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 Kuching - Profile

Location

Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. The town itself is worth visiting for the old buildings, and museums.

Two bridges makes it difficult for most yachts to get up the river to Kuching itself. One has a reported height of 17m+ at low water and the other (at position 01°33.3'.2N, 110°22.42'E ) has a reported clearance of 12m.

Position 01° 33.5' N, 110° 24.3' E (marina).

Clearance

For full details on clearance into and out of Malaysia see Malaysia Formalities.

Clearance can be made in Pending, a few miles down river from Kuching.

Clearance is required at the Harbour Master, Customs, Immigration - in that order.

Note the new update to the restrictions on visas. See Malaysia/Immigration

Harbour Master
The Harbour Master’s Office is now at the marina, next to the Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching. It is a very long walk back to Pending Port to complete formalities with Immigration and Customs from here.

Explain to the Harbour Master that you wish to obtain port clearance for a SMALL (i.e. not a commercial vessel) yacht, (kapal layar). You should be given "Form Marina 28 MSS 1" (Merchant Shipping Ordinance - 1960, Arrival Form). Most of the form is irrelevant, so fill out what you think applies, but check with the officer that all that is required is submitted, or struck out. Take your copy for submission to Customs.

Check out is the same but uses "Form Marina 28 MSS 2" (Departure Form). It is possible that you can complete both forms at the same time, which saves another journey back to the office.

Immigration
The Immigration Office is located inside Pending Port and can be clearly seen through the fence. Making your way round the perimeter fence, enter the Main Port Entrance (about 1 km). Drive straight to the first roundabout and turn left (passing the garage for all the fork lift trucks etc.), drive straight on until you reach the perimeter fence, then turn right, following the fence until you see the building. Immigration is on the right hand side of this building, and is clearly marked.
Tel: 082-331-495.

Customs
The Customs Office is located on the concrete platform at the Security Check Point as you enter the Port. Port Security may stop you and check the vehicle. Climb onto the end of the platform; Customs is the first door into a very small office. Note: they have no photocopier here.

Last updated June 2017.

Docking

A new government marina opened here January 2010, 7 miles up the Sarawak River not far from the Pending old port. It provides a convenient stop within easy reach of Kuching by local bus. The facilities are reported to be of a good standard (see details below).

The only authorized anchorage area is now just outside of the village of Sajingkat, 01°35'17"N, 110°26'59"E (clearly marked at the riverside). Use VHF channel 20 to contact the river authority (signal). The village will watch over the dinghy (although they expect to be paid). From here it is a short walk down the road to the bus stop for Kuching, where a taxi may also be flagged down.

The anchorage near to the causeway is currently being dredged, and is reportedly unsecure. Several boats have been broken into and the Marine Police advise not leaving the boat unattended even during the day - one should check the latest situation on arrival.

Also, beware of the large logs being swept down the river.

An overnight stay can be made at Muara Tebas on the way in, but one should watch out for the strong current and the long scope on the local fishing boats. There are a couple of good seafood restaurants here, and it is worth walking to the top of the temple for a good view of the surrounding area.

The other anchorage to consider is around the corner from Kuching in Santubong. This is entered over a very shallow bay and up the river mouth and care must be taken upon entry. However once in the river the depth is fine and there is good holding. There is a bus into Kuching from the main road and the dinghy can be left at the landing at Santubong, again security is a question. See Malaysia/Santubong

If you wish to visit the Sarawak Cultural Village from here it is a good long hot walk there and back as no buses run from here. E-mail [email protected].

Last updated June 2017.

Marina Bay (Pejabat Marina Kuching)
Jabatan Laut Malaysia Wilayah Sarawak , Pejabat Marina Kuching, Lot 2344, Jalan Demak , Blok 7, TG Seberang Pending Point Sejingkat, 93050 Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia
Opening hours: Office: 8am - 5pm, Mon – Fri
Kuching Marina is 7 miles up the Sarawak River and is a blue-roofed building next to the Borneo Convention Centre (BCCK, a big green color complex), not far from the Pending Old Port. This is a small government run marina for 20+ yachts.
Water, electricity and showers. Security guard at entrance, but access from the river is very easy so keep boat locked at all times. Office has still to be built, but facilities good. Location is quiet and remote.
Reported to be a reliable place to receive mail and spares etc. Mark first with boat name and Yacht in Transit, followed by marina address as above.
Beware of logs and other debris washing through the marina and the tide when berthing. See reports about this marina from cruisers adjacent.

Yacht Clubs

The Sarawak Boat Club (SBC) is just about 5 Km up the Santubong River, just under the Santubong Bridge. Sarawak Boat Club is not open to the public, however yachts may still use the facilities with miminium payment. Diesel can be bought from the Club Operator and there is a simple restaurant with very good seafood. The SBC will soon have a new site at the Santubong river mouth (Kuala Santubong) with a bigger marina facility.

bbalan
bbalan says:
Sep 12, 2015 07:45 AM

We do not recommend Mr. Ng as listed in the comment below. He will tell you it is 25RM for the taxi to get your gas bottles filled. Not until you are in the taxi will he explain that it is 4 rides x 25RM. Better to use Google Maps and get your own car or taxi (or use Ahmad as listed in our other comment). s/v Migration

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 11, 2015 11:45 AM

Posted on behalf of SV Migration - LPG Gas Fills

We are only aware of one location in Kuching that can fill LPG bottles that have US-style valves. Be aware that you will have to leave your bottles and pick them up a couple of hours later. Cost is reasonable at 8 RM / kilo + 6% GST.

ICSCB
The Industrial & Scientific Co. Sdn. Bhd.
No.53, Lee Chong Lin Industrial Estate
2 1/2 Mile Jalan Pending
93450 Kuching
+60 82 333 926
+60 82 333 700
Mobile: +60 19 805 7288
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/nkeo7

Of course, if you have the correct fittings, you can always decant from local gas bottles which are available practically everywhere.

Bruce Balan & Alene D. Rice
s/v Migration

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 11, 2015 11:40 AM

Posted on behalf of SV Migration: KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA
Transportation from the Santubong River Anchorage

For those anchoring in the Santubong River when visiting the Kuching area, here are a couple of good transportation options.

TAXI
The Santubong anchorage is quite far from Kuching. You can pick up the little minivan buses at the main road near the roundabout. However, it can be difficult to get a bus back in the afternoon, and it can take a long time because they stop in every small town on the way. A taxi is about 50RM. However, Hasim is a taxi driver who lives in Santubong and comes back around 1700 each day. He charges only 30RM if you go back with him. You can also go into town with him but he leaves around 0700. His number is 0138008345.
Hasim also knows how to find Immigration, Customs, and the Harbour Master if you would like to use him for clearing in.

RENTAL CARS
Ahmad lives about halfway between Kuching and Santubong. He has several cars for rent – including a nice 7- or 8-person van and an very inexpensive small Perodua. The best part is that he will deliver the car you rent to Santubong. You have to take him back to his house. but it is well worth it for the convenience. You can also pick him up on the day you are finished with the car and he will drop you off in Santubong. He’s a very nice guy. His number is 0135788131.
Ahmad also knows where you can fill LPG tanks with US-style valves. (For more information about LPG, see our comment above).

If you visit during the Rainforest World Music Festival (highly recommended – more info. at rwmf.net), we found that hitchhiking the 4km to the site was very easy. We were usually picked up within 5 or 10 minutes. We were 5 people and split into 2 groups to make it even easier. Coming back from the festival was a bit more difficult. Sometimes we got a ride and sometimes we took a shuttle van (about 7-10RM/person). We sometimes offered those who picked us up 5 or 10 RM for petrol. So don’t worry about Festival transport – it works out.

We also found it was easy to hitchhike the couple of kilometers to the National Park trailhead. The hike up to the top of Mount Santubong is challenging but well worth it.

Bruce Balan & Alene D. Rice
s/v Migration
http://migrations.brucebalan.com

Ian Maddever
Ian Maddever says:
May 15, 2014 05:57 AM

A handy taxi driver is mr Ng he knows where to get gas filled for non malayasian bottles and where you can find someone with a heavy duty sewing machine ph 0138028119

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