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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kuching Tour | Semenggoh Natural Reserve and Wildlife Centre & Jong's Crocodile Farm

The Kuching tour was not only limited in discovering the cultures but we had ventured out into the nearby jungles to witness some interesting creatures such as Orang Utan and crocodiles.

We arrived Semenggoh Natural Reserve around 9.30am and the park rangers gave a safety briefing about the orang utan's feeding area and what we could do and don't in that area. As there are no fence prohibiting the people to get near orang utan, in other words, the orang utan are free to avail themselves to be feed. Also, each of us were reminded to keep the noise to the minimum so that the orang utans will  appear in feeding area.

The entry pass which costs RM5 per adult.

The sun rays.

Along the way to the feeding area, we spotted kacip fatimah.

Orang Utan started to come out for their food.

We were exceptionally lucky as there were few orang utan came out from their habitat for food during feeding time. The park ranger said that there could be no show sometimes.

The two buddies :)

You can spotted ants were "digested" by the Nepenthaceae.

Jong's Crocodile Farm was the next destination we had headed afterwards. Well, we didn't fascinate with the reptiles yet Jong's Crocodile Farm was highly recommended by a Kuching friend as it's somehow a must-be-visited place when came to Kuching.

In front of the poster of baby crocodiles

Crocodile cartoon which is not that scary.

A brief introduction of how baby crocodiles are hatched from the eggs till adult crocodile had been displayed on the exhibition hall after entrance of Jong's Crocodile Farm.

We headed to watch the live show of ferocious predators and their prey. The workers placed the preys on the hanger to feed the hungry crocodiles. The hungry crocodiles emerged their heads wanting to be feed.

The victory of having its prey when it successfully emerged from the water and had a huge snap over its prey before the rest of crocodiles approached.

Another shot of the crocodile and its prey. The prey looked like a pitiful chicken to me. 
Well, another crocodile was spotted near this predator.

Loud applauds were given to the successful crocodile which had successfully eaten its prey before the rest arrived. From the way of how the prey lost in crocodile's mouth within seconds, I could imagine how terrifying the job of Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin (crocodile hunter) whom had to always film together with these predators. Hmm, I disliked crocodiles particularly due to their hypocrite crying fake tears of grief.

We went to the bird parks, fish pond and a walkway with animal cages to see the wildlife such as the monkeys, leopard-cats, sunbears, bear cats, pheasants, civets, barking deers, sambar deers, turtles, fruit bats, otter and etcetera.

The cute otters

Group photo 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kuching Tour | A Cultural Visit to Bidayuh Annah Rais Longhouse

We visited Annah Rais Longhouse which's located at Borneo heights. It was indeed an authentic visit where the Bidayuh community staying together under one roof in the longhouse. After registration at the tourist information centre, we were guided into the walkway towards Annah Rais Longhouse.

Stepping onto the corridor which was made by bamboos. 

Chia Pei and I had a photo captured at Annah Rais Longhouse.
We were served with Tuak, Bidayuh rice wine which tasted sweet. Nice drink :)
The local who was making the musical instrument.
Friendly Bidayuh showed how the musical instrument made from bamboo.

The head house which had collection of skulls of the defeated warriors from old days.
I did get frightened by the creepy look of the skulls.

Then, we headed to say " hi" to Ah Chai's Bidayuh friend whom had prepared the delicious local dishes for us as lunch. The traditional local signature dishes were our first try of Bidayuh foods, especially the world famous bamboo rice and village chicken.The ferns (paku) were collected from the surrounding jungles and simply organic. The organic herbal tea was served as beverages.

tea brewed from tree bark.


organic chicken 

After the hearty meal, we had a short tour around the longhouse. The traditional art crafts, musical instruments, traditional costumes were showcased on the walls, around the longhouse. The longhouse owner had recommended us to come over to have a homestay during Christmas as it would be free of charge and had celebration going on during that period. We got to know that most of the younger generation had left the longhouse to the cities to earn a living. The main income source here would be tourism and traditional way of living (plantation of bamboo, ferns, rubbers and etc.).

Last but not least, few of us had tried the Bidayuh's traditional costumes. The owner was very friendly as kept helping us to find the suitable sizes of costumes and taught us how to wear it. Only Kiwi had worn the costumes with T-shirt removed. Some photographs we had taken with traditional costumes before we left Annah Rais Longhouse.

 It's worth the pennies you spent to encounter the culture of Bidayuh and experience wearing the traditional costumes and enjoying the hot, organic Bidayuh foods. 

Kuching Tour | 8 Local delicacies Directory

Kuching; similar to any other states in Malaysia, owning its own culinary specialties. Our local friends and Ah Chai had done a good job in bringing us to try the local delicacies in Kuching. The content of this blog entry included the epicurean journey in Kuching.

1. Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre

We arrived late from airport and the hawker centre was almost closed during that time. The place that we sat determining the boundaries of stall that we could order foods from.We ordered rojak from two different stalls. It was different compared to Penang rojak or KL rojak I ate before.  
The main ingredients of the rojak: kangkung and cuttlefish; topped with shredded peanuts.

Belacan vermicelli.
Vermicelli served with belacan gravy and topped with cuttlefish.
It's one of the recommended Kuching delicacies. I disliked the taste though.

2. Premier 101 Foods Court

A large area was used as food center where various famous Sarawak local delicacies could be found here.The name of the food court came from having 101 hawker stalls there.

The crowds
ice kacang

Kolo Mee is Kuching’s signature dish.
This is the plain type with red char siew and minced pork meat.
Gong Pia which is a toasted bun with juicy char siew as fillings.
Notably to mention that it's Foo Chow's snacks.Highly recommended!
Sambal fried vermicelli which suited my taste buds compared to belacan vermicelli that I had during noon.

3. Golden Arch Cafe

Sarawak laksa  from Golden Arch Cafe had been recommended by our Kuching buddies. This was another Kuching delicacy that you shall not miss. We had tried the kolo mee here again.

Light snacks before breakfast.

We ordered two different types of kolo mee for sharing.
The red kolo mee was mixed with red char siew (barbeque pork) sauce and oil while the white type was the original one.

Thin rice vermicelli was served in flavorful spiced soup with bean sprouts, big prawns and some shredded chicken meats. It was less spicy compared to Penang's curry noodles.

Dim sum were available here but our stomachs were full.

4. Annah Rais Longhouse  * recommended *

Big thanks to Ah Chai otherwise we might not be able to try the local Bidayuh foods and drinks. Entrance fees for entering Annah Rais Longhouse was not very costly.Touring the Annah Rais longhouse was an excellent opportunity to experience traditional life in Borneo from both historical and modern day perspective.

We were greeted with a small glass of locally brewed rice wine at the entrance of Annah Rais Longhouse. The traditional local signature dishes were our first try of Bidayuh foods, especially the world famous bamboo rice and village chicken.The ferns (paku) were collected from the surrounding jungles and simply organic. The organic herbal tea was served as beverages.

Homemade herbal tea which was made from a tree bark.


5. Sarawak Kek Lapis

We had come to Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah shop for buying the famous kek lapis (layer cakes).

The generous sampling 

6. Benson Seafood Restaurant

Benson Seafood Restaurant ; ariverside restaurant which offers wide range of seafoods.

Prawn fritters 

Midin or Paku is the local vegetable in Kuching which is normally cooked with belacan or garlic. 
You can see the curl part of the vegetable.

The soup that had embedded in my mind- Soup made of fish lips.
It was tasty but it made me feeling creepy when though of the numbers of fish lips in producing this large pot of fish lip soup.
Bean curd  with minced meat

Sweet and sour fish

Mango chicken.

7. Oriental Park * recommended *

One of our breakfasts was taken at a coffee shop named Oriental Park.It's located right in one of the oldest places in Kuching and well hidden. Let's see the hidden gem of authentic kolo mee.

It's the best kolo mee I had in Kuching. It's served with crispy char ciew (BBQ pork), minced meat, spring onions and barbeque pork oil.
The char siew was roasted over charcoal fire; inducing the meat scrumptious,crispy and fragrant .

 8. Other local delicacies

With names which belong to car models like matterhorn, this dessert was named as Fair Lady or Snow White. Shaved ice with sagu,coconut milk and lemon.

Again, we tried the kolo mee.

Tomato mee with your choice of noodles in thick tomato gravy, served with seafood & pork.

The tomato mee with big prawns and char siew.