Tuesday, 28 December 2010

KUCHING EASIER INTO THE WIND BY AIR December 2010.


David, Joan, (Davids mum visiting from Perth Western Australia,) and I head out to the airport on the 16th  to catch a flight to Kuching. We took a chance and didn't book rooms for our stay however city map showed numerous choices and we had very little luggage so a taxi took us to central Kuching and we set Joan down in a comfortable air-conditioned chair while we went in search of accommodation. Very quickly we came upon a clean and basic looking place, one street off the main waterfront, called Furama Lodging House and despite warnings on the net that some of the cheaper places "having vice activities" we checked out the rooms and checked in. $33A per night seemed ok. We ended up spending our three days here and would go back.
Orangutang at the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.
After checking in we ran down the car hire place and organized a car. An ancient Honda Accord, in very good condition. That afternoon, Thursday, we drove out to Semenggoh to visit the Orangutan sanctuary. The feeding was nearly over because we managed to get lost several times and arrived late. The staff were great though and we got to see several of these beautiful creatures. Dinner that evening at Magna Carta Restruant in the old Court House on the Kuching Waterfront, was a highlight and Joan was intorduced to Tuak, the local wine.
Friday we set off to breakfast at a local cafe then to head to a mall. all this took longer than planned so we aborted the visit to The Cultural Village at Tanjung Dati and went instead to the Sarawak Museum. Several hours later and somewhat dissapointed we headed to lunch after which we spent a very pleasant hour in a water craft meandering up and down the river inspecting the local landmarks.

We learned sometime about now that we had visited the "Old" Museum!..darn! The old museum is extremely badly lit and the exhibits certainly look like they have been there since early last century. We will have to go to the New Sarawak Museum on our next visit. 
The government building. Parliament Palace. Kuching
  Saturday we headed out early to the Cultural Village at Tanjung Datai. Its a fair drive and we only got lost once!. You do see some interesting things on the side when you get lost so its not all bad. We arrived and managed to track down a wheel chair for Joan at the Datu Beach Resort. Its a lot of walking at the village, mostly on  boardwalks and only on the odd rough spot, did we look like tipping her out. Joan was able to climb the sometimes rickety and challenging entry ladders to see the examples of traditional tribal houses, offering an introduction to local cultures and lifestyles. There was a compliment of local people on site to offer further information and displays of music, dance, craft and cooking. It was a long day but fortunately not too hot and well worth the effort.

Sunday we went to the local Sunday market for a few bargains and then to Uniko Borneo craft shop in the center of the city. This was an amazing antique shop selling items primarily from Sarawak but also odd  exotic pieces from all over asia. A very articulate and well informed young man there was able to supply information on a number of interesting pieces we admired. Eventually we had to drag ourselves out of there and rush to pack and drive to the airport for our flight back to Miri.
Orang Ulu House at the Cultural Village near Tanjong Datu
Bidayuh House

 Kuching. Interesting and friendly city. We will be back.
Now we are motor sailing up the coast towards Muara and the Royal Brunei Yacht Club for a Xmas Lunch on Saturday in company with Chris and Daun on "More Magic". We left Miri yesterday mid-day and stayed in the river at Kuala Belait last night after a great sail.
On that note I will wish everyone a very Merry Xmas and may 2011 be all you wish for.
Cheers.

More Photos of Kuching December 2010