Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
1
16
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Trip End Jul 28, 2006


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Monday, April 10, 2006

So onward into Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo) - You must have Borneo sorted by now!

The original plan (the one which Chris changed whilst Paul was at Mt Kinabalu) was for us to go to fly to a town called Miri and make our way back to BSB, Brunei on public transport. Seemed ok until we looked more closely at the 'make our way.........on public transport' bit more closely. We had all our luggage with us and the thought of so many on's and off's of buses, ferries and at borders, etc was more than we wanted at that point. Consequently Miri bit the dust and Kuching was its replacement. We thought about asking our taxi driver from the airport what he thought of our selected hotel but thought better of it. The hotel, Telang Usan was great, we were met with a smile in the hotel reception area, from a guy, whose job at the hotel we are not too sure of He turns out to be one of Liverpool FC's biggest supporters in Kuching if not Sarawak. I know we've said it before but you really can't escape the English football's Premier League. We didn't actually do much in Kuching but despite if not perhaps because of our relative inactivity we enjoyed the place immensely. We strolled along the beautiful riverside, visited a cultural centre and spent a fair amount of time at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café where we downloaded loads of emails from the internet onto our laptop. The manager at the café was great as he let us use his network access code and password as we were only going to be there for a couple of days and the minimum you could sign up for was for 30 days. Another of the genuinely nice folk we have met on our travels.

An unexpected discovery was to find that a part of Kutching was called Westwood. We have asked the local history section at the town's library & museum service if they can find out more on its origins and email us. We're not holding our breath even though they seemed genuinely interested themselves. Of course we had to take photos of Westwood Road, Westwood café and Westwood Sub-station. We did some quick digging ourselves on the net and it looks like there was an explorer on Borneo in the 1700s called Westwood who discovered lots of new species of creepy crawlies. So it's probably named after him. Any relation? Haven't got a clue.

Flying between cities in Malaysian Borneo is really easy and affordable but for some reason you can only fly in to BSB, Brunei from KK in Sabah. So we returned once more to KK from Kuching but this time flew straight on to BSB without leaving KK airport. We know we told you that Sabah and Sarawak are now part of Malaysia but for immigration and passports they seem to act separately so our passports were stamped loads of times. A bit like having to get your passport stamped passing between England, Scotland, Wales & NI. Now, now all you separatists don't start.
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