Published: June 9th 2011June 9th 2011
Serve chilled in small guiness glasses. Top tip, don't try to hide behind thr bottle Mac, it's just not possible!
Tuesday - we decided against eating at Top Spot as it was all pretty much seafood and we didn't fancy it; instead we ate laksa at a small local place, very tasty, complete with lime and sambal on the side for 5 ringgit each (one pound, 2 NZ$).
Wednesday - didn't do much really. It didn't rain, second day in a row. We just wandered around India Street, visited a Hindu temple and Mac got a very good 10 ringgit haircut.
Later we went back up towards India Street to eat at Little Lebanon, an arabic place mentioned in the Lonely Planet. It was a huge disappointment - the baba ghanoush tasted nothing like authentic baba ghanoush and the falafel tasted burnt on the outside, although the inside was pleasant enough and the tahini dip was OK. But it was a long way to walk to have below average food and we won't be going there again, a pity as I'd been looking forward to some great middle eatern food. On the plus side, the restaurant was nicely laid out with good background music, efficient staff and pleasant service.
Thursday (today) - another leisurely breakfast in the hotel
A truly wonderful classic in Sarawak!
then we hung around for a while before heading off to visit Semenggoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre on our own. Most tour companies charge about 50 ringgit each for a 3-hour trip here but it's easy enough to do on your own at a fraction of the cost, particularly when given excellent info from the nice lady at the Visitor Centre.
We chose Semenggoh over Sepilok in Sabah because it's much less touristy here and also much less publicised. The centre is home to about 20+ orang utans and the best time to visit is at feeding time in the morning or afternoon. The centre is about 24 km south of Kuching and doable by bus in around 40 minutes.
We caught the 1.20 bus for 3 ringgit each then once at the entrance to the centre it's a 1.3 km walk to the actual orang utan area. The entrance fee was also 3 ringgit each. It was blazing hot but an easy walk, plenty of palms, bamboo and other trees on the way. We had to wait for about 45 mins and it that time many more visitors arrived. A warden gave us a briefing on how
to behave in the viewing area (hide all food and drink, keep quiet, etc) then the gate was unlocked and everyone trooped in.
A multilevel platform means everyone gets a decent view and opportunity to take photos. The warden signalled the orang utans and put the fruit out. There's no guarantee that you'll see any but we were fortunate to see two; these must have been the hungry ones! We watched them feed for about half an hour (you can stay an hour but it started thundering about 3.30 so we decided to try for the 4.00 bus back rather than wait until 5.15 - last bus) and climb up and down the trees; it was very impressive to see them. Most of the time they had their backs to the crowd whilst eating or were clinging on to the far side of a tree so I'm especially happy to get the photos I did.
We walked back to the entrance and just as we arrived at 10 to 4 the bus pulled in - we were the only passengers and it left immediately so for once luck was on our side, as 5 mins into the journey
back the heavens opened again, complete with thunder and lightning.
It was still coming down heavy by the time we got back to the bus station in Kuching so we took shelter where we could and braved it where we couldn't. It inally eased off on the walk back to the hotel, a good 20 mins or so from the bus station.
So another good day, total cost each to get to Semenggoh and back 9 ringgit - amount saved over the cheapest tour 41 ringgit each, very happy about that!
Well tomorrow is our last full day here before heading to peninsular Malaysia, I think we've pretty much done what we intended to do here and had an enjoyable last stop in Borneo. Kuching definitely recommended!
There are more photos below