A Week In Cat City

Kuching Travel Blog

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Among the cats of Kuching.

Time to chill out for a week!

Well that was the plan anyway. I wanted to take it easy a bit so that Debbie could have some proper quality time with her parents, without having to play tour guide for me. We suceeded mostly ... there was plenty of time spent watching TV and chowing down on the endless supply of great food that her Mum provided, but we did get to do some touristy stuff too.

One whole day was spent checking out all the museums around the place. It was a great way to relax and kill some time ... highlights included the decorated elephant skulls in the Sarawak Museum, the upside down swimming fish in the aquarium, and the fighting rooster sculpture made entirely out of old soft drink cans and sheet metal in the Art museum.

On the same day, we also ventured across the river to find Fort Margherita (the old fort where the first British king used to watch out for invading ships). The boats across are pretty small, kinda like Kucing's answer to the gondolas in Venice. It ended up being quite an adventure to find the fort ... we had to walk through a couple of Malay villages, round the back of people's houses, and through the courtyard of a police station (even though the entrance to the station had a big sign saying to keep out - ???). The fort itself had a great view, but was a bit of a letdown seeing as it was supposed to be a "police museum" but was completely empty. Oh well, at least we had some company ... a couple of kids from the village followed us and acted as tour guide!

Another day we went out to the Cultural Village at the foot of the nearby Santubong Mountain. The village has a bit of a cheesy-touristy factor, but is still pretty cool. Kind of a life size exhibit of the traditional dwellings of the different indigenious Borneo tribes, around a picturesque lake. It's great to see how much pride the native people have in their culture, and they're very freindly too. Later on Debbie's Dad took us for a walk through the jungle paths to a beach where a cool mountain stream met the sea. It was fascinating to feel the different water temperature from the stream and ocean, and it was a great place to cool off.

What else did we do? We saw the beautiful orangutans in the semi-wild (it's a rehabilitation centre), went karaoke-ing (the staff couldn't help laughing at my attempts to sing in Chinese), and did some more shopping (boo!). On the last day I even went to school with Debbie's Mum (she teaches English), and gave a speech to the kids about our Kinabalu mountain climb!

The best thing about the city was probably the food though. The girls' parents introduced us to some fantastic hawker places that were dirt cheap but had better quality than most of the other stuff we tried. We also checked out a place called "Bla Bla Bla", where you have to use "stepping stones" to get across an indoor koi pond to get to your table, and I had ostrich meat for the first time! We had so much food that Debbie even had a nightmare about being force fed against her will!

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Among the cats of Kuching.
Among the cats of Kuching.
photo by: aotw