Sam (from Malaysia)
The Kuching nightlife is something special – and much cheaper than other destinations in Malaysia! Crowds tend to be young and the girls are something else. Malaysia is a conservative country and it’s hard to meet and pick-up girls during the day, but when darkness falls it’s a different story...
I lived in Kuching for a few years and was a regular in the bars on Friday and Saturday. Some of the expats, mainly middle-aged to older men in their 50’s or 60’s, like to hang out in the bars. They’re out here for two things only, beer and sex, and they always get both when they want it…
Padungan Road is the touristy area in Chinatown. You’ll find bars and restaurants around here. It starts to get busy around 5pm and most venues stay open until midnight or later. The typical westerner starts out drinking here. Later they head to one of the clubs in Travillion Mall.
The Kuching nightlife isn’t as wild as places like Bali or Ibiza, it’s much more toned down. People are relaxed and friendly. Beer is between 8 to 15 RM ($2 to $3.50 USD) in most bars and 15 RM++ in clubs. In other words, a night out in Kuching is cheaper than other places in Malaysia.
You’ll only see a few westerners drinking in the pubs, and even fewer in the clubs so. if you are a westerner, you'll stand out a bit more. It’s a good thing though, because you’re more of a novelty to the Malaysian women!
I was a regular at some of the smaller bars. In Kuching, you can order bottles of beer from restaurants and sit and relax. My favourite pub was Drunk Monkey Old Street Pub on Padungan. This was my introduction to the Kuching nightlife. It opens from 5 pm until midnight and has a selection of European beers on tap. The local people drink here and local girls tend to hang around in big groups.
I had a friend who always had success at the Drunk Monkey. He rarely failed to leave without a number at the very least. The strategy was simple; when the girls are in big groups, start chatting to the guys. Later, the girls seem to fall over trying to talk to you!
Travillion Mall, near Padungan, is where the Kuching nightlife begins after the pubs shut. The area is full of clubs and students. I’ve been to the Zebra’s Club once or twice. It’s nowhere near as good as the clubs in KL. In fact, I found it was small, not worth the price of beer, and a little unsafe. As I said before, few foreigners go to the clubs. You’re an easy target and these clubs were once notorious for gangs.
The city has done a good job of cleaning itself up in recent years, but you should still be wary. When I was there, alcohol and drugs flow, Kuching prostitutes wander around, and gang members lurk in the corners. Not the easiest place to find casual encounters without worrying if it’s a setup! And believe me, sometimes they are.
I said earlier than some of the older western men are here for beer and sex. No advice is needed for the former, but here are two simple ways of getting the latter:
Kuching escorts and other prostitutes are your first option. You can spot freelance sex workers easily around some of the bars and clubs. Some areas are seedier than others. The obvious thing to note is that they are much more brazen and will happily approach you.
If you prefer to make arrangements online there are several Kuching escort agencies to choose from. Escort prices follow the western model rather than the SE Asian model, i.e. whereby an hour is affordable, it gets massively more expensive for longer term appointments. As you'd expect, the girls do tend to be a lot more attractive than their freelance sisters...
In my experience, there are more in prostitutes here than in the rest of Malaysia. For those that are interested, the Kuching Red Light District is located towards the end of the waterfront.
The second way to find P4P sex in Kuching is to go to a massage parlour. In Kuching, as in the rest of Malaysia and most of SEA, a massage parlour is often synonymous with prostitution. It’s more obvious what’s going on here than in KL, but don’t expect it to be in your face like in Cambodia or Thailand.
Look for massage parlours with Thai girls, they're much more likely to offer the extra services that you are looking for. Typical prices range from 50 to 100 RM ++ ($11 to $22 USD). Full intercourse is much higher. For some, the Kuching nightlife isn’t complete without a stop here and, from what I hear, it’s much easier to find a prostitute in Kuching than in other parts of Malaysia.
Kuching girls are beautiful and are slightly less conservative on a night out. Fewer Muslims live in Sarawak and so the Kuching nightlife is more relaxed. Meeting girls during the day is difficult and the clubs may be an unwise option. The best time and place is at the bars along Pandungan.
Not every girl that you meet will go back to your hotel. A lot of them are reasonably serious Christians, which makes them less loose. They may be flirty, but may not want to sleep with you. You need to be patient. I’m not saying it’s impossible to get a one night stand, far from it, it’s just that casual sex in Kuching, with non-prostitutes, is not a given.
I always felt safe drinking around Padungan. I didn’t feel quite so safe in the clubs at Travillion Mall. In the Kuching Red Light District I didn’t feel safe at all.
The biggest danger is becoming a target for robbery by gangs. Foreigners stand out. Gangs may work together with prostitutes from the streets. Most are on drugs. Crystal meth use is rampant. As with any city, the people that hang around at 3 am in the morning probably don’t have the nicest of intentions.
A few years ago two British students were stabbed in the Red Light District in Kuching. They disagreed over the price of crystal-meth. The attackers were high; people carry weapons and they aren’t afraid to use them. Use your common sense and avoid dodgy areas in the middle of the night.
Granted, it has been a few years since I was a regular on the Kuching nightlife scene. Friends tell me that it has changing and that it isn’t as bad as it once was. My advice is to get talking to some locals at one of the bars along Padungan and hear their opinions before venturing off into the unknown. You’ll see a selection of older western men in town who will be able to fill you in with the details.
So, now you have the low-down on the Kuching nightlife; here are a few key points to remember:
Follow these points and enjoy the city. As I said at the start, the Kuching nightlife is something special if you want a few drinks, to relax, or to get laid.
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