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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kuching, Sarawak - Day 3

Day 3 in Sarawak was pretty much the same as Day 2.

We agreed to have a good night rest the day before and suggested to go out for breakfast at 9.30am. Being early risers, we were all up by 7.30 or so and feeling restless I called the other rooms to check if they have woken up. They were up and we were out of the hotel by 9am. Magaret, the person operating the snack counter in the hotel told us of another good place for breakfast. We wanted to eat mee jawa this time.

We used the back way and had to passed by Topspot (we had dinner there the night before) again.

We passed by the cat statues opposite Tun Jugah and came to another cat statues with a mini tower. I'm not sure whether Margaret calls this the Great Cat or Sze-En invented the name for this tower.

Breakfast was at this restaurant diagonally opposite the Sarawak Plaza, very near to AirAsia's shoplot.

The mee jawa was disappointing, the chow kuey teow was alright and the Sarawak laksa was the best so far, according to Aunt Chirs. They have also ordered "poh pia" and "woon chai koh." No comments on that.

Taking pics with the Great Cat.

On the way back, we got separated again. Esther, the kids and I went to the Popular bookstore in the Tun Jugah shopping centre. We spent quite some time here. We didn't know what else to do and was very glad when Rachel's friend, Bob called Esther to set an appointment for lunch at 1pm. Since there were 8 of us, he and his girlfriend came in 2 cars and took us to a chinese restaurant.

I don't know how to read Chinese but I can recognise my surname here. :) They pronounced it as Ting. Not sure what dialect. Most of us had beef noodles. Only Aunt Chris and Bob had pork noodles. There had a special name for it but I can't remember. The kids had spaghetti. The food was alright, and would have been better if we weren't so full from breakfast. I didn't finish my noodles too. Such a waste.

After lunch Bob said that he could leave us at the Textile Museum and from there we could walk back to our hotel.
Bob said that this is the place where they show you how to make textile. No entrance fee and no cameras allowed. Um, a word of caution - if you are easily afraid of mannequins DO NOT enter this building. The place was quite spooky with all the dark mannequins with untidy hair and unsmiling faces. My mom went in one of the rooms and got a fright. She refused to go any further. Sze-En who was once very afraid of departmental stores mannequins must have gotten over that fear because she spoke to one of them and got a good scolding from my mom.

We left the place quickly and did some shopping again along the shops opposite the waterfront.

We passed by SinggahSana (yellow and orange building), the inn which we wanted to stay earlier but the rooms we wanted were fully booked.

In the evening, we went for the Sarawak River Cruise. A good experience for the price of RM60 per adult.

Then as usual lah.. we went to Topspot to have our dinner. This time we ordered from the first shop again. The service there was good and the person taking our orders was very friendly. This time we prawns, asam fish curry, vege, tofu, oyster and midin, the paku-pakis vege.

After dinner, we didn't know what to do. We didn't want to walk at the waterfront again but we didn't want to sleep so early too.

I thought of a way for the aunties and my parents to play card games. The 2 nights before, we were thinking of how Aunt Chris could be in my room (or my parents' room) to play cards without disturbing Brian who would then be fast asleep when she returned to her room. Aunt Chris shared the same room with Brian and Tune Hotel only provide 1 key card and if Aunt Chris is in my room till late at night, she would have to wake Brian up when she goes back to her room. They ended up not playing cards for the 1st 2 nights.

The 3rd night, I explained the situation to the receptionist and asked whether they could help us open the door later when they were done playing cards. They said they could do that.

Since they wanted to play in my room, I gave them a time limit. They can only play till 12midnight. I reminded them that we had to get up at 6am for breakfast the next day.

They played till 12.15am and when Aunt Chris was ready to go back to her room, I went downstairs to ask the receptionist to open the door for me. She gave the master key to the security guard and we went back upstairs to open the room. He tried once, twice.. but couldn't open the door. The light at the door was blinking red. It seems that Brian had activated the "do not disturb" button and the guard couldn't open it with the master key. Aunt Chris had no choice but to wake Brian up. We tried calling Aunt Chris' handphone which she left with Brian, but he didn't wake up. She called knocked and called softly to him and he woke up. Hmm.... Aunt Chris, I think Brian only listens to your voice leh...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sarawak River Cruise

Someone told Aunt Annie this - it's okay to miss other tourist attractions in Kuching but not the Sarawak River Cruise.

So here we are waiting to board the ship. Esther managed to get cheaper tickets for us. Initially it was RM60 per adult and RM30 per kid. There were 5 adults (Esther didn't want to go) and 2 kids and the person in charge gave us a RM60 discount. We only paid RM300 for 7 of us.

The kids were so excited. They have never been on a cruise before.

Boarding the ship. It's not a big ship. According to the brochure, the ship could hold a maximum of 138 persons.

This is the lower deck. It was air-conditioned and I guess, they allow you to have your karaoke session here.

We all prefer to go up to the upper deck to enjoy the view.

Sze-En and Brian were waiting patiently for the ship to move.

Photos taken of the warerfront sidewalk from the upper deck.

It was going to be a good cruise I could tell. The weather was hot but there was a nice breeze too.

We could see Fort Margherita over at the other side of the river. We did not go to this tourist spot because we heard it was closed on Monday and Monday was the only day left we could visit this place.

Some pictures to prove that we went for this cruise.

We saw many sampans (boats) along the way but not as many as the ones I saw during the Kuantan River Cruise.

Welcoming drinks and snacks for everyone.

On of the waitress performed a cultural dance for us.

We could see a mosque from here. I'm not sure whether this is the State's mosque.

And a mountain.. what mountain is that? Mount Santubong?

The sunset view was really good. My compact camera is not high-teched enough to take better shots. :(

The children really enjoyed themselves. They didn't want to sit down and enjoy the view and poor Aunt Eunice had to accompany them to the front because that was where they wanted to be.

At least twice I made the children follow me back to the sitting area just to take pictures of the aunties. Otherwise they will scold me for not doing so. :(

Sunset pic.

Ha! Never thought I would enjoy the view this much.

People living along the banks of the river.

Evening sun. Again I wished I had a DSLR.

Passengers at the upper deck sitting down and having a nice relaxing time while Sze-En, Brian and I were roaming all over the upper deck. Most of the time my dad was standing in front of the upper deck.

Another dance performed by the waitresses. Sze-En wanted to see them perform, but Brian preferred to watch the sunset. I couldn't be at 2 places at one time, so I told Brian that we would go and see the performance for a while and then come back to the front to watch the sunset. He obediently agreed. Such a well-mannered boy. :)

The sun's completely gone but it coloured the sky from where it was.

Darkness had descended and soon it was time to leave the ship.

For RM60 with a discount, I must say the cruise is a bit pricey for one and a half hours. I don't think I will go for it again unless with good company. It's one of those been there done that kind of thing. This is my personal opinion and some of you might disagree. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kuching, Sarawak - Day 2

We woke up early to get to church by 6.45am. We went to an Anglican church ...way different from the church we usually attend back home.

When the service was over, we looked for a restaurant to have our breakfast.

Fortunately, we met a couple of girls and they told us where we could have the famous Sarawakian laksa and the kolo mee. Then we went to the Indian Street (Jalan India) to look for the Sarawakian laksa paste. Unfortunately they don't sell them here anymore.

From there we walked along the Kuching waterfront to get back to our hotel. The children, Esther and I had a chance to go for a short ride on the riverboat.

We reached the hotel at about 10.30am. It was still so early. At the reception area, my mom asked a person by the name of Margaret (she was handling the snacks corner) about the attractions of Kuching and subsequently reached to the topic on food. My mom was looking for a good cup of coffee. This lady was so kind to tell us where to get real authentic Chinese coffee.

She drew us a map and it looked quite near and all the aunties were excited. They immediately left the hotel to go to this coffee shop. Esther and the children decided not to go. My dad asked us to go ahead first and he'll come later. We have to pass TopSpot (the blue/green building where we had our dinner the night before) and it took us about 15 minutes to get to the coffee shop. As soon as I reached the shop, my dad called up to ask for directions. I roughly told him the directions and said that I would meet him at the MAS building. I told him that the coffee shop was next to the Grand Continental Hotel.

Aunt Chris ordered a bowl of Sarawak laksa. She wasn't satisfied with the one she had for breakfast. By the time my dad and I reached the shop, Aunt Chris had already finished her bowl of laksa and she was ordering some nyonya dumplings. I ordered my teh-si (Tea with evaporated milk). The nyonya dumplings were very good... and cheap. It cost only RM1.20. Over in Seremban, these dumplings may cost up to RM3.00.

My mom said that the coffee was not up to her expectations.

By 11.30am, the stalls started cleaning up. It seems that they open for breakfast only.

At about 11.50am we started walking back to our hotel. My mom saw a shop selling chicken rice and thought of Sze-En. It was almost lunch time and knowing that Sze-En love chicken rice, she bought a pack for her. Aunt Chris brought one for Brian too.

Walking back under the hot sun. The aunties were complaining that they had to walk so far. On the was back to the hotel they saw SALE signs all over a Bata shoe shop. I told them that I would bring the food back for the kids so that they could do some shopping.

Back at the hotel, Sze-En and Brian happily wallop the chicken rice and Esther made them drink water before we took them out for shopping.

And what's this? Statues of cats in the middle of the street.

Adorable cats statues.

We went for shopping at the Tun Jugah and Sarawak Plaza. Um.. there weren't many people in both shopping malls. Not sure why...being Sunday and all..

Esther and I didn't have our lunch yet and so we had nasi lemak and pasta each. The kids had ice-creams. They weren't hungry because they had chicken rice earlier on.

With nothing lined up for the evening, Esther and I took the kids to the waterfront to burn off their excess energy.. :)

The weather was hot.. but at least we were not cooped up in the room..

Sze-En and Brian posing for the camera.

There were some traders selling mostly jewelery made out of beads and other souvenirs.

It was soon time to get back to our hotel to check what my parents and aunties were up to.

The door's not fully closed in one of the rooms. Ah.. they are playing card games again. :)

At night, we went to Topspot again. Yeah... we don't know where else to go. Anyway, there were a lot of shops to choose from and so we went to one called Topspot Seafood which is in the middle of the row of shops.

We had mix veg, Foo Yong Tan (Seremban egg), the paku pakis vege, oyster, tofu and boneless chicken meat. The aunties preferred the first shop's food. I thought the food was fine. I'm not that fussy I guess. :)

Since the day before we didn't get the chance to walk in front of the waterfront at night, we thought that we should, well... walk, especially after having our dinner.

The humidity was high and pretty soon what all the aunties wanted to do was to go back to the hotel and take a good shower.

Back in the hotel, after bathing my parents and the aunties were waiting for each other to call. All of them wanted to play card games but no one called. So they ended up sleeping early. We have already agreed that we would sleep in the next day and meet at 9.30am for breakfast.

The 2nd cockroach in my room. I couldn't reach the ceiling so I just left it alone. Pretty soon it disappeared. I remembered sleeping with the fear of cockroaches crawling all over my face.

What a way to end the day with this thought. :(