Expedia Expert: A Kuching Proposal


Expedia Expert: A Kuching Proposal

Expedia Senior Retail Manager Nadia shares her story about a very special trip to Borneo. Images by Neil Tuckwell.

Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, Borneo, translates to “cat” has the intriguing reputation of being the cleanest city in Malaysia. For me it’s also the most romantic, because on the last evening of an Easter short break my other half got down on one knee and popped the question.

An hour’s hop from Singapore, Sarawak is more compact than the more popular and famous Sabah – which for the time-strapped makes it the perfect alternative Asia getaway. Arriving at the Pullman Kuching on Friday evening (Kuching is only 30 mins drive from the airport), the helpful concierge directed us to a superb, unassuming local café bar named Jimmys, somewhere we might never have ventured in otherwise. We joined locals for a bucket of beer, spicy noodles and a very tasty local speciality ‘midin’ – a jungle fern stir fried with garlic and shrimp paste.

The morning greeted us with a perfect view of Mount Santubong, commanding the city’s dramatic backdrop with its summit, a worthy whole-day trek for the adventurous. We opted for a relaxed buffet breakfast before jumping on a bus to the Semengoh Wildlife Centre.

Rehabilitated Orang-utans live in the wild but will often return to the Centre for feeding (daily, 9am and 3pm). There are no guarantees but we were lucky enough to see six female and baby orang-utans up close, one lazily swinging less than a metre from us. An incredible experience that’s hard to top.

There are a few other reasons to visit Sawarak. One of them is Top Spot. A Kuching institution, this atmospheric food court specialises in every variety of fish and seafood, all cooked to order and delivered to your table. Perfectly grilled snapper infused with garlic and chili, succulent tiger prawns, lots of lobster and plenty of vegetable sides were washed down with iced tea, all for less than $15 per head. An absolute Bargain!

 

The next morning we headed to Baku and spent the night in lodgings owned by the National Park. There are marked trekking options from easy one hour to two day hikes. We settled on seven hours, organising a local boatman to pick us up at the end. Baku is famous for the long nosed proboscis monkey and carnivorous ‘pitcher plants’ – the hike was not for the faint hearted, but still an exhilarating adventure.

We cooled off mid-hike in a jungle oasis before wading shoes off through a muddy river and sliding on our bums Indiana Jones style down steep jungle hills to a rugged beach.

Back in Kuching, we needed one final day of exploring the shops and markets, stumbling upon rural villages just over the river in the heart of the city. After a swim and a massage in the hotel, the trip was almost over. On an evening stroll along the Sarawak river I asked my partner “why are your palms so sweaty?”, I hadn’t guessed what was coming next… After I said yes, we found a local bar and talked into the early hours as it sunk in.

For more ideas on where to stay in Kuching, check out Expedia’s Top Trending Kuching Hotels.

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Lisa Perkovic

About the Author Lisa Perkovic

Lisa is the Expedia Blog Editor and has spent the past eight years travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs. She makes sure the Expedia Blog is always stocked with the best stories, travel tips and destination news from our bloggers and Expedia’s experts. Sydney is her base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure. Lisa writes about everything from the world’s weirdest dim sum to cruising aboard monster ships. 3 travel must-haves? A hat, hand sanitiser and underwater camera What's on your travel bucket list? An over water bure in Tahiti, an African safari and snorkeling in Oman    

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