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My closing post on Kuching, Sarawak. :)
(finally!)

Guess who came to say hello and welcomed us right after the boat ride?

.

.

.

Hee!

Yuppie yup!

This shameless dude here did. Wild boar?!?! Methinks he was more like a goat. Really.

The boys got really thrilled at the mere sight of this fella. He was erm.. grazing? Yup, he did the goat/ cow thing actually.


Hmmm.. this is strange.

You know i complained quite a bit on the accommodation at Bako but after looking at the pictures above, somehow it looks a lot better than in reality! Why ah?!?!

But in all honesty, it was bad. I should have taken closer shots instead. :P The beds looked like they were infested with bed bugs and the bedsheets, hmmmm. Then we have bathroom and toilet…  let’s just say i was really tempted to skip shower altogether despite the fact that i was all sweaty and dirty. I didn’t even wanna step in until the very last minute. To do my business, i opted for the deserted public loo instead which was conveniently around the corner. Much cleaner!

Fortunately, the men whom i traveled with are quite something. When they are around, this mother can just sit back and watch. The men, especially the grandfather, will happily take care of everything, including bathing the boys. More often than not, the grandmother and i will stand at the side and watch happily. Naturally, this meant that i only needed to step into the eee eee toilet and bathroom just once. PHEW!

So how did i sleep at night?

I was all covered, from head to toe. Long sleeves top with hoodie (uh huh, i had the hoodie on while sleeping!), long pants and socks! I totally chucked the pillow and made used of my own towel. And nope, none of the accommodation here is air conditioned, which was quite alright. Natural breeze, best!

However, don’t let this deter you from going to Bako. From what i saw and what i heard from a gf who was there 2 days earlier, the rest of the accommodation wasn’t this bad. It was just our luck to be stuck with Chalet 2, one of the 3 earliest, oldest chalets in Bako. Hmphhh! (if all the accommodation were as such, perhaps i won’t be this whiny!)

We only managed to do 2 trails during our time spent in Bako. With the boys around, we had no choice but to pick the shortest trail. Short, yes but never shortchanged. Mosses, i’ve only seen them in magazines but to feel them for real at Bako? It was quite surreal. For some strange reason, i was more excited to see the moss than the proboscis monkey. Ha!

Even though beep didn’t whine or complain, the very fit grandfather insisted on piggyback the boy. I guess it’s just the way he expresses his love for his grandchildren. He’s not a man with many words, but a lot of times, his actions say quite a bit about him. :)

Our second trail was a little longer and apparently, a little more dangerous. Because of ‘danger’ part, we chose to leave beep behind, together with the helper.

This time round, it was a lot more educational for the boys. And hey, pitcher plants! My first up close encounter with them.

Alas, proboscis monkeys…

We spotted quite many of them actually, throughout our 2 day stay.

Hermit crab!

Again, another first. Tee hee hee. I know i know! I’m really quite ulu!

Hermit crabs are really quite adorable. We spotted abundance of them, in all shapes and sizes. Do you know that to get them out from their house, all you need to do is to whistle and they’ll come crawling out?

Fascinating creature!

All in all, Bako National Park is strictly for nature lovers. Not a place for honeymoon for sure. A good place to go if you want some exposure for the children. But if you intend to stay a night or 2, avoid Chalet 1, 2 & 3. By all means, request for newer lodgings!

And, if you must know, the food sucks. Big time. Both in taste and hygiene. So, bring along cup noodles and whatnots. The effort is worth it, trust me.

There are not that many hotels you can choose from in Kuching, Malaysia. After just a few clicks on the phone, i decided on Pullman Hotel on the spot — my easiest, quickest decision by far. Mainly because of its location and it’s new. I have this strange inclination towards new hotels and the number of stars it has notwithstanding.

Just 2 steps into the hotel and i was greeted by the scent, the everythingandanything new scent.

Lovely.

I loved how spacious the bathroom was and it came with a yoga mat no less.

Even though Kuching is nothing like how big cities are, it is still charming in its own way – friendly and very nice locals, peaceful and quiet and great hawker food! I tried filling up our time there with activities and it wasn’t that difficult actually. Before you know it, it’s time to head to the airport.

Hmph!

Things You Can Do In Kuching

1. Chinatown

For food mainly.

And to snap a few pictures here and there. This easy walk can be wrapped up under an hour, minus eating time.

2. River Promenade or Waterfront

Stroll along the Waterfront in the evening. There are some food stalls along the way, together with souvenir stalls too. But ermm, if you ask me, i rather swing across the road and check out the many quirky shops situated just 20 steps away if you are planning to get any souvenir.

Otherwise, a stroll here is rather lovely. :)

3. River Cruise

Trust me, you wouldn’t want to spend RM 60 per person for an hour cruise on the cruise ship in the picture.

Why?

Because it’s not worth it.

What we did was to hop onto some smaller boats available which cost just RM10 per person, taking the very same route sans the glamour and drinks. Anywaaayyy, there’s really nothing much to see along the river really. What you are able to see on the boat, you can see 90% of it from the river promenade should you have taken the stroll (refer to list number 2).

The other 10%?

See this!

However, make sure you don’t take the ultra tiny sampan / boats though.. Those are freaky!

4. Tua Pek Kong Temple

Situated prominently near the Waterfront, you cannot miss this oldest Chinese temple in Kuching.

What we did was to pop in for 5 minutes, look see look see, offered some incense as respect and popped right out after. ;)

5. Cat Museum

Located at the suburb, we dropped in at this museum because most of us are cat lovers and also, because of the boys. Kuching / kucing means cat in Malay language.

To get there, we took a cab from hotel and the taxi driver sorta struck a deal with me. In total, i paid RM 50 for 3 hours trip which included Cat Museum, Sarawak Museum and a trip to Kak Dayang’s Kek Lapis. The taxi driver would wait at an agreed spot for us for each location.

Don’t expect much from this museum seriously. Go there with an open heart and you will leave with a smile on your face. After all, the entrance is free. And oh, don’t forget to descend to the park near the museum. It’s really quite a nice spot to snap some pictures, sit down and just chill out. :)

6. Sarawak Museum

You will need at least 2 hours to explore this place. Sarawak Museum is actually part of a cluster of museums which included Art Gallery. If you are keen to go, i’d say go in the afternoon because by the time you finish, the weather will be just nice to walk around in the well-tended park next to it.

Because we didn’t wanna let the taxi driver wait too long, we sorta bullet train our time spent there and restricted ourselves to just Sarawak Museum.

If you ask me, i’d say, a must go .. especially if you are travelling with children. It’s rather educational and we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.

7. Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

Many say that this orang utan wildlife rehabilitation centre is better than the one at Sabah.

How true that is.. i don’t know for i’ve not been to the one at Sabah. But if that is really the case, i don’t think i will ever bother going to the Sabah’s wildlife centre.

Personally, methinks there’s nothing much to see. I reckon it’s because i see orang utan all the time at Singapore Zoo. Hence, spotting 1 or 2 orang utan on the trees does nothing to me. Proboscis monkeys, macaques, orang utans etc … these primates don’t fascinate me that much because i see them almost on the weekly basis. But, gorilla… is another story altogether – Rwanda, i must visit you soon!

8. Visit Kak Dayang

Why?

Because you simply can’t leave Sarawak without trying their famous kek lapis!

Forget about those cakes you see in the souvenir shops, road stalls etc. This is the place where you must go to get the cakes, not anywhere else. Nope, i’m not getting paid for this alrighty? :)

The cakes are decent and quite enjoyable – too many flavours, too many types and waaayy too many to pick from. Simply brilliant. Free samples are available. In fact, you can practically have your lunch here, and they won’t care — their business is too good to be bothered by your presence. Don’t wanna buy after sampling? No problemo. No one will notice too. But i doubt anyone would do that.

Cake prices range from RM 10 – 20. Excellent as souvenir. ;)

9. Eat Kolo Mee

You cannot possibly leave Kuching without eating this noodle. Simply cannot!

Check out this post for my review!

10. Day trip to Bako National Park

A post will be dedicated to Bako National Park soon.

DO NOT DO LIST

1. Annah Rais Longhouse

The longhouse is so modernised that you feel like you are just walking into another house in a village. Period.

Even the tour guide called the ‘wronghouse‘, not longhouse. He thinks that the Sarawak Cultural Village has more to offer to tourists than this place.

The most exciting part for the whole of our 30 minutes tour?

The skeletons.

This noodle deserves a post on its own, to me that is.

Kolo Mee — Egg noodles, flash-boiled, then classically served with crushed garlic and shallot, minced pork or beef, white vinegar, either vegetable oil, pork oil or peanut oil, and sliced barbecue pork known as char siu or beef.

Sounds like wanton mee, doesn’t it?

It sure does. It even looks like it if one doesn’t stare hard at it. Like what many like to say these days, they are same same but different! Heh!

Our first stop for kolo mee is at Sin Poh Poh, highly recommended by a friendly local who sold me the Pong Pia at Song Kheng Hai Food Centre. So friendly he was that he actually told me to call him should i need more recommendations in my short few days’ stay! Kuchingnites, you raawwwwkk!

For our first few mouthfuls, this noodle didn’t wow us that much. We thought it was rather tasteless and bland. But as we continued slurping the noodle, we started falling in love with it. When i said ‘we’, i really mean we, all of us, including my in laws! If you were on the same table as us, you’ll definitely see the change of expression on our faces. Grin. From blahhhh look to yummmm look literally!

Methinks Kuching food is magical lahhh. Just like the Sarawak Laksa, the food just gets to you after a while!

The noodle, while it wasn’t the type of noodle i like — i fancy mine curly like maggi mee hair perm (or even curlier), not Korean Soft Wavy Perm :P  — was al dente, just the way i like it. What made this bowl of noodle a winner was the sauce concocted by the boss. Though a little weak in salt department (but we like!), i must say, i love it to bits! It is exactly that it wasn’t salty that both men on my table were able to eat 2 bowls of it. Otherwise, i don’t think they can stomach 2 servings!

If i were to replicate this at home, this gravy is exactly how i’d like mine done, fragrant but not salty. POWER!

Oh, just so you know, kolo mee is mostly sold in the morning as Kuchingnites’ breakfast. Come night time, there are hardly any stalls that sells it should you crave for kolo mee at night.

BUT!

The good news is, the kolo mee stall at Sin Poh Poh serves ridiculous people like me, who eat kolo mee for dinner!

While you are at Sin Poh Poh ordering this bowl of delicious kolo mee, don’t forget to order their wanton in soup as well. The wanton was the best i’ve ever had since sometime ago. Methinks it was the skin used — Not the usual yellow wanton skin but it was white in colour, which you could literally slurrrrrrrrpp it up just like udon!

Sin Poh Poh Cafe

Jalan Ban Hock,
Kuching Sarawak.

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We liked the kolo mee at Sin Poh Poh so much so that the family insisted on returning for dinner during our last night at Kuching. After much protest by me, we ended up at Open Air Market for seafood dinner when other attempts at various seafood restaurants failed.

However, most of us still wanted kolo mee rather badly the day after so the next best thing to do was to skip the hotel’s breakfast and head out to the nearest and best-est kolo mee before we check out at 9am.

From the piles of information i gathered during our short stay, i got to know that there was this awesome coffee shop just a stone throw away from our hotel!

The kolo mee found here was more robust in flavour but taste wise, i still prefer Sin Poh Poh’s. I detected more dashes of vinegar used which resulted the slightly tangy taste in the sauce. As you might have noticed, the owner here is a little bit more generous than Sin Poh Poh. Check out the toppings — 3 additional prawns! Heee. Well, it may not seem many to you, but for every bowl sold with 3 extra prawns, well.. you do the math. ;)

As for the noodle used, now we are talking. This, is exactly the noodle that i’ve been dreaming about. Springy and curly.. NICE!

Unfortunately, we totally forgot about the wanton. In Singapore or KL, wanton usually comes with wanton noodle but not in Sarawak. We only remembered about the dumplings as we were about to leave. Hmphh!

All in all, should i need a quick kolo mee fix when i’m in Kuching the next time (provided i stay in the same hotel again), Green Hill Corner it is for me!

Green Hill Corner

Jalan Green Hill,
Kuching Sarawak.

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Other kolo mee places where you might wanna drop by :

  • KY Cafe, Jalan Sekama
  • Tech Huat, Open Air Market
  • Ah Ping Mee Stall, Siang Siang Food Court, Tabuan Jaya
  • Min Kuan, Carpenter Street
  • Sin Lian Shin, Green Road
  • Ah Pi Kolo Mee, 4th Mile Expert Food Court
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