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.

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Pine Garden Hotel, your choice for affordable stay in Kuching

November 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews

Pine Garden Hotel is among the newest hotel that opened up in Kuching recently. You cannot miss it because of its unique, bright colour in the heart of Kuching as you breeze through the flyover from airport to the city. The hotel is a 3-star boutique concept hotel.

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

The hotel is located at Lorong Seladah 1H, Taman Phoning, Kuching, which is within 3 km or 10 minutes drive from Kuching International Airport and Kuching Sentral. It is located just next to CityONE Megamall. In case of any emergency, Borneo Medical Centre is just 2km away from the hotel, or less than a 5 minutes’ drive away.

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

There are a total of 104 rooms in the hotel and are furnished with wooden or 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.

Here are some of the hotel facilities provided by Pine Garden Hotel:

  • Free Wireless Internet
  • Parking Space in hotel area / handicapped parking space
  • Coffee / Tea making facilities
  • Free mineral water
  • Bathroom amenities
  • Satellite TV
  • In-Room Safe Box
  • Minibar Fridge
  • Air conditioning
  • Luggage storage area
  • 24-hour reception
  • Hairdryer (on request)
  • Prayer Mat / Sejadah (on request)
  • Iron & Ironing Board (on request)
  • Hotel Shuttle Service (chargeable)

The free Wi-Fi is accessible in all public areas as well and the shuttle services are available daily upon your request for a fee.

Here are the types of room that the hotel offers:

  1. Deluxe King or Queen Room
Deluxe King or Queen Room (Pine Garden Hotel)

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

The room is designed slightly larger than the usual deluxe room with the goal to satisfy your need of comfort. Go ahead and read a book, or if you are a business traveler, get some work done at the writing desk as they provide you with an ergonomic chair and free high speed internet access.

  1. Deluxe Triple Room with 3 Super Single Bed
Deluxe Triple Room with 3 Super Single Bed (Pine Garden Hotel)

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Deluxe triple room comes with three super single beds.

  1. Double Deluxe Room with 1 Queen Bed + 1 Single Bed

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Double deluxe room is furnished with one Queen bed and one super single bed. This room is undeniably perfect for families with children!

  1. Superior Twin Room

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Twin room comes with two super single beds and are nicely arranged in the room. The room is a bit smaller than the others.

Other than that, you can take your time in the spacious bathroom, complete with a rainforest shower head to give you full body shower experience. After your shower, sink into the comfort of the bed, which are the King and Queen sized beds while you enjoy your favourite TV show on the wall-mounted 32-inch flat screen LCD TV.

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Due to the strategic location of Pine Garden Hotel, it is easy for you to move around. For example if you are to attend an appointment to go see the doctor at Borneo Medical Centre, it would only take about 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel. If you need to register at Swinburne University, this is a good hotel for you.

Besides that, you could also go for shopping trip as there are about 3 different shopping malls near to where the hotel is located, which are The Spring Shopping Mall, Vivacity Megamall and CityONE Megamall. Even MYDIN Supermarket is located inside CityONE Megamall! Then, you could maybe have a meal at Premier 101, where there are over 80 hawker stalls to choose from, which might just fit your taste bud. The stalls are usually open in the evenings.

For more information, visit their website at Pine Garden Hotel Kuching or contact them at 082-532789 for quick response.

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Kuching, the First City in Malaysia to Host the Asia Pacific Orchid Conference (APOC) in 2019

September 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Sarawak

Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) won a bid to host the 13th Asia Pacific Orchid Conference (APOC) which will be held in 2019.

Kuching is the first state in Malaysia to host the APOC. This shows the capability of Kuching as an international destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE).

The Pre-APOC was held from August 23 2017 to August 27 2017 at the Sarawak State Library (Pustaka Negeri) in Petra Jaya. It was held to create the opportunity to share ideas and techniques on orchid cultivation as well as to promote collaboration between countries in an effort to strengthen the orchid industry. It also gave an insight of what this city has to offer to the delegates before the big event.

The APOC is an internationally acclaimed event that is held once every three years with previous host nations including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand.

Sarawak won the ‘Best for Nature’ Award in Travel Journal’s Travel Awards 2017 and three national parks were singled out for being exemplary travel spots for nature lovers, namely Gunung Mulu, Batang Ai and Bako National Park.

DBKU commissioner, Datuk Wee Hong Seng, said that orchids are the most highly desired among the ornamental plants. Their delicate, exotic and graceful features represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. In fact it was associated with strength or manliness from the times of ancient Greece. Later on, in Victorian times, orchids symbolised luxury. Today, orchids represents rare and delicate beauty.

Orchids have a special meaning to Sarawak. According to Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, many of the orchid species available in this region are part of the state’s natural heritage and tourist attraction. Thus, research on these species is vital to ensure that they would remain endemic. He noted that out of an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 orchid species found in this region, about 40 per cent is endemic to Sarawak.

The DBKU Orchid Garden houses a total collection of 75,000 plants. The garden is located across the river from Kuching Waterfront in the vicinity of the historical Astana and Fort Margherita. At the Orchid Garden, visitors will find Sarawak’s very own state flower, the Normah Orchid (Phalaenopsis Bellina) amongst the wide collection of Bornean orchids.

Delegates of the Pre-APOC 2017 came all the way from Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and of course, Malaysia.

Interesting events during the Pre-APOC included an International Orchid Landscape Photography Competition, Individual Orchid and Orchid Flower Arrangement Competition, Horticulture and Agriculture Bazaar, and Orchid Photography Competition.

The people in Kuching were very supportive of the event as the venue was packed and the parking spaces were insufficient for all the cars that came that day.

The selection of Sarawak as the venue for the Pre-Asia Pacific Orchid Conference (APOC) is the right decision as Sarawak is rich in flora and fauna and at the same time, is blessed with rare and unique orchid species.

You can see the beauty of Sarawak with your own eyes and experience the beauty of our nature while you are traveling here in Borneo. Come and check out our website for the best packages, the best deals and the best traveling experience! Click here.

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Going Hungry at Fish Frenzy Café Kuching

Kuching folks and I am not sure if they are aware of it, are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. There seems to be many cafes mushrooming up here and there all over Kuching.

There are not as many cafes or restaurants selling fish dishes only though there are a few selling fish noodle soup by hawker stalls around Kuching.

Exterior of the restaurant

Exterior of the restaurant

Being a lover of fish noodle soup, we decided to check out Fish Frenzy Café at SOHO 188, Ground Floor Lot 18713 Block 11 Jalan Wan Alwi 93350 Kuching. If you still don’t know where it is, ask around where is Boon Khai Rojak / Ice Kacang Shop, and someone would be able to point out to you.

This café is nicely designed with a woody wall, and wooden tables and chairs. Ambience is pretty all right for us, it being clean and quiet.

Fried fish meat with clear noodle soup

Fried fish meat with clear noodle soup

We ordered fried fish meat with clear noodle soup, seafood noodle and Spice Meat roll ( pork – that cost RM8) . Here we noted that noodles or rice is charged separately from the fish meat dish. Plain noodles cost RM2.20, and the fish meat ranges from RM11 upwards.

Seafood noodle

Seafood noodle

When the dishes arrived, it was satisfying and fulfilling enough. The fish meat was deep fried. Some of it was a bit hard but on the whole it was tasty.  The clear soup was not too salty and the noodles portion was quite large.

This café is just newly opened, and we saw several passers by looked in to see what we were eating and checking out the menu.

The menu of Fish Frenzy Cafe

The menu of Fish Frenzy Cafe

We would definitely return for a second visit to Frenzy Fish Cafe Kuching as the food is healthy and fulfilling. In this post GST era, we seriously cannot expect a RM6 a bowl fish noodle soup unless it is a hawker stall in a non air- cond place. Our lunch cost us less than RM28.00 inclusive of drinks. On the whole, for us, the lunch was not a too expensive one.

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Review of Lot 10 Boutique Hotel, Kuching

March 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews

Lot 10 Hotel is the newest 3-star hotel in Kuching. The building was originally the Sarawak Co-Operative Central Bank that was officially opened by Sarawak’s 1st Chief Minister Dato Stephen Kalong Ningkan on Saturday 28th August 1965. After renovation, the building is converted into a hotel.

Exterior of Lot 10 Boutique Hotel at night

Exterior of Lot 10 Boutique Hotel at night

Image credit to Lot 10 Boutique Hotel

The location of the hotel is perfect for tourist. It is near to the famous huge Cat Statue of Kuching, and Padungan Street, also known as Chinatown, is within walking distance. There are plenty of restaurants and bar nearby. The hotel is just 4.4 km from the city center, which will take about 15 minutes’ walk. From there, you can go to Tun Jugah Shopping Mall, Sarawak Plaza, Riverside Shopping Complex and others.

Cat Statue not far from the hotel

Cat Statue not far from the hotel

The hotel has 68 guest rooms and suites. Each room is decorated with earth colors, creating a soothing and relaxing atmosphere for its occupants. Based on the photos of the rooms in their website, many rooms are decorated with colorful arts, and some of them are Marilyn Monroe’s portraits. As it is a new hotel, the exterior and the interior seems to satisfy each guests that had stayed there.

Deluxe King room

Deluxe King room

Image credit to Lot 10 Boutique Hotel

The room types are Standard Twin, Standard Queen and Deluxe King. For the standard rooms, the room size is about 11sq.m while Deluxe Room is more spacious at about 16sq.m.

Standard Twin room

Standard Twin room

Standard Queen room

Standard Queen room

Image credit to Lot 10 Boutique Hotel

The hotel’s bar & bistro, called The Pipe, offers fusion of Western & Asian dining. It is the perfect place to enjoy relaxing jazz music while sipping cocktails, beers or wines. The bar is open daily from 6:30pm to 12:00am.

The Pipe Bar & Bistro

The Pipe Bar & Bistro

Image credit to Lot 10 Boutique Hotel

The facilities available there are restaurant and bistro, banquet and function rooms, key-card access security and high speed WI-FI. The additional facilities upon request are wake-up call service, laundry and dry cleaning, iron and ironing board, luggage storage, airport transfer service, car rental service and tour arrangement. There is also ready office for rent there.

Lot 10 Hotel provides plenty of free parking spaces on the hotel ground for guests. From the reviews, the guests had said that the hotel exceeded their expectation. Even rated as a 3-star hotel, the towels are fluffier than the ones at 5-star hotels one. The beds are comfortable, and some even said they slept better on the hotel’s bed than the one that they have in their own home.

The only downside of the hotel is that the hotel is a smoke-free hotel. They did not have rooms for smoker, and if the guests want to smoke, they need to step out of the hotel.

In conclusion, the hotel is the perfect place for travelers who desired a comfortable stay in Kuching. The price per night is also quite cheap.

Lot 10 Boutique Hotel will definitely make your stay in Kuching worthwhile.

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Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching

March 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews, Sarawak

Grand Margherita Hotel, formerly known as Holiday Inn is the only riverfront hotel in Kuching with a view of the Sarawak River and the colourful villages across the river. It is situated at Golden Triangle of Kuching, with Tun Jugah Shopping Center, Sarawak Plaza, Hills Shopping Mall and Parkson Riverside Complex that are within walking distance. Walking down the external hotel steps, you can see the Cat Family Statue, the symbol of Kuching, across the road and the first McDonald restaurant in Kuching is also a plus.

Grand Margherita Hotel Map

Grand Margherita Hotel Map

Along the Waterfront, 2-minutes walk from the hotel, you get to see sampans in the river for people to get across the river to the other side. However, you can see the Astana and Fort Margherita from Waterfront without the need to hop on the boats. You can also walk to the Main Bazaar, where you can find most souvenirs sold with cheap prices. A five minutes’ walk south from the hotel, you can find Topspot Food Court located on the top level of a multi-level car park, a famous local seafood eatery and many restaurants can be found there.

Poolside at Grand Margherita Hotel overlooking the Sarawak River (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

Poolside at Grand Margherita Hotel overlooking the Sarawak River (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

The hotel has an outdoor pool, a health club and a children’s pool. The hotel also provides 24 hour room service, meeting rooms and playground. The hotel has a tour desk and if you want to visit the local beach and Sarawak Cultural Village, shuttle services to Damai and Santubong are available. Airport transfer service is also available, and for your information, the distance from the airport to the hotel takes about 20 to 30 minutes car ride.

Health room, one of the facilies available at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

Health room, one of the facilies available at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

The hotel also features valet laundry, wedding service, banquet room, first aid assistance, safe deposit box, wakeup call service, currency exchange, dry cleaning service, security and walking area.

The Grand Margherita Hotel has several restaurants. Mei San Restaurant serves chinese cuisine for lunch and dinner, while Orchid Garden Coffee House, the hotel’s main restaurant for all-day dining, serves continental and local delicacies. All the food served at both restaurants are halal.


Delicious food served at one of Grand Margherita Hotel restaurant (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita facebook page)

Delicious food served at one of Grand Margherita Hotel restaurant (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita facebook page)

There are 288 guestrooms at Grand Margherita Hotel to offer you a comfortable stay. The features include complimentary high speed internet access, television with satellite channels, coffee/tea maker, complimentary bottle drinking water, mini bar, IDD telephone, private bathroom, in-room safe, iron and ironing board and many others. This hotel also offers special facilities for disabled person too.

Scenery of Sarawak River from the Riverview rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

Scenery of Sarawak River from the Riverview rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

For The Executive Club guestrooms, which is ideal for business traveller, the hotel provides complimentary high speed internet access, dedicated Club Services Assistant, executive lounge, conference room, computer with high speed internet access, complimentary buffet breakfast at Executive Club Lounge, complimentary coffee/tea and complimentary evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails from 5pm to 7pm.

One of the Superior Deluxe rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

One of the Superior Deluxe rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

With a choice of twin double beds or a King sized bed, guests can choose to have Deluxe, Superior, Executive or Junior Suite, of course with different prices.

If you are looking for a hotel to stay in Kuching, do not hesitate to book a room from this 4 star hotel and you will not be disappointed.

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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.

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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!

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Tanjung Datu National Park Sarawak

August 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Sarawak

Ever felt what is it like to have a beach all to yourself? Or maybe a journey to an island rich in flora and fauna. Achieve it all with a trip to Tanjung Datu National Park in Sarawak. Tanjung Datu National Park is located on an island at the tip of Sarawak. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach there from Kuching to Sematan by car. The 2 hour journey might bore some of you but fear not, the end results would be breath taking.

Journey on with MASWings to Kuching and experience a trip that you have never felt before.

view at Tanjung Datu National Park, Sarawak

view at Tanjung Datu National Park, Sarawak

image courtesy of www.sarawakforestry.com

Tanjung Datu National Park which is located in Sematan, is one of Sarawak’s smallest national park but it is also one of the most beautiful of them all. To get to the park from Sematan, you are required to use a boat which takes around 45 minutes from the seaside village. The first part of the journey which is the boat ride will probably get you asking for more. During the boat ride, you could see the crystal clear water and patches of coral reef in the sea and if you are lucky, you could even see dolphins and turtles passing by.

Upon reaching to the island, you will be greeted with the long stretch of white sand on the beach. The undisturbed environment would mean that you could see lots of different plants and animals on your trip there. Walk along the beach or trek in the forest. Either one of this activity won’t be disappointing. Trekking in the forests at Tanjung Datu will give you the opportunity to see wildlife such as hornbills, peacocks, primates and other various animals and different species. There are also a few species of reptiles such as the tree lizards, pit vipers and tree snakes.

Tanjung Datu National Park have always preserved their wildlife and one of the contribution that they made is by establishing a turtle hatchery for the marine turtles that regularly lay their eggs on the island. This is to protect the newly laid eggs from predators such as pigs, monitor lizards and snakes. Aside from wildlife, the national park is also filled with interesting plants such as the night-blooming Putat tree, Umbrella Palms and Strangling Figs. The Putat tree is a really unusual and must see tree because it produces large pink and white flowers during the night. Enjoying the view of the beach in the morning would also allow you to see the Sea Morning Glory decorating the beach area.

The Tanjung Datu National Park is a must go place if you are interested in having a peaceful getaway with yourself or your family and friends. The serene environment will release all your stress and problems away. A perfect relaxation after all the hard work that you had done over the years.

Enjoy the wildlife, enjoy the beach, enjoy the serenity, and enjoy life. Book your tickets with MASWings to Kuching at www.maswings.com.my now and let the journey begin.

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Kuching Food Festival the annual yearly event that promises fun, food and entertainment for everyone

April 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries, General

Kuching Food Festival, in Kuching Sarawak is one exciting event that locals and tourists alike can look forward to if you are in Kuching from 12 July – 4 August 2013 to be held at the Dewan Masyarakat or Community Hall of Kuching South City Council. If you are planning a trip to Kuching, and you love to eat, this is the best time to come. Fly with the best regional airline, MASwings and come visit Kuching Sarawak to sample all these delicious local and international cuisine all in one place.

Food oh la la

There are estimated to be over 220 stalls participating in this year’s event.

As this event is about food, so there will be a great variety of food available at the event ranging from muslim food, chinese food, Indian and western food. There will be a new international food corner catering for International cuisine covering Korean, Japanese, Philippine and even Vietnamese food. This goes to show that there is an increase in demand for international cuisine by Kuching folks as well as an increase in expatriates coming to work in Kuching.

Kuching Got Talent

The one exciting event that most people will look forward to is the “Kuching got Talent” contest. The contest covers broader areas such as comic dialogue and crosstalk, ventriloquist, magic, stunt, academic and martial arts.

Each team must consist of not more than five members and the performance time is limited to five minutes.

The judging is divided into four components namely talent (25 pct), entertainment (25 pct), creativity and uniqueness (25 pct), and overall performance (25 pct).

Astro has invited three guest judges from Kuala Lumpur and Kuching to identify the true champion of ‘Kuching Got Talent’.

The champion and first runner-up will walk away with RM2,500 and RM1,500 respectively while the second runner up will bring home RM1,000. The ‘potential prize’ winner will receive RM500.

There will also be a brass band competition for secondary school bands. Through such activities, the youth will be occupied with an activity that is productive for their time and talent.

The council is also planning to organize horse riding within the compound area for the public.

There will also be a Garden Show to encourage the publis to beautify their homes through creative design and special plants.

Other activities are the martial arts display, Sports Toto 3-on-3 Basketball Jamboree, rugby tournament, football tournament and hockey tournament.

If you have the talent, why not fly with MASwings to Kuching during those dates and join the Kuching Got Talent Contest? Who knows you may just shine your hidden talent and walk away with some cash prizes or in worst scenario, just have great fun? Book your air tickets now at www.MASwings.com.my

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Experience the sights and sounds of the Borneo Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching

Do you want to experience wonderful live performances by world singers and bands in Malaysia’s largest musical event? Then, look no further, for the annual Borneo Rainforest World Music Festival, held every year in Sarawak Cultural Village, is here again to dazzle you with its spectacular sights and sounds starting from the 28th until 30th of June 2013. Kuching is indeed the place to be in at this time of year!

Rainforest World Music Festival

MASWings has regular daily flights from Sarawak’s major cities, Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan. Thus, it is a convenient thing for you to attend the wonderful Borneo Rainforest Music Festival. If you are flying from further afield such as Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, there are many direct flights you can take to Kuching from these destinations.

Rainforest World Music Festival

The Sarawak Cultural Village, the venue of this event, at the foothills of the majestic Mount Santubong is surrounded by beautiful lush green rainforest. During these three days event, there will be numerous workshops held during the daytime and music performances at night. During the last Rainforest World Music Festival, the weekend audience totaled to around 30,000 people. It is no surprise that this festival is now acclaimed as the largest of its kind in Malaysia.

Rainforest World Music Festival
This year’s musical line up will consist of several local and international talents. Lan E Tuyang, a traditional Kenyah band called Lan E Tuyang performing the exotic native Kenyah tunes. Coming from further afield, the Ukrainian Spiritual Seasons band will entertain you with medieval, Irish and Scandinavian folk tunes. The local Sarawakian Gema SLDN-SCV group will undoubtedly enchant the audience with their various different local percussion instruments such as drums, gongs and bamboo. A solo native performer, Maya Green, is no less impressive with his solo native Borneo music, a blend of traditional tunes and sounds, played on the iconic sape. Hailing from Australia, the Nunukul Yuggara dance troupe will entertain you with their traditional Aboriginal song and music. These unique performers are just but a few that will grace this year’s wonderful Rainforest World Music Festival.

Rainforest World Music Festival

During the day, the performers will conduct several workshop sessions relating to their music and songs in the various traditional houses within the Sarawak Cultural Village. If you are interested to know more about how to play musical instruments or sing a tune, this interesting workshop is something you should not miss! There will be workshops on songs from various countries, the origin of the traditional gong, traditional Aboriginal body rites, the music and traditions of the Bidayuh people, different types of drum percussions and many more. It would indeed be an experience of a lifetime, learning about the delightful sounds and music from around the world.

Rainforest World Music Festival

Will all these fun-packed activities during the day and breath taking musical performances at night, The Borneo Rainforest Music Festival 2013 is guaranteed to blow you away! Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s head down to Kuching this late June and enjoy the sights, sounds and music from around the world. You’ll not regret it.

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