The PlaceÂ Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo.
The RouteÂ Flying in from Kuala Lumpur takes an hour and 45 minutes; Malaysia AirlinesÂ operates multiple daily flights on the route.
The DrawÂ The legendary White Rajahs of Sarawak live on in the cityâ€™s grand colonial buildings. Among the best-preserved of these are the Astana, built in 1870 by Charles Brooke as a wedding present to his wife, and Fort Margherita, constructed a few years later to ward off pirates.
What Else?Â Kuching is the starting point for trips to a number of Borneoâ€™s national parks, including Bako, the Kuching Wetlands, and Gunung Gading, where you can hunt one of the worldâ€™s largest flowers, the endemic Rafflesia tuan-mudae.
Why Now?Â The annual Rainforest World Music FestivalÂ returns to the Sarawak Cultural Village on June 28â€“30 with an eclectic mix of acts from well outside the mainstream. Along with the best in local indigenous music, this yearâ€™s packed bill includes an american Cajun band, rhythmic Vallenato from Colombia, and a Chinese chamber music ensemble.
Where to StayÂ The Pullman Kuching (doubles from US$190) is the cityâ€™s newest five-star hotel, with 389 well-equipped rooms and views of the Sarawak River. It will also be hosting the inaugural Borneo World Music Expo, a fringe event to the main festival featuring trade fairs, workshops, and concerts.
This article originally appeared in theÂ June/July 2013 issueÂ of DestinAsian (â€śSarawak Sortieâ€ť)