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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sarawak - The Land of the Headhunters

 It’s not often now with the kids growing up rapidly, to find time to go together for a holiday so when the opportunity arises, we grab the first plane out for a short holiday. Out destination – the Land of the Headhunter, Sarawak. We booked the trip through AirAsia portal. Air tickets were fairly reasonable and plus the room (a double room), it cost the 4 of us a total of S$1,346 for a 5D/4N stay with full breakfast throw it. What a deal especially when we saw our hotel room! It was the biggest room we ever stayed in. There were 2 bedrooms, 3 toilets, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 pantry and 1 hallway and it came with a 180 degree view of the Sarawak river and Kuching town. In fact the hotel called it a Suite. And I thought the only people who can afford suite were celebrities and big shot businessman! But of course, the hotel is showing its age, there were big giant stains on the ceiling, there was a musty smell from one of the toilet and the TV program sucks. But what the heck, we were only going to spend our time there sleeping so it wasn’t a big deal.

Right after check in, we walked over next door to the Sarawak Museum Etnologi which houses the Natural History. There were lots of stuffed animals and 2 whale skeleton. Kind of remind me of our old National Museum. The highlight was the recreation of an entire Iban Longhouse with authentic (read genuine) skull that were the war booty of the Iban. No photograph allowed but I die die had to get a souvenir of this and sneak 2 pictures on my not so trusty Casio camera. 

From there, it was a cursory visit to the Islamic museum across the road before we walked down to the  2 km stretch Kuching Waterfront. We took a RM60 per head river cruise and was rewarded with amazing sights along the river. On the south bank where we boarded, the place was mainly occupied by Chinese shop houses and commercial buildings while across the bank, the place was dotted with kampung houses and predominately occupied by Malays. The mode of travel between the 2 place was small little river boat. Down the river, on the far bank was the obscenely huge cluster of houses of the Chief Minister of Sarawak and a stone throw away, that of one of his relatives. 
Kampong on the far bank

High Rise buildings on the other side

The Chief Minister's Mansion complete with boat

After the cruise, it was time for dinner and we managed to find our way to the Junk Restaurant, a highly recommended restaurant on Tripadvisor website and we were not disappointed. It was a quaint old places with a lot of knick knacks and junks but the food was certainly not junk. We had pasta, steak, pizza and all of them came in giant size dishes with giant portion to go along. But of course that comes with a price and so the dinner wasn’t exactly cheap by Malaysia standard. We paid about RM180 which was in my opinion almost on par with the cost of food in a similar joint in Singapore.

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