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THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2013

Kuching Cat Icon Monument Wears a New Hat

 

 

 Kuching City’s famous Cat Icon Statue recently received a new urban art makeover from a group of Kuching volunteering knitters. The new look of the Cat Statue, now has a new purple with cream and a white hat, as well as a golden yellow purplish scarf that makes it looks like a Boy Scouts team.

 

 This Kuching City Cat Statue iconic monument wears different costumes for different occasions. Before this, it was the Chinese New Year festival season. The Cat Statue was well decorated with Chinese costume in conjunction with the holiday festival season.

 

 The art makeover volunteered by the group of Kuching knitters, was led by Crafthub director, Heidi Munan. They stitched a nine metre strip of yarn into a hat and another three metre into a scarf. To ensure the hat is well placed on the Cat Statue, it was reinforced with metal wires making sure it will last long under the humid weather in Sarawak.

 

 Materials used were from recycle and unwanted items such as thrown away water bottles and pompoms.

 

 Miss Heidi Munan, the director and leader of the club for Crafthub, mentioned the idea to start out and decorated the Kuching Landmark Cat Statue was proposed by a group of non-government organisations since last year.

 

 It took the group 6 months to complete the costume. During that period of time, they met up once a week to do the stitches and some of them who were looking forward to it eventually decided to continue the job at home with the given materials.

 

 The only cost involved was labour as the beautifully produced yarn was made from recycled items or a half completed work and unwanted yarns.

 

 Heidi was inspired by the design from the latest urban street art called yarn bombing. Originally yarn bombing was used to decorate trees and benches made of colourful knitted and crotched yarn or fibre clothes.

 

 “It is hoped that this attempt on urban street art would not only promote the art but also entice city folks to take up this new interests and expand its use in the future as an embellishment to the cityscape and the promotion of the city’s culture and tourism” she said.

 

 Their hands are currently tight with charitable works at the Children Cancer’s ward of the Sarawak General Hospital, by knitting colourful patched blankets and hats. After that, they will move on to stitching soft toys.

 

 Those who are interested to learn stitching may drop by at the Sarawak Museum Café on Wednesday from 10 am to learn stitching from Heidi.

 

 Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Mayor Dato James Chan advised public not to touch or remove the hat or scarf.

 

 “You are welcomed to come and take photos but don’t disturb it. Do not take it away,” said Chan.

 

 As a show of support, the group also presented a hand-knitted blue, white and red coloured hat to Chan.

Tags: Kuching City | Kuching Cat Statue | Kuching Cat Statue Sarawak | Kuching Cat Statue Borneo |

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012

Seven Reasons Why Kuching City Is Worth the Visit.

 

Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak , the largest state in Malaysia . Kuching, the largest city in East Malaysia, is home to around 600,000 of Sarawak ’s multi-ethnic population. Kuching is uniquely the only city in Malaysia to be divided into two administrative parts, Kuching South and Kuching North Back in the 19th century this city was known as Sarawak before it was renamed as Kuching.

This laid-back and colourful city will capture the hearts of those who visited here. In fact, some would even be reluctant to leave after spending some time in Kuching. There are so many reasons why it is worth your while to visit Kuching. Here are seven of them.

Meet the diverse and friendly people of Kuching

When you arrive in Kuching you will be amazed by the diversity of it population. In fact, Kuching is one of the most multicultural cities in Malaysia . In the streets of Kuching you will see the Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Orang Ulu and Malay people rub shoulders together as they go about their daily lives. The Chinese population is centred in Kuching South while the Malays live in Kuching North. The rest of the population is spread evenly throughout both part of the city. Indeed, you will be charmed by their warmth and friendliness to visitors to Kuching. Take the time to learn about the different cultures living together in Kuching and be amazed by the rich cultural heritage of this multicultural city.

 

 See the historical places in Kuching

When you walk around Kuching city, you will notice several buildings from the old colonial days with their unique 19th- early 20th century architectures. For example, the majestic-looking Kuching Post Office, with its impressive ornamental Corinthian columns and semi-circular arches was built in 1931. Who would imagine that a post office would look so majestic! Across the river in Kuching North, you will see the Astana, formerly known as the Government House, which was built by the 2nd Rajah of Sarawak in 1874. The regal look of the Astana definitely befits its status as the governor’s residence. Indeed there are many more historical buildings you can discover here apart from these two examples.

 

 Explore the Kuching Waterfront

 If you are in Kuching, you must not miss taking a walk along the scenic Kuching Waterfront with its beautiful view of the Sarawak River . You can see the Astana looming on the other side of the river. You could even take a short boat ride to Kuching North which is just across the river from here. This one kilometer pedestrian riverside walk also has many stalls selling tourist souvenirs and food. So you could enjoy a leisurely walk and browse through the wares and food on offer here.

 

 Go souvenir hunting in the Main Bazaar

 Looking for nice souvenirs from Kuching? Well, the nearby the Main Bazaar is the place for you to go. However, do remember to bargain for the right price to get a good deal! You can see a whole row of shops selling traditional handicrafts, antiques and many other interesting items here. The shops themselves, with their old colonial architecture, are also interesting to look at. You’ll spend hours here browsing through all the stuff.

 Stroll through India Street Mall

 Not far from the Main Bazaar, lies India Street Mall. This pedestrian walkway has been home to Indian traders in Kuching for countless of years. Here you can find shops selling fabrics, textiles, clothing, books and other every day items. Indeed, the unique sight and sounds of this street mall adds more colour to Kuching city.

 Visit the first cat museum in the world

Kuching is home to the first cat museum in the world, which is appropriate since the name Kuching means ‘cat’ in Malay. Located on a hill with a good view of Kuching, the Cat Museum is only 10 minutes drive away from the city centre. Here, you can see various items relating to cats, ranging from cat-themed statues, pendants, stamps to personal photo collections. This one of a kind museum in Malaysia will definitely delight all cat lovers.

 Experience the delicious Kuching food

Feeling hungry after doing all these explorations? Well, it’s time to try out the mouth-watering Kuching food. There are a variety of local cuisines such as the famous Kolok Mee, Laksa Sarawak, traditional Iban bamboo chicken, friend Midin vegetable and many more. By all means, try them out. If you plan to watch your weight while you are in Kuching, let’s just say you should do that after you finish your trip!

 The more you spend your time exploring Kuching; you will undoubtedly discover more reasons why this place is really worth the visit. And who knows, you might not even want to leave at all after experiencing the sights and sounds of this beautiful city.

Tags: kuching city | where to go in kuching | must visit places in kuching | kuching town | kuching city | kuching | sarawak | kuching borneo | kuching malaysia |

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012

Come And Celebrate Gawai With Us At Sarawak Cultural Village

Gawai Festival is celebrated all over Sarawak, Borneo but the best choice to personally experience the celebration as a traveller will be the capital city of Kuching. Come to Sarawak Cultural Village - which is the same venue used annually for the Rainforest Music Festival - is a popular and convenient place for tourists to learn more about Sarawak's indigenous cultures.
 
Sarawak Cultural Village has the reputation of being the finest ‘living museum’ in Southeast Asia, which combines history, tradition, the lifestyle and architecture with a dash of education and portion of the theatre to create a unique multi-cultural extravaganza.
 
Now Sarawak Cultural Village is offering Special Gawai Packages for tourists who wish to celebrate Gawai Festival and get up close and personal with the Dayak people. Sarawak Cultural Village is offering tourist the Gawai Special Package. Held from 18th of May until 30th of June, tourist will get up close and intimate with the Dayak people, mainly Iban and Bidayuh and celebrate Gawai Festival while experiencing their culture and traditions. There are also various activities for a tourist to participate in learning the cultures of the Dayak people. For those who are curious on what Gawai is all about and want to experience it for themselves check out www.SarawakBorneoTour.com on what we have to offer.
 
Gawai Dayak Festival in Kuching is great fun; Iban and Bidayuh families’ offer guest with gallons of rice wine and real longhouse-style home cooking. Gawai Special Packge is a chance to get the feel of celebrating the festive Dayak season up-country, in the village and longhouses. This is a chance of spending your holiday in Iban Longhouses and Bidayuh villages, and has a great time in both, while experiencing something different and plus you get to get close with nature.
 
Gawai Festival is a celebration of good harvest. The Dayak communities celebrate this festival to give thanks to the gods for the good monsoon resulting in a plentiful harvest. This festival brings along all the members of these communities who eat, drink and dance together.
 
The festivities start right from the end of May and continue till the middle of July. Clothed in the traditional dress, everyone takes part in the various cultural functions. The elders however perform the traditional rituals. There are ample food and drink on offer for everybody. Tuak, wine (made from rice) and a wide variety of other food items are served.
Don’t forget to click on to www.SarawakBorneoTour.com and you can e-mail your inquiries to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com.
Tags: Sarawak Cultural Village | Sarawak | Borneo | Dayak | Gawai | Iban | Gawai Dayak | Bidayuh | Kuching City | living museum | Rainforest Music Festival | Gawai Celebration | Iban people celebration | harvest festival | rice harvest festival | Selamat Hari Gawai |

What Is Gawai Festival All ABout?

Every year the Dayaks of Borneo, Sarawak celebrates the Gawai Festival where the word Gawai means a ritual or festival on June 1 every year. Dayak is a collective name for the native ethnic groups which consists of the Iban and the Bidayuh people. Gawai Festival is celebrated as both religious and social occasion where the Dayaks normally visit (also commonly known as 'ngabang' to the native tongue) friends and family on this day.

The manner of festivity varies from place to place. But usually the necessary preparation starts early. Tuak (rice wine) is brewed (at least one month before the celebration) and rather traditional delicacies like penganan (cakes from rice flour, sugar and coconut milk) are prepared. As the big day approaches, everyone will be busy with general cleaning and preparing food and cakes. On Gawai Festival Eve, glutinous rice is steamed in bamboo (ngelulun pulut). In the longhouse, new mats will be set in place out on the ruai (an open walkway which runs through the entire length of the longhouse). The walls of most bilik (rooms) and the ruai are ornamented with Pua Kumbu (traditional blankets). A visit to clean the graveyard is also conducted and offerings offered to the dead. After the visit it is important to bathe before entering the longhouse to ward off bad luck.

The celebration usually begins on the evening of May 31st. In most Iban longhouses, it starts with a ceremonial rite called Muai Antu Rua (to cast away the spirit of greed), signifying the non-interference of the spirit of bad luck in the festivity. Two children or men each dragging a chapan (winnowing basket) will pass each family's room. Every family will throw some unwanted article into the basket. The unwanted articles will be tossed to the ground from the end of the longhouse for the spirit of bad luck.

Around 6 pm or as the sun sets, offering (known as miring) rite will take place. Before the ceremony, ritual music (gendang rayah) is performed. The Feast Chief thanks the gods for the good harvest, and asks for guidance, blessings and long life as he waves a cockerel over the offerings. He then sacrifices the cockerel and a little blood is used together with the offerings.

Once the offering ceremony is done, dinner is then served at the ruai. Just before midnight, a procession up and down the ruai seven times called Ngalu Petara (welcoming the spirit god) is performed. During this procession, a beauty pageant to choose the festival's queen and king (Kumang & Keling Gawai) is sometimes conducted. Meanwhile, drinks, traditional cakes and delicacies are served.

At midnight, the gong is beaten to call the celebrants to attention. The longhouse Chief (tuai rumah) or Gawai Festival Chief will lead everyone to drink the Ai Pengayu (normally tuak for long life) and at the same time wish each other "gayu-guru, gerai-nyamai" (long life, health and prosperity). The celebration now turns merrier and less formal. Some will dance to the traditional music played; others will sing the pantun (poems). In urban areas, Dayaks will organise gatherings at community centres or restaurants to celebrate the evening.

Other activities that may follow the next few days include: cock-fighting matches, and blowpipe and ngajat competitions. On this day, 1 June, homes of the Dayaks are open to visitors and guests.

Traditionally, when guests arrive at a longhouse, they are given the ai tiki as a welcome. From time to time, guests are served tuak. This would be called nyibur temuai which literally means "watering of guests".

Christian Dayaks normally attend a church mass service to thank God for the good harvest.

Gawai Dayak celebrations may last for several days folks, so check us out on www.SarawakBorneoTour.com to come and celebrate Gawai with us. We have various packages including homestay programmes so your Gawai Festival experience would be an exciting one. Any inquiries you can e-mail us on Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com.

Tags: Tuak | Gawai Festival | Sarawak | Borneo | Dayak | Gawai | Iban | Gawai Dayak | Bidayuh | Kuching City | Gawai Dayak | longhouse |

Looking Forward To Gawai

The Gawai Festival is celebrated with excitement across Sarawak, Borneo in both cities and rural villages, Gawai Festival is a multi-day cultural festival to honour the native people of the Dayak community which consists mainly of Iban and Bidayuh.
 
They celebrate Gawai Festival on the first and second of June every year. Gawai Dayak is an up-to-date version of Gawai Padi, the rice harvest festival traditionally celebrated by both the Iban and Bidayuh people, to give thanks for a successful harvest.
 
More than just a touristy demonstration of indigenous culture for tourists, Gawai Dayak is celebrated with genuine joy and enthusiasm. Weddings take place, singing and toasts fill the air, and families are reunited with one another after being separated all year.
 
The traditions celebrated during Gawai Dayak are ancient, but the holiday is not. The first Gawai Dayak festival took place in 1965 after several years of renewed cultural pride within the oppressed Dayak community. When first asked to create a public holiday in celebration of the Dayak people in Sarawak, the colonial government refused; they were afraid that other minority groups would make similar demands. Instead, the government declared June 1 as "Sarawak Day". Eventually, once Sarawak was awarded independence, the holiday was officially changed to Gawai Dayak.
 
More than just a demonstration of indigenous culture for tourists, Gawai Dayak is celebrated with genuine joy and enthusiasm. Gawai is an occasion for parties, fun and games, processions and ‘open houses’. At rural dwellings, especially in roadside villages and remote villages, guests are expected to taste tuak and eat at each household. Thus in a 30 door Iban longhouse with a family living behind each door, it means partaking in festivities over and over again. Music and dancing usually follow to liven up the mood.
 
In Kuching, celebrations start a week before with colourful street parades and cultural activities. On the eve of the Gawai, a grand state dinner is held at the Civic Centre with singing, dancing and a beauty pageant which culminates in the crowning of several Gawai Queens, one each for Iban and Bidayuh communities.
 
Obviously, Gawai Dayak is the best and the most interesting time to visit Sarawak as you can see and sample the lifestyle and its festivities. All visitors are warmly received and accepted as new friends even if they happen to be strangers. It is a happy time for all concerned.
 

For those who are curious on what Gawai celebrations is all about and want to experience it for themselves come and check out www.SarawakBorneoTour.com and see what we have to offer. You can e-mail your inquiries to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com for more information or book online directly.

Tags: Tuak | Gawai Festival | Sarawak | Borneo | Dayak | Gawai | Iban | Gawai Dayak | Bidayuh | Kuching City | Gawai Dayak | longhouse | celebration |

Meaning Of Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai

You must hear a lot of the local people say Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai during the jovial season of Gawai but what does it means? It actually means long life, health and prosperity in the Iban language The Ibans has many festivals called ‘Gawai’ but the most popular celebration would be the ‘Gawai Dayak’ (harvesting festival). During such festival, besides the customary observance of ritual, there is usually a lot of drinking of the locally brewed rice wine called tuak, much merriment and dancing called ngajat and displays of elaborate traditional costumes.

“Gawai” or festivals are often held at the end of the Rice Harvest throughout most parts of Sarawak, Borneo and this is a celebration of unity, aspiration and hope for the Dayak which mark the end of the rice harvest and usher in another year of bountiful goodness. During this festival, almost everyone dresses in traditional costumes while the elders perform traditional rites.

First celebrated on 1st June 1965, it is the feast for the eyes with its colourful rituals, traditional music, cock fighting, feasting and games. It is simply a time for merrymaking.

Tuak (rice wine) and an array of traditional food are generously served. Widespread celebrations are held not only in the main cities and towns but also in the interior settlements. Gawai is an occasion for parties, fun and games, processions and open houses.

In remote villages, guests are expected to taste tuak and eat at each household. Another popular alcoholic beverage being served during Gawai is langkau. Langkau is made from fermented rice wine (tuak) and cooked in a barrel with a little hose hanging off the top of the barrel. The alcoholic levels in langkau is much stronger and is said to be the Sarawakian version of vodka. Music and dancing usually follow suit (which consists of mostly joget or dangdut hits).

In Kuching, for instance, celebrations start a week before with colourful street parades and cultural activities. On the eve of the Gawai, a grand state dinner is usually held with singing, dancing and a beauty pageant, which culminates in the crowning of several Gawai Queens, one each for Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu communities.


Obviously, Gawai Dayak is the best and the most interesting time to visit Sarawak as you can see and sample the lifestyle and its festivities of other various Dayak communities. So if all this interest you, come and check us out at www.SarawakBorneoTour.com and see what we have to offer to bring the experience of the Gawai Celebrations to you. You can e-mail your inquiries to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com for more info.

Tags: Tuak | Langkau | Gawai Festival | Sarawak | Borneo | Dayak | Gawai | Iban | Gawai Dayak | Bidayuh | Kuching City | Gawai Dayak | longhouse |

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2012

Benak Festival famously known as Tidal Bore Carnival in Sarawak


River Surfing Fun yo!


Sri Aman is a market town and port, and the capital of Sri Aman District and Sri Aman Division in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Sri Aman is also called Bandar Sri Aman, and was formerly known as Simanggang and has a population of 26,100. Sri Aman in the Malay language means "town of peace ." Sri Aman is located on the Lupar River, it is 193 kilometers, a three hour drive, from Kuching the capital city of Sarawak. It is a trade center for the timber, oil palm, rubber, and pepper of its mostly agricultural district.

Benak is the native tongue for tidal bore, and Benak happens everyday. During spring tide, tidal bore with a high magnitude, it can be observed clearly from distance. The 'Benak' continues its journey for another 30km inland, ending near the small village of Engkili in the same division.

Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, usually in areas with a large tidal range (typically more than 6 metres (20 ft) between high and low water) and where incoming tides are funneled into a shallow, narrowing river or lake via a broad bay.
 
Tidal Bore Surfer in Sarawak
Tidal Bore Surfer in Sarawak

The funnel-like shape not only increases the tidal range, but it can also decrease the duration of the flood tide, down to a point where the flood appears as a sudden increase in the water level. A tidal bore takes place during the flood tide and never during the ebb tide. A tidal bore may take on various forms, ranging from a single breaking wavefront with a roller — somewhat like a hydraulic jump — to "undular bores", comprising a smooth wavefront followed by a train of secondary waves (whelps). Large bores can be particularly unsafe for shipping but also present opportunities for river surfing!

There are only five spots in Asia where this unusual phenomena occurs and Sri Aman is sure to provide the excitement and fun to see for ourselves of one of the best waves in the world.
It has become an annual event and held every year. The festival is set to be one of the most exciting tourism destination.

I recommend to all to come over to Sri Aman to feel and experience Benak Festival that will promise only fun and excitement for you.
 
The red circle marks the location of the event.

Book your tours through www.SarawakBorneoTour.com to come and celebrate Benak Festival wih us or you may e-mail your inquiries to Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com.

Date: 6 - 8 April 2012
Event: Tidal Bore Carnival (Benak Festival)
Venue: Tebingan Batang Lupar, Sri Aman
Tags: Benak | Benak Festival | Sri Aman | Sarawak | Sarawak Borneo | river surfing | surf | tidal bore | tidal bore carnival | Kuching | Kuching City | Sarawak river sport |

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2012

Experience Bidayuh Culture at Kampung Benuk Homestay Programme

If you want to learn and experience the different cultures existing in Sarawak, the best way is to live or stay with the local people. There are 19 kampongs and longhouses of various ethnic groups in Sarawak, and Kampung Benuk is one of them. Be prepared to be fascinated and enchanted by their culture, festivals and traditions.

Kampung Benuk is located 34km from Kuching City and is the nearest homestay for visitors or tourists who wish to experience life in a native longhouses. The homestay is an ideal transit for those who are going to and from the Borneo Highlands (Annah Rais) and the city. The Bidayuh culture is sacredly preserved amid rapid development taking place in the village, and their daily activities are mainly traditional farming (planting paddy, rubber, pepper and vegetables). It has a population of 3000 with some living in traditional longhouses while the rest lives in a typical modern Bidayuh Village.

Kampung Benuk Homestay programme offers visitors with an excellent exotic culture, warmth and friendly hospitality along with nature at its finest. Benuk Homestay is one of the very few surviving Bidayuh Longhouse in Borneo, Sarawak. Benuk Homestay is one of the best opportunities to truly enjoy the experience of living among rich traditional lifestyle of a Bidayuh community.

Enjoy Bidayuh traditional dishes here in Kampung Benuk
Be ready to receive a warm welcome from us! :)
Among the attractions available at Kampung Benuk Homestay is a mini museum which houses various historic Bidayuh relics, Panggah (where skulls are kept), river crossing on bamboo bridge, the Skuh Gung mini cave, the Legendary Batuh Junk (Junk Stone) and not forgetting the Bidayuh traditional longhouse.
Bamboo bridge crossing at Kampung Benuk Homestay

Various activities are also offered here and among them are; jungle/ mountain tracking: paddy farm cultivation (traditional farm), rubber garden (rubber tapping demonstration), and pepper gardening (briefing on pepper). For nature lovers, Kampung Benuk homestay offers unique flora and fauna with the village surrounded by dense jungle plus the Semenggoh Nature Reserve (Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre) being only a few kilometers away from the village.

You can check out Kampung Benuk Homestay packages only at www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for the best deals, or you can send us your inquiries at Ask@SarawakBorneoTour.com.

Tags: Benuk | Kuching homestay | homestay in Kuching | kuching village homestay | Bidayuh homestay | Benuk Homestay | Sarawak | Kampung Benuk | Semenggoh | Kuching longhouse | Sarawak longhouse | sarawak culture | bidayuh culture | bidayuh traditions | Kuching City |

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2012

Bako National Park, the smallest national park in whole Sarawak

 

Bako National Park

 

Dry season is the best time to plan your trip to Bako National Park Sarawak, which is from the month of April to October. Boat journey to Bako National Park Sarawak between the month of November to March may be too rough during the monsoon season.

A day trip to Bako National Park Sarawak can be very rewarding, and it is recommended that the journey to Bako National Park Sarawak should begin early in the morning. To fully enjoy the breathtaking experiences that Bako National Park Sarawak offers, an overnight stay or longer should be considered before making the trip.

SarawakBorneoTour.com offers trip to Bako National Park Sarawak, where we can guide you on a day trip, and arrange transport and permit. From Kuching, Bako National Park Sarawak can be reached in two stages-about 45 minutes’ drive on a new sealed road to the park terminal at Kampung Bako, followed by a 30-minute boat ride to the Bako National Park Sarawak Headquarters at Teluk Asam. Taxi fares from Kuching are reasonable and an inexpensive bus service is also available.
 
 
A permit for entering Bako National Park Sarawak and accommodation bookings can be obtained at www.SarawakBorneoTour.com.

The water at the Bako Park National Sarawak Headquarter is too shallow for boats to reach the jetty at low tide. To avoid waiting at Kampung Bako boat terminal, it is advisable to time your arrival during high tide. From the jetty, boats are operated by the villagers at reasonable fares. The boat ride to  Bako National Park Headquarters provide a good view of the mangrove forest that lines the river mouth and bay.

When heading out, the visitor has a splendid view of Gunung Santubong, the mountain on the west side of the bay. The cliffs and bay of Bako Peninsula are on the right. A spectacular sea stack can be seen along the coastal cliffs beyond Park Headquarters. The sandstone forming the stack was modeled by the incessant beating of the waves as well as the chemical weathering in the hot and wet tropical climate.

So click on to www.SarawakBorneoTour.com for more details. Look for Bako National Park Sarawak trip package for the best deals in town.
Tags: Bako | Bako National Park | World Heritage | Sarawak Borneo | Sarawak | Kuching City | Kuching | nature | Proboscis Monkey |

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY21, 2012

Kuching city from the eyes of the Historical buff

 

 

Kuching city for history buffs,  is one town that will tickle their fancy with its rich history as well as monuments and buildings that has survived and standing  since the colonial days.Established sometime in 1841, it has changed with time and declared a city in 1986.

For those who wish to travel and encounter the wonders of  historical Kuching, I would suggest to the budding traveller to take lessons of history one at a time by walking around town, the Heritage Walk would be a good tour. Besides, most of the interesting places are located nearby the Kuching waterfront, and it’s all within easy walking distances.

From the Kuching Waterfront, it’s highly recommended to get across the river with a small wooden sampan, called “penambang”and drop off at the jetty near the Astana, a regal splendor built in 1870 commended by the Second Rajah, Charles Brooke as a bridal gift for his wife, Ranee Margaret. Later it was known as the Government House  and it now serves as the official residence of the Yang di-PertuaNegeri Sarawak (Governor of Sarawak) and the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building located on the north bank of the river.

Another building left by the legacy of the Second Rajah is Fort Margherita, named after his wifeRanee Margaret; it is located to overlook the long stretch of river approaching Kuching and houses many canons and artillery ammunitions.

First stop would best be the Old Court House, built in 1874 which used to house all government office and venue for state ceremonies. The building was made from iron wood and decorated with beautiful engravings. High court proceedings and numerous state council meetings have taken place there from the 19th century till September 2000. In 2003, the building was converted into Sarawak Tourism Complex.

Brooke Memorial Monument, standing at six metres high at the entrance of the Court was made from granite, built to honour the second Rajah, Charles Brooke and commissioned in 1924. The monument had a bronze panel to represent the various races in Sarawak. The colonial baroque Clock Tower behind the memorial was added in 1883.

The next stop in this charming Kuching city would be the Square Tower which was originally built as a prison butwas later converted into a dancing hall for the colonial masters and quarters for the servants. This Square Towerwas built in 1879which was a fortress but is now a multimedia information centre and video theatre.

Sitting next to Square Tower is the Sarawak Steamship Building that was built in 1930 which served as the office and warehouse of the Sarawak Steamship Company. Now, after extensive restoration it now houses a restaurant and convenience store.

Kuching Post Office is located right across the road, a white colossal building with imposing pillars,striking neo-classical style architecture built in 1931, initially built as a police station and a horse stable. It is said that the Post Office is the only building constructed using the Corinthian columns in this part of the world.

One of the many unique buildings in Kuching would be the Pavillion which was built in 1909. It has a rather odd shaped building regarded as a architectural enigma with a mix of late English Renaissance and colonial architecture. It used to be the general hospital but was later converted into a textile museum.

The Sarawak Museum in Kuching is located further up the street with symbolic canons of the White Rajahs of Sarawak placed on its compound. Built during the era of the White Rajah in 1891, the museum is reputed for having the most comprehensive collection of artifacts including arts and crafts of the indigenous people of Borneo.

Come to Kuching and visit these historical places, and if you find these entire information handful, this is just the tip of the ice berg as we have more to offer.

Tags: kuching city | kuching tours | kuching holiday | kuching hotel | sarawak museum | cat museum | rajah brooke | kek lapis sarawak | sarawak cultural village | rajah brooke | |