On the banks of the river of Sarawak and right across the Kutching waterfront, one sees the vision of this picturesque building that resembles a palace and is surrounded by well kept lawns in a spacious garden tinged with greenery. The beautiful palatial structure has its own tale of romance as the bridal gift of Charles Brooke, the second Rajah of Sarawak to his bride Margaret. Today while the building is utilized as the official residence of the Governor of Sarwak, the imposing building with its spectacular view across the river is a place of much admiration for the tourists.
The Astana which stands for Istana meaning palace is usually not open to the public although there could be an exception on certain days. This regal complex rises to the sky imposingly across the Kutching waterfront and comprises of three bungalows that are linked through a series of passageways combining the Astana into a single palace like residence. Although the interior is not open to the public, its spacious and neatly kept gardens are free to be roamed by visitors who can enjoy a moment of tranquillity or enjoy the sunset while soothed by the gentle breeze rippling across the river.
It is believed that the Astana which was built in 1870 has undergone several renovations to be in the pristine state it is today and has an indoor library and some artefacts supposed to belong to the Brooke family. The clock tower located at the front was built at a later date around 1883 and is dedicated to the memory of the owner himself, Charles Brookes. It is also believed that he planted betel nut trees in the garden of the palace in order to serve them to Dayak chiefs when they visited the area. Today the Astana is a monument of love, a panoramic sight across the river and offers excellent grounds for roaming in peace while dwelling or speculating on the romance that transpired within these walls and the love that gave birth to this impressive building.
Start looking early for some serviced apartments Kuching if you are planning for a visit of considerable length to this region. Citadines Uplands Kuching offers excellent residential options together with some excellent modern amenities. As an apartment hotel in Kuching, one can hardly make a better choice since it features international standards of comfort and service and a state of homeliness to come back to during your stay in the city.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+