Awaking early at (7am) we hit the road again. Driving along the Sarawak coast was beautiful, the scenery was amazing. About 7 hours later we arrived into our final Sarawak destination, Kuching.
In Kuching’s city center we visited several historical buildings that date back to the Brooke dynasty. We saw the oldest Chinese temple in Kuching which is the Tua Pek Kong Temple built pre 1839, also the Chinese History Museum, formerly Chinese Community Courthouse and St Thomas Cathedral built in 1857.
Just around the corner was the hotel we stayed in, The Harbour View Hotel which is also located directly on the Kuching waterfront of the Sarawak River.
The good thing about being in the city centre is that you get all kinds of food to choose from. Just around the block, there are a few Chinese Cafes where you can dine on inexpensive and delicious local food like Wan Tan Mee, Kolo Mee, Sarawak Laksa and Mee Jawa.
We ate at the Khatulistwa Restaurant located right on the waterfront, this was an unmistakably a unique building whose menu is equally remarkable. The creative architectural style of the Khatulistwa restaurant suggests it is a small museum but upon discovering it is a restaurant affording magnificent views of the Sarawak River, it was difficult to pass without sampling the mouthwatering menu!
This menu included the dish called Manok Pansoh, a Sarawak specialty. It originates from the Iban Community. It is chicken meat cut into small pieces and pushed inside a bamboo tube together with mushrooms, lemongrass, tapioca leaves & local seasoning; it is then cooked over an open fire sealing in all its natural flavours and produces an aromatic tenderly cooked chicken that will astound your tastebuds. We also tried the national drink teh tarik meaning "pulled tea", named after the theatrical 'pulling' motion used to pour it. We absolutely looooved them both!
Later that evening we took a stroll down to the waterfront boardwalk stretch which is the Main Bazaar and oldest street in Kuching. Here we shopped for antiques, crafts and local treasures. We found some interesting silverware which we then learned was a common Malaysian keepsake. To the Malay’s, in the past, silverware was linked to the social status of a person. It signifies wealth and power during the time of the Malay aristocracy in the Malacca Sutanate. It is made by hammering the silver and decorated with patterns of flora and fauna motifs.
The items that are most commonly produced are silver rose bowls, jewellery boxes, bolster ends, belt buckles, and betelnut set. Kaleigh and Rylee bought really nice belt buckles and I bought a beautiful jewellery box!
We spent the rest of the night enjoying the light warm breeze and the gentle waves of the river.