Car Rental in Kuching, Sarawak

Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak. It is East Malaysia’s largest state in the Island of Borneo. The state is renowned for coastlines stretching along the South China Sea and lush tropical rainforests that are brimming with biodiversity. Getting a car rental in Kuching is the perfect way to start your journey in Sarawak.

car rental in kuching

Orang Utan. Credit:

Although known fondly as the “Cat City”, it is in fact home to orang utans, hornbills and a variety of exotic creatures. First time visitors of Kuching will be greeted with the sight of a cat statue in the heart of Kuching city. It is a symbolic representation of kucing, the Malay word for ‘cat’. However, local sources believe that the city could have also derived its name from mata kucing, the Malay word for the local longan fruit.

Indigenous people of Sarawak. Credit:

Indigenous people of Sarawak. Credit:

The people of Kuching take great pride in their cultural diversity, which is even greater than the mix in Peninsular Malaysia. The Sarawakian demographic consists of local indigenous tribes such as the Iban, Bidayuhs, Melanaus, Javanese and Orang Ulu settlers scattered all over the state – which means whatever ethnic influences you see in Kuching alone is not a true reflection of the demographic diversity of Sarawak. Rent a car with Hawk and we’ll leave the exploring to you.

Driving a Car Rental in Kuching

Cat Statue in the heart of Kuching. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cat Statue in the heart of Kuching. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There is no public transportation infrastructure in Kuching apart from local buses operating in the city. This is why a car rental in Kuching is the most convenient means to getting around town and beyond.

The roads of Kuching city and the suburban areas are well-paved and properly maintained. The same is true even in rural roads – which are fairly decent considering that they are so far out of the centre. One major problem would be the inadequate amount of signboards in Kuching – rectify this problem easily with a GPS device rental from Hawk.

Kuching shares the same driving orientation with West Malaysia – left side of the road with right-hand drive cars.

As a relatively laid back town, don’t expect the locals to adhere to road etiquette as you would in a city. Motorcycles and bicycles still reign in this small town and it is best to keep an eye out for the folks as a responsible road user.

Driving beyond the city of Kuching is what one would expect as with any rural locations. The long, winding roads are an adventure to manoeuvre as you venture deep into the heart of Sarawak. Hawk highly recommends our customers to be adequately prepared for the ride. Make all the necessary food and petrol stops in town before venturing out to explore the rest of the state.

Here is a chart extracted from Wikitravel to give you a gauge on the anticipated driving distance between towns.

Distance Table from Kuching to other towns in Sarawak
From To Distance/Accumulative Distance From Kuching (in Kilometre) Rest Stops
Kuching Sri Aman 193/193 Siburan, Tapah, Beratok, Tarat, Serian, Balai Ringin, Lachau
Sri Aman Sarikei 179/372 Engkilili, Betong, Saratok
Sarikei Sibu 90/462 Meradong, Julau, Pakan, Jakar
Sibu Bintulu 202/644 Stapang, Selangau, Tatau
Bintulu Miri 198/842 Suai, Batu Niah, Sibuti, Bekenu, Bakam
Miri Limbang 230/1072 Sg. Tujuh, Kuala Belait (Brunei), Seria (Brunei), Tutong (Brunei), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei)
Limbang Lawas 128/1200 Bangar, Temburong (Brunei), Sundar, Trusan

Due to the ethnic and cultural diversity of Sarawak, Kuching is a perfect starting point for travellers wanting to experience the quintessence of the ‘other Malaysia’. There are a multitude of activities ranging from casual sightseeing; cultural experiences such as Iban and Bidayuh longhouse visits; to outdoor activities such as bike tours, kayaking, down to scuba diving. Places of interest include the Bako National Park, home to the famous proboscis monkey; Gunung Gading National Park, where the giant rafflesia flower blooms; the Kuching Wetland National Park, a unique mangrove ecosystem and the Matang Wildlife Centre with their resident orang utans from an adoption programme. The typical suggested itinerary is a longhouse trip in the morning, followed by a national park experience of your choice and finally a relaxing evening at the Santubong Peninsula.

The Bako Sea Stack. Credit:

The Bako Sea Stack. Credit:

All this is within reach with a car rental in Kuching. Pick up your Hawk rental car from either Kuching International Airport or the city itself and start exploring the Cat City (and beyond) now.


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