Sunday, March 29, 2009

Backyard Forays Day 6 & 7

The last two days were mainly catch up activities and spending time together as Kuching just have only so many interesting places to visit. Hence we went to the most happening place again - The Spring where we spent time sipping bubble tea and gazing at Sugar Bun.


After some shopping,  we adjourned to Big Apple for coffee and doughnuts.In my opinion, the doughnut tasted like sugared you-tiau.


Dinner was Western food at Chef-at-home with family.


Day 7 started with a Dim Sim breakfast at Causeway Bay Crown Square.


This was followed by a Karaoke session at Enter-K.


Where we also took a photo by a sink. 


At night it was time to say goodbye to Hui Bing and Kheng Ying. 


Zhi Wei only went back a day after, hence she got a trip to the newest Starbucks in town. Too bad I forgot bring my camera again or there will be some interesting pictures. There concludes my very enjoyable Kuching Rediscovery Tour.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Backyard Forays Day 4 & 5

After two days of out-of-city trips, the girls finally started to show signs of running out of steam. Hence didn't do much, just going off to Hong Kong Noodles House for some delicious spread during lunch time.


And then we spent the night time at Raymond's house for dinner, where they were introduced to Iban delicacies like Bamboo Chicken, red coloured rice and kachang-ma. Too bad didn't bring out my camera.

Day 5 started late again, this time we had to do without breakfast and started with a brunch consisted of Sarawak delicacies with a tinge of Foochow theme as we had some Kong Pia and Foochow style fried noodles.


Next was a trip to the famous Sarawak museum, where we spent roughly an hour looking at stuffed animals and human skulls.


This was actually preceeded by a stroll through the museum compound, where there's an aquarium and a park dotted with seats and old graves. The girls were trying to mimic the wood craved statues besides them. They are so good that I decided there's no point taking photos of the statues.


After that it was back to Carpenter and Gambier streets again for shopping. Bracelets, woven rattan bags, T-shrits, vases, key chains... you named it, chances were they bought it.

Song Kheng Hai was next on the list, where they got to sample a third variation of Metahon and White Lady and second variation of Kong Pia, as well as Belacan Beehoon.


Next was a trip to the colourful Sunday Market, where locals of different races sell a variety of jungle produces and traditional food.


Nothing much happened, the only thing worth mentioning was that I managed to capture this photo of a young mother bringing a child to buy drinks which brought up memories of a scene in Jay Chou's Tui Hou MV.




Quite a coincidence that the young mother have similar hairstyle with Hebe's current one (Hebe's the girl in the MV). =P

The day ended with a dinner with Freda's family in one of the restaurants around town and a game of monopoly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Backyard Forays Day 3

On the third day of the trip we finally manage to complete the Kuching food trifecta by having Kuey Chap. This ubiquitous broad rice noodles in a broth filled with every imaginable parts of a pig's body didn't turn off the ladies. In fact, I think they quite like it.


Wheatgrass and Wheatgrass-C. No I was not referring to the ladies clad in wheatgrass green, but on the drink they are drinking. Apparently whaetgrass-C is a local delicacy. Never thought that its so special. Kuchingnites really outdone themselves when it comes to food.


On the agenda today was a trip to a Bidayuh longhouse. Don't know what did they learn from the trip. That Sarawak people don't live on trees but on houses made using trees?


But at least they got to try on the local rice wine:Tuak. 18 percent alcohol fermented for 10 years selling at the dirt cheap price of RM30 per litre. You just don't get this price in Australia..


Next was a date with men's closest cousin: the orangutan. This particular one was busy collecting broad shaped leaves. A moment later we found out why he was doing that because it started to rain cats and dogs. Primates are really clever.


Dinner was at Hui Sing  Hawker Centre, where we got to try their variant of Metahon and White Lady. Someone just gotta have both of them at a time.


Night time was the perfect time to waste time at The Spring, the so-called biggest shopping complex in Kuching. So big and empty that one of the girls commented it was  perfect venue to learn driving.  But something besides the shops do manage to capture their attention:


No, its not that there's a handsome guy standing down there. Just some fake plants and water. Hmm..the things that get girls interested. Funny creatures. Rather perplexing. 


There goes the third day of the trip.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Backyard Forays Day 2

Laksa Sarawak! That was the perfect tonic to start off our second day on tour. As usual, this one of a kind thing can only be found here. So engrossed Kuchingnites were with Laksa that each of us have our personal ranking list of best Laksas. We took the one at Golden Arch, which was undisputedly one of the best.


After that we proceeded to the number one tourist destination in Kuching: the Sarawak Cultural Village. Lucky Monash didn’t take back our student cards. Students were only charged RM15, which was one quarter of the usual entrance fee for non-Sarawakian adult.


There we enjoyed a cultural show,


visited unique looking houses,


did dangerous activities,


and show-off our musical talent.


ZhiWei even managed to find a Melanau husband.


3 o’clock and it was siesta time at the picturesque and idyllic Damai beach, where the cool shades of coconut leaves, rhythmic crash of the waves and soft sea zephyr lulled us to sleep.


We also did the touristy thing of writing down the place and time of visit on the sand. Too bad forgot to do the jumping pose.


Night time was a dinner by the seaside, where we feed on exotic dishes like this bamboo clams as well as deer meat, bidin and a oyster-pancake type of thing while buzzing mosquitoes feed on us.


With a full and contented stomach, we called it a day after that and went home. This was how the second day of my Kuching Discovery Tour progressed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Backyard Forays Day 1

Note: Posts are backdated to the actual day of the trip.

As I had alluded last week, I was going for a week long tour around Kuching. Typical my way, go tour must have a lot of cool girls around. Or else the trip will be so so so boring.


And in a Kuching tour, what’s a more Kuching way than to start off with the iconic Kuching Kolo Mee and Teh-C 3 layers, which are food that can only be produced by creative and ingenious Kuching people and found nowhere else in the world.


Then it was time to wind back the clock for a sampan trip across the Sarawak River from the Chinese side of Kuching to the Malay side of Kuching to take photo of the Chinese side of Kuching. Sounds convoluted I know, but no, Kuching people are not racist. In fact we really live in harmony. Anyway, taking sampan was the cheapest way to travel nowadays at 30sen per pax.


Next on the itinerary was a stroll through the colourful and uneven sidewalks of Carpenter and Gambier Streets right in the heart of the city. Most of the shops here are largely left unscathed by the savagery of time that passed ruthlessly by, giving us an insight of the good old days as our parents used to remember them.


To escape the wildering heat, we stopped by another Kuching icon, the paradoxically named open-air market (it had a roof) to sample some more products of Kuchingnites creativity. We had the Metahon and White Lady, two very delicious variation and way tastier version of the Ais kacang.


Then of course its the cat we must visit. The most famous landmark in Kuching, not taking a photo with this feline is as good as saying your trip to Kuching was a delusional illusion. There’s no way to prove to someone else that you are here without this kind of photo.


Towards the late evening, its a trip to visit another statue, this time of a guy named Zheng He. He was closest thing Malaysia has to the statue of liberty.


Day ended with dinner at peach Garden Jalan Song where they got to sample other exotic food of Kuching, most notably Tomato Mee and Salad Chicken Rice. Oh wondered why the picture is so dark? No, not that Earth Hour had arrived early. The eatery had a blackout! First time in history I experienced a blackout while eating outside. The girls must have something to do with it.


That concluded an exciting first day to my Kuching Rediscovery Tour.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another trip

After conquering Singapore aka The Little Red Dot less than a fortnight ago...


It's time for The Little Yellow Something to put on her red beret and walking shoes again. For I'm bringing her for another trip starting from tomorrow!


Where we will be going? Well, actually we will be touring my own backyard, Kuching!


As I had found out in the past week showing Yong Chin around, there's still a lot about Kuching that I need to find out, even though I grew up here. Only last week I knew what ingredients were found in the traditional Sarawak rice wine, or being aware that Bidayuh longhouses looked different compared to Iban longhouses.


This is a longhouse.

Gosh, I wasn't even aware that there's geothermal hot pool in Kuching. To think I went all the way to New Zealand to see one! A trip to the Sunday Market also highlighted my ignorance. Most of the jungle produce/eatable plants looked utterly foreign. And there's no Indian in the whole stretch of India Street!


Old-time British buildings in Kuching. India Street is behind.

OMG, you should have found out this earlier, you may say. But well, a mitigating argument is that, I'm sure a lot of the younger Kuchingnites living in the suburban area is just like me! We live in a modern housing estate, go to nearby school, tuition centres and shopping centres and have no time at all or the need to go to visit the city centre or outskirts. Everything is so convenient.

Hence the need to go for a trip around Kuching. Besides, I think I read somewhere that to understand others, you need to understand yourself first. Hence to understand the world, why not try to thoroughly go through all the nooks and crannies of your own backyard? Going around Kuching visiting the landmarks will be like a journey of self-discovery.

Hope you will say: "OMG, the long holiday had definitely make him wiser." Thank you. But I'm actually going to bring friends from Semenanjung around town. So its not exactly an initiated excursion. But at least I'm doing it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yummy Happy Pies

Made a couple of smiley vegetable and chicken pies today.


They are filled with the goodness of juicy chicken thighs, sliced button mushrooms, potato cubes, mushy mixed vegetables, flavored with fresh herbs and covered with a thick crunchy crust.


Tastes yummy! Self-made food taste the greatest.