Relaxed in Kuching

Trip Start Mar 27, 2012
Trip End Oct 18, 2012

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Where I stayed
Fairview Guesthouse Kuching
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our farewell from Sibu was a happy one.  The local bus to take us to the long-distance bus depot was driven by the guy who had driven us into town some 3 days earlier.  He was delighted to see us and had us sit at the front of the bus, where he pointed out to Arthur, all the things that were wrong with his bus, including a bodgied up job he had done to the windscreen wipers and he kept banging into place the dashboard, which looked in danger of falling to the floor.  All this was done with a big, toothless smile as he shook his head and agreed with Arthur's state of apprehension! LOL
Anyway, we arrived in one piece and were immediately surrounded by half a dozen touts from the bus companies, all extolling us to take their bus to Kuching.  The price remarkably dropped from 50Rgs to 40Rgs, when I shook my head saying the 50 Rgs too expensive (about $A15.00).  Given the ride to Kuching was about the same distance as from Sydney to Albury, you can see travel is cheap in Borneo.   Anyway, we finally settled on the first bus to leave and away we went.
The ride from Sibu to Kuching was a bumpy one.  There is only a single lane highway for most of the distance and, given this is the one major road, there is a lot of traffic using the road.  When we entered a couple of big towns, Banda Sri Aman and Serian, there was a short distance of two-lane highway, on new smooth roads - heaven!  Alas, it did not last very long.
Kuching is a very laid-back town, which seems to be divided into the old Kuching and the New.  The old Kuching is settled around the waterfront and the streets that spread from this point.  It is full of little lanes that meander between streets and are filled with cafes, restaurants, craft shops, souvenir shops and markets.    On the western end of the city, is the Kuching Mosque (and Little India) where the markets, bus station and museums are found.  Two miles east of the Mosque is the Cat of Kuching, arm waving in welcome!  They seem to be mad on cats here, we found about 3 more sites with cats the big feature.
Across the river is the Astana (the Palace built by Charles Brooke as a bridal gift to his wife), it is now the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak.  Not far from the Astana is the remains of Fort Margherita, also established by the White Raj, Brooke who made Kuching his capital.    Between the Palace and the Fort is a fairly new State Assembly Building, which looks like a Asian hat, and is coloured gold - it looks really lovely at night when it is all lit up.
Everything is within walking distance and we have been to most of the museums, galleries and temples. 
We had a pleasant couple of days at The Fairview Guest House with Annie and Eric but we wanted to go to the Bako National Park for a couple of days, so after a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village, which displays seven authentic ethnic houses built around a man-made lake, showing the traditional life-styles of the Bidayug, Iban, Penan, Orang Ulu, Meland au, Malays and Chinese peoples.  There was also a show of traditional dancing and costumes of the early tribes and, while a little touristy, we thoroughly enjoyed it.  
A few photos of around Kuching.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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