My time in Borneo is short but sweet and my time in Sarawak is the shortest. Although limited experiences of Sarawak, I will account and advise all the places I visited and aimed to visit.
Kuching is more commonly known as: “The City of Cats”, and it grows on you over time. At first you might be taken aback by the jumble of business’s and houses packed tightly next to one another, selling precisely the same thing but arranged very differently.
Streets are shaped along the waterfront promenade and all seem to head to the same direction, to the emptiness that surrounds the city. After exploring, you soon realise that Kuching is tiny and there is no need to look further afield, but rather closely, along the streets and alleyways. Being a hotsport for chinese immigrants many years ago for work, means that welcoming those you pass with “Ni Hao”, and munching on fried chicken and fried fish is more common than you expect.
Wander through town passing chinese ornate temples and shopkeepers with rows and rows of glittering gold in front of them, only stopping for a meal at a restaurant with no name where the owner greets you energetically with: “this is the best meal you can get for four ringgitt!”
From here, learn more about the chinese influx on Kuching and what it means to the culture in the Chinese Musuem. I was energetically welcomed to “the only Chinese Musuem in Malaysia- the only one!”
Its interesting to learn about the various ethnic groups and what their trade is and how that has influenced and effected the growth of Kuching. Walk along the waterfront promenade with the vast ugly building of the Hilton Hotel on one side, and on the other: the pointy Sarawak State Assembly which looks like it is made out of oragami, as well as Fort Margherita- a medieval European fort that looks out of place and odd in comparison to the sights that surround you.
Walk past Padang Merdeka, marvel at the enormous ancient tree before heading to the Sarawak Museum. There are glass boxes of stuffed animals which is missbale, however on the top floor, there is an exhibtion based on the local tribes of Sarawak and their traditions. Here you can learn about traditional longhouses and the art of mask making. Just on the other side of Padang Merdeka is Merdeka Plaza, an air conditioned shoppers paradise, which reminds me of the modern world and Asia that we are in.
If your really into cats, walk to the cats column on the other side of town, and catch a cab to the cat museum- I was tempted, until a taxi driver told me in lengthy detail that the city is actually named after an old well, although everyone thinks its about cats- despite this, he tells me he has a cat.
Continue reading at: My Experiences of Sarawak.