Friendship Garden

The reason that our host put us up at Jinhold Service Apartment is the proximity to the Taman Sahabat. At least, we could just walk over for a short visit and also, the service apartment is quite near amenities such as One Jaya supermarket and local eats. But I still prefer to stay in Grand Continental – walking distance to the waterfront, Grappa (to club!), temples and food along Jalan Carpenter.

Taman Sabahat was built in 2004 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China. Here, you get to visit a small man made garden with magnificent statue of Zheng He, the great Admiral who did 7 voyages from Asia to Africa. Here, there’s a zig zag bridge, a koi pond (there weren’t many fishes, though), a building resembling a Chinese house, temple arch, and many beautiful willow trees which added colors to the already vibrant place.

Many locals come here for morning walk and exercise. They were a few children playing football around the area too. It’s nice to take a leisurely walk here. Some came to feed the fish in the pond. Here are some pictures of the place.

A magnificent statue of Zheng He

The zig zag bridge

The gate to the friendship garden

After the short visit, we satisfied our hunger pangs at the nearby shop, opposite the church at Jalan Song. Finally, I had the Sarawak Laksa. It’s still rather bland in taste, but it was tasty.

Sarawak laksa

Another round of kolo mee!

We ended our Kuching trip by going to Kota Sentosa for some food. Our host took us to the hawker centre nearby the 7th mile, Penrissen camp. They have delicious oily rice with steamed chicken, sausages, roast pork and char siew. The rojak is rather special too, they have quail meat!

Assortment of meats

We also tried the local delicacy – the cerokot? It’s made of gula melaka. Not too sweet. It’s good as dessert.


We wish to thank our gracious hosts for accompanying us the three days and made our trip a memorable one.

Going Cultural

Mee Pok at Kim Joo

We started the day late for breakfast. We went to Kim Joo along Jalan Carpenter for breakfast of kolo mee and mee pok. Our host said, this place is good for kolo mee. But the other nice one is at Sin Min Joo. In order to see if the noodles made is nice, you have to see of the person preparing. Usually, heavy set people would have prepared a better tasting noodle because a lot of energy is required to knead the dough. So, my mom said, then I should change career to be a noodle maker since I am so large in size. Very funny!

Kolo mee earlier yesterday at Padungan food court

Our host’s nephew came along with us for kolo mee. He’s half French, ¼ Chinese and ¼ Bidayuh. And yes, he’s a very handsome little boy. He was on vacation for two months in Kuching. He eats kolo mee 3 meals a day- everyday! He is leaving the same weekend as us, so, he prayed to God that, 10,000 kolo mee will fall on him before he leaves. LOL! So, kolo mee must be a damn big deal! He joined us – all Hokkien speaking aunties and happily tucked in his bowl of kolo mee.

A very pissed worker at Aladin Cafe

We went around Jalan Carpenter for a look see. We were introduced to Teo Chew temple, Hokkien Temple and the Tua Pek Kong Temple aka Banjir (Flood) Temple. Why is it called Banjir Temple? It’s because during the days before the temple was built, the area was flooded all the time. Once the temple was built, there is no longer flooding. So, many people are very grateful to the deity, Tua Pek Kong for stopping the flood which affects many livelihood. Am not too sure how true this is lah. He could be right because he’s being born and bred in Kuching and lives in Kuching all his life! Even if he decided to bullshit us, we will never know. One thing for sure, his stories are super entertaining!

It’s a hot, hot day!

Air drying some paddy

A very friendly uncle welcoming us by spinning the gasing

After that, we went to Kg Annah Rias, a Bidayuh longhouse somewhere in Padawan. This is a real long housing area. It sure looks like some normal kampong in West Malaysia- just that, instead of houses built on stilts only, they have elaborate flooring made of bamboo all over the area. It reminds me of the kampong orang asli in Gombak – just that this one is more elaborate. We were greeted by a welcome drink, tuak. Entrance fee is RM8 per person. Here, we could see how real Bidayuh people live. Actually, the place is already modernized. We had a peek at one of the good auntie’s house when we asked for permission to use her toilet. This auntie also provided lodging here in the longhouse. For those who are interested to see how the natives live, probably it’s a good idea to do a homestay here. I guess they also provide for nature adventures such as picnic to hot spring, river rafting, jungle trekking, etc. For further information, please click here.

The very entertaining orang Ulu

When we left the longhouse, it was already 2 pm. We made our way to Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong. Had a short walkabout before we went to watch the cultural show at 4 pm. The cultural shows are performed daily at 2 pm and 4 pm only. So, I guess it’s advisable to go to Cultural Village early to have a walkabout before attending the cultural show at 2 pm or 4 pm. The place is closed by the time the cultural show is over, so be early. SCV is easily accessible from most hotels or hostels in Kuching. They have a pick up time in vans for most hotels and only cost RM10 for two-way journey.

The entrance fee for SCV is RM60 for adults and RM30 for children above 6 years old. For senior citizens, it’s half priced as well at RM30. We enjoyed the cultural show a lot. I think when I was there 6 years ago, I enjoyed it as much as I do now! 6 years ago, I paid RM45 only for entrance. 😦

The walkway towards the beach front at Damai

The Damai beach, just opposite SCV is now visible from SCV itself. I remember the last time I came here, we had to use the backlane going towards the beach! Now, you can see the entire beach in its splendor from a man-built waterfront. The giant hornbill is still in the process of installation. I guess this place would be splendid in no time! We took a stroll to the beach but didn’t go down to the sands because of the coming torrential rains.

Fish porridge and kueh chap – remember to pile on the chilli for the spicy and sour goodness!

We made our way back to Kuching town for dinner of fish porridge, prawn porridge and kueh chap (opposite the Teo Chew temple along Jalan Carpenter) before heading to Kuching Food Festival for another session of pigging out. Kuching Food Festival is organized every year from 31 July to 31 August to commemorate the Merdeka day. I wish that this festival would serve more native food though. It is more inclined towards Taiwanese street food – like the ones I saw in my trip to Taipei.

I Heart Kuching

I first visited Kuching in 2005. That trip was a rather haphazard one (the not so golden MAS holiday and dim wits arranging it for us) but I guess we managed to make the most of it. Heck, I even think the photos I took back in 2005, using my old ixus 3.2 is even better than the pictures I take now!

Check out this photo compared to the old blog’s Reflection of the Square Tower

So much have changed over the period of six short years! I always remember Kuching as a rather clean place – it certainly still is. When we reached the Waterfront, a new building perch on the opposite side of the river – the much controversial Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. It was a sight to behold though, in its golden splendor! Hats off to its engineers and architects!

The Dewan Undangan Negeri standing majestically across the river

The old Fort Margherita that I used to love is no more in sight. It seems, the place is still there but our friend told us, we could no longer visit the place. A quick check on the internet seemed to say the contrary. We could still visit the place! I guess perhaps, they sealed off the road to Fort Margherita because of its proximity to DUN – am not too sure though. Kuching people, what say you? Anyhow, I am glad I got the chance to visit the place before it’s being closed to public. You know how “good” our government is when it comes to handling heritage buildings. *Roll eyes*

A woman hitching a 50-sen ride on sampan

Our friend warned us that, Kuching is not as safe as it used to be. Just a month ago, an Australian tourist was hurt when he tried to prevent his belongings from being robbed. So, he was hospitalized. So she told us to be careful with our belongings while we are walking. Yet, we see her in her gold necklaces and bracelets. She should be more careful! I guess this is the general rule – you just have to be careful everywhere that you go.

Main Bazaar

We went about the Main Bazaar for some window shopping before we went back to Jinhold Service Apartment to freshen up. Then we head to Top Spot – the ever popular place for seafood in Kuching for some scrumptious meal. Our host decided to take us to stall no. 33. He ordered some midin, powdery butter prawns, lalas, bamboo clams, mani chai (pucuk manis – the vege used for pan mein) with eggs (a must order) and the special styled oyster pancake – crispy and delicious!

The oyster pancake, Kuching style!

After the scrumptious dinner, we were chauffeured around to take a look at Kuching’s night life, and being filled with historical information from our gracious host.

50 Favorite Shots III

….Every picture tells a story. Here, I present to you my 50 favorite shots taken around Malaysia….

#11 The Pink Mosque. Putrajaya, Selangor. Went on a photobug spree. Putrajaya in its past glory. Wish they would maintain it well, though.

#12. Guardian Angel. Batu Caves, Selangor. A lone tree standing next to the gates towards Batu Caves, as if it’s acting as a guardian at the gate.

#13 I Believe I Can Fly. Batu Caves, Selangor. Draw millions of devotees from all over the world on Thaipusam. The pigeons can be quite vicious! So are the monkeys!

#14 The Blue Mirror. Kuching, Sarawak. This is the reflection of the Square Tower. Some friends from Kuching didn’t even realize this picture is taken in their hometown.

#15 Sprouting. Kuching, Sarawak. Taken at the Waterfront. The river is always the starting point for businesses to grow for centuries.


The Waterfront

I came home last night, after spending 3 days and 2 nights in the very hot and humid Kuching, Sarawak.

It was an idyllic holiday.

Reflection of the Square Tower

The four of us, Ms Lactose, CK, Sekinchan Boy and myself, loitered practically everywhere around Kuching to take photographs (main agenda), sample the food (second agenda – since most of us are suddenly health conscious), sight-seeing, and enjoying each others’ company (the ultimate agenda).

Wait a minute.. what happened to the Mangkok clan?

Well, we did joined them.. but only for dinner on the first night, at the famous Topspot, an open air concept food court. Out of the six of the Mangkok clan, only 3 of them are pleasant enough to be human… err.. I mean, friends. Ms Mangkok herself is not bad at all as a person. She is just lack of common sense in organizing. Well, I guess there is a price to pay to be beautiful.

The other three – the two Korean sisters, (they have Korean like features, alright, unfortunately hampered by lack of basic grooming skills – and I thought I was terrible in grooming, and lack of social ethics – probably they are mute) and one Mr Constipated, who seemed to be frustrated all the time. I think that his shit cannot come out from his ass (due to a stick perpetually stuck up his ass – that explains the frustration), that it had to come out from his mouth.

We decided not to let these morons dampen our holiday spirit, so we parted amicably after the dinner and tried to avoid their paths at all costs.

Waterfront II

We went to the Waterfront, Sarawak Cultural Village, two newly open makan place: Red Ruby Garden in Jalan Petanak (belongs to a friend of our host – if you don’t want to check out the food, just go there to check out the gorgeous lady boss) and Jambu; a high end restaurant, Damai Beach, clubbing at Soho and Grappa. Soho is a laid back place, if you would like to enjoy nice music, watching football matches and it is a less stuffy and smokey environment; whereas Grappa is a gas chamber, and the place to go if you want to grope people or be gropped.

Teh C Special

Salmon with Honey Mustard

Since CK and Ms Lactose were leaving earlier than us (yes – no thanks to the person who made the booking), SB and I tried to maximize our time there to the verge of breaking our legs, to explore Kuching.

We went to two museums; the Sarawak Museum and the Islamic Museum (The Cat Museum is closed on Sundays and public holidays – how stupid), four temples, Fort Margherita and the Palace.

Fort Margherita.. not the drink..

The Palace

At the Lim Fah San’s temple, SB insisted that we burn some joss sticks to this Goddess of Mercy as whatever we wished for would be definitely granted as she is always giving fellow worshippers the “OK” sign.

Sure OK One!

Things to learn from this trip

Never ever go trips with people you don’t know.

Never wear stilettos to Sarawak Cultural Village (“SCV”).

Never order Chinese tea. It is RM1 per glass.

Don’t go in antique shops if your nose is super sensitive to dusts.

The fridge magnets in SCV are far cheaper than the ones sold in the Waterfront bazaar.

Drink plenty of water.

The sampan tambang (boat for hire to cross the river) only costs a few cents ranging from 30 sen to RM1. We got bullied by a very old sampan man, because we were tourists.

View from the Other Side

Sarawakians’ taste bud is a bit bland. I think our KL Sarawak laksa tastes better. (We sampled three different shops’ Sarawak laksa to make this inference). The Ko Lo mee is nice though.

Sarawak Laksa

Ko Lo Mee

Always hold your own boarding pass. The custom officer mistook SB as my husband. *UGH*