Our Borneo adventure started in the Malaysian portion of the island which actually belongs to three countries.
Brunei and Indonesia join Malaysia to form the most bio-diverse place in the world. We spent our first week on the massive island in Kuching, the largest city in Borneo and the capital of Sarawak, the western Malaysian part of the island.
We were astonished by the nature we encountered giant Orangutans, divine food, and otherworldy hospitality in Kuching. As I am not typically amused by kitschy things I don't have many photos of the numerous cat statues to share with you but I will tell you that they aren't random–Kuching means cat in Malay!
Animal nicknames rein strong in this land that has 185 species of mammals, 530 species of birds, 166 species of snakes, 104 species of lizards, and more. Sarawak is known as the land of the hornbills, although sadly we didn't see any here.
Too bad as it's considered lucky to see them flying overhead. There are fifty-four species of hornbills, eight of which live in Sarawak including the Rhinoceros hornbill which is the state bird of Sarawak. We did see many more fascinating animals, discover which and where below!
WHERE TO STAY IN KUCHING
We were invited to stay at the newly opened Meritin Hotel which is centrally located in the downtown district of Kuching right along the Kuching waterfront. The prime location of the boutique hotel made it incredibly easy to stroll around Kuching to explore the historical sites and try all the local delicacies from street food hawkers.
The attention to detail and design elements is apparent throughout–from luxurious modern amenities to the welcoming grey decor in the stunning lobby. Throughout artwork, traditional crafts, jewelry, and photography are on display that were sourced from local artisans.
The establishment is owned and operated by a local hotelier who made every effort to localize the hotel. Even the logo is an homage to the Chinese heritage in Kuching. The M in the logo was designed to appear like the Chinese character which means people and reflects the hotel's commitment to customer service.
The courteous staff at Meritin Hotel made our stay so memorable, we were always greeted with a warm smile and bow and the receptionist was happy to suggest day trip ideas and recommended the best restaurants to try.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Miss Filatelista: Kuching Travel Guide - What to Do, See, and Eat.