We fly from KL to Kuching in Borneo. Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states in Borneo. Kuching means “sound of cash register” in Malay. Not really, it means “cat” and the town is full of cat statues ranging from the merely kitsch to the so-twee-your-Gran-wouldn’t-give it-houseroom. The Great Cat is in the latter category, and when we visit he is even wearing a special outfit for Chinese New Year. New Year celebrations are still rumbling on and the sounds of fire crackers and lion dances come at you from every angle as you wander around town.
Kuching is a nice enough city, but it doesn’t take long for us to exhaust it’s attractions. We stroll along the History Walk on the waterfront and then we hit the museums. First we go to the Natural History Museum, where there is an exhibition of petrified trees. The person on the door looks astonished that two people are prepared to pay 4 Ringgit each for this. After we go in, I’m also pretty astonished that they had the nerve to charge. But to be fair, it did it was an exhibition of petrified wood – what was I expecting?
The art museum was very small, and most of it was devoted to flogging some dull pictures by a local artist, but I was just happy to be looking at something other than glorified charcoal.
The only museum worth going to was the Ethnology Museum (actually a natural history museum). It’s the perfect creepy museum from a horror film; crocodile skulls and manky badly-stuffed animals. It’s ghoulish but easily the best of the bunch.
The urban delights of Kuching thereby exhausted, the next day we took a trip to Damai for a bit of light warm-up trekking. It was even lighter than I anticipated and it only took us an hour and a half to do the route. So much for our Borneo schedule being full-on! We spent the rest of the afternoon having lunch at a local hotel, while listening to a loop of 80s tracks of which we know an embarrassingly large proportion of the lyrics.
Some more photos of Kuching on Mr Beet’s flick page.