Getting to the Hotel
There is no reliable public bus service between the airport and the city. To get a taxi, go to the Taxi counter to purchase a coupon. The price depends on the distance, but is not more than RM 30 to the city. The e-hailing service, GRAB Car is less than half that price but you need to upload the app to your phone or tablet and you need a wifi or 4G connection.
DIGI and MAXIS /Hotlink have stalls at the airport and ‘pre-paid’ SIM cards are available for RM 10 which include RM 5 credit for calls.
CIMB and HSBC Banks have ATMs at the airport and there is also a CIMB money exchange counter. There are several money changers close to the Grand Continental Hotel which may offer better exchange rates than the banks. The nearest money changers are a short walk from there at the Tun Jugah Mall and Sarawak Plaza. City money exchanges are not open outside normal business hours. Cash is King in Kuching and some small businesses do not accept foreign tourist credit/debit cards. Credit cards are accepted at hotels and most shops for purchases over certain amounts.
Opposite the Grand Continental Hotel are several local restaurants and food courts, and it is a few minutes’ walk to Jalan Padungan (Street) where there are plenty of eating places, from bistros to local cafes to food courts. There is plenty of choice and prices are very reasonable. The Sarawak laksa stall made famous by Anthony Bourdain is located right next to the hotel in the Choon Hui Cafe. There is also a small supermarket and department store (Everise) on Jalan Padungan.
Kuching has excellent medical services. Two private hospitals with an emergency department are a 10-minute drive away from downtown. It has a full range of specialists and dentists on staff. There are also numerous GP clinics near the hotel if you have a minor complaint needing attention.
Kuching is always warm and humid so dressing light outdoors is appropriate. The hall where we will be playing Bridge is air-conditioned so bring a light jacket/sweater in case you find it too cool.