sometimes, workshops are also available for visitors to learn and try out the different traditions of each and every ethnic group. Visitors are allowed to stay overnight in the village as well. Every house offers authentic accommodation, where they offer different options ranging from dormitory beds, where you get to stay with the inhabitants of that particular house, to private rooms.
SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE: RAINFOREST MUSIC FESTIVAL
One of the largest events that is held annually in Kuching is the Rainforest World Music Festival, which is always held in the Sarawak Cultural Village itself and offers a wide range of cultural performances. It is a three-day festival that takes place in June or August, with daytime music workshops, cultural displays, craft displays, food stalls and main-stage evening concerts. Now one of the largest musical events in Malaysia, it is no wonder that Kuching is now hitting the top 10 of the average heritage, cultural and historical tourists’ list. WATERFRONT...