Kuching, Sarawak

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

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KL Wanderings

Here’s a quick post about what I’ve been learning/doing 🙂

Batu Caves

This weekend we went to Batu Caves, a Hindu shrine and a bit of a tourist attraction. I love caves, so it was amazing just to see that in itself – plus the combination of the shrine was pretty much magic. It was fairly crowded and the steps are steep, but worth it! During Thaipusam, there’s a ceremony there, which is a big attraction and would be cool to see. On the steps there are tons of monkeys…everyone warned to be careful because they snatch your stuff! No incidents with us though :p

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Cameron Highlands

My coworkers and I decided to take advantage of the long holiday weekend and make our way to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. This place is known for its cool weather, tea, and nature. Saturday we arrived at the extremely busy bus station in KL- others had the same idea of leaving on a holiday weekend. This week is also a school holiday, adding more to the busy-ness.

Quick lesson – do not trust google maps traffic predictions in Malaysia (I should have known from last summer…). What was purported to be a 3.5 hour bus ride became a 6.5 hour one! Oh well, the view was nice and we had nothing else to do 🙂 Upon arriving I felt the chilly weather (always a reminder of home!) and grabbed Indian food. Our hotel room also very conveniently had 3 single beds – something I’d never seen before 😀
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View from our hotel
The next day was packed full of activities – we took a full day tour on an off-road vehicle. We were joined by some other tourists from the Netherlands, Singapore, and Taiwan. First, we jungle trekked to find the rafflesia flower  (I did regret not bringing my hiking boots, another quick lesson) – the rafflesia did not actually smell but was big and beautiful! Also learned it is not actually a flower, but a parasite. This excursion really made me resolve to continue to do a lot more trekking this year 🙂 After, we tried out blow pipe ‘hunting’ aka target practice – have it be known that I got a bullseye on my first try! (always knew I was good at darts…)

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A bit of KL

Orientation

On Monday I had a relocation orientation – they took me to a bank, helped me to get a sim card, and showed me around KL. It was nice to have a local welcome me and show me some good food and a couple cool places that I probably would not have visited otherwise! We went to the City Gallery and Merdeka square. There’s a lot of very cool architecture (and of course, history) in the area.

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