September 26, 2017
Our next destination after Singapore is Borneo. Just a one hour and a half flight away from the modern metropolis that is Singapore, you can find yourself in Borneo’s dense jungles. We stopped first in Kuching, a 600’000-inhabitant city in the Malaysian state Sarawak, before going into our very own Indiana Jones adventure into the jungle – or at least that’s how I like to think about it :D
This is probably the only time I will write in this blog about an airport, but I feel the Singapore airport deserves a special mention here. Because it’s well organized, reliable, and very nicely made. It contains all kinds of gadgets that you can use for free and even has an orchid garden! (Plus, it managed to put my luggage on the flight on which it was supposed to be, which lately is no small feat.)
Short stop before heading into the jungle
Kuching, the capital of the Sarawak state in Malaysia, has a few nice sights to offer, but is clearly not the main attraction in this region. Which is fair enough – people come here for the jungles, not for Borneo’s cities. We spent a day strolling around Kuching, trying some of its restaurants and cafes, and catching up on writing blog posts.
A funny fact about the city is that the name Kuching means “cat”, and you indeed see a lot of cats around here, both real live ones and in the form of statues. They seem to be very much liked and respected by the locals. There is also a cat museum, but we didn’t go see it.
We did go to the Sarawak museum, where we were unfortunately not allowed to take photos – although we seemed to be the only ones respecting the interdiction. The museum has a natural history part and an ethnographic one. Both are interesting, although it would be useful to have a few more explanations of what is displayed. But entrance is free and, for that, we actually got a lot.
Another attraction of the city are 2 streets with lots of small shops, most of them selling local handicrafts and clothes. We didn’t buy anything there, but we did get leech socks, which we read are useful when trekking in the jungle to keep the leeches off your legs.
I would say that Kuching is interesting as a first stop when travelling in Borneo and as a gateway into the nearby national parks, but you definitely don’t need more than a day here to see the main sights.
Tomorrow we’re headed to the Bako National Park and hence into the jungle. We’ll stay there for 2 nights, so that we can take early morning, sunset and night walks into the jungle, which will hopefully allow us to see more animals. Fingers crossed.