Beginning to Feel Familiar

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
1
25
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Trip End Mar 09, 2013


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Where I stayed

Flag of Malaysia  , Sarawak,
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breakfast was in the bar on the rooftop - toast, jam, fruit, and brewed coffee :).  Looked over the railing to see the Tua Pek Kong Temple and a street of shophouses...  much more familiar to me than the fancy hotels we drove by last night.

The guesthouse is at the east end of Main Bazaar so I started off walking before most of the shops were open and kept walking much of the day.  The waterfront along the Sarawak River has been totally converted into a pedestrian walkway with food stands and benches, even colored lights at night.  It is beautiful!  Carpenter Street (Chinatown) and India Street look the same with shops and food.  The Padang is still surrounded with white colonial buildings though most now house museums, tourist information, and arts/crafts.

Spent much of the morning at the Sarawak Museum, now in two buildings connected by a bridge over a busy street.   Excellent display of what a room in a longhouse or kampong looked like.  Found several Punan baskets, hats, Iban blankets in the display cases which were very similar to the ones I have in my basement.  Other exhibits were the animals of Sarawak, clay pots, archeological digs near the coast, historical eras including occupation by the Japanese, and large Chinese jars.

Checked out shops along Main Bazaar - mostly tourist stuff, of course.  Found the Sarawak Craft Council with beautiful things, something to go back to.   Took a 90 minute boat ride up & down the Sarawak River with excellent views of the old part of the city, the Astana, government building, kampungs across the river, new hotels & condos in the new sections, fishing boats, and a beautiful sunset as we arrived back @ the wharf.

So, what's changed?  There is now a long bridge across the river so few people use the tambang (small boats) to cross and there are modern developments at the end of the bridge on the north side.  Malay women now wear headdresses and many markets/cafes indicate they serve Malay food.  Otherwise people are still friendly and the chicken rice is still delicious.  It's great to be back!
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Comments

Barb Breva on

Great pictures; glad you're enjoying being back!

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