Saturday, March 19, 2011

20110310 Sarawak – Kuching

Upon arrival at Kuching, I know this was far from my expectation, so quiet to be a city. I thought I would enjoy the similar lively atmosphere like KK. Wrong! I asked the opinions of tourists around, many preferred Kuching indeed for its serenity.

I stayed close to the China Town. To my disappointment the food courts here were so small and hardly provide various choices. Local foods like Kolo Noodle and Sarawak Laksa were OK, but in general not special, the prices were not cheap either.

It was quite fun to walk around the downtown. Many buildings preserved the traditional architecture and deco, beautiful for photographing. Good souvenir shops with attractive displays could be found. Liked the primitive “artistic” sculptures or carving from the local tribes, but I knew my mom would see them too evil. Let’s wait till I have my own house. There were many museums in town, not so interesting except the Arts Museum. The riverfront was the hot spot in the evening for a stroll. A few stalls selling finger foods, souvenir vendors displaying the cheaper products, street artists’ performance enliven the atmosphere.

In fact, the main selling points in Sarawak were the visit to different national parks, ranged from nature escapade to traditional culture exploration. Due to the remoteness of some places, we could hardly avoid to engage tourist agent to organize trips. Don’t expect that the aboriginal tribesmen are living still in the stone age and waiting for our visit. In fact many places have been commercialized and modern amenities are well integrated into their life. I’m not interested to see the modern tribesmen, I want the authenticity, but I have to travel deeper into the forest…

All these packages are not cheap and longer expedition needs longer time. I was in rush to return home, couldn’t arrange in this trip. I could only make up to Bako National Park for a day trip, not far from Kuching. Trek was fairly easy, but I was exhausted after 6 hr trek over 8.5km.

Sarawak Culture Village (SCV) is a living museum, with example of traditional dwellings of different tribes. It was more interesting than you might think. This was just exhibits, looked too solid and too clean to the reality. The 40min cultural performance was excellent, superb music and dancing.