Trip Start May 24, 2010
51Trip End May 04, 2012
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Where I stayed
Our first stop was to go see the Kuching market, which would have been fascinating if I hadn’t already seen dozens of these markets in every city from Vietnam to Cambodia. It had the typical items for sale; the smelly, recently butchered cow hanging up for display, the fresh fish section, the dried fish section, the fruit section and so on. We breezed through here and headed for a walk back through town, which only took us about an hour to see the whole thing. The state mosque was prominent on the skyline, as well as the parliament building, which sat across the river. The best part of the city was the riverfront, with beautiful sunset views and food stalls.
The next day we went to Bako National Park, one of the many on Borneo. Borneo is renown for its wildlife. Prominent among its unique animals is the proboscis monkey, a monkey found only on Borneo. I can without and doubt say it is the ugliest monkey to ever walk the earth because its trademark feature is a large bulbous nose that sticks out from its face. Also on the list is the orangutan, macaque monkeys the beaded boar, the hornbill, the civet cat, jungle cats, the Asian rhino (now extinct I believe), Asian elephants, and a number of insects and lizards
We were dropped on the beach, shoes in hand and arranged a pick-up time with the boatman. Walking along the beach to the park headquarters, we spotted a family of bearded boars rooting around in the debris on the beach. They were not shy at all. In fact, I got quite close to them and when we returned from our hike in the park, they were practically inside the ranger station. But what I wanted to see was the proboscis monkey, and I didn’t have to wait long because at the beginning of the path, high up in the trees, one was snoozing on a branch. From the photo you can sort of see its nose if you look closely. But, apart from that, we saw no others. What we did see were mud skippers, the fish that can swim in water and "walk" on land. I thought they were the coolest with the way they flapped themselves up on the shore with their two front flippers. There were also some cool crabs, which I forgot the name of, with one large claw that was practically bigger than its entire body. A curious monkey sprung up on the boardwalk, but that was all we saw of wildlife. The forest was beautiful as well, very green and lush. We followed a path that led to a cliff that overlooked a beach and the coastline
After we got back and paid the nice Dutch man back, we hit a noodle stand for some laksa, which is a curry noodle soup with coconut milk, and white coffee. I love Malaysian food, unlike Thai food its not spicy which is good for me. Also, their coffee is to die for. They make it sweet, but not obnoxiously sweet like Thai coffee, and their “white coffee” from the mainland town of Ipoh is the best. I got coffee with every meal I think. On our rounds between coffee shops, noodle stands and a bakery, we admired the cat statues around town. Kuching means “cat” in Malaysian so awkward cat statues were to be found around town.
The next morning we set out for our next destination, Miri, to visit the Niah Caves.