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Kuching is the capital of the East Malaysian State of Sarawak. It is situated at the banks of the Sarawak River on the North-Western part of the island of Borneo. The population of about 1/2 million is made up of a mixture of Malays, Dayaks, Chinese and some Indians and other ethnic groups.
The name Kuching means cat in the Malay language. However the actual reason for naming it is not traceable. Some say it was named after Bukit Mata Air Kuching, a hill located in the heart of the city. Of course there are other guesses.
Within the town, there are several museums such as the well-known Sarawak Museum, Chinese Museum, Cat Museum, etc, which are definitely not to be missed when visitting Kuching. Interesting landmarks and sites are the Fort Margherita, and the many cat statues situated throughout the city.
The Chinese are made up of Fujianese (Hokkien) in the city areas and Hakka in the suburbs mainly. Other Chinese consist of Foochow (Fuzhou), Teochew, Hainanese, Cantonese, Henghua, etc.
The climate in Kuching is tropical, moderately hot and receives subtantial rainfall. The average annual rainfall is approximately 4000mm or 160 inches. The wettest times are during the Monsoon months of December to February. The mean temperature is around 26°C all year round.
The people of Sarawak consider themselves Sarawakian first, and everything else second.
Sarawak was a part of the Sultanate of Brunei 200 years ago but as a reward for its help in putting down a rebellion, it was ceded to an English adventurer called James Brooke who ruled it as his personal kingdom. Kuching was made his capital and headquarters. The Brooke family ruled Sarawak until the end of the Second World War when the third and last Rajah, Vyner Brooke in turn ceded it to the British Crown in 1946. Sarawak and the British Commonwealth fought an "Undeclared War" with Indonesia to keep Sarawak from being absorbed into Sukarno's Indonesia. The British gave Sarawak independence in 1963 and together with North Borneo (Sabah) and Singapore, joined Malaysia. (Singapore became independent soon after)
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This city is also known as: Kuching.