Most Filipinos wouldn’t have any idea where Kuching is, even I only knew about this place’s existence when I started working here in Singapore, that’s why, I wanted to see and learn more about this place and maybe, eventually let my relatives and kababayans get acquainted with this city named Kuching.
Kuching, in Malay, means cat. Many refer to Kuching as Cat City but according to some items I’ve read, there’s little chance that the name actually came from this Malay word because, in Borneo, the word Kuching is not commonly used, they use the term pusak for the word cat. Based on some reads, the name might have been derived from a small river named sungei Kuching? And that, I can’t be sure of. (http://www.wonderfulmalaysia.com/kuching-city-malaysia.htm#kuchingmap)
Kuching was said to be the most multi-racial city in Malaysia and is considered as one of the cleanest cities in the country. Kuching was also voted once as one of the world's healthiest cities to live in. Hence, we just needed to check this city out.
This was the first time I took Tiger Airways and my first time to fly without Check-in baggage. From this trip I learned to pack light, only bringing things that are basic and essential.
Now that Tiger Airways and all the other budget carriers were transferred to Terminal 2 from Budget Terminal, the cue for check-in was terrible. Although the cue was long and winding, we were able to check-in in maybe about 30mins. Good thing we weren’t rushing.
I had no issues with the plane or their services because it was just a 1.5hrs flight. I just kept myself busy by reading a book Joyce gave me (Murakami’s What I Talk about When I Talk About Running) and after few chapters, the plane was already landing.
We took an airport cab to our lodge, Woodpecker Lodge (No 264, 2nd and 3rd floor, Jalan Chan Chin Ann, 93100, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia). We just had to pay RM26 at the airport (not to the driver) take the receipt, present it to the driver, then tell him where we’re heading and tadah, we were able to reach within about 30mins.
As we reached the street, we were appalled to see how the exteriors of the lodge looked like. We knew that there’s a bar below the lodge and we accepted the fact that there would be some noises from the bar at night but what we weren’t expecting was, the bar was the type where seductively- dressed women perform. When we arrived, the bar was closed because we arrived on a National Holiday. (or I guess because it was still early?<5pm>)
***We got the accommodation deal from Agoda at 96.58SGD for 3nights, twin sharing. Not bad.
As mentioned, since we arrived on a National Holiday, almost all the shops were closed. It was also drizzling hence there were few people on the streets. We were able to freely walk and take photographs along all the streets doing all sorts of crazy poses we wanted to do.
While walking along the Waterfront, we admired the sunset which gradually became visible as the rain slowly ceased. We didn’t anymore take the cruise we initially planned to join with, to see the amazing view of the motorized boats crossing Sarawak river with the backdrop of (supposed to be 45RM) Astana, State Legislative Council building, and the tri-coloured view of the sun setting.
We toured the city that night by feet and we were able to see most places of interest. However, we weren’t able to see exhibits in the museums because most of them close at 4:30pm.
Main Bazaar, opposite the Waterfront, is the oldest street in the city and the heart of old Kuching.
Tua Pek Kong temple, oldest Chinese temple in Kuching.
Kuching Mosque, built in 1968, one of the city’s striking landmark.
The Astana, palace on the north bank of the river opposite the waterfront was built in 1870 by Charles Brooke as a bridal gift to his wife Margaret. Now, it’s the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak.
Sarawak Legislative council
Cute Cat Monument