More than any other feature, the Waterfront epitomizes how Kuching
has modernized itself without losing any of its charm.
Kuching is a riverine city. Its location on the Sarawak River was
chosen not only for its strategic and commercial importance, but
also for its enchanting natural beauty. In days gone by the river
was the city's main highway. The river still retains its importance
and picturesque charm in the modern era. Present day life is still
concentrated on the waterfront.
A meander on the Kuching waterfront is a walk through time; from
Kuching's humble, ancient origins, to its status as a modern city.
No visit to Kuching would be complete without a stroll on the modern
esplanade, or to sit, relax and experience a Sarawakian sunset.
There have of course been many changes since James Brooke's time,
but there are still many landmarks that are legacies from the White
Raj. For the first time visitor, it would be easy to imagine the
scene in 1839 when James Brooke first landed in Kuching, and started
a new chapter in the annals of Sarawak's history.
The Waterfront has of course undergone several transformations
since the 19th century - from a small settlement with a few atop
buildings, to a busy port with warehouses and wharves, to the landscaped
riverside walk it is today. The Waterfront is now also home to modern
sculpture, an open-air theatre and a musical fountain.
Several buildings, originally built in the 19th and early 20th
centuries to cater to Kuching's earlier development as a port and
administrative center, have been restored to their former glory
and are worth visiting, starting with the Sarawak Steamship Building.