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The roads in Kuching are not too bad in terms of congestion, though there are certainly going to be traffic jams during rush hours. Driving here takes a bit of skill, as pedestrians and bicyclists are numerous and assume they have the right of way at all times. The most convenient place to rent a car is at the Kuching International Airport. As East Malaysia is not as developed as West Malaysia yet, you will not find as many companies here as you would in Kuala Lumpur, and the prices may be somewhat elevated as well.
The other reasonable automobile option is to use taxi service; however, the drivers are not always the most honest of people and will often try to take advantage of foreigners. It may help to learn a few local phrases, as this suggests at least some familiarity with Malaysia, making it less likely that they will try to scam you. Under no conditions should you haggle for a fare or enter an unmetered taxi; always insist on using the meter and try to give the exact amount to avoid being shortchanged.
You can also travel with shuttle vans painted with words "Bas Persiaran". They will bring you around the city or any other destination as requested. They may charge according daily rates from MYR 280 (starting from 8:00-18:00). Extra charges will be imposed after 18:00.Public transport is slightly less reliable; the buses are not air-conditioned and often in poor condition. Different buses are run by different private companies, but there is a numbering system and some stops have signs. There is also the City Tram, a bus service collectively owned by several major hotels which run around the city every hour to major tourist attractions. (The City Tram service is no longer available.)