Published: April 11th 2007April 11th 2007
We had spent Tuesday night in the Kota Kinabalu airport where there we no restaurants open, so by the time we had boarded the airplane we were starving, we ordered some noodles and a sandwich each, which hardly touched the sides they went down so fast.
It was then a short bus journey to Kuching town centre and we had no problem finding some accommodation. The first thing we did was to have a power nap as we hadn't got much sleep the night before. We woke up around 3pm and decided to head out, we walked along the waterfront which was quite scenic and made our way to several shopping centres but nothing caught our eye.
We had dinner at a lovely grill place where we had a Carlsberg buffet, yes all you could drink for 25RM (3.25) and after paying for the beer we ordered some food. Three jugs later and several games of cards we were ready to go back to our room, we said goodbye to the staff, who at this point were playing cards themselves and we left. In fact they were so engrossed in each other they forgot to charge us for
the food, it was rather naughty of us but we are on a budget!
On Thursday we decided to head to Main Bazaar which is a road where all the arts and crafts shops are where we intended to do our last bit of shopping in Asia. We had decided not to set ourselves a budget, but instead go in every shop first before buying anything and then decide what we want over lunch and a coffee. All the shops were next door to each other which made life a bit easier for us. I ended up with three bags of goodies when I received a text message of Michael (who knew I was shopping for furnishings for our future home). I nearly fell over laughing when I read "Claire, it's nice to have a suggestion of Asia within the decor, even an infusion of Asian influence, but oh my days we don't want to make it look like a Chinese restaurant!” I also managed to find something nice to give my brother and his girlfriend for a house warming present.
We then had a bite to eat before heading back to our guesthouse to admire
our purchases and i wondered how on earth I was going to manage to send them all home.
On Friday we were up early and caught a local bus to Bako Village where we then traveled by boat to Bako National Park. The first thing we did was to have lunch, which consisted of a buffet that wasn't even warm yet alone hot, then we discussed which trek we should do. We decided to incorporate three short ones which we would do in plenty of time to catch the last bus back. Whilst we were discussing this we noticed a few people pointing at something in the nearby tree, so we decided to have a look before heading off. It turned out to be a viper sat on one of the branches, our first spot of the day!
The first trek was called Jalan Tanjung Sapi, which turned out to be a separate route to the other two. It was the shortest taking just 30 minute to complete. It lead up hill to two viewing platforms overlooking the sea. Unfortunately we didn't see any wildlife on this walk, as butterflies and spiders don't really count!
The next two treks were off the circular Jalan Lintang, we decided to do the one furthest away first, this was called Jalan Telok Delima, it was supposed to take us to the shore but instead it ended quite abruptly in a swamp / quicksand. The trees were painted the route colour so we know that we didn't take a wrong turn, but we didn't feel confident about going any further so we turned round instead. We did see some wild life on this trek, a small hermit crab making his way to the sea, although upon seeing us with our cameras he decided to hide in his shell. About 5 minutes later with some pictures, we left him to it.
The last trek of the day was Telok Assam which involved quite a steep incline up to an amazing 180 degree viewpoint. Again we didn't see any wildlife but we did notice a sign saying beware of the bees, luckily for us they were busy in their nest, which we saw high up one of the trees, well out of our reach! We stayed at the viewpoint for a while before returning back to the base.
The cat show
At Kuching Cat Museum
back we decided a cold drink was needed so went to the canteen for a cold can, or at least Erica did, not long after I had opened mine a cheeky macaque crept up on me and stole it from under my nose, he then took of into the corner with it where he drank it and poured it over his arm to lick it off. He appeared to have enjoyed it more than I would. There were a few macaques around, several of them entering the canteen building and stealing bananas.
In the evening we wanted to eat at a place we had seen the previous night, however it was fully booked so we ended up eating around the corner, but the food wasn't great, it was third time lucky with my order after being told there was no steak, I then ordered spaghetti, I opted for beef rather than chicken which Erica had asked for. Erica's came first which is no surprise in Asia, you never eat at the same time, but when she was half way into hers I was then told there was no beef left. I had some Malaysian noodles instead but they weren't very tasty.
On Saturday we had the job of sending all our new purchases home which was just as tricky as I had imagined, one of them was too big for even the largest box so we had to hunt down some bubble wrap and brown paper. Eventually, a small fortune later, everything was on its way home.
We then headed to the cat museum, if you didn't know Kuching is Malaysian for cat. We arrived just in time to see the weekly show, which was not to be taken serious, people dressed up at cats dancing around, bizarre. What was worse they dragged me up on stage, I had to dance with them and blow a dart at some balloons, I think I was more surprised than anyone else when I actually popped one. The crowd was cheering me, but I was so nervous and shocked that I didn't really hear them.
We then entered the museum which was the biggest pile of crap I have ever seen, I am glad we didn't have to pay to get in! It was as if they had searched the entire world for the tackiest, crappiest cat models, pictures etc and just shoved them all in one room. Oh my days, Erica had paid to use her camera, but I had a quick look round first and had already decided there was nothing I wanted to take a photo of. The only interesting thing was the shape of the museum, it looks like a UFO which is like no other building in Kuching.
We didn't really do much else after this, grabbed something to eat from across the road before catching the bus back into town. In the evening we packed up our stuff and had a few beers ready for going to the airport the next morning.