Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 2 of Kuching (Part 1) - City Tour

About Sarawak

Looking at this map which i googled from the net, i find it weird that this island is split into 3 countries with Sarawak and Sabah belonging to Malaysia, Kalimantan belonging to Indonesia and Brunei being an independent country on its own despite being the smallest among the 4... another surprising thing is that there are more Chinese in Sarawak than Malay.... always thought that the Malay dominates the whole of Malaysia.... 

anyway, the history of Sarawak and many of the places visited are linked to wikipedia for those who are interested in finding out more....  i'm too lazy to retype everything here.... hee

                Day 2 of Kuching - 2 June 2012

woke up at 7am and was greeted with this view from my room on the 7th floor of Habour View Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak
so peaceful....with an interesting building, river, rows of trees, rows of colourful houses in sight, no people and no cars on the road at all.... 

1st stop of the day was South City Hall which was built in the shape of a chinese sun hat. It has 9 storeys to represent the 9 lives of a cat.

Why a cat???? cos the word Kuching is actually a malay word for cat.... so just like how Singapura got its name from a lion.... the same logic applies to Kuching.... =) ...ancient rulers just have the habit of naming places with animals they saw.... 

The South City Hall is a government centre where people apply for licences and permits, pay bills, for law & order etc's like a one - stop place for all govt related stuff... 

2nd stop of the day - The most famous cat in Kuching - one that is dressed differently for every festival in Kuching.... Currently, it is dressed in the dayak's traditional costume to celebrate the rice festival on 1st and 2nd of June... according to the tour guide, this cat will be in chinese costume during CNY, malay costume during Hari Raya and even dressed as a santa cat during xmas.... =) 

Many shops along the roads were closed as it was the rice festival (public holiday)   

repeat patterns on the bridge linking to the museum 

3rd stop - Sarawak Museum where we learnt so much about the native people.... but sad that we were not allowed to take any photos in the museum... =( 

anyway, the 3 tribes of native people of Sarawak that caught my attention were the Ibans for their tattoos, Orang Ulu for their large ear holes and the Bidayuh for their long necks. And these native has a history of headhunting = chopping off enemies' head and keeping these heads in the head house above the fire place.... they believe that by offering smokes to these skulls, the spirits of their enemies will protect their homes... 

My thoughts: Why will the enemy spirits want to protect your homes after you have cut off their heads??? hmmmm.....  

bus drove by the State Mosque and we learnt about the meaning of the different coloured cloth wrapped around the tombs in front of it.... {white cloth --> normal citizens}, {green cloth --> Arab}, {yellow cloth --> royal}, {no cloth --> no more visitors} ... =(

4th stop 

along the narrow alley 


5th stop - The Old Court House


And across the road were the Astana

the Parliament House 
water taxi @ 50cents per trip 

and the square tower  which was initially used as a fort against the pirates then changed into a prison then into a dance hall

Last stop before lunch was to 7 - 11 upon the kids' request.... it's like a must to drop by a convenient shop on school trips for the kids to stock up on snacks and bubble gums ...they went crazy as there's no one to stop them from buying whatever they want.... all that we told them were, "do not over buy...make sure u buy what u can finish.... dun stuff yourselves and ended up sick".... 

spotted 童年's delight

my delight for the day.... =).... and of cos stocked up on bubble gums and chewing gums for the 3As at home too....  

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