It’s safe to say we absolutely fell in love with Kuching.
Kuching is the capital of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, and the main gateway for people visiting the Malaysian side of the island. Its name derives from the Malay word for ‘cat’, fitting seeing as the city is OBSESSED with cats. There are two cat statues, the world’s first cat museum, and endless felines wandering the streets who are adored by locals and tourists alike. For cat lovers like us, it was heaven.
We stayed at Singghasana Lodge, which was ideally located and perfect for meeting fellow travellers. The WiFi only worked in the lounge, meaning everyone congregated in the communal area. Although at first it seemed annoying to not have WiFi in our room, it actually worked out to be a blessing as we got to meet some amazing people and learn about the various places they’d been on their travels. Well done Singghasana!
On the first day we visited Indah House, an art/event space and restaurant, which served a huge and varied menu, including several vegan options. I was so excited as they offered vegan versions of the local cuisine, like tempeh rendang and nasi lamak. It was really nice to be included in the authentic food offering and I was thrilled to finally try some traditional dishes. The food and fresh juices were delicious – so much so that we signed up for their vegan cooking class there and then.
We made 5 tasty dishes and were given the recipe for each, including ulam rice, coconut pancakes, jungle curry, pineapple curry and sweet fried tempeh. We made so much food that there was enough for us to stuff our faces until we were full right after the class, and the cafe was also kind enough to keep the rest for us in their fridge to eat the following day. I also became acquainted with a machete during the lesson, and learnt how to cut my own coconut!
The following day we went to Bako National Park to see if we could spot the elusive Proboscis monkey. Upon arrival, we were greeted by one eating in a tree, and managed to get a few photos right away. We had an absolutely amazing tour Guide named Rie, an expert in Reptiles and a frequent visitor to Bako since childhood. He was more than we could possibly have hoped for, helping us to find some macaque monkeys, a flying lizard, a green viper snake, a family of bearded pigs, as well as 2 types of crabs – a prehistoric crab and some hermit crabs. We had the best day imaginable and I would highly recommend the kind, friendly and knowledgable Rie to anyone visiting Borneo.
Scroll to the bottom for photos of the animals we encountered!
The next day, we took an early bus trip to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, which works tirelessly to rehabilitate abused and neglected orangutans and hopefully one day release them back into the wild. We were fortunate enough to see a huge orangutan straight away – 12 year old Anaku, who was swinging on the ropes and eating bananas from the keeper’s hands.
After an amazing stay in Kuching, we decided we may as well go to Brunei as it was only 850km away. We headed to the Sultanate via Miri, another city in Sarawak which was just an hour from the border. It was way cheaper to get to Brunei via Miri, instead of going directly there.
We were less enamoured by Miri, which was the busy, not-so-pretty cousin of Kuching, and were glad to only be spending two nights there. We were though, lucky to witness a beautiful sunset on Tusan Beach (no filter needed!), but less lucky in spotting the famous bright blue, neon twinkles of algae.
As promised, here are some photos of the animals we came across during our day trip to Bako National Park:
See you next in Brunei, but first:
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