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The Kuching City Centre is the main tourism and economic hub of the city. This place is home to many of the city’s monuments and famous buildings, including the old town hall, courthouse, post office, several cat statues, a memorial to James Brooke (the Englishman who took over the territory from the Sultan of Brunei) and the city waterfront. Most of the city’s top hotels (including the Hilton and Grand Continental) and shopping centers (Plaza Sarawak, Crown Square or Riverside Shopping Complex) are here as well.
There are a few other interesting neighborhoods of Kuching, among them Petra Jaya, which is home to several of the city’s bigger attractions. There is a state mosque, the Masjid Negeri, the state secretariat building (Wisma Bapa), a few museums, statues and sports stadiums. There is also Padungan, where the South City Council headquarters are located. This neighborhood somewhat resembles a Chinatown, as many Chinese live around Padungan Road and there is a Chinatown-type arched gate at one point along the road. Located a little further out (about half an hour drive away) is Damai Beach, where there is a nature resort and small village that has not become as heavy a tourist spot as inner-city Kuching.