Monday, 20 November 2017

Tourism Malaysia FAM Trip - Kuching, Sarawak (Day 1)

Greetings from the land of the Hornbill.

It's been along time dream for me to visit Borneo and today I finally did...
Thanks to the wonderful people from Tourism Malaysia for the invitation.

Just a few days ago, I didn't even know what to pack let alone what to expect. Now here I am on the majestic island of Borneo. My journey today started as early as 5 am because we had to be at the airport at least 1 hour and 30 minutes before departure. ( My flight was at 8.40 am by the way ).

We landed safely in Kuching at around 10.20am and were cordially greeted by our Sarawak Tourism counterparts. As for me i was still in awe of the whole situation, kind of like a dream come true you could say. lol....

Photo of us upon arrival at Kuching International Airport.

The ever popular "selfie" & "wefie"

Our first stop for the day was Lunch (Common Malaysian Hospitality) Everywhere you go, the first thing your host will ask you is "What Do You Want To Eat".
So off we went to a cozy little restaurant called Dayang Salhah Cuisine in the heart of Kuching, nestled right beneath the Pullman Hotel here in Kuching.

The food here is such a treat the palate as the fusion in all its dishes gives a little yin and yang with each dish complimenting the other. One dish that stood out the most to me was the "Black Pepper Corn Relish" or better know as a form of Sambal Lada Hitam. The taste is to DIE for, literally if you are not the kind of person that enjoys spicy dishes.

After having our fill, we had to head off to our next destination which was the Sarawak Regatta taking place at "Sungai Sarawak" or the "Sarawak River".
Since we were travelling in a group (of 18 persons to be exact) our ground handlers advised that we stick to riding the tour us even though the actually venue was mere minutes away.
"Honestly I don't mind at all since i had just gained some weight from eating such superb dishes, there wasn't a chance that i would actually walk. hahahaha..."

Anyone wondering what the Sarawak Regatta is all about?
Well if your answer is YES, then that makes two of us.
Regatta - Taken from Venetian word "Regata" meaning "Contention for Mastery"

As far as i know, a Regatta is basically a boat race comprising of different categories.
Apparently I was wrong (well not quite), The Sarawak Regatta dates back to the 18th century when Borneo was still the land of tribal feuds, wars and the headhunting practices.
It was set in place as a competition for men to settle their differences in a more civilized manner other than taking a life. An ingenious way of resolving a tiff between tribes without resorting to violence and bloodshed if you ask me.

Back in the day, the Regatta had quite different rules and regulations compared to the ones in place today.
According to our local guide Teddy, back when he races in the Regatta for his school these wooden boats or sampans as we call them were constructed out of a single log and weighed approximately 800 kilograms. The contestants also only used shorts and a tribal headpiece.

So much has changed since then as the wooden boats have been replaced with much sturdier and light weight boats made from fiberglass, the tribal head pieces have since been replaced with bright, sporty, numbered jerseys. Though change is inevitable, it is good to see that the people of Sarawak and Brunei are still keeping this tradition alive! Kudos fellas!

Rather unfortunate though, that I wasn't able to get any good photos during the races as there were swarms of local EVERYWHERE! A truly wonderful sight to behold people from all walks of life united as one regardless of their race, religion, color or creed...

Standing along the river and overhead on the aptly named "Bridge of Unity" or as it is now called "Darul Hana Bridge". The bridge which has only recently been completed, allows tourist (like to be able to take stunning photos of the river as well as the colonial "Astana" building in the background.
The main attraction here is actually the State Legislative Building which is nestled on the opposite side of the river right next to the Astana.
Standing tall and Gold in color, you will never miss it! The weather was beautiful, sun was out shining and the clouds were simple magnificent!.

Taking a walk back to our tour bus, we walked along the bazaar and had some bites along the way. Again here you notice the unity and diversity of Sarawak.

Okay... So anyway here are some shots I managed to get of the surrounding before we adjourned back to the hotel. Enjoy...

Everyone was bushed by the time we reached the hotel and finally checked in... But wait... We aren't even done with the day yet. As much as one is mesmerized by the beauty surrounding the river, one does not forget to MAKAN!!!!.

The Majestic Riverside Hotel is our home for the next 2 nights in case you were wondering. 
The best part of all this is that the location is so so SOOOOOO close to everything.

The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. 
My room was on the corner of the 15th floor with a killer view! WOOHOOO!!!.

Our dinner was at the ever so famous Top Spot Seafood Food Court, which is actually a large rooftop food court specializing in authentic Sarawak cuisine.
It doesn't look like much at first glance, but let me tell you that you will be awestruck the moment the food hits your table.

With prawns the size of an average fist, really fresh fish and squid and the legendary Sayur Midin which is a type of creeping fern found only in Sarawak. It is said that sayur midin has anti aging benefits if consumed regularly.
So i decided to speed up the process by finishing half of the portion allotted to my table. hahaha... In the hopes that I might return to KL as an infant. (Bite me!).

I actually thought that the dinner would end up costing a bomb but apparently it only cost's an average of RM 25 per head for a table full of glorious FOOOODDDD!!!. This was confided in me by one of the local travel agents here. ( Honestly, even if it costs more than that I would gladly pay)

I'm already back at the hotel writing this and i can still taste the sweetness of the prawns and fish. Looks like i'm gonna have a buffet in my dreams tonight! LOL!.

Tomorrow will be another eventful packed day so I'm off to bed now. Good Night!

P/s: YES I have a happy tummy & YES I am a happy child.


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Sarawak Jean. It makes people like me who has never been to Sarawak eager to explore Sarawak. Can’t wait to hear about your remaining adventures in Sarawak..

    1. Most welcome. takpe nanti ada lah rezeki dtg sini...

  2. Wah murahnya dinner seafood macam tu. Bestnya!

    1. Kannnn.... Terkejut bila agent sini bagitau harga...

  3. Waaaaa.... Bestnyaaaaa....
    Nak ikuttttty!!!!

  4. wow..bestnya..murah giler seafood dia..teringin nak pergi sana..

  5. Sarawak.. Being there few times... Tapi tak pernah explore macam ko bro.. Jeles..

  6. Dah 2 kali pergi Sarawak, memang best terutama bab makan. Suka Mee Kolok dan Laksa Sarawak, sedap!

  7. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. Zanzibar tours


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