|3 months in and we were knackered! So we came to Kuching, "The City of Cats" for some chill time. Greg's Dad lived here for a while, 30 years ago, so it was of particular interest to us, seeing stories of the city and surrounding jungle come to life. It may not be a small village with a muddy runway any more but it's still got loads of character and charm, adopted from the local tribes and its colonial past.
Running along the Sarawak River, there are some stunning scenes, with a small range of mountains, rising on the horizon, as if from nowhere. It's an ideal base to explore the rich surrounding countryside but the city has a lot to offer besides.
It's really mellow, and somehow it seems like another country. Perhaps it was the 2 hour flight it took to get here from the penninsular mainland? We'll be using Kuching as a base to make trips into the nearby national parks and will probably spend more time here than anywhere else yet.
Luckily we have a nice Guesthouse with a good atmosphere run by a local "Iban" tribe. Funny that there should be a couple from Sutton staying at the same place, it really is a small world (something we're beginning to realise more and more).
Although Malaysian food hasn't quite lived up to expectations yet, it's not for want of fresh ingredients. An early start for the Sunday morning market proved that, hundreds of stalls selling every food imaginable (and more) from fruit and veg to meat and tonnes of fish, all from the local area. After that it wasn't too surprising that we had our best meal yet, at an outdoor seafood court where we had a difficult decision of choosing the exact fish we wanted from the hundreds on display. The atmosphere was hard to beat too with around 300 locals at the same place, lots of families and kids, good to see.