The most interesting retirement spot you’ve never heard of


KUCHING, the Capital of Sarawak, offers retirees with a sense of wanderlust a generous helping of laid-back charm along with a high standard of living, all for a downright bargain cost.

Kuching offers unlimited opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. This is the land of endangered proboscis monkeys, orangutans, the world’s biggest flower, and the elusive hornbill. Some of the world’s largest remaining virgin rainforests can be explored in the many national parks just a short distance from the city.

AWARD WINNING GOLF COURSE: The Arnold Palmer designed golf course is set to host the annual Sarawak Rangers Veterans Association (SRVA) Charity Golf event on 8th July 2012.

Kuching is a pleasant and modern city. On your less adventurous days, you could relax on pristine beaches, be pampered in a spa, play a round of golf, watch the latest Hollywood films, or enjoy a day shopping at one of the many malls and specialty shops in the city.

In fact, Kuching may be the perfect off-the-beaten-track retirement destination. Incentives for permanent residency are higher than the rest of Malaysia, and the cost of living can be less than RM1,800 a month for a home-owning couple.


Sarawak, with a total population of about 2 million, is the largest in area of the 13 Malaysian states. It has 420 miles of coastline and an extremely rugged interior, much of which is still covered in primary rainforest.

Kuching itself, though, is a pretty city that presents a comfortable blend of neo-classical British colonial forts, museums, and government buildings, Chinese-style churches, shop-houses and temples, and unique Borneo-style arts and crafts. It’s an eclectic mix.


One of the many things that make Malaysia in general such an appealing retirement option is its high standard of health care. Hospitals are well-equipped and modern, and most medical personnel speak fluent English.

Crime-wise, very little happens in Kuching. According to the Global Peace Index, Malaysia is the 19th safest country in the world.


Kuching has other attributes that make it a pleasant, comfortable, nice place to be. It is one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia and has been recognized by the United Nations, the Alliance for Healthy Cities, and the World Health Organization for this achievement. English speakers will have no problem communicating in Kuching, as English is an official language of Sarawak. Foreign home buyers enjoy special incentives with the My Second Home Program in Kuching and select other cities in the state of Sarawak, and are permitted to purchase property at a lower minimum investment than in any other state in Malaysia.


If living in a modern city in the heart of “wild” Borneo piques your imagination, you’ll find that Kuching will exceed your expectations. Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the pristine beaches, virgin jungles, and unparalleled exotic wildlife, as well as the opportunities for golf and hiking in the cool highlands.

Retirees preferring city life will be heartened by plentiful shopping, museum hopping, and abundant culinary delights. Whether you prefer the cosmopolitan life or the great outdoors, you’ll be immersed in the unique culture of this region, interacting with the indigenous community and gaining appreciation for the distinctive arts and traditions of a people found nowhere else in the world.

This condensed article is written by Kathleen Peddicord, the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.