Kuching is a really nice city. It’s the capital of the state of Sarawak and is divided by the Sarawak River. The central part of the city – business area, shops, hotels, etc., is on the south bank of the river, while on the north are various Malay kampungs, the Fort Margarita, and the Astana. It’s really nice to walk along the river which is fringed with flowers and trees. At night, it’s bustling locals and tourists alike frequenting the stalls selling dinner and drinks.
While in Kuching, we stayed at a small hostel in the centre of town. Most of the time it was just us there, and it felt like having our own apartment. Having your own space was a welcome change from our shared dorm in Singapore. The owner, Wes, was lovely and chatted to us a bit, giving us advice on what to do and see.
We visited the Sarawak museum which gave us an insight into the history of Sarawak and the different cultures that make it up. I knew there were a lot of different ethnic groups in Malaysia in general, but I don’t think I really appreciated quite how many – it turns out there are in fact 40 different ethnic groups in Sarawak alone, each with their own distinct language, culture and lifestyle.
One of the culinary delights we enjoyed in Kuching was Sarawak Laksa. Different from other laksas, this one includes, among other things, omelette and chicken strips. Emilia from our cooking class recommended a particular spot for our morning laksa, as there are so many places to choose from. You have to get in quick too – come 10am it’s often all sold out. Conclusion: simply delicious. We also tried Kolok mee at the weekend markets, specific to Sarawak as well. This is egg noodles which look a little like ramen and come with a broth on the side. Often shredded beef is included.