Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hello Kitty!

Wed 6 Aug - Tue 12 Aug 2014

I'm referring to the town of Kuching actually. Happy to be back here after 2 decades!

While doing some bunga telur shopping at Kuching town near the Waterfront, we stopped by at Bismillah Cafe for the yummy and famous Mee Kolok. There are a few types of the noodle, but today I had the Mee Kolok soup.

Bismillah cafe
Types of Mee Kolok

Mee Kolok soup

We passed by the stalls at the India Street Pedestrian Mall, selling clothes, tudung, and food, navigating our way through the narrow Indian Mosque lane which connects the mall and Gambier Road with the mosque in between. Walking a bit from India Street is Jalan Main Bazaar where there are many shops selling spices. I bought Masala tea spice and Mee Jawa paste for my mom here.

India Street
India street

stalls near India street

Masjid India

I noticed that vans are used as mode of transport in Kuching and are divided into zones since the city itself covers a vast area. Each Zone is dedicated to a designated area of Kuching. The nostalgic rectangle bus is also still in service.

Zone 1 van

Classic bus
Classic van schedule table

Crossing the street from the spice shop is the Waterfront promenade along the Santubong river, a popular place to hang out with friends and families and take photographs. We took our outdoor wedding shots here too, with people cheering and congratulating us. Sweet.


On the night before the kenduri we stopped by at Topspot, a food court on the top of a multi storey parking building; with mostly stalls selling seafood, just beside Ariva Gateway where my family were staying to have dinner with mom and my side of the family from KL.

Image taken from here

After the majlis kenduri (wedding reception) at the kampung, we spent a night in Kuching town with our good friends from KL, Mas, Ezad, baby Mishary and Liza who came all the way to Kuching. In fact, they attended both wedding receptions in KL and Kuching. We stayed at Merdeka Palace Hotel at Padang Merdeka Kuching. Our friends opted for the 2 room apartment while myself and Partner in Crime chose the hotel room.

The 2 room apartment is spacious with 3 bathrooms, a living room and kitchen with a view of the Padang Merdeka. However, the hotel room is a disappointment - very small, no view and has outdated deco (RM180/room/night with no breakfast).

Apartment master bedroom
Apartment room no. 2
Apartment kitchen
View from apartment

That evening we went for the Sunset River Cruise from 5.30pm - 7pm which include drinks, kek lapis and a short traditional dance performance onboard. The cruise cost RM60/person. Little Mishary also joined us on the cruise and he seemed to love it (and managed a nap too) with the cool breeze lapping. We passed by the Dewan Undangan Negeri, DUN (State Assembly) Astana (a palace, the official residence of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, or the Governor of Sarawak), Malay traditional water village, Kuching State Mosque, Fort Margherita (built in 1879 by Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak) , Kampung Boyan/ Surabaya and Chief Minister's house, among others. The cruise ended with Sarawak traditional dance of the Iban, Bidayuh and Melanau.
before going onboard
u can sit inside
u can sit outside
Mishary loves it
Chief Minister's house
Brooke dockyard

traditional dance
Mishary ogling at the lady dancer. Naughty ;)

The next morning we had breakfast again at Bismillah cafe as I was still craving for Mee Kolok. Unfortunately, the Mee Kolok maker had to go to the dentist on the day of our visit -_-  We ended up having nasi lemak instead.

It was drizzling when we made our way to the Sarawak cat museum. Located at the Kuching North City Hall headquarters on top of a hill, it has a great view of the city. The entrance is free but we had to pay RM for a camera permit. The exhibition is all about cats but seemed dated and in need of new content. Nonetheless, the cat exhibits are indeed kawaii (cute) ^_^

Japanese painting
Cats Rock!

Spacey Cat
keep off my teddy bear!

We then made our way back to the Waterfront to take the sampan (or tambang) to cross the river and back. The return journey cost us RM1. Residents of the water village by the river regularly use this service for their daily transport.

tambang coming!
Pramugari tambang...Silakan Masuk...

It was then time to eat again! I wasn't about to give up yet on my mission to get good Mee Kolok and Laksa Sarawak. So we tried our luck again today at Mom's Laksa (they ran out of laksa the day before). We noticed that Mee Kolok and Laksa Sarawak are served for breakfast at most of the restaurants and tend to finish up by 11am.

Luckily the Laksa Sarawak was still available for lunch, but no Mee Kolok though. Some of us also tried the Meehoon Belacan, but it was so-so only. After the hearty lunch, we went to the nearby Kubah Ria, an integrated complex comprising of a food court and stalls selling local goods such as kuih lapis sarawak, laksa sarawak paste, ikan terubuk masin and beras bario, among others.

laksa sarawak
meehun belacan
laksa sarawak paste
food court

We then bade farewell to Mas, Ezad, Liza and baby Mishary. We would be doing our outdoor photoshoot that evening before going back to kampung and leaving for KL the next day. I would definitely be seeing Kuching again in the near future ;)

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