Discovering Kuching, Malaysia

I recently posted about my trip to Singapore and mentioned that we also spent a few days in Kuching, Malaysia. Gotta make the most of it when you travel all the way to the other side of the world!
Fun fact: my mum is from Kuching. This was the first and best opportunity for me to visit the place she grew up in.

Plane view coming into Kuching airport

I have a tonne of family in Malaysia, but somehow I still anticipated that we’d have 1 or 2 meals with them and have plenty of time to explore on our own.
I was so wrong.
A bit like how I thought we could travel around the country in a few days, not realising that it’s actually massive. My geographical awareness is shocking.

This ended up being a very family oriented trip, to the point where the cultural differences and sheer volume of people got slightly overwhelming.
That said, we did manage to squeeze a fair bit of sightseeing in. I’m still in awe over how culturally rich rural Malaysia is and I’d love to go back again soon!

Kuching: Cat City

Our hotel was not so central, but taxis are dirt cheap over there and we had my sister to drive us around most of the time.
That said, can we take a second to admire the beauty of the hotel my mum stayed in:

View from riverside hotel pool Kuching

November is also rainy season, but the weather treated us well.

Sarawak Coffee

I’m not a coffee connoisseur at all and I can generally take it or leave it, but we found a little cafe that sold local coffee and it was so good!

Sarawak coffee

Crocodile Farm

I don’t think I had never seen a crocodile in person before this trip, and suddenly I was seeing so many different types of them all over the place! We arrived at feeding time, which was so cool to watch. Such massive creatures.

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There was also a little “zoo” on the way out with smaller animals.

Crocodile farm feeding time

Semenggoh Nature Reserve: Orangutans

You can’t travel to Kuching and not try your luck at seeing the Orangutans. We were extremely lucky and got to see at least a handful of them, including the “big boss” and the “old lady.”

Tickets for Semenggoh Nature Reserve
Orangutan resting after food
Young orangutan coming for food

Sarawak Cultural Village

Several people told us that if you travel all the way to Kuching and don’t go to a Cultural Village, you’ve wasted your time. It seems to be the highlight of tourism.
..So we hitched a ride to the Cultural Village in Damai. We arrived just in time to see the show put on by the different tribes, which was amazing. They also provide you with a “passport” to collect stamps from each different house, which took us a good couple of hours.
This place is engrained in my memory. There were so many moments that threw me back to my childhood and made me understand my mum better.

Orang-Ulu longhouse
Sarawak Cultural Village longhouse
Cultural village view of mount santubong

I’d love to climb Mount Santubong one day, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough.

When we finished up at the Cultural Village, we walked down to Damai beach and grabbed a bite at the Beach Resort.
I actually wanted to stay at that resort, but there was no availability for our dates. Next time!

Damai beach resort pool overlooking sea

Tourist Shopping

Obviously we had to buy lots of souvenirs and gifts. That took almost a whole afternoon. Mega cheap – I got a t-shirt for the equivalent of ~£5. Having to consider your suitcase weight restrictions when you’re shopping sucks though.

The rest of our time was spent eating. I kid you not.
Pretty sure everyone got home around 4kg heavier, with zero regrets!

I got really emotional leaving Malaysia – it was honestly such an indescribably humbling experience. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel all that way and to learn about my roots. I’m really glad I got to experience my first trip with my mum.

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