I had the privilege of accompanying a bunch of bloggers and social media influencers from Indonesia, in showing them the places of attractions around Kuching.
They came from various parts of Indonesia. Pontianak, Singkawang, Jakarta and so forth.
So here is a quick short story on what we experienced over a period of two days.
The Meet Up – Top Spot Seafood Centre
We met up at the hotel lobby and after a quick hand out of name cards, and brief introduction, we all walked to Top Spot Seafood centre as it was just a short walking distance from the hotel.
Food as always is a good ice breaker if you have just met someone.
Teamwork shown here as everyone tries to get a good shot of the food.
The food we had at Top Spot was fabulous.
I had asked our ground handler to arrange dinner at top spot seafood centre and I did not expect it to be this much. Unexpected.
We had steamed fish, crab, midin a local fern, buttered prawn, oyster cake, black sauce squid, egg and corn soup and also some fruits for dessert.
Umai, a Melanau signature dish is made of sliced fished marinated with lime, chillies and onions.
So I figured I’d order some Umai for the group to try. I must say it was a disappointment.
At RM 36 for a medium-sized dish, not worth it at all. I guess I am spoilt since I’ve tasted umai in Mukah, the Melanau heartland and it tastes so much better.
The group I must say enjoyed the crab, the buttered prawn and the squid.
The only problem I realised is that when Top Spot is super busy, the service level of the servicing staff also drops. Apparent when we ran out of drinks, our refill request never got attended to. Having said so, I’d still recommend Top Spot a must go dinner venue if you are in Kuching.
So we headed back to the hotel and some went on to explore Kuching city on their own.
The next day, it’s off to Sarawak’s oldest national park, Bako. I looked forward to this trip. Hoping to update my photo library with a cool shot of the Proboscis Monkey, the star resident of Bako National Park.
Bako National Park
The next day we set out to Bako National Park. Sarawak’s first and oldest national park which was gazetted in 1957.
It took us about 40 minutes from the city centre to reach the jetty. It was surprisingly packed with visitors.
Boat shuttle to Bako National Park.
The boat ride from the jetty takes about 30 minutes to the park headquarters.
Luckily for us it was not a choppy boat ride. That’s one of the reasons why it’s not really recommended to go to Bako National Park during the rainy season. The waters can be really choppy and of course, nothing much you can do if it’s constantly raining.
Life jacket is a must.
Upon arrival we straight away were given a quick run down on the sandstone formation of Bako by our guide Ana.
Most of us took the opportunity to take photos, posing with the lovely multi layered sand stone.
The group admiring the patterns of the sandstone formation.
The Sandstone formation in Bako National Park can be such an awesome sight. Indra, one of the bloggers suggested that the Sarawak layered cake, Kek Lapis, is actually inspired by these patterns. He might be right, as for me, I just love the texture of the stone.
Most of us took time to take group photos and selfies with these lovely rock formation.
Irene figured this would be one great profile picture to add to her collection.
Once we were done with the beach we headed off to the Park HQ for registration and headed off to explore the nearby trails. The first major animal that we saw was of course the mischievous long-tailed macaques. They were ever-present near the Park HQ. Waiting for the moment the humans let down their guard and they would snatch food items.
Wagglers Pit Viper
Just two minutes into our trek, we spotted a wagglers pit viper, measuring in about one and a half-foot in length. It just rested perfectly and there was a nice opening for us to take photos of it.
i didn’t take too long to take the photo and move on. Scared of snakes that’s why.
Out looking for brunch.
Further down the trail, we finally met the star attraction of Bako, the proboscis monkey. There were 3 of them going about feeding on the young forest shoots. Luckily I had a camera fitted with long lens. Almost barely able to take a perfect shot.
Less than five feet away. I would estimate this to be about 100 kgs.
As I was concentrating on taking the shot of the proboscis monkey, a bearded wild boar literally walked up to me and posed for its photo to be taken. Obviously the fella is not scared at all. I guess that most wildlife here have accepted the presence of humans as a friendly “creature”.
Small Red Crab are plentiful along the beach-side.
That’s was just about the highlight of Bako National Park for us. I must say I was a bit disappointed not to have spotted any silver leaf monkey. The make up the third type of monkey to be found in Bako National Park.
It was a quick visit anyway, so we were pressed for time. I’m sure if it was an overnight trip, we’d bound to spot some.
Silver Leaf Monkey on the prowl. Photo from my last visit to Bako.
Bako’s main beach
After a fulfilling lunch and some further exploration on our own, we called it a day for Bako. We headed back to Kuching and back to the hotel to freshen up before heading off to one of Kuching’s top food street.
Siniawan Food Street
Rustic old shoplots make the dining experience in Siniawan a lovely one.
Siniawan is about 20 kilometres from Kuching or about 40 minutes drive. Siniawan is a small town, populated mostly by Chinese. Before the existence of roads, this used to be a thriving business town.
Cute lovely food cart.
It has definitely prospered since it’s inception in 2010. The residents decided that by having a food street over the weekend, it would stir business for the community.
Too good to resist. Juicy BBQ pork
It has proven to be a success indeed and only just recently had been endorsed by the Sarawak state government as a heritage centre.
Plenty of food to try here in Siniawan. From light food, Tidbits, heavy meals and snacks. They’ve had it covered.
It was a long day so I decided to have beer and grilled pork.
Irene, one of the bloggers on this trip, triggered the need to try the grilled pork and beer. So we did just that.
We also tried out some local favourite, glutinous rice stuffed with ground nuts, stuffed into a Nepenthes plant and steamed to perfection.
Glutinous rice cooked in Nepenthes.
After we were full with all the food hunting in Siniawan, full with plenty of photos, it was time to head back.
The next day would be a free and easy day for the group before they depart back to Indonesia.
I feel this trip barely even begin to introduce the attractions of Kuching. So much more to show.
If there is another opportunity to arrange another trip, I would definitely consider doing it. Such a lovely, fun, colourful group.
I do hope I have shown them enough teasers and leaving them wanting more.
I must thank Dony of www.tukangjalanjajan.com for arranging and selecting the participants. They are in no particular order :-
No 1. Indra Praya
No.2 Mardhiyah Harahap
No.3 Teguh Hariyadi
No.5 Salman Faris
No.8 Aseanty Pahlevi
No. 9 Multi Juniarti
No.10 Petrus Andre
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment.