Kuching is known as the Cat city and appears to have been named after a cat. This sounded purrfect for us! But unfortunately, there were very few cats to be seen. Oh well.
We had 5 days there total, and had hoped for a mixture of exploring and chilling. And that’s exactly what we got. For a good 2 days we just wandered around the city, especially around the banks of the river, enjoying copious amounts of coffee, beer, and good food. Although to be fair it was too hot to do much else!
On our second day there, we went to the orangutan sanctuary located just out of town. How it worked is that food is put out at a particular time each day, and usually one or some orangutans come along to get an easy feed. One came along while we were there, and we got to see him pretty close up. He was certainly impressive and also immensely strong, and seemed to find the hordes of tourists with giant wanker cameras quite amusing.
A few days in, we headed out to Bako National Park, the top site of the area. To get there involved a Grab to the park entrance, which was located along a river, and then a boat ride down the river, along the coast, and then into the park. The boat ride itself was a load of fun, which was on what was basically a small wooden plank with an engine attached. Exiting the river into the ocean and passing through whitecaps on the way to the entrance proper was a great rollercoaster ride!
Once in the park we had to choose from several tracks, with each offering differing views and fitness requirements. We ended up choosing one that looked kind of mid level, and started walking. Very soon we were away from people and enjoyed the day walking through the jungle, finding secluded beaches, and seeing several monkeys.
One monkey decided to chase Sam. It was hilarious.
At one point we got cornered by a snake. We later found out that the snake was a green pit viper which are venomous and dangerous. Glad we freaked out and kept our distance until it let us keep going!
Sam also fell on her arse. It was hilarious.
Bako was great fun, but we almost didn’t leave. A storm whipped up when we got back from our hike, and the sea had gotten very very rough. So rough in fact that the boats all disappeared and took shelter in a bay, while everyone who was waiting was ushered into the park headquarters for shelter. After a lot of confusion, we finally got onto our boat (with the help of our local Malaysian co-passenger) and took off. …Rough is not the word. We had prepared by wrapping all of our things in plastic bags, including our glasses, and wedging them between us on the seat. Just as well as the spray was like a hose…We were unable to keep our eyes open, and were soaked from head to toe as we held on for dear life as the boat crashed around in the sea. …It was so much fun!!!!
Sam also fell into a storm water drain while getting on the bus. It was hilarious.
The following day we decided on a change in pace, and went to the Cat Museum. It was…Well…Totally freaky. It was like walking into an old ladies house who had collected anything and everything to do with cats: pictures, dolls, memorabilia, films…Anything. We had a short look around, left rather quickly, and got a lift back into town with a random guy who smelled like cheese.
We also took a boat trip down the river, which was lovely, and visited some museums, which were pretty cool.
All in all, we adored Kuching. We even started talking about the potential of spending a month there next summer…We liked it that much! But that was all from Borneo this time around. Next stop: Singapore.