Small boats and express boats ply the Sungai Sarawak, connecting the small villages around Kuching.
Most points of interest around the city and nearby towns are serviced by a good local bus network. At first the system may seem chaotic because there’s no central terminal, but the five local companies congregate near the market at the western end of the waterfront. Bus stops are located at the western end of the Main Bazaar, in front of the post office and on the other side of the food stalls in front of Electra House shopping mall.
The Kuching City Map, available free at the visitors information centre (410944; www.sarawaktourism.com; Sarawak Tourism Complex, Jln Tun Haji Openg; 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat & Sun), has the latest information on local buses, times and fares. The Official Kuching Guide also has excellent bus information.
Kuching operates a free sightseeing bus (dressed up to look like a tram) that does a loop around the city, starting from Khatulistiwa Café (Jln Tunku Abdul Rahman) and stopping at various places where passengers can hop on or off. The visitors information centre has a map of the route.
Car rental in Sarawak starts at around RM80 per day; the visitors information centre (410944; www.sarawaktourism.com; Sarawak Tourism Complex, Jln Tun Haji Openg; 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat & Sun) and upmarket hotels can help arrange car hire, and many tour operators also rent out their vehicles. At around RM1.22 per litre, petrol is cheap by Western standards, even after recent price hikes.
Mayflower Car Hire (575233) is a good local operator with a counter at the airport. Teck Hua Motor (417068; 31 Jln Tabuan) rents motorcycles for RM25 per day with a RM100 deposit.
Most of Kuching’s taxis have meters, but using them is another matter. Short trips around town should cost between RM6 and RM10. Taxis can be found waiting at the market, at the Jln Penrissen express bus terminal and outside major hotels. There’s usually no problem flagging one down on main streets, even late at night. You can call a radio taxi (343343) at any time.