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Kuching International Airport is the international gateway to the western half of Sarawak state on the island of Borneo. The vibrant city of Kuching is six miles (10kms) from the airport. With a car rental, pristine national parks such as Kubah and the fabulous beaches of the Santubong peninsula are easily accessed. Taxis from the airport rank and an irregular bus service are the other transportation options for arriving passengers.
Who to Book With
A number of vehicle hire suppliers maintain an on-airport presence. These include Hertz and local companies such as Hornbill and RG Car Rental Services. Supply desks are located on the ground level adjacent to the Arrivals hall exits. People who have pre-booked their cars online need to head for the desks where the agent will hand over the keys.
Need to Know Essentials
When you pick up your car the hire company will ask you to show these documents:
- Your UK driving licence or an International Driving Permit
- The credit card you made the booking with
- Passport or other item with photographic ID
- Printed booking confirmation
There are several municipal car parks in Kuching. These and on-street parking locations in the city require drivers to use coupons which are available from 34 sales booths in the city. No toll and congestion fees apply to roads in Kuching. The only exception is a toll payable to cross the Sarawak River via Tun Salahuddin Bridge. Most petrol stations accept UK credit cards. Travellers should inform their credit card issuers before attempting to use their cards in Malaysia
Our Guide to Malaysia has more details on driving here.
Arriving passengers getting car hire are 20 minutes from central Kuching. Buses no longer stop at the airport itself and the nearest bus stop is half a mile away. Fixed price taxis ply the route from the airport to the city centre. There are no public train services in this Malaysian area of Borneo. The only rail line on the Malaysia sector of the island runs between Tanjung Aru and Tenom in Sabah state.
Coupons for the official airport taxis into town can be purchased from the designated kiosk outside the Arrivals area. Airport officials say passengers should not take unlicensed taxis offered by touts.
The airport to the city centre costs about £6
The local bus operator has cancelled a five-times-a-day service which used to run from the terminal to the city. The nearest bus stop is 10 minutes walk west and not easy to find as there are quite a few turns to make en route.
Kuching Airport features an ultra-modern passenger terminal which was revamped in 2008. The airport handles 5 million passengers every year. It is a secondary hub for national carrier Malaysia Airlines. The airline flies here from airports including Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Additional carriers fly here from domestic locations such as Penang and Sibu.
There is a spacious open-air car park within walking distance of the passenger terminal. Daily rates work out at around £4.50.
Kuching Airport has no official internet service provider. Travellers can access the internet via the wireless networks of cafés and fast food outlets inside the terminal. The Plaza Premium Lounge also has internet connectivity.
Information counters can be found on the ground floor of the terminal.
Information: +60 82 454 242
As the passenger building at Kuching is modern it has full facilities for passengers with disabilities.
Restaurants and Bars
Branches of major international coffee shops and cafés are in two areas of the terminal. Starbucks and KFC are located in the upper Departures area. McDonald’s and a coffee shop are among options on the lower level. There are additional outlets airside.
Kuching Airport’s Plaza Premium Lounge is in the domestic Departures zone and opens daily from 06:00 to 23:00. The lounge offers plush seating, an all-day buffet, wireless internet access, satellite television and a selection of magazines and newspapers. Prices start at £28 for two hours’ lounge usage.
Money and ATMs
ATMs in public areas at Kuching Airport dispense Malaysian ringgit and accept most international debit and credit cards.
The terminal building at Kuching has a good selection of shopping outlets on all three levels. A high-end jewellery chain operates stores in both the Arrivals and Departures areas. Cookie retailer Famous Amos is on the upper level and the Exotic Leather House is one floor below. There are duty-free shops in the airside international Departures and Arrivals halls.