I arrived in Kuching on a Friday evening to nice cool weather and a slight drizzle, a nice respite from KL. Kuching is a mid-sized city in East Malaysian Borneo in the state of Sarawak. There are several intricate temples, a lot of good food, and also a Riverwalk. After arriving, I went to the hostel lobby and saw someone familiar – a Brazilian guy who was on the same flight from KL was also staying at the hostel! We got dinner and pretty much hung out the rest of the trip. Solo travel is rarely truly solo 🙂
That first night we went to a local favorite place to eat called Top Spot. It’s like a seafood hawker station on the top of a parking garage. Most of the stalls had similar looking seafood. I decided to go all in and ordered a whole crab. It was good but insanely hard to eat – I don’t think they cracked it at all! And I didn’t have tools except for hands. Oh well, worth it! Later we went to the hostel rooftop bar and met an American guy who tried to give us travel tips but ended up being a bit obnoxious…gotta love my fellow American travelers -_-
The next day we headed to Bako national park, which is about an hour away by shuttle bus, then a bit further by boat. We were joined by another Danish solo traveler we met on the bus. Bako is beautiful – immediately you see some mangroves, a beach, and of course, a lot of jungle. We did two treks, one which is known for having monkeys (which we saw in the wild in the trees – so cool! And some cool big blue birds). The first trek ended at a nice beach. I didn’t have swimwear but I wish I did because we were absolutely drenched in sweat. The second trek was to a ‘rock formation’ – really just an overlook on the water. Lots of ducking below vines, climbing over thousands of tree roots, being beat down on by the sun, avoiding puddles of random water, and seeing lots of cool rock formations and plants. The end view was great 😀 Then we headed back and saw some more monkeys and even some warthogs! Warning: lots of pics ahead ha
That evening we went to the night market to get dinner. I got milk tea and some dish that idk what it is, but it was delicious! Next we walked around and stumbled upon a free concert in Plaza Merdeka. My friend described it as Malaysian nine inch nails, lol. They seemed very popular because there were tons of people recording them – and I think they did a One Direction cover at some point. Later we went to a bar/club and drank plenty of good ol’ Tiger…I even got approached by some girls at the bar, really just because I am Western – that’s been happening a lot but not in a bad way; they’re always friendly!
The next morning I took it a bit easy. I got some Sarawak laksa and a massage. In the afternoon I went to the Sarawak cultural village, which was very nicely put together, I thought. They have examples of different lodgings/longhouses and activities to learn about the different ethnic groups that live in the state of Sarawak. That night I got dinner with my friend and we were surprised by having live music – aka, super loud blasting music with school kids putting on a sort of talent show. Only in Asia 😛
The next morning we went to Semenggoh Nature Preserve to see wild orangutans! There, they rehabilitate and gradually release orangutans to the wild, as well as other animals. I learned that orangutans are only native to Borneo and Sumatra – I had no idea they were only concentrated in this part of the world. They put out some food and we saw a couple of them come out. They are ridiculously strong – one was hanging by one arm for quite a bit while eating. It was very cool to see them in the semi wild.
Later in the day I just wandered Kuching. It’s a really great city in itself – good sized, lots of food and walkable. They have really great museums and they’re all free. I learned more about textiles, the environment, and the cultural groups. Overall I really liked this city with its beauty, diversity and friendly locals 🙂