Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kuching trip

Dear friends,
Yup, it has been a busy but fulfilling holidays so far. I'm happy. Hehehe...
After a very short visit to Singapore 2 weekends ago, a few friends and I went to Siaw Hui's house in Kuching for a week! Well, there is so much to see in Kuching (Siaw Hui kinda knows her way around town! :D) that I am looking forward to go and teach in Kuching some day.
So, first days first. We bought our AirAsia flight ticket at RM 39.99 (what a steal!) to depart for Kuching at 2110 on the 15th. But AirAsia is AirAsia, and our flight was rescheduled to 1805. This is my first experience of having a flight brought forward instead of delayed. Hehe..so Woon and I very nearly missed the flight because we took public transport to the LCCT and it was raining. The bus I took was kind of scary because the driver stopped in front of MidValley and started to knock at something on the bus with a plier or some sort. It reminded me of the story my Hotel lecturer told us about an aircraft engineer hitting the aeroplane propeller with a tool in front of the passengers, which of course is not a right thing to do in the service industry (ceh...this is the result of one semester learnign about the service industry :P). So anyway, we only checked in at 1745 for a 1805 flight. Good thing the counter was still manned and the flight was delayed for a bit because of the rain. Nothing much happened on the flight except that Woon and I were so hungry and were suckers enough to buy the RM 6 nasi lemak on board each.
We reached Kuching International Airport at approximately 2015. Apparently the Kuching International Airport has been recently renovated and now it looks like a mini KLIA. Siaw Hui, Mei Ju, Sin Yuan and Siaw Hui's mother (Aunt June) were already waiting for us when Woon and I arrived. Important matters have to be dealt with first, so Aunt June brought us to have Kuay Chap or "Mixed Chicken". It looks like kuay teow in bak kut teh....but mm-hmmm...the taste is superb! After a filling dinner, Aunt June took us around Kuching for a view of the city at night. After that, we went to Siaw Hui's house and all of us piled in Aunt June's room to recharge ourselves for the next day.
The next morning, we went to have Laksa Sarawak. Mm-hmmm...I'm salivating as I recall the taste of it! After filling our tummies, we went to Waterfront. We thought of chartering a sampan but the man wanted us to pay RM 5 each when each trip is supposed to be only 30 sen per person. So, we followed the townfolks and boarded the normal sampan for 30 sen each to Astana. The garden/park there has been closed down to build the new Dewan Undangan, so we took another sampan to Fort Margherita. A man told me that the sampan rowers only take in 10% of the commission, that means only 3 sen each person each trip! Poor men! People, if you go to Kuching and decide to take the sampan, do charter a boat! Nothing much in Fort Margherita except for the rather eerie stories that we hear about it a few days later. The place looked abandoned and uncared for. Being the tourists that we were, we happily snapped pictures and happily trekked through the bushes to and fro the fort without noting any peculiarity.

After that, we went to survey the prices of souvenir at Waterfront before heading to Semenggoh with Aunt June and Siaw Hui's brother, Ah B. We were lucky enough to see 2 orang utans at their feeding time. Entrance was only RM 1.50 for students and RM 3 for adult. And for the night, we went to eat Ketchup Mee and proceeded to a very cosy cafe called Bla Bla Bla. We also met up with another friend, Sepul. Then, Sepul took us on a drive around Kuching Utara which is for Bumiputras. Then we went to have Ais Jagung! Phew..talk about eating non-stop!

The next day, we went to have Jeng and Kolo Mee near Waterfront - another must-try-dish in Kuching. Then, we went to the Museum. The first floor was under construction so we did not see much at the older Museum. The new museum across the main road was exhibiting the King's souvenir and some ceramic stuff. We spent most of our time at the new museum (and at the gift shop, waiting for Sin Yuan to finish shopping while waiting for the rain to stop). After that, we went to a gelato deli called Scoops! to have ice cream. We met up with Sepul again there. As though we have not eaten for weeks, we proceeded to have cucur a few steps away from Scoops! Then, Sepul had wanted to take us to have ABC Special. Good thing that the store was closed, but it was a pity that we could not have a try before leaving Kuching. Next time, k Sepul? Hehe...
The Civic Centre was also closed for renovation, so we could not have a bird's eye view of the city. But we went to the Friendship Park which was beautiful. It was built in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Malaysia-China alliance. After that, we went back to have seafood. The seafood there is not to be missed! Oh, thanks to Siaw Hui and Aunt June for the treat! ;P Come to Rawang and I'll bring you to have some famous food here! Hehe...
That day was Mei Ju's birthday, so we went to celebrate her birthday in Siaw Hui's friend's (friend's?) shop. Mei Ju owes us all a huge treat! :P

Aunt June brought us all to Damai the next morning. We were supposed to leave early but all of us slept like pigs and only finally left near noon. Hehe...the first thing to do when you go to Damai and the weather is fine is of course to check out the cultural village. Woon and I did not bring our student card so we had to pay RM 45 for the entrance fee (students=RM10) but we did get a green passport as a memento. The Cultural Village is similar to the Mini Malaysia in Melaka. I'm not sure if Mini Malaysia is still the same as I remembered from 15 years ago but the Village basically has authentic houses from different ethnicity. There were 7houses in the Village - Bidayuh, Iban, Penan (it's a hut), Orang Ulu, Melanau, Malays and Chinese. There was also a culutural dance performance at the end of the trip in the village.
Being in Damai, we of course did not miss out the chance of swimming in the swimming pool and the sea! We surfed the wave and it was a wonderful feeling. The sun set too soon for me and we had to get ready to go out for dinner already. We had seafood again that night at a rather isolated place. I wouldn't know that there would be a place to eat at that kind of place. But the food was superb as all the other meals that we had in Kuching. :) After stuffing ourselves with food (yet again), we went back to the hotel to watch TV. Everyone was tired and slept like logs (well, everyone except for Woon who could not sleep because Mei Ju ground her teeth! Ahaks!).
We were reluctant to leave the next morning. It was fun staying at Damai Lagoon. Siaw Hui brought us to Damai Beach Resort some 2 km away and it is a beautiful place too. Reaching Siaw Hui's house in the afternoon, everyone started to laze around. Hehe...watching tv, playing with Coco the Shihtzu, sleeping. Ahh...home sweet home.
The next two days, we spent re-eating the food that we had - Ketchup Mee, Jeng and Kolo Mee (we did not have the chance to eat Laksa Sarawak again because we woke up too late :P), Metahorn (ABC with lime) and Midin (a local vegetable which is really good). We also went splurging at the Waterfront for souvenir. We also bought pepper, bird's nest, pineapples, kek lapis to be brought home.
Too soon the 6 day trip comes to an end. Just as we were preparing to leave Siaw Hui's house for the airport, Ah B got an sms informing us that our 1830 flight had been delayed to 2005. We went to have Ketchup Mee and Metahorn once again and reached the airport at 1905. However, we were told that our flight was delayed once again to 2145. Hmm...AirAsia, AirAsia. So, we got to stay in Kuching for an extra 3 hours. We finally reached LCCT at 2345pm. After a few incidents at LCCT, I finally reached Home Sweet Home at 0300. Phew...that is the main reason for the delay of this post and the lazing about for the past few days! Hehehe.... ;P
Anyway, still want to wish a heartfelt gratitude to Siaw Hui and family for the wonderful time in Kuching. Do come to Rawang for an overnight trip or something! Hehe... Also a great big hug and THANK YOU to Siaw Hui, Mei Ju, Sin Yuan and Woon too for making the trip so enjoyable! You girls are a gem! Laugh until I need to rest my face for a few weeks ady! Hehehe..happy holidays! Next destination: Rawang? :)
For more pictures, please take a look at my photos. For more detailed description of places we went, visit Mei Ju's blog at http://emilychim.blogs.friendster.com/my_blog/2006/11/kuching_vs_kuci.html.

1 comment:

mae said...

Woo.. I love S'wak..!! Next time we together gether go to Mulu.. Will consider bringing Willy.. Ahaha :P I miss the Sarawak laksa and Kampua mee.. T_T