Though the building itself is not open to visitors—except during the Hari Raya festival at the end of the month of Ramadan—one of the more important architectural and historical monuments pertaining to the curious history of Kuching. You can still admire the palace from afar during a wander down the Kuching Waterfront or during a walk through the gardens surrounding the landmark.
Get a comprehensive introduction to the history and culture of Kuching on a sightseeing tour that transports you between sights in air-conditioned comfort. Staple sights include Fort Margarita, Sarawak Museum, and Kuching State Mosque.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Astana is a good place for history buffs and culture vultures to visit.
- The public gardens that surround the political residence have paved paths that are suitable for visitors in wheelchairs and with strollers.
- Visit the Astana gardens around sunset for the best views of the Kuching waterfront.
How to Get There
From Kuching Waterfront, you can take a traditional wooden boat to the gardens that surround the palace from various points along the waterfront. Alternatively, if you want to reach the palace by land, you can reach the palace via Jalan Astana Lot.
When to Get There
The actual palace of Astana only opens its doors once a year for the Hari Raya festival, which generally occurs at the end of May and delineates the end of Ramadan. The gardens that surround the palace are open throughout the year.
Orchid Garden Located within walking distance of Astana and Fort Margherita is the DBKU Orchid Garden, which houses a collection of more than 75,000 plant species. The garden boasts rare varieties of orchid such as the Coelogyne Pandurata, a green and black flowered orchid, and Bulbophyllum Beccarii, which emits a stinking smell. Admission is free and the garden is open Tuesday–Sunday.
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