A Week In Kuching, Sarawak (East Malaysia)
It’s the time of the year when everyone is travelling.
As I opened my Instagram account looking through past travel photos, my fingers stopped scrolling at those photos I took in Sarawak June this year. Oh, how I love this place. It is a place rich in culture, quiet because it is less populated, economical because of the weak currency and plenty of mother natures to explore. If it stays the same 15 years later, I might even consider migrating there.
A week in Sarawak seems like a long stay but that was because we had our church camp there. Nonetheless, there are really many places to explore if one is adventurous. In reality, we have only 3 days to explore this part of East Malaysia, which is really not many days. We stayed in Kuching Hilton Hotel throughout, one of the BEST hotels in Kuching (Sarawak) you could ever ask for.
Kuching Hilton Hotel
Kuching Hilton Hotel is one of few hotels located along Kuching Waterfront. Though there are some more economical ones along the waterfront as well, Hilton is better managed and well maintained. The rooms that face the waterfront give you spectacular view of the Sarawak River and the glorious sunset. Riverside eateries and bazaar are available on weekend evening, which are just at the door step of the hotel, woohoo.
Kuching Hilton, though an older hotel, was very well-maintained. They kept the place clean, service level was top-notched, facilities and equipment in the gym, pool, and other common areas were well-maintained too. In short, you will have no regrets staying in Kuching Hiton Hotel.
Sarawak River Cruise
When you stay by the waterfront, never forget to take the boat ride. Ah, yes, there are ad hoc paid water taxi you could take along Sarawak River but my advice to you is to book a guided one from the travel agency located inside Hilton Hotel or book online. We booked ours here but I understand it is not available at the moment. You may like to try this instead.
The difference between those ad hoc ones and these guided ones is that, with a guide, you get to know a lot more about the history of the 2 sides of the river banks, which makes the trip educational rather than just pure entertainment. No other city in Malaysia has such a romantic and unlikely history as Kuching.
Oh, did I say you could also tell the boatman to stop for you to watch the glorious sunset by the river? You couldn’t do that with ad hoc taxi ride. It is all worthwhile to pay a little more for the memory of your life.
Annah Rais Bidayuh Long House
Annah Rais Longhouse is located about 40-50km from Kuching City (about an hour car ride). We booked a day trip here.
For centuries, the villagers who are from the “Bidayuh” tribe used to stay on this longhouse built by the government for them. The longhouse stood 10 feet above the ground and was built with strong and durable wood like ironwood (belian) and mature bamboo (apek). In older houses were put together without nails. Of course, some families tore them down and built new ones (with nails now).
Homestay with tour provided is available if any adventurous folks are keen. In these kind of packages enable you to not only stay in the longhouse, you will also get to venture out into the mountains experiencing the hot spring, waterfall, jungle trekking, Bidayuh cultural dance, music, craft and costume, and the ethnic food as well. Should you wish to embark in this kind of experience, contact Joseph to find out more:
Joseph Reis Anak Enang @ Joseph Chua
We were exploring the Mini-museum
Skulls in the Barok (skull house)
Sarawak Cultural Village
The Sarawak Cultural Village is about 40 minutes drive from Kuching City. It claimed to be 'See Sarawak in half a day" as this unique award-winning living museum offers an excellent introduction to local cultures and lifestyle.
It sprawls over 17-acre of land with replica buildings representing every major ethnic group in Sarawak. Each building has a story to tell and it would be good to book a guided tour to make this trip to Sarawak Cultural Village more educational. We booked ours here.
A Malay Townhouse
A Chinese Farm House
We also visited a Pepper Farm on the way to Sarawak Cultural Centre. Check it out here below:
First time in our lives we saw the pepper crop. We always eat the end products but rarely get the chance to see the original sources. #livesofurbanites . Oh, didnt know pepper is a creeper plant, and they are fast to harvest, less than a year to be precise. . Whether you like black pepper or white pepper, they both come from green pepper like those seen on photos. #不管是黑胡椒还是白胡椒都来自青胡椒 . After being harvested, they are soaked in water for 2-3 weeks for sprouting and those poorer in quality will float. Then they are sunned and processed to give us black or white. . Sarawak produces some of the world's best pepper. Needless to say, we bought some back. . #sarawak #kuching #eastmalaysia #santubong #pepper #pepperplantation #farm #peppercrop #holiday #travelogue #travel #holidayactivities #educationaltrip #sgparentbloggers #sporemombloggers #travelwithkids
This pretty much sums up our Kuching trip. I really hope to go to East Malaysia again, next trip probably Sabah.