Fort Margherita, Kuching Sarawak Borneo
One of the historic attractions in Kuching Sawarak Borneo in East Malaysia is known as the Fort Margherita or in their local Malay language, it’s known as the Kota Margherita. The Margherita Fort is one of the best forts I’ve seen so far in Malaysia in terms of the structure and how well it was preserved from the original state. Another fort that I’ve visited a couple of times is the Dutch Fort on Pangkor Island.
The Margherita Fort was built in 1879 and it’s purpose was to protect the town of Kuching from attacks by any sort of enemy forces. It location was strategic as it was at the riverbank where the view of the surrounding was clearly visible. The Fort Margherita followed the English design and now stands as a beautiful structure to remember the city of Kuching. Because Kuching was technically a peaceful city, the fort has not fired a single shot in anger since it was built in 1879.
Today, the Fort Margherita still remains and well maintained as a Police Museum which was launched on the 31st August 1971. You will be able to see the remains of the Canons, watch towers and parts of the original buildings of the Fort Margherita. They are open to visitors everyday (except on the 1st day of a public holiday) from 9am till 4.30pm and there are no entrance fees. We are not allowed to take photographs without approval. There is also a log book that seemed no longer maintained where you get to read interesting entries from visitors to the Margherita Fort.
Getting there is pretty simply. You’ll need to take a Sampan (tiny boat like transportation) from the riverside opposite the Majestic Riverview Hotel. It only cost RM0.50 (USD0.15) per person to cross the river. Once you’re on the other side, you are about a 15minutes walk away. Just follow the roads and stairs. There is no proper guide that points you to the proper direction, but you may ask the kind people around there and they’ll be pleased to show you the way. If you see a school, you’re in the right direction.
In order to appreciate James Brooke, there is a Original Tombstone with the inscription to the wives of James Brooke.
On your way back, do stop by at the Sarawak Layered Cake shop. From my experience, this is the place where you can get the best layered sarawak cake. Look for the purple colored house and you’ll get to taste the cakes before buying them.