Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kuching, Sarawak Trip 2012 - Day 4 :: PM – around town & 'Mini' Sarawak River Cruise

Date: 6 (Thursday) -10 (Monday) Sept 2012

Day 4 
Location: Sarawak River Cruise.
Weather: Fine
Transportation: my feet


Well.. since I accidentally concluded my 5th day post, I'm kinda lazy to write more for this one.. So this will be a short posting. 

One activity that is a MUST while being in Kuching is the River Cruise. There are actually few tour, depending on ur budget. The biggest boat (and the most expensive one) is obviously the most happening cruise. That one cost RM60 for an adult. This boat cruise from 5-7palong the river to see the attractions along the way. It is a 1.5 hour trip with commentary, refreshments and a cultural show.  If u take the last cruise (around 5pm), u will be able to view the sunset overlooking Mt. Santubong. If I'm not mistaken, the same cruise is cheaper by 10% in the morning session. Well, being a cheapskate, I opt for the smaller cruise hahaha. Cost me RM20 for the 1hr journey. Not so bad although it doesnt go all the way towards the edge of the river like the bigger boat does.

Experienced enough, we had some little drama where the engine wouldn't start and the boat already drifting away from the jetty hehehe. The guide said it's due to exhaustion coz it's been the same boat cruising through out the day. Anyway, it did roared back alive after few attempt.

Last but not the least, my final dinner in Kuching. Since i'm alone, it felt awkward to eat at the foodcourt on my own. So i decided to tapau back and eat in the room while watching some movies. I went to the same restaurant before and ordered the crispy oyster omelette, 4 fat butter prawns and sayur midin. All for RM40. It could be cheaper if it's for 2 hahahaha. Anyway, this is why i said u need to be more than 1 person to totally enjoy the seafood here. *sigh*

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kuching, Sarawak Trip 2012 - Day 5 :: AM – back to Penang

Date: 6 (Thursday) -10 (Monday) Sept 2012

Day 5 
Location: Kuching International Airport
Weather: Fine
Transportation: plane


The journey is approaching the end. It's time back to reality. My flight departure was at 9.35am so as promised the night before, my pick up was at 7am. Basically i got the chance to see how busy Kuching is during weekday. Traffic was not that bad, just a bit busy along the main road. But of course, not as busy as in KL or Penang.

Paid RM20 for the trip (this is organized 'offline' since the shuttle to airport for Tune Hotel Kuching only starts at 8am and I was afraid that it'd be too late by the time I reached KIA). Luckily it took me only 30mins for the trip. Since it's still early, there weren't many people at the counter and since I already checked-in, i just need to drop my bag before heading to the terminal.

By noon, I was out of Penang airport and straight towards PG12. The taxi there was seriously 'cekik-darah". Imagine u need to pay RM30 just for a less than 10km ride. Dang!

All in all, this trip was OK. I feel that Kuching is a very relaxed city. The people is very friendly. I definitely need to come back with a lot more people coz eating alone really sucks. I need people to eat together to enjoy (and share cost) of the seafood hahahaha :p

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kuching, Sarawak Trip 2012 - Day 4 :: AM – Satok W'end Market

Date: 6 (Thursday) -10 (Monday) Sept 2012

Day 4 
Location: Satok W'end Market.
Weather: Fine
Transportation: kak lili's car, my feet


Today's destination is the Satok Weekend Market. I went here courtesy of kak lili's car hehehe. This place is quite far from the Waterfront so walking is not an option. You could either take a bus or take a cab to get there.

This w'end market is similar like the morning market in the Peninsular. There is a wet side (selling fresh meat, veggies and such) and the dry side (clothing, souvenirs). You can find the simplest things like onions or cabbages to pets like cats and dogs to the weirdest things (to me at least) like this yellow puff fish or the 1st time I saw a slayed stingray. i wont talk about the ray as i dont eat them as well as sharks...

Let the photos below shows how colorful it was there. If only i was living there, i swear i would buy all those fresh food and cooked myself.

Bottom right: very weird fish. not for sale though..

Top right: Ikan terubuk masin. the popular "souvenirs" here :)
Brunch at a nearby kopitiam: mee kolok and another mee which i forgot..

Went back to the hotel around 10am. Then lazing around in the room for a bit before heading out to the Waterfront searching fo lunch.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Kuching, Sarawak Trip 2012 - Day 3 :: PM – Kg. Boyan (kek lapis hunting)

Date: 6 (Thursday) -10 (Monday) Sept 2012

Day 3 
Location: Sarawak Cultural Village & Kg. Boyan.
Weather: Fine
Transportation: my feet

PM (night)

Next destination is across Sarawak River towards Kampung Boyan (Boyan Village). To get there, it’s easy. Just take a boat at and any jetty. But do note, although there might be a signboard saying the charge is 50cents one way at day time and RM1 at night, I was charged RM1 one way. Well, I gave RM1 and the uncle never gave me my change. It’s the same on return.

 Anyway, it was really a short journey. About 5mins crossing the 500m river hahaha. Don’t worry, the boat although small IT IS sturdy. There are 2 foodcourts. The first foodcourt I walked passed was kind of packed so I went to the one further. Based on the stall names, they looked rather identical. But food can wait. My first objective being there was to get some kek lapis.

Oh ya, there are 2 kek lapis shops within the area. The first one is Kek Lapis Mira and the second one is the most famous, Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah. Mira is located by the road side so u can easily see the shop even frm across the river. Dayang Salhah is a bit further walk but u wont miss the signboard. When I was there, there was a construction right in front of the shop. So if ure lost, just ask around.

There are variety of cakes here. And I mean A LOT. Normal sweet sour layer cake (that’s the typical basic cake flavor), all the cheesy ones and the mixed taste. According to the lady at Mira, Sarawak layer cake originates from a basic cheese cake. Then they just add and mix the flavor according to their creativity. I find it quite odd coz ever since I could remember, layer cake has always been the sweet sour cake. Maybe this is just how Sarawak cake differs. Aha! Among all this, the best part is that u can try all of them hahahaha! Here’s the bad side though, after trying all the samples u might get confused :p

Price ranges from RM10 to RM40. Depends on the type, flavor and size. A tip here, there are 2 types of layer cake. They’re either made of either butter or margarine. If u want the soft, fluffy and moist-y type (but high cholesterol and fat!), go for the butter one. Margarine is quite dry.
For dinner, I went to the 2nd foodcourt and had the local delicacies – Mee Kolok kering and the C-ping (a.k.a at Peninsular as 3 layer tea). The food there is quite cheap, about RM4 for mee kolok and RM2 for the drink. Wayyyy cheaper than dinner at the Waterfront. “cut-throat” btul la kt situ.
The day ended with the night stroll along the waterfront. Just a short walk due to my “shopping baggage”.

Next up – Satok Weekend Market.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Kuching, Sarawak Trip 2012 - Day 3 AM :: SVC

 Date: 6 (Thursday) -10 (Monday) Sept 2012

Day 3 

Location: Sarawak Cultural Village & Kg. Boyan.
Weather: Fine
Transportation: tour pick up, my feet


Pick up was supposed to be at 9am but the tour-person-in charge gave me a call at 8.30am asking whether I was ready. Unfortunately i just had my shower so he said he'll go and pick up others first. Turn out, i was the last one to board. And lucky me, since I was alone, I can sit next to the driver : )

Anyway, it took us about 30mins to reach our destination, Sarawak Cultural Village (SVC). SVC is located at the base of Mount Santubong, 35km from Kuching Town. The tour price : SVC RM80 for return transportation and adult entrance ticket. But if u go separately, ticket price for adult is RM60/ kids 6-12yrs RM30. I read somewhere that u can get discount if u buy from tour agent, hence I dont really know how much is my actual ticket price.

On our way there, we past by Kuching River, Petra Jaya, Samariang and towards Santubong. From far, I could see the legendary Mount Santubong and Mount Sejinjang. If ure Malaysian, u may know of the famous Princess Santubong and Princess Sejinjang song.

"Oh……Puteri Santubong,

Sejinjang sayang,
Kisah lama, Zaman mensia maya.
Puteri Santubong, Puteri Sejinjang,
Penjaga gunung Negeri Sarawak,
Manis sik ada dapat dilawan,
Anak dak Dewa turun kayangan.
Santubong puteri bertenun kain malam,
Sejinjang puteri menumbuk padi siang.
Satu hari nya dua kelahi,
Beranuk anuk sik renti-renti,
Seorang madah dirik bagus agik,
Seorang sik ngalah walau sampai ke mati.
Udah lejuk nya duak kelahi,
Lalu bertukuk nya duak puteri,
Sejinjang mengayun aluk ke pipi,
Tebik Santubong sampai gituk ari.
Tapi Santubong membalas juak,
Lalu ditikam batang belidak,
Sampei terkena Sejinjang kepala,
Lalu bertabor jadi Pulo Kera.
Kisah Santubong, kisah Sejinjang,
Asal berkawan jadi musuhan,
Kinik tuk tinggal jadi kenangan,
Pakei ingatan sepanjang zaman."

Generally, the legend goes around of the fight between 2 very close princess. There are of course, a lot of version for this folks' legend. I wont explain it all so u can read it here.  The scenery along the way was beautiful. Green and calm, I would say.

What i see along the way.. 
fm top left CW: Tune hotel, pass by old DUN, Mt Santubong, Mt Sejinjang

Back to SVC, this place has a lot to see. There are all the local ethnics home such as Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Melanau, as well as other minor tribes. I won't ramble here as the main SVC website already explained in detailed as to what are there to visit. But do take not, altho the entry on SVC is short, this is a MUST-GO place when ure in Kuching. It's the easies and simplest way of understanding who Sarawak are made of. 

 the entrance and the map
 Some of the local houses. U can climb, eat and try a lot of stuff in there :)
ok, the guy in the middle photo is very famous. if u watch the ads in TV, u'll recognise his face hehe. i only noticed him once i was back fm the trip

Apart frm visiting these houses and trying out their respecive delicacies, u must watch their cultural show. There are 2 cultural shows per day (11.30am and 4pm, each for 45mins) and during school holidays, an additional show will be available.

By the time I finished walking and having my own tour, I had around 30mins before the van picked us up. So I bought some banana fritters (very nice, price wise same like in Kulim) and coconut drink. Actually, Damai beach was just a stone throw away but the hot weather just turned me off to go for a stroll there. I was content with my fritters, coconut drink under the shades at the shuttle bay hehehe

Well, I was dropped off last at Tune around 3pm. PM journey to be continued after 2+ hrs of "nap".

Sarawak Cultural Village

Pantai Damai, Santubong,
93752 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel: (6082) 846 411
Fax: (6082) 846 988
Email: enquiry@scv.com.my
Website: http://www.scv.com.my