Meritin Hotel, your Perfect Abode in Kuching

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews

If you are planning to discover Kuching and staying at the heart of the city, Meritin Hotel is the place for you!

Photo credit to Agoda

The newly constructed Meritin Hotel is located within the “Golden Triangle” on Padungan Street. You could not miss it as it is the only tall building there and it clearly outshines the other buildings at either side of it. Its architectural design weaves together Asian elegance with modern layout.

The hotel is located right smack in the centre of the city for business, leisure or shopping.

The hotel logo is symbolic of the Chinese character “??” which means “People”. They intend to deliver the best experience to every person, every reservation, every time.

You could spend a day cycling around the city along Padungan Street, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and The Main Bazaar just to take in the daily life of Kuching city and the people in Kuching. You could also opt to take a sampan across the Sarawak River to visit the State Legislative Assembly (DUN Complex), Fort Margherita, The Astana, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk around traditional villages and colonial shops dating as far back as 1900s.

The hotel is just steps away from supermarkets, currency exchange and popular eateries. The popular eateries serve a wide selection of seafood and local delicacies such as Top Spot Seafood Centre, Pork Noodles (Noodle Descendants), Dim Sum (Hong Kong Noodle House) and traditional coffee shops that brew local coffee. There are also hawker stalls that serve local specialties such as Laksa, Ayam Penyet, Nasi Lemak, Mee Jawa, and more good food.

If you feel like having Western gourmet instead, there is a Western restaurant called Tom’s Steak House that is ready to serve you with menus like steaks and wine as well as providing local gracious hospitality, while cafes such as Bing! Café and Life Café, can serve you freshly brewed coffee, delightful sandwiches and light meals.

There is a total of 65 rooms in the hotel and are furnished with fine parquet flooring. The rooms are sufficiently bright, spacious, clean and comfortable. It is well equipped with basic amenities to meet every traveller’s needs, which includes a high speed Internet access, a writing desk and a tea and coffee making facility.

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Here are some of the facilities provided by Meritin Hotel:

  • Free high speed internet WIFI
  • 32? and 40? LED flat-screen TV
  • 1 IDD enabled LCD telephone
  • Satellite/cable channels
  • Complimentary drinking water
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Mini fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Safety deposit box
  • Room slippers

The free Wi-Fi is accessible in all public areas. Transport is easily available via GrabCar mobile apps.

Here are the types of room that the hotel offers:

  1. Standard Room

Standard Room

There are only 4 Standard Rooms in the hotel and it is the most popular among backpackers. The standard room is 20 sq. metres wide and comes with 1 queen bed without windows.

  1. Studio Room

Studio Room

This room is highly picked by solo traveller and there are 8 Studio Rooms available as of now. The rooms are 15 sq. metres wide, come with 1 queen bed and face either the street or the rear of the building. The soundproof floor-to-ceiling-windows ensure a good night’s sleep after a long day exploring the vibrant atmosphere of Kuching.

  1. Superior Room

Superior Room

There are 40 Superior Rooms and this room is a target for people who are travelling in groups. The superior rooms are 23 sq. metres wide and come in two types; 1 queen bed or twin single beds. The rooms are all inspired by classical elegance and are more spacious than Studio rooms. The combination of extra space and modern facilities ensure a perfect stay, no matter if you are on holiday or a weekend break. Almost all the rooms face the city centre and are soundproof from the floor-to-ceiling-windows.

  1. Premier Room

Premier Room

There are 10 Premier Rooms in the hotel. The rooms are 23 sq. metres wide. There two types of beds for the rooms; King bed or Queen bed. You get nice city view from the windows.

  1. Family Room

Family Room

The rooms are 23 sq. metres wide and come with twin double beds, as well as a view of the city from the windows. Perfect for travellers with families.

  1. Executive Suite

Executive Suite or Meritin Suite

There are only 2 suites in the hotel. The rooms are 38 sq. metres and 50 sq. metres respectively and have a sofa as well as big LCD TVs being provided. You can sleep comfortably on the King beds and enjoy the city view from the window.

All of the rooms are non-smoking rooms. The hotel support local talented artists and photographers as you could see the paintings or photographs framed up tastefully in each room.

Transport services are within easy reach of phone call or just mobile apps; taxi, Uber and GrabCar.

The hotel is also in the process of upgrading their service and facilities, so expect a gym and a mini bar being provided to the guests soon.

Mini gym coming soon!

For more information, visit their website at The Meritin Hotel or contact them at 082-550 800 for bookings.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Kuching, The Cat City – It is not just about cats

February 7, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. While it is a famous tourists destination, it also has a unique name. When Malaysians hear the name, the first thing that pops to their mind is cat. “Kucing” means cat and “Kuching” is the old spelling for it. Cat statues can be seen in the city mostly in the Golden Triangle of Kuching. Contrary to the belief that the city got its name from felines straying around the city, it is not how it got its name.

The Great White Cat Statue in Kuching dressed for Chinese New Year

The Great White Cat Statue in Kuching dressed for Chinese New Year

The city was called Kuching since James Brooke arrived and nobody knew when it started to be called that name. Some said that it was supposed to be “CoChin”, which means “harbor” in India. Merchants from India used to stay in Kuching on the way to China or on their way back home.

Other theory states that it was named after a tree, “pokok mata kucing” or “dragon’s eye fruit” (Euphoria longan) that could be seen on the riverside of Sungai Kuching. Another source said that the name Kuching was taken from the name of the river, Sungai Kuching, that used to exist between Chinese Museum and Tua Pek Kong. However, the river is no longer there as they have built the roads.

Sarawak was ruled by the Brookes or widely known as the Rajahs from 1841 to 1941. Throughout the years, lots of colonial building had been established.

Astana viewed from the Kuching Waterfront

Astana viewed from the Kuching Waterfront

Kuching has many interesting heritage for people to see. Historical buildings, built mostly along Sarawak River, have been revived by the Sarawak Heritage and Tourism Ministry. As most of them are popular tourists’ destinations, the buildings are well maintained. The Astana, once home for the White Rajahs of Sarawak is situated across from Kuching Waterfront. It can be viewed from Waterfront or you can hop on the sampan to take a close up view of Astana. Fort Margherita is also across the river and to go there from The Astana, you can walk there by passing the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building.

Brooke Memorial, situated in front of Old Kuching Courthouse

Brooke Memorial, situated in front of Old Kuching Courthouse

At the Waterfront, you can see the Square Tower, near the grand stand. Water fountains are situated in front of the tower and colourful lights illuminate the fountains at night emphasizing the features of the tower. From the tower, Brooke Memorial that is in front of the Old Kuching Courthouse can be seen across the road. It displays the silhouette of Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak. The Old Courthouse is now known as Sarawak Tourism Complex. It also houses Magenta Restaurant, the winner of The Most Innovative Fusion Restaurant by Tourism Malaysia in 2010. You can reach The Round Tower after a short walk north of the courthouse. Near the tower is the General Post Office building and The Pavilion which houses the Textile Museum.

General Post Office Building that was built in Kuching in 1931

General Post Office Building that was built in Kuching in 1931

Nowadays, Kuching is a popular tourists destination in Malaysia. People from Peninsula Malaysia often visit this city for holiday. Apart from shopping, places like Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Sarawak Cultural Village and Jong’s Crocodile Farm may be another few favourite stop for these tourists.

Having said that, after the city tour of Kuching, if you are into nature and adventure, your main stop would be Bako National Park. If you are into culture, your favourite stop would be Sarawak Cultural Village.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Regatta – The event Sarawakians should not miss

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Regatta is a type of sport gaining popularity in Sarawak especially in Kuching and Baram, Northern Sarawak. Regatta is held annually in both places. This sport usually has 15 to 20 peddlers and 1 person is the leader of the team guiding them. According to Sarawak Tourism, it is held on 12 – 14 September 2014 this year for the event in Kuching and on August 2014 for the one in Baram.

A longboat with its paddlers in front of Dewan Undangan Negeri, Kuching
A longboat with its paddlers in front of Dewan Undangan Negeri, Kuching

Multicultural and peaceful as it is nowadays, there was a racial war in Sarawak among local tribes a long time ago. To solve this, Sir Charles Brooke proposed the boat race to change the way of their dispute against each other. Instead of headhunting, they battle each other in boat race to prove their strength and power.

Enough with history. Let’s focus on the main event.

In 2013, the race category was divided into 4 categories. They are Balok Boat, Bidar Boat, Kenyalang Boat and Tambang Boat. Mostly the races were in Bidar Boat category.

Dragon boat race was introduced last year and foreign teams from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asian countries participated in this race as well. The boats were shaped like a dragon, featuring the head and tail of a dragon.

Boats in Sarawak River in front of Astana
Boats in Sarawak River in front of Astana

Different races have their own unique attributes of their boats. Boats that are used for the race are usually the longboats. For example, the Malays have their Perahu Balok (Balok Boat) that is originally created from a whole timber tree trunk using simple instruments such as the “parang” and “beliong” to cut down the tree. The Melanau Community has a few types of boats, known as Bahong, Badong, Bakong, Buangan and Bidar. Orang Ulu’s boats are called “Haruk Adang usung Tingang” which means “flying boat with hornbill bow”. There are many other boats that belong to the other races. Since each of the boats have their own unique features, it would take an entire different article to be written about it.

The boats were given interesting names such as Burong Raja Wali Senang Hati (Happy Kingfisher), Tidak Disangka (Unexpected) – that sounded cooler in English, Seri Bulan Pelandok Dara (Moon Virgin Mousedeer) and Bendera Baru Note Sarawak (Flag New Note Sarawak). Most of the names sounded intriguing, and kudos to them for coming out with such names.

The roads leading to the area are usually closed to give way to the event. Hundreds of local vendors could be seen at the roadside along Waterfront. Furthermore, many other activities held during the event such as duck catching event, kayaking and Brooke Swim. For those who wonder what the duck catching event was, well, you should not be. The name says it all. Ducks were released into the river for people to catch. It must be fun to watch people chasing ducks in the river while the ducks only think about running for their lives. Brooke Swim is an event where 20 people swim from Sapi Jetty to Waterfront grand stand.

Duck catching event in Sarawak Regatta
Duck catching event in Sarawak Regatta

Traditions, old and ancient as it is, are priceless. People learn from their past. In this case, instead of battling in a war, they battle in a race. Now, we can live in harmony and understand each other albeit having different race and culture. Win or lose is an experience people had at least once in their lives, and by working together, it makes the victory sweeter or the losing less painful.

People viewing the race from Kuching Waterfront
People viewing the race from Kuching Waterfront

Well, we sure cannot wait for this exciting event. Hope to see you there this year!

  • Share/Save/Bookmark