Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sarawak Day 4

it's Friday and we don't intend to do much in the morning as dad and my brothers have to go to the mosque later. we were going back the next day, so we hoped to buy the foodstuff today. on top of the list was 'ikan terubuk masin' at Pasar Satok. we stopped by Satok like everyday we were there, but it was the first time we really went for the market. there were many stalls there, and they sell the fish according to size. we could even see people cleaning and rubbing handfuls of salt to the fish behind the stalls . there were many people and there was even cars using the road in between the stalls, so you have to be alert when you're there. don't focus on buying the fish and haggling only :p

after we were done with it, we still have time to go around and we decided to go somewhere else. but by then, we spotted this place called Kueh Fah Cafe that stated they sell mee kolok. after the first failure of getting authentic mee kolok, we thought we'd try again. it offers three types of mee kolok; the normal serving, the special one, and the twin serving. we opted for take away and only eaten it after we got home some time later after more sightseeing. the mee kolok were still warm and delicious. the one we had earlier at Benteng was a far cry from the ones we bought at Kueh Fah Cafe. i'm drooling now, thinking about the noodles, the minced meat and the chilli. gosh, gonna go back there some day.
this coffee shop is very near Satok Market

we went around trying to find Fort Margarita using the GPS, but it was quite frustrating. mom said since we were in the same neighborhood as the 'kek lapis Dayang Salhah', we'd stop at which ever place we find first. the cake won :p

we came specific for it coz my uncle and auntie already told us that we could eat the cakes as much as we want ;p. and when we arrived there, the entrance was already swamped by shoes belonging to other people. it was a full house. kids all over the place, eating and running around..parents trying to keep track of them and trying the cakes as well. i already read about 'kek lapis India' from a booklet i got at the airport, and wanted it ever since. it was as great as i imagined, chocolate pieces hidden between the layers..yum. all six of us filled the basket in no time, each reached for our own favorite flavors. there were even several types refrigerated, and i vowed to go have them first the next time i go to Kuching. each block of cake was priced between rm10-rm25, according to the types.
there was more people inside
eat up

then we went on foot to Fort Margarita. there were signs pointing to the place, so i thought it couldn't be that far. boy was i wrong about that. we climbed the stairs, and walked alongside the fence of a school and had to climb some more, walked some distance before we found the place. we were out of breath once we got there. the caretaker seemed happy to have us there, i bet there were not many that would go up there if they used the same way like us. there was another way though. the view from on top of the hill was spectacular, that was worth the strenuous 'exercise'.

that evening after lunch, we head to Kota Samarahan to go see Unimas since it was just some 20 plus kilometers away. but by then i was already tired with all the things we did since day 1 and not having enough sleep every night. i slept before we arrived there and woke up when we found the university. but it was somewhat a letdown coz there was construction work going on at almost every part of the campus, and machineries all over the place.

on the way back home, we stopped by a pottery factory and shop. i love the different designs of the vase, some even depicted warriors.

the next day we started out early coz we had the 9.30am flight.
pretending i'm there for domestic flights within Sarawak :p

bye bye Kuching

Sarawak Day 3

Mount Girang

the third day was reserved for the journey to Lundu, the place where we lived before. we started early in the morning coz it was 3 hours journey from Kuching. but first we stopped at Bau, the old gold mining town. there was this lake called Blue Lake which was really famous back then. mom said a lot of people went swimming there back then and it was a tourist attraction. but when we got there, it was just a deserted place with a little tell-tale trace of the glory it had years before. we read a sign that warned people against swimming or fishing because of the high traces of arsenic in the water. no wonder everyone avoid it like plague. still, it's pretty.

we continued the drive towards Lundu. then, before crossing the bridge (back then ferry was used to cross the river) to reach Lundu, we stopped by a village. it was where me and my brother's former nanny lived. dad asked a lady who was selling traditional cakes by the roadside about the family. she told us that our nanny already married someone from Sibu and stayed there. so we just stopped by to visit her parents. mom and dad talked to them which was not that easy coz i don't think they get every word we said, and the same goes to us :p.
the remains of the old ferry wharf
then we head to the town. we went to the market coz mom was looking for the Sarawak yellow aubergine. they sell veggies by handfuls and all of them sat on the ground. we also bought some cakes and tapai nasi (fermented rice). usually we can get tapai pulut (fermented glutinous rice) here, but there they use plain rice. i don't eat tapai much, and would usually skip it. the others only ate little bites of it, i guess it tasted weird then. but when we ate them chilled it's not so bad.

we stopped by the hospital where my brother was born, and mom showed us the maternity ward. but as it was not visiting hours, we couldn't see the interior. next, we continued the journey to SMK Lundu where mom and dad both worked. it was also where we lived. our old house has been converted into classrooms and it seems that there was some work being done in the area.

our old house, second from left
after the short tour of the school, we went to Siar Beach for a picnic. we had Nasi Lemak for lunch there, at the place where we had picnics when me and my brother were little. there were other people there, and there's a new resort by the beach..but it still showed the untouched beauty for being quite far from the city.

on the way back home, we made a stop at Cats Museum at the Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara. there were various displays of cats compiled by collectors. all sorts of cats in paintings, keychains etc. the owner's or the collector's idea is to be praised. it would surely take a lot of money and interest to get all of those things.
the entrance

cats made of shells

we rested at home before going out again to a shop selling souvenirs. it got all sorts of T-shirts, keychains, bangles, batik Sarawak, pepper, and vase there. i felt like staying there and try on everything :p. we spent hours in that particular shop choosing things to bring back and i had a great time taking pictures.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sarawak Day 2

we went to the waterfront again in the morning, to take another batch of pictures ;p there wasn't a lot of tourist around, in fact we were the only ones there every time we stopped by.
the same pose again :p
we haven't quite decide where to go, so we walked to India Street. i read that most of the business there are owned by Chinese now, unlike the name. but there are still Indians selling spices and all along the way.

the next stop was State Museum, which was really interesting. and this time, the place was swarmed by foreign tourist. there were tourist guides present, but i saw one guy explaining things to the others in the large group..i guess he did his homework before going there :p

then i asked to go to the Textile Museum. this place is not really known and they received only a small batch of visitors. i think they should promote it better, coz there were really good pieces on display. the only person there besides us was an old Caucasian lady looking at the designs intently.

we decided to go to Sarawak Cultural Village in the evening, coz i read the cultural show was scheduled to be at 2pm. so we ate lunch at Hartz Chicken Buffet before that. the one in Melaka already closed down years ago, and we missed eating there during our childhood. there was nothing much to shout about the food, except the pumpkin casserole and the chicken pie. those two were marvellous.

we arrived at the Sarawak Cultural Village at 3pm. the journey there took about 30 minutes from the city. it was in a secluded area near Mount Santubong and the beach. we thought that we already missed the show and only went there to look at the different types of houses. but the shows were actually scheduled at 11 something and another one at 4pm. the ticket costs rm60 per person, but those born in Sarawak can enter for rm25. i showed my student card and they allowed me to get the student price which was only rm15.

we walked around the place and looked at the houses in a hurry. we wouldn't like to miss the cultural show for anything.

but towards the end, it started to rain and turned to a heavy downpour by the time we got down from the Malay town house. we had to run all the way to the building where they held the show. the hall was equipped with air-cond and i was freezing to death while watching the dances. my uncle warned me about a guy with blowpipe during the show, who would choose one person from the audience to pop a balloon. those with cameras taking pictures have the probability of being chosen. i took pictures of the dances and quickly stashed the camera when the emcee announce the last dance by Orang Ulu and mom said they're the one famous for the weapon :p. that explains why i didn't get any picture of the guy and the female dancers, though i favored them the most.

owh, while at the Orang Ulu's house someone tugged at my hand and asked if i remember her. she's actually one of the committee during the orientation i had when i first enrolled in UiTM Shah Alam. of all the places, we met there in Sarawak. i didn't get to ask her what she was doing there, she seemed to be with a group of people who were dressed formally and i was in a hurry. i guess she still has something to do with UiTM, coz when we were outside there was a bus that belongs to UiTM at the parking lot.

that night, we had dinner at Benteng. we were not sure of which stall that offers the best food, so we just tried our luck at one. the fried rice all failed, mee kolok also failed..the only consolation we had was the laksa Sarawak. but that was only taste-wise. they only included tiny slivers of chicken in it. it was quite a letdown.