Monday, 9 August 2010

Kuching trip – 9 Aug 10

Today is the last day in Kuching and I only wake up at 8am since we told the driver to reach at 9.30am.

Since there is still an hour left after I finished packing my bags, I went out for breakfast with my parents. We walked to a coffeeshop near the cat statue and had kolo mee RM2.70.
Kolo mee
Khatulistiwa Cafe & Restaurant

At 9.30am, we proceed to checkout and the driver is waiting for us outside the hotel. As the Tune Hotel's check out time is 10am, we choose to check out before this time to save on the luggage storage fee.

Initially, we intend to have breakfast at Choon Hui cafe at Jalan Ban Hock (near Grand Continental Hotel but it's not open! Ahh.... how come these shops are not open when I'm here?Since my sis and Xinyi havent had their breakfast yet, we just stop at a coffeeshop and they had their breakfast there.
Crossing the bridge to the northern bank
Toll stations at the northern bank
Old Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building
Viewing tower
New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building (DUN)
View of Kuching waterfront from the northern bank
Tambang (sampan) ferrying people across the river
Poka dots telephone booth

Next, we went to Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah. Address: 40 Kampong Gersik, Opening hours: 8.30am - 10pm daily. Contact: 082445040 / 082371348
 Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah

Although kek lapis are sold everywhere in Kuching, the best is from Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah. Furthermore, one can taste a variety of Kek Lapis before buying.

For those taking sampan from waterfront, it is a short distance from the jetty. Keep right once alight from the jetty.

We bought a total of 8 boxes of Kek Lapis and 1 box is free for spending more than RM100. We bought Lapis Madu Belang and other cheesecake lapis which I dont remember the flavour. It really depends on individual preference and in my research, the highly recommend ones are cadbury, blueberry and manis.
Colourful Kek Lapis
A variety of Kek Lapis

On the way to the northern bank of Kuching just now, we passed by the Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan (Kuching South City Hall) and I asked the driver what is this building as it resembles the cat museum building. Actually, the cat museum building is located at the Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (Kuching North City Hall).

The city of Kuching is divided into two areas; Kuching North and Kuching South. Each are administered by a Mayor. Kuching North is primarily Malays while Kuching South is primarily Chinese.

There is a pictorial gallery located at the ground floor which exhibits the progress and history of Kuching. Admission is free and photo taking is not allowed. I saw a photo which our MM Lee visited Kuching in the 60s or 70s.
Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan

How do I know this Kucing is a Miss?
Neat row of flowers and trees infront of Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan

We spent about half an hour inside the pictorial gallery before leaving for our last destination - Sarawak museum. On the way, we passed by The Great Cat of Kuching which is situated at the junction of Jalan Padungan and Jalan Central. It used to be the king of kitsch but the Great Cat now has a competitor - the Cat Statue. The cat will be dressed up during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Gawai Dayak and Christmas.

The Great Cat of Kuching

Sarawak museum is the oldest museum in Borneo. It was established in 1888 and opened in 1891. Location: Tun Abang Haji Openg. Opening hours: 9am – 4.30pm, closed on 1st day of Major Festivals. Sarawak museum consist of the old and new wing which is across the road.

The ground floor of the museum holds the natural history collection and specimens of Sarawak fauna while the west wing of the museum houses Shell exhibition — petroleum industries of Sarawak. The second floor displays exhibits of ethnographic artifacts.

Sarawak State Museum is the best museum that I have visited in Kuching and we spent about an hour inside the museum. There are real fishes which are expertly stored inside bottles for display. I was also amazed to find 2 whales' skeletons here. It's a pity that I couldnt took photographs inside the museum.

 Sarawak Museum
 Photo taking is strictly prohibited

We didnt enter Natural Science Museum & Art museum but both are free admission.
Natural Science Museum & Art museum
 Overhead bridge to the new wing of Sarawak State Museum (also known as Dewan Tun Abdul Razak)

Below is an interesting thing which is outside the entrance of the new wing museum. I forgotten what exactly it is but if I remember correctly, the Indigenous people used broken plates to create the shape of crocodile to ward off something in their field.

The ground floor is a temporary exhibition hall while the second floor displayed mostly items related to pre-historical era.
 Broken ceramics

We left at around 1.15pm for our lunch. We spent some times locating the restaurant as Jalan Tabuan is a very long street.
Guan Ying temple
We had our lunch at Aroma Cafe. Address: Ground Floor Sublot 126, Jalan Tabuan. Opening hours: 7am – 10.30pm.

The purpose of having our lunch here is to try the Iban delicacy - Manok Pansoh (Chicken cooked in bamboo). However when the food was served, the chicken was cooked in soup styled. Hmm.. did we ordered the wrong dish? Anyway, we just dig in. We were surprised that the fried rice cames in such a big plate. Had we know earlier, we would ordered one plate instead. This meal cost us RM65 for 7 pax.
Facade of Aroma Cafe
 Interior of Aroma Cafe 
Tom Yam rice, Pineapple fried rice and Omelette
 Butter fish
 Ayam pansoh
Kangkung belacan

After our hearty lunch, we left for airport. We proceed to check in first. The lady at the check in counter was quite stringent and asked us to weigh our luggage even though all are hand carry. I guessed it's because the limit of Tiger Airway hand carry baggage is 7kg compared to Jetstar 10kg.
 Check-in counters
 Shops at the departure hall

We cleared the custom and wait at the transit area for almost 2hr. My sis emptied her bottle before clearing the customs and she couldnt refill the bottle since there was no water cooler inside the transit area.

Again, our boarding gate was located at the furthest one. Our plane was delayed by about 20min as the plane landed at the time which we should be departing. Thanks to the rain, there is aerobridge to shelter us.
 Shops at the transit area
 Under construction
The airport can accomodate Airbus A380
It's raining
 A plane taking off and another plane just landed
Airplane refuelling

After about an hour flight, we reached Singapore safely at 6.20pm. YQ came to fetch us and we had dinner at Jurong Point Ding Tai Fung before heading home.

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