This morning, I spent the day on a walking tour of Kuching - the capital of Sarawak- the name is said to have derived from the Malay word for cat, kucing and is known as 'cat city', as a result there are a few cat statues dotted around, but surprisingly very few cats!
We set off from the hotel and quickly ended up in a really small alley way which links 2 of the old streets in this area together, half way down the alley we found the Indian Muslim Mosque which is pretty well hidden and was the first in Sarawak, built in 1837.
After a few photos, we headed off to Gambier Street with numerous spice and textile shops; the smells from the herbs and spices was amazing as you walked on by.
Part way down the street we came to a Chinese Medicine shop, I was baffled by the number of drawers containing herbs used in medicine - I was told there are over 10,000 in that one shop alone, God knows how they remember where everything is!
We continued the tour and came across a couple of oragutan wall paintings, apparently the first in Kuching.
There are quite a few paintings as you wander round the streets and it seems there are quite a few underway at the moment awaiting completion.
Turning around, I noticed a cat statue, which is a recent addition to the city and I really liked it - my guide on the other hand wasn't too keen!
We also visited the Sarawak museum, it was opened in 1891.
It contains a lot of artefacts from the various tribes in the region, including a shield used by an infamous headhunter who used locks of hair of those he beheaded to keep count of how many he'd done - 39.
The more common way was to make a notch on the blunt edge of the sword to keep count.
We later visited a couple of Chinese temples, both dating back to the 1800's, as you'd expect, they're both brightly coloured and ornate.
Both temples have been renovated with a wood and carved stone facade added to the Tua Pek Kong temple, it looks very impressive.
Many locals believe this temple protected the town from Japanese bombing in WWII and saved a whole row of old buildings, the corner where it is located has been named corner of good hope.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Alboppo: Tour of Kuching.