Written by Antony Dodd on 31 Jul, 2004
We took the early morning express boat from Kapit to Belaga. It cost RM30 each. These express boats have reinforced hulls so that they can cross the Pelagus Rapids, a place where accidents do still occur. The rapids were quite exciting, with whirlpools and scraping…Read More
We took the early morning express boat from Kapit to Belaga. It cost RM30 each. These express boats have reinforced hulls so that they can cross the Pelagus Rapids, a place where accidents do still occur. The rapids were quite exciting, with whirlpools and scraping sounds on the boat's hull! We were subjected to videos of the German band the Scorpions during the course of the journey. This was a very interesting journey, the jungle beside the river was very dense and there was little evidence for logging (though we were sure it was going on, but out of our sight...). There were many longhouses beside the river, and our boat stopped at some of these. Some of these longhouses were accessed by traditional notched poles- a rather precarious form of staircase that must be particularly difficult when you have a lot to carry. The Rejang had narrowed considerably by the time we reached Belaga, and was quite sinuous with large overhanging trees.
Belaga has an extremely pleasant setting beside low forested hills that descend to the river. We stayed at the Belaga Hotel, which overlooked a square where fighting cocks lived (and made plenty of noise). During the afternoon we went for a walk along the river, past the kampung where most of Belaga's residents live. There were loads of interesting fruit trees by the kampung. We noticed tribal burial sites on the other side of the river that were decorated with carved wooden archway, which had been placed there by the local Kayan tribespeople. Mei-See got a load of seeds of some kind attached to her skirt. While we were sat picking the seeds out of her skirt, a helicopter landed right by us, collected the mail, and left. We went to reconfirm our flight from Belaga to Bintulu, at the Malaysia Airlines office that is inside a coffee shop. The guy had a little piece of paper with the list of four passengers on. He told us to meet him in the office the next day to go to the airstrip.
That evening we struggled to find a decent place to eat. Everything seemed to have closed by about 9pm apart from a couple of Chinese cafes that sold the usual boring noodles. Although Belaga occupies a very nice location in the Sarawak interior, there was not much going on and we did not have time to visit another longhouse. We met the local madman who wanted to take us to his house, though he was a little too strange to feel entirely confident in him. We were woken very early the next morning by all the cockerels, and then made our way to the Malaysia Airlines office for our flight.
Our flight to Bintulu was at 12 midday, so we met at the office at 10am. The guy took us to the jetty and we took a longboat downriver for about 20 minutes to the airstrip. We had to climb up a rickety stairway from the river, and then we had a short walk through the jungle that came out at a clearing with a hut. The hut was the terminal, check-in, control tower and departures lounge. The MAS office guy checked us in, weighed our baggage, weighed us and then went and operated the radios. We didn't have to wait very long before the Twin Otter plane landed. We had to load our own bags into the hold of the plane, and then got in with the other two passengers (the planes can hold up to 18 people). We had a chat with the pilots who said that we would enjoy the flight and get really nice views from the big windows.
We were soon in the air, and had some amazing views over the Rejang as the aircraft turned towards Bintulu. The flight took us over the forested hills of the Lumut Range. An alternative route from Belaga to Bintulu is by a bus along the logging roads; although slightly cheaper than the plane, it takes all night and is not nearly as much fun as the Twin Otter flight. We could see rivers and logging roads as we crossed the forests (the forest had not been extensively logged, however). The plane weaved amongst some big clouds, and we were shortly descending into Bintulu airport. The outskirts of Bintulu were not an especially attractive sight from the air. The flight took about 20 minutes. When we landed, they would not let us unload our luggage, instead we had to walk to the terminal and stand by an ancient baggage reclaim conveyor. A man carried the luggage from the plane and put it on the conveyor.
The longhouse was about half an hour's drive from Kapit, along a tributary of the Rejang. When we arrived at the longhouse, we realised it was situated in a really nice location on the small river. We had to cross a narrow, bouncy suspension bridge…Read More
The longhouse was about half an hour's drive from Kapit, along a tributary of the Rejang. When we arrived at the longhouse, we realised it was situated in a really nice location on the small river. We had to cross a narrow, bouncy suspension bridge between the road and the longhouse. The longhouse was mainly made from wood, with corrugated iron rooves. The style of the longhouse was very much "traditional", as opposed to the many new cement longhouses that we saw along the Rejang between Sibu and Kapit.
We were led to the communal veranda where we met by the chief headman's family. The sweets and biscuits went down well with the many children and the drink was enjoyed by the adults. What was quite apparent and difficult to deal with was the fact that not many people spoke english and Johnny, our "guide" wasn't forthcoming in translating for us. Eventually the chief (tuai rumah) arrived back from his job as a policeman, changed into his longhouse wear and invited us to stay in his apartment of the longhouse. Having had the chief's approval, we felt more comfortable and were given a bit of a tour of the longhouse. We were told that Rumah Bondong was a 60 year old, 50 door longhouse and the people who lived there were iban. Because this longhouse dated to before second world war, they had a collection of heads...a gruesome reminder of their reputation as fearsome headhunters. Some of the older residents were heavily tatooed on their arms and backs, some of which had a specific tatoo on their throat signifying that their status as a tribal elder. We didn't see the specific tatoo which indicated that they had taken a head!
All along the veranda, people were industriously working...we saw women weaving rattan mats, and men fixing fishing nets and carving hooks. We were also shown the traditional iban woven cloth called a pua kumba, which is used in wedding ceremonies.
Johnny soon decided that he needed to take his leave and return to his ill wife, so we were left alone with the longhouse villagers. What was surprising was they they seemed to relax once Johnny left and we found ourselves talking to a teacher who had pretended not to speak any English while Johnny was there because he did not like him. He provided some interesting background to the longhouse and longhouse life, and explained to us that the community was in the process of building a new longhouse from concrete. One of the reasons for this was that the wood was a fire hazard, but also the maintenance of a wooden longhouse was too expensive because the logging companies had pushed up the cost of wood (ironwood in particular) to exorbitant prices.
It was hot during the afternoon and we went for a swim in the river with some friends of the headman's son. We saw a lot of huge butterflies, including the spectacular Brooks' butterfly. It was really nice sitting in the cool water, surrounded by jungle! When we wandered back to the longhouse, we were invited to a gathering at one end of the veranda where we were offered copious amounts of home-fermented tuak poured from plastic pots. Although no English was spoken, we had no difficulty understanding the drinking game that we became involved in... We were also given some cucumber slices with a fishy tasting dip to help the tuak go down. When the jars of tuak were empty, one of the men we were sat with invited us to his apartment of the longhouse and produced what looked like a petrol can and poured its contents into a couple of glasses. This was a completely different drink to the pleasant tuak: instead of being a cloudy, rich drink, we suspected this was home-distilled borak. It tasted of vinegar and was incredibly potent. Once we couldn't handle any more of this drink, the guy took (staggered) with us to his family's apartment and he promptly passed out. We were talking to his family, of five daughters and three sons. Their English was very good, and we spent a while talking about our respective hobbies and interests. They had a bunch of VCDs of Westlife, Boyzone and from Bollywood that we had to endure, and they tried to persuade us to dance. Mei-See thinks this is because I was wearing cycling shorts. They also brought us cucumber to eat, but we were shortly summoned to eat with the headman's family.
We ate sitting on the kichen floor, and helped ourselves to communal bowls of rice, chicken's feet (!), pork soup and an unidentifiable but delicious green vegetable. After dinner we spent some time with the headman's family and played games with the kids. We slept upstairs in the headman's apartment, and there was a huge storm during the night. The toilet was outside the longhouse and I struggled to find my way out to it in the pitch dark during the night, in the pouring rain.
The next day we left the longhouse to head back to Kapit. It was still pouring with rain and the river flowing past Rumah Bundong had changed to a chocolate brown torrent. The clouds were very low and it was very dark. We traveled back to Kapit in one of the local minibus services. The problem with the minibus was that some people from the longhouse were heading to the market in Kapir with huge numbers of durians to sell. There were so many durians that I had to sit with them on my lap, under my feet, beside me and so on. The smell of the fruit was absolutely overpowering, and when they decided to close the windows because of the rain, I was close to death. It seemed like days before the smell of the things was out of my system. When we got back to Kapit, the rain was torrential and we hid in a cafe until it stopped.
We felt quite privileged to have visited this longhouse, because it was going to be demolished to make way for the concrete structure. It was a fascinating and quite intense cultural experience.
That evening we had to listen to a sob-story from a teenage boy who had visited Kapit to meet some friends but had spent all his money on booze and couldn't get back to Sibu. He put on the least realistic or convincing display of tears that I have ever seen as an attempt to extract money from tourists. We ate roti canai that evening from some outdoor stalls near to our hotel, and drank some rose-flavoured arak during the evening. The next day, we planned to take a speedboat further up the Rejang to Belaga.
We would like to thank the residents of the longhouse for providing us with an interesting opportunity to visit their community.
Written by Composthp on 13 Oct, 2002
We joined a complimentary half-day city tour on our last day in Sarawak. The weather was not cooperative that day and had poured heavily for much of the afternoon. It was the monsoon season, we were told. Our guide, a cheerful young gentleman, gave us…Read More
We joined a complimentary half-day city tour on our last day in Sarawak. The weather was not cooperative that day and had poured heavily for much of the afternoon. It was the monsoon season, we were told. Our guide, a cheerful young gentleman, gave us an abbreviated version of the history of Sarawak, and of Santubong enroute into the city.
Our first stop was the famous Cat museum, the only museum in the world devoted to all things/exhibits feline. The exhibits are divided into various sections that include a variety of stuffed cats, pictures, and carvings depicting cats in various activities like sleeping, playing, etc. There is a small fee of RM5 (US$1) charged on camaras. The museum offers a beautiful panaromic view of the city - alas, it was raining too heavily for any photos to be taken.
Our guide drove us down towards the city, first bypassing the Astana and the Orchid garden before looping through the Malay Kampungs. There are six Malay villages all together, with a mosque as a boundary dividing each village.
We proceeded next to the most popular meeting place in the city: the Waterfront. This beautiful esplanade offers a variety of shopping, eateries, and of course, excellent views of the Astana, Fort Margherita, and the Malay villages - the former two (Brooke's legacy) were not open to public during our visit there.
Opposite the Waterfront is the Main Bazaar, the oldest street in the city and the heart of old Kuching. Here, we shopped for local arts and crafts as well as souvenirs.
Walking down the main road, we eventually reached the oldest Chinese temple in Kuching: Tua Pek Kong. Built in 1843, it is a small little temple set atop a small hill overlooking the Waterfront.
The national museum was next. Entry is free for all visitors. It houses one of S.E. Asia's best ethnographic collection, traditional wood carvings, and a replica of a longhouse complete with head-hunted skulls.
The rain had stopped by that time and our guide brought us to the Civic center for a truly panoramic view of the city and the surrounding area, including views of Mount Santubong, Mount Serapi, and even Kalimantan.
The tour ended by the Waterfront where we shopped again at leisure and had a wonderfully cheap, delicious dinner before we headed for the airport.
Of all the food we had in Sarawak, we thought Miri served up the best. The main reason for this was the wider availability of Indian food, which provided a fantastic opportunity to avoid the constant and tiring noodle soups that are served up by…Read More
Of all the food we had in Sarawak, we thought Miri served up the best. The main reason for this was the wider availability of Indian food, which provided a fantastic opportunity to avoid the constant and tiring noodle soups that are served up by the Chinese coffee houses (I don’t think I’ll ever understand what motivates people to eat a boiling hot soup when it’s a humid 30 degrees Celsius).
Miri also has an excellent fruit and veg market, where I procured and ate my first durian! I wasn’t entirely convinced that I liked it. Although the flesh around the seeds is quite pleasant to taste and texture, the onion smell turned my stomach. I think it’s an acquired taste, because I’ve since eaten and enjoyed durian.
We attempted some souvenir shopping in Miri and succeeded to a degree, although the local storeholders weren’t really up for Egyptian-style haggling. We bought a couple of blowpipes and packaged them up ourselves, which subsequently caused the KLIA security staff no small amount of interest.
We stayed for two nights in Miri. The first night we stayed in a hotel called Tai Tong Lodging House. It was ok, but the entire reception area comprised a large dormitory filled with guest workers, that liked to watch other guests going to and from the shared shower. In consequence we moved to a more expensive place for our second night (the Brooke Inn) because we wanted a better night’s sleep before the long journey back to the UK.
At Batu Niah town, you can take a taxi straight to the headquarters, but we opted for the more pleasant 20 minute boat journey upriver to the park instead.
We paid RM40 for a 4-bed hostel room within the park, but had the whole chalet to…Read More
At Batu Niah town, you can take a taxi straight to the headquarters, but we opted for the more pleasant 20 minute boat journey upriver to the park instead.
We paid RM40 for a 4-bed hostel room within the park, but had the whole chalet to ourselves (4 hostel rooms with a communal seating area). The rooms were en-suite with fans and loads of space. There was a restaurant/café on site where you had to remove your shoes to enter and although the food was slightly pricier, was tasty and filling.
To get to the trails and caves, you had to take a boat across the river for RM1 each. Even though it was a small river, you are discouraged from swimming across because of the presence of crocodiles. We didn’t see any on our trip, but we weren’t going to risk it! Once across the river there are some shops selling snacks where you can also hire torches for the caves. The path leads to a raised boardwalk trail, which winds a couple of km up through the jungle before reaching the caves. We noticed some small orchids and fungi on this walk. You first see some tantalizingly big overhangs before reaching the first cave called the traders cave. It’s full of old bamboo poles where the bird’s nest collectors and traders give the cave its name. After picking your way through this cave, nothing can prepare you for the size of the great cave.
It is huge! The cave mouth is a massive hole in the cliff face dripping with lush foliage and the void extends deep into the earth. You enter through a covered walkway, whose function isn’t quite clear until later on in the day. You can see the fenced off area where archaeological digs have revealed the evidence of ancient human habitation in these caves. The remains of bamboo pole ladders still hang from the cave ceiling where bird’s nest collectors would dangle precariously in order to collect their bounty. After crossing the vast expanse of guano that has built up on the cave floor, a set of slippery stairs leads you onto more slippery trails, which extend through the cave complex. Most of this is not lit and a torch is essential if you want to explore the interior of the caves. In the dark recesses of the caves, you can make out bats and people (?) clinging to the cave ceiling. Bizarre rock formations and stalactites are unexpectedly lit by the odd shaft of sunlight that emerges through cracks in the rock, but most of the time, there is just an eerie echo in the dark. We didn’t make it to the painted cave where ancient cave paintings and the "death ship" burial was found, but decided to head back because it was getting late.
By the time we stumbled our way back to the entrance to the Great cave it was late afternoon and we were able to see thousands of swiftlets swarming back into the caves and going in the opposite direction, a constant stream of bats, heading out for their evening meal. The best place to watch this "changing over" spectacle is under the covered walkway where you are not in danger of being used as target practice for the bat/bird droppings! The only way back was the way we came and it was important to bear in mind that the boats stopped running after dark.
The following day we decided to take one of the side trails that branched off to the left of the main boardwalk about a third of the way to the caves. This was the Madu trail that follows a tributary of the main river. Another branch further up the boardwalk leads to a small village. The park is not really renowned for its wildlife, but we saw a small snake swimming in this stream and also spotted squirrels and lizards as well as more orchids. Once off the boardwalk, the path became quite muddy which is to be expected going through peat swamp forest.
The next day, we took the boat back to Batu Niah to catch the bus to the next national part, the Lambir hills.
On the express boat to Kapit, we passed the small towns of Kanowit and Song, and yet more barges and boats laden with logs. We noticed a fair number of hillsides that had been logged and were badly eroded, although there was more forest the…Read More
On the express boat to Kapit, we passed the small towns of Kanowit and Song, and yet more barges and boats laden with logs. We noticed a fair number of hillsides that had been logged and were badly eroded, although there was more forest the further upstream we went. It's hard to know how honest or otherwise the Malaysian literature is about the 'sustainable' logging programme.
We arrived in Kapit around lunchtime. Kapit is a very small place and we quickly found the Kapit Rejang Hotel, where payed RM15 for an excellent value clean double room with ensuite bathroom and air conditioning. During the afternoon, we visited the Resident's Office at the State Government Complex to apply for a permit to travel further up the Rejang to Belaga. The procedure was easy and took about half an hour. We picked up some fruit and cakes in the market, which sold an amazing mixture of unidentifiable mysterious fruit and vegetables. We opted for mangosteen because we recognised them. We then wandered down to the central square in Kapit to have a look around, and found that it is decorated with Iban shield designs. The square proved to be a good place to meet local people, and watch several spoilt fat boys reminiscent of Dudley Dursley playing with remote control cars. A drunk 15-year old introduced us to a guy called Johnny, who invited us to visit the longhouse where he said he lived. We were quite interested, and he said that he'd talk to his wife that evening, and if she wasn't happy about this, he'd introduce us to some people in another longhouse where we might be able to spend the night. We decided to dwell on the idea, and retired for an extremely uninteresting meal in a Chinese cafe.
The hotel that we stayed in was quite close to the Hock Leong Tieng Chinese temple, and during the evenings that we were in Kapit, there was some amazing drumming going on!
The next day, we readily found Johnny, who explained (truthfully or not?) that his wife was ill, but he could take us to another longhouse called Rumah Bundong. He advised us that we should take some gifts of food and drink, which we bought.
We took the express boat from Kuching to Sibu. There is also a bus between Kuching and Sibu, but the boat was quicker and we hoped that the journey would be more scenic than an overnight bus ride. The ferry departed from a 'different' wharf…Read More
We took the express boat from Kuching to Sibu. There is also a bus between Kuching and Sibu, but the boat was quicker and we hoped that the journey would be more scenic than an overnight bus ride. The ferry departed from a 'different' wharf than usual due to the level of the Sarawak River, and we took a taxi to the wharf because the buses proved confusing. When the boat was ready to depart, we were able to buy a ticket on the boat. The tickets were RM28 each, one way. We decided to sit upstairs on the deck for the journey, rather than in the uber-air-conditioned interior. The journey took about 4 1/2 hours. The journey involves a short sea crossing to reach the estuary of the Batang Rejang, and whilst at sea we saw dolphins and flying fish. The last two hours of the journey followed the Rejang, where we passed a depressing number of wood processing plants and barges laden with timber. During the journey we were talking to a Canadian traveller who had been on a longhouse visit arranged by the B&B Inn in Kuching. It seems that during his longboat journey to the longhouse (during the evening), his boat sank/capsized and the passengers had to swim for the shores. He lost his bags and his glasses, but amazingly the Iban found both the next day!
Given how uncomplementary some guide books are about Sibu, we had not expected to enjoy our brief stay, and decided to stay there for just one night to meet a boat connection to Kapit. We readily located the Hoover Lodging House, which had a huge selection of rooms (a/c, non a/c, with/without windows, etc) and a manager that looks like Dr. No (without the mechanical hands, though). We payed RM20 for our room, the room was clean and the showers good. During the evening we located some huge and excellent hawkers centres, where we tried cendol (bizarre and very nice sweet concoction of shaved ice and brightly coloured noodly stuff). There were also hundreds of durian sellers on all the roundabouts and street corners. In addition, Sibu was the first place we'd encountered in Sarawak that actually comes alive in the evening.
The next day, we started early for an express boat to Kapit. While waiting for our boat departure, we dropped into the Tua Peh Kong Chinese temple by the waterfront. In the temple, we met the caretaker- Tan Teck Chiang- a really friendly and knowledgeable man who offered us herbal tea and told us a bit about the temple. He wanted to take us up the pagoda, but unfortunately we didn't have time because of our boat. Instead, we were very surprised when he gave us a gift of a statue of Kuan Yin. We were really sorry that we couldn't have spent longer talking to him.
When we boarded our boat, we discovered that it was in fact the top half of an aeroplane fused onto the bottom of a boat. Inside it was like a plane too. The ticket from Sibu to Kapit was RM20 (first class, because second class was full). We were treated to a feast of videos during the journey, including Jackie Chan as James Tong in the Tuxedo (various parts of the VCD played in various random orders), and also feasted on some fresh bagel-like bread (kong bian) rolls that are a speciality of Sibu. As we left Sibu, we wished that we had spent longer there.
We prebooked accomodation and obtained permits for Bako NP at the tourist office in Kuching. The permits cost RM10 each, and a "hostel" room was RM40 per night (the room had fans and four beds, but we booked the whole room), and also there were…Read More
We prebooked accomodation and obtained permits for Bako NP at the tourist office in Kuching. The permits cost RM10 each, and a "hostel" room was RM40 per night (the room had fans and four beds, but we booked the whole room), and also there were shared bathrooms, kitchen facilities and a barbecue.
Getting to Bako: We took one of the hourly rattler buses from the Petra Jaya Transport bus station in Kuching. The bus station was more of a virtual concept than a physical feature of Kuching, and it took some effort to identify where the bus would depart from. It was a bit of a fight to get on the bus, because many people were moving around in anticipation of the forthcoming Hari Raya festival. The bus cost RM2.50 each and took an hour to reach Bako Bazaar, from where boats operate to the park. There was a useful cafe by the waterfront that sold noodles and drinks. The boat to Bako NP was RM30 single (per boat, each boat carries up to eight) and this fare did not seem negotiable. The boats can only operate at specific times due to sand-bars near the park. If the tide is low, the boat will drop you at the beach, and it's a long walk to the park entrance. Fortunately the tide was high and this was not a problem for us.
We collected our keys and walked along the boardwalk to our room. Along the boardwalk, we were excited to initially encounter a troupe of macaque monkeys, and then several bearded pigs wallowing in a mud hole! Given that we'd only been in the park for five minutes, we anticipated seeing lots of wildlife. We also noticed lots of mosquitoes, which were shortly to become the bane of our life.
The park has a canteen that sells cheap and filling food. There is also a grocery shop that sells packet noodles, crisps, biscuits, tinned fruit, loo roll and the most important feature, mosquito coils! The staff were extremely helpful, and made it clear to us that the canteen was closed over Hari Raya, but instead, they would be making packed dinners and lunches for us!
In Kuching airport we had to fill in another embarkation card, and passports were stamped again. The airport was small but had an extremely helpful tourist information desk that provided us with a couple of maps, an extremely useful free introduction booklet to Sarawak by…Read More
In Kuching airport we had to fill in another embarkation card, and passports were stamped again. The airport was small but had an extremely helpful tourist information desk that provided us with a couple of maps, an extremely useful free introduction booklet to Sarawak by Wayne Tarman and Mike Reed ("The Official Kuching Guide", some of which is here) and times for the bus from the airport into Kuching town. The bus was infrequent and we got sick of waiting in the hot bus shelter and ultimately went in one of the minibuses, which was half a ringgit more than the bus.
When we arrived in Kuching, we did not find it especially difficult to find our way around, and the maps in our guide books were reasonably accurate. The guide books suggested that there is little budget accomodation available in Kuching. We initially planned to stay at the Arif Hotel, near to the Masjid Negiri mosque. The only rooms left were expensive family rooms so we decided to go elsewhere. We were pleased that we didn't stay in the Arif, because we found out later from other travellers that the hotel has problems with rats in the bedrooms. After a long hot walk to the other side of town we found the B&B Inn, which seemed ok, friendly and had the added bonus of breakfast included! The breakfast was make-your-own toast with kaya (coconut version of lemon curd) and importantly coffee. The rooms were poorly ventilated (hot at night) but serviceable. The second time we stayed at the B&B, after our trip to Bako, were were eaten by bed bugs: don't stay in the first floor room right at the end with the broken air conditioner!
We went to the hawker's centre by the mosque for dinner, and were surprised that most of the Malay food stalls were closed- although it was Ramadan, it was the evening. We approached the line of Chinese food stalls, all invariably staffed by aggressive ladies with huge spectacles and tightly permed hair, and tried ambal (bamboo clams) and midin (jungle fern, of which we had much better later during our trip), which were good apart from the mysterious price increase part-way through the meal (we found this to be a periodic feature of eating at Chinese, but not Indonesian, Malay or Indian, food stalls). We both had peculiar hallucinogenic dreams that night- maybe the ambal had been in the sun too long!
During our first full day, we visited the helpful tourist office in Kuching to reserve some accomodation at Bako National Park. While at the tourist office, we discovered that there was a Rafflesia in flower at the Gunung Gading National Park, and decided to go there the following day. The plants were flowering off-trail and we would need a guide, but this would not be complicated to arrange. We had laksa for lunch at Auntie Mary's Cafe, which was inexpensive and sloppy (how it should be, apparently). I didn't think it was great. For dinner we went to the row of excellent food stalls along the waterfront of the Sarawak River, near the Khatulistiwa Cafe, and had satay, beef rendang and nasi lemak, which were delicious.
The large, deep storm-drains in Kuching were very full one evening, and as we selected a foodstall for dinner, Mei-See decided to fall down one. Fortunately only her pride was injured, but her DMs took a while to dry out!
Before leaving Kuching, we treated ourselves to an all-you-can-eat "steamboat" dinner at Hornbill's Corner Cafe for RM20 each. The restaurant was extremely popular, and served beer (which was extremely enthusiastically topped up after each sip). There was a large selection of different meats in marinades, noodles, seafood, seaweed, etc. On a return trip to the buffet for seconds, I chose a range of meats and took a large bowlful of "rice". After cooking the meats, I took a big scoop of rice, deposited it my mouth, and discovered that it was raw minced garlic... Dessert included durian ice cream, Mei-See thought it revolting and I enjoyed it.
Our stay in Kuching was interspersed with several days at Bako National Park, which is detailed in the next section. After our visit to Kuching, we decided to move on to Sibu and the Rejang River.
Written by ashford on 23 Apr, 2001
Main Bazaar is the oldest street in Kuching city. It has rows of exceptionally well preserved 19th century Chinese shophouses and a five foot way-great for getting shade from the hot sun. This is the old commercial and residential heart of South Kuching and there…Read More
Main Bazaar is the oldest street in Kuching city. It has rows of exceptionally well preserved 19th century Chinese shophouses and a five foot way-great for getting shade from the hot sun. This is the old commercial and residential heart of South Kuching and there is good shopping here as well. Good buys include Bidayuh baskets, Iban pua kumbu textiles, Orang Ulu weaponry, hats, mats, purses and wood carvings. Close