Cat City .... looks purrrrfect!

Trip Start Jun 19, 2009
Trip End Sep 17, 2009

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We took the short one and a quarter hour flight from J.B. to Kuching and shared a taxi into town with a guy from Belfast who was travelling after losing his job at Lehman’s. Interesting chats with him!

The Tune hotel has a great location on the waterfront next to the much swishier Hilton. The waterfront area is really nice, it has a European feel as you wander beside riverside cafes and it’s all so clean & tidy! – ahh, well that might also have something to do with the Royal visit – next week their new state building is opened and the Sultans are all coming for the grand opening and a two day meeting. So, everything’s getting cleaned, painted and tidied up. Great for us and, even better, there’s a regatta following on so we can watch some of that as well as the practice races.

We did a day of museums because it was raining! The Sarawak museum has some interesting exhibits including a watch that had been cut out of a crocodile’s stomoch (after it had eaten the arm it was attached to) and a penis piercing vice (Martyn cringed), which was used by local tribes (and occasionally still is used!!) in order to imitate the Sumatran Rhino??

Next day we did the gorgeous Orang-utan visit. We took a local minivan to the wildlife park with a nice group of medic students from Newcastle who are on placement here at the hospital!

The wildlife centre has 24 Orang-utans who have freedom to roam in the park, are semi wild but can come to take fruit from the feeding stations twice a day. We had great views of a mother and baby, a youngster and an older male.

Not sure of the effectiveness of this project, although they say they release back to the wild, 13 of the Urangs were born in the park and they didn’t seem to be moving on very quickly. Still, they are dependent for a long time.

The park must make quite a lot of money from the visitors, so hopefully the money’s put to good use. At least they don’t allow touching and holding of the Urangs and none of them were caged, so that was good!

We then discovered Meg & Duffy's, a great café for Roti Canai (superb fried flat bread) – Martyn is considering asking them for a job and staying on just to eat here every day.

It was just a morning visit so later that afternoon we went across the river in one of the old Tambang river taxis. Went to have a look at the Fort (a relic from British Raj days) …. it was closed but we had a nice wander about watching the men and boys flying kites really high and some of the dragon boats doing their practice runs. Great atmosphere! We can really recommend a visit here.

In the evening we tried a local speciality for a treat Ayam Pansoh, chicken cooked with lots of spices (lemon grass being most predominant) steamed and served in a bamboo tube – nice but not as good as the local Laksa (noodle soup with coconut milk) or Midin (fronds from a jungle fern).

Next day we walked up through a very nice park and went for a look round the weekend market. This was a huge affair with loads of stalls and thousands of people. Most stalls were food - fruit & veg, meat and fish. but also clothes and some tourist tat. Villagers come from miles around to set up their stalls on the Saturday and sleep next to them for the main market day on Sunday. Everyone was really friendly and if you expressed an interest in something they tried their best to explain what it was or give you a taste!

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martynandsarah on

Hi Andi
No, my spear is just as it was! Really made me go weak at the knees though.

You'd love it here.

Have fun in Egypt and watch out for Nemo.


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