An Italian’s 21 Days Adventure in Borneo on Motorcross

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Road Less Travelled

In line with the launch of cheap, affordable MASwings Adventure Packages, one of the largest travel agency in Italy, AVVENTURE NEL MONDO has organised their first motor cross riding in Borneo on 10 August 2009. The group comprises of 16 persons, with 10 riders and the other 6 persons being from the media in Italy. Their 21 days tour aptly named “Borneo Raid 2009” started from Kuching, Sarawak into the heart of Borneo and will end in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Avventure Nel Mondo Group in Miri Marriott Hotel

Avventure Nel Mondo Group in Miri Marriott Hotel

The tour leader, Mr Vittorio Kulczycki, who is also the Managing Director of the Italian tour company stated that even though this is his first trip to Sarawak, but he knows very well about Sarawak as all tour leaders who had led a trip to Malaysia were required to write a detailed report of how their trip went. Their company even has a library and various departments to stock information about various places around the world.

This group belongs to a club where members go motorbike crossing the world. Even as the group is on motorbike crossing in Borneo island with the distance covered being around 4000km, there are 2 other groups doing motorbike crossing in South Africa and another 2 such adventure groups in South America with the distance covered being 6000-7000 kms.

The group’s destinations are:

10th Aug – From Kuching city to Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Park to see the feeding of the wild orang utans. Then proceed to Lemanak Iban Longhouse. The bike will reach across the river of the Longhouse. Traditional dances and gong music were performed during the evening and the group stayed overnight there.

11th Aug – Head off to Sibu. In the evening, visit the night market and the Pagoda temple, Pulau Babi wharf etc.

12th Aug – Flag off to Bintulu before proceeding to Similijau National park. Overnight at the Park Chalet and BBQ with camp fire at the beach.

13th Aug – From Sibu enroute to Long Bedian Kayan longhouse. Stop at Long Lama town for lunch. Then continue journey to Long Bedian and overnight at the longhouse and be entertained by Kayan traditional dances.

14th Aug – Head towards Tenjok Rimba Forest Reserve. Checked in at the chalet and go trekking . There is a nice river, “Tenyok river ” beside the chalet and 7 waterfalls. Then night walk to look for nocturnal animals.

15th Aug – Flag off to Long Seang Penan settlement which would take 2 hours of riding through the logging road. The group would then trek with the Penan guide into the forest looking for the nomadic tribe ” The Penan” and return late in the afternoon to Tenyok Rimba Forest Reserve.

16th Aug- Trek to Bukit Song and ended up at Hornbill waterfall where the group would be able to see many hornbills and return late in the afternoon to Tenyok Rimba Forest Reserve.

17th Aug – Flag off to Long Terawan longhouse to catch the longboat to Mulu National Park. Then take the plankwalk to visit Deer and Lang’s Cave and wait for the evening bat flight and return late in the afternoon to Park HQ

18th Aug: Go by boat to the source of the clearwater River. Visit Wind and Clearwater Cave Then return to park HQ and take the canopy walk (the longest in the world)

19th Aug – By boat to Long Terawan and then by bike to Miri.

20st Aug -Drive to Brunei for city tour in the afternoon by motorbike. Then head off to Limbang.

21nd Aug – Ride to Kota Kinabalu ( 7-8 hrs) and stop at Beaufort. Then overnight at Kota Kinabalu.

22rd Aug – Head to Kinabalu Park and take the nature trail and in the afternoon. Visit Poring Hot Spring.

23th Aug – Head to Sandakan to visit Sepilok Orang Utan centre to see the feeding of the wild orang utans in the afternoon and stayed overnight at Sepilok Jungle Resort.

24th Aug – Depart to Sukau and check in at Bilit lodge and go for cruise in the evening to see the Proboscis monkey and other wildlife animals.

25th Aug – Head to Semporna and overnight there.

26th Aug – Proceed to Mabul island.

27th Aug – Return to Semporna and head off to Maliau base camp and overnight there.

Observation Tower at Maliau Basin

Observation Tower at Maliau Basin

28th Aug – Head back to Kota Kinabalu stopping at Keningau for lunch. Proceed to Kota Kinabalu.

29th Aug – Free leisure .

30th Aug – Group depart to Kuala Lumpur at 6.50 pm.

This trip will expose the group to the various culture of Sarawak and Sabah as well as the uniqueness of Borneo island and the various flora and fauna, caves and mountain that can only be found here. Once they have completed their 21 days journey, they will depart back to Italy on 30 August 2009 and ship back their motorbikes by cargo. This will be the first of many future motorcross riding from Sarawak to Sabah.

I am sure they will bring back with them many exciting, adventurous and fond memories of Borneo Island.

Check out their article report in their Italian Motorcross magazine here:

Read here >>

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Popular Local Delights

April 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

swak-laksa

satay

Some of the best varieties of local cuisine can be found in Kuching. . On your visit to Kuching if you did not try the Sarawak Laksa, you would have lost an opportunity to have some authentic Kuching dish. It is prepared of rice vermicelli and mixed with prawn paste, topped with fried eggs cut into thin slices, bean sprouts, soft chicken slices and juicy prawns.

You will do a great disservice to yourself if you leave Sarawak without tasting the Kolok Mee. Prepared of dried yellow egg noodle with barbequed slices of pork and minced meat, it is mixed with vinegar and meat sauce to give it a salty taste. Moreover it is topped with chicken slices or prawns depending on your choice. This dish is available for breakfast, lunch or dinner as it is a very common dish in Kuching. So simple to prepare and so delicious that you will not want to miss this one.

Next, you are bound to see people savouring Mee Sua Chicken with red wine. This foochow dish originated from Sibu. That’s because it does not let your stomach grumble for a long time. The dish is prepared by wine residue that has already been fermented and then mixed with chicken pieces and ginger stewed to blanced thread-thin rice noodles.

Another popular dish among the Iban people is the Manok Pansoh, a well known Iban dish. Pieces of chicken, mushrooms, tapioca leaves and lemongrass are stuffed into bamboo and then heated over open fire. It is a natural way of preparing chicken which becomes surprisingly tender and the bamboo seals in the natural flavor. Moreover the gravy produced gives a sweet scent of bamboo and lemongrass.

Umai is a traditional delicacy prepared out of raw fish and consumed in the form of salad. Several different types of raw fishes are used for preparing Umai. Umai preparation can be of two types- one where you can have plain sliced fish with spicy chili sauce and the other where small pieces of raw fish are mixed with lime juice, sliced onions, chilies, sugar and salt. This dish is common among Melanau fishermen who tend to eat it in their boat.

There is also another dish called bilin, milin or midin. This dish can only be found in Sarawak. You can eat it stir fried with shrimp paste or with anchovices, wine or garlic.

A locally produced biscuits made of desiccated coconut, sugar and sago is the Tabaloi. There are various flavors of this biscuit which includes vanilla and cocoa. You can buy it in most supermarkets or at departure hall at the airport.

Also try out the bamboo clam dish, a unique Sarawakian dish. It looks like worm hidden in a bamboo shell. It is cooked in curries, black pepper or steamed in Chinese wine.

Another popular dish among the local folks is the salted Terubok fish.
People here are dam crazy about salted Terubok Fish and its craze cannot be compared to any other preparation. Lot of visitors takes these salted fishes for their family and friends to various places of the world. The dish is prepared by roasting Terubok, a kind of fish very popular among the local population and having it with salt.

If you are a buff of Chinese food you must try out the yummy Kueh Chap which means mixed cake. It is prepared out of rice flour and mixed with pork parts. It is cut into rectangular or square parts and is served with herbal soup. Another local favorite is the Tomato Kuey Teow only found in Sarawak. Rice noodles called Kuey Teow here are fried and tomato sauce is mixed with it so as to give the gravy the flavor of tomato. It is served with sliced charsiu, vegetables or prawns.

Belacan Bee Hoon is another popular dish but not as easily found as compared to Sarawak Laksa or Kolok Mee. It is prepared out of Bee Hoon and served with cucumber, cuttlefish and belacan sauce. If you want to taste authentic dish of Sibu try out the Sibu’s king prawn noodles prepared out of noodles, Asam tom yam soup and prawns. The asam tom yam soup is prepared of lemon grass, fish sauce, chili peppers and tamarind.

On your visit you may hear about Mee Jawa, and you may wonder what it is all about. It is an Indonesian dish prepared out of sambal cuttlefish, vegetables, eggs, tofu and crackers.

If you wish to have some barbecue or grilled chicken, pork, beef, mutton, fish or goat why not try out the Satay, popular during celebrations or events.

Kacang Ma, popular among the Chinese population in Kuching is a chicken preparation fried in sesame oil mixed with ginger juice and rice wine.

Other local favorite delicacies include Kuching Orh Chien cooked with pizza and crispy ommelet with toppings of oyster with coriander leaves and served with soy sauce. Roasted Sago Worms made in a spit which tastes like meat or bacon and are cooked along with sago flour is another preferred dish especially among the western tourists. Moreover, you should not miss out the Bubur Pedas, a favorite local meat dish prepared of the paste of bambu burbur, meat/prawns, baby corn, long bean, bean thread vermicelli, coconut milk and bamboo shoot.

Additionally, you can also try out a traditional dessert prepared from shaved ice, palm sugar, food colors, starch noodle, grass jelly, glutinous rice, red beans and coconut milk. Don’t forget to take some Pearl Sago which you can either bake to make some bread or pancake or make delicious plum pudding. If you want to have some bread with your morning tea or coffee, try out the Kom Pia. Its taste is similar to French bread but sesame seeds are added at the top. It is made of wheat and is mixed with water and then baked over charcoal.

On your way back don’t forget to take some Dabai, the native fruit of Sibu and can only be found in Sarawak. Soak the Dabai in hot water for some time till the flesh becomes soft after which you can have it with salt, sugar or soy sauce. Moreover, pineapples in Sarawak are famous due to its high sugar and low acid content.

Thus Sarawak in general and Kuching in particular is a great place to have some excellent food and enjoy your time out. Once you have one of the favorite delicacies of Kuching you are bound to keep asking for more.

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