Architecture in Borneo
Borneo is Malaysia’s hidden secret. When visiting Malaysia, most people stick to the mainland and never venture to Borneo, unless it is to look at the orangutans on the far side of the island. However, there is so much more to Borneo than meets the eye.
Location of Borneo
Straddling the equator and dominated by luscious rain forests, Borneo is the world’s third-biggest island. Its territory is positioned unevenly between the countries of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The two East Malaysian states Sabah and Sarawak, lie to the north, surrounding Brunei. While the Indonesian state of Kalimantan occupies most of central and southern Borneo.
Architecture Styles in Borneo
Within the cities, are located some beautiful pieces of architecture, enjoyed mostly by the locals. The influence is a mix of the countries that surround it and therefore merge into its own style. Although on an island, mud huts and derelict buildings are not what is shown, instead of elegant and carefully considered jewels are displayed.
Kuching’s architectural heritage and historic Chinatown are well-preserved. Even though it lacks UNESCO protection, and there is scarcely a high-rise to spoil the skyline.
Kuching is defined by its historic waterfront, and walking along this promenade in the evening as it follows the Sarawak River is the best way to see the city. Across the water lie Malay kampongs, the colonial Fort Margherita and the White Rajah’s palace, both dwarfed by an immense modern parliament building resembling a golden sun.
Today the various court buildings are not in use and instead host exhibitions, as well as a fashion boutique, cafe and restaurant. Parallel to the waterfront runs Main Bazaar Street, lined with shops selling tribal handicrafts. The back streets behind form Kuching’s Chinatown, a maze of all sorts of knick-knacks, coffee shops, street food stalls, traditional handiwork, tailors, temples, and blacksmiths.
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Cities to Visit