Kuching is the capital and largest city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak and the district of Kuching, as well as the largest city on the island of Borneo.
Once the capital of the White Rajahs of Sarawak, now with a population of some 600,000, Kuching is small enough to walk around but interesting enough to keep you there for several days, and a good base for exploring Sarawak. It's safe and relatively clean. The name of the city, Kuching, is thought to derive from the Malay word kucing, meaning cat. Many of the locals refer to Kuching as the "Cat City" but it more likely comes from the Chinese word for port ("cochin") coupled with the Malay name mata kucing (cat's-eye) for the longan fruit, a popular trade item. From verbal local history sources: "There was a small tributary of the Sarawak river called Sungei Kuching. It was from this stream that Kuching got its name. However, the stream has since been filled in and built over." The people of Kuching take pride in being the cleanest city in Malaysia and their diverse cultures, so be prepared for a totally different experience from that of West Malaysia.