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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Journey To thE EaST...... episode 1: Kuching, Sarawak

Officially, I'm a Malaysian coming from the East Malaysia and yet my hometown is in Kuching, Sarawak. I still remember when i first came to Kuala Lumpur to further my study, I was asked by my classmates with several questions and i had to scratch on my head when answering those questions. The questions are as below:
1. Where do you stay? on top of the tree or stay in a cave? (fuh.... wat kind of question is that? don't you study geographic?)
2. what type of transportations do you ppl use? Boat? (Hahaha.... sounds like Sarawak is a 'waterpark' with no grounds on the 'largest' land in Malaysia.)
3. when you stay in Sarawak, do you ppl used to wear banana leaves? (What da Hell is that.... Still thinking we are still living in Paleolithic age )

Quite Funny right? but dun laugh... they really think like this before. So, today I would like to bring all of you to have a 'journey to the east'.....

Sarawak Background

Sarawak, like Sabah, was ruled by the Brunei Empire until the arrival of the British adventurer James Brooke in the early 19th Century. He helped to quell an uprising against Brunei by the natives, and was given the title of Sarawak���������s Rajah in return. Establishing a dynasty of ���������White Rajahs���������, Brooke and his descendants ruled till the Japanese occupation during World War II in 1945. After that, Sarawak was ceded to the British Authorities until it became a part of Malaysia in 1963.

Just like Sabah, Sarawak has a diversity of indigenous groups, up to 28 in fact. Each has their own distinct culture, traditions and skills. The main tribes are the Iban, who make up the majority, followed by the Bidayuh, Melanau and Orang Ulu.

Sarawak Attraction

Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, built along the banks of the Sarawak River. It is also very near the coastline, about 32 km away from the sea. A tranquil location, Kuching has some nice landscaped parks and gardens, classic colonial buildings, colourful markets and a beautiful waterfront called the Kuching Waterfront. This place has been transformed into an esplanade, making it a great place to stroll around and relax. It is also the commercial point of Kuching.

Damai Beach
This is Sarawak���������s most popular and scenic beach. Damai, located on the Santubong Peninsula, is about 35 minutes away from Kuching. Besides the beautiful sandy beaches to relax on, you can engage in water sports such as jet-skiing and windsurfing. The rich jungle in the background is also suitable for trekking and climbing. Bird-watchers will enjoy sighting a variety of birds such as Sandpipers, Egrets, Terns, Collared kingfisher, the White-bellied Sea Eagle and Brahminy Kites.

Islamic Museum (recommended for Muslims)
The Islamic Museum in Kuching, opened in 1992, was originally a Malay college but now houses seven galleries displaying elements of the Islamic culture and religion. They are divided into; History of Islam in Sarawak; Islamic Architecture; Science, Technology, Economics, Education and Literature, Music, Costumes and Personal Ornaments, Weaponry, Decorative Arts, Domestic Utensils and a Quran Collection.

Chinese History Museum (if you are a chinese, you MUST take a visit)
Built in 1912 but officially opened as a museum in 1993, the Chinese History Museum was originally a court for the Chinese community in Kuching. The museum depicts the rich history of Sarawak���������s diverse Chinese groups. Visitors will learn about their origins, traditional skills and culture through the exhibits here.

Sarawak Cultural Village
Located 35 minutes away from Kuching in Santubong, the Cultural Village is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the cultural heritage of Sarawak���������s major ethnic groups. Catch a glimpse of the lifestyles of major indigenous groups such as the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu. There���������s even a cultural performance consisting of songs, dances and entertainment which you can watch here.

Sarawak Museum
Completed in 1891, this old museum in Kuching is the permanent housing place for local native arts and crafts as well as collections of local animals. The ground floor is a gallery dedicated to Sarawak fauna, with specimens of wildlife on display. The west wing, on the other hand, teaches about the history of the oil industry in Sarawak. At the first floor, various ethnographic artefacts are displayed such as models of traditional longhouses, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, boats and other things.

Tua Pek Kong Temple
Located at Tunku Abdul Rahman Street in Kuching, it was built in 1856 and the oldest Tua Pek Kong temple in Sarawak, the Siew San Teng is a main tourist attraction, particularly among westerners.

Fort Margherita
Built in 1879, the Fort was used by the Brooke dynasty to guard the Sarawak River. It was named after the second Rajah, Charles Brooke���������s wife. Inside, you will find a police museum that depicts the punishment inflicted upon criminals.

The Astana
The Astana is a palace built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1870 by the Sarawak River, but is now the official residence of Sarawak���������s Yang Di-Pertuan Negeri, or Governor. Visitors are allowed to stroll in the Astana��������� beautiful landscaped gardens which are decorated with artefacts. The palace is open to visitors during the Hari Raya festival.

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amy said...

Are u doing a promotion or something? It seems to me u are...LOL
Neway i'm still not sure who u really are..

BaBy_oN_BoArd said...

its ok if u dun know who am i, i'm juz trying to promote my blog to everyone. Besides, i'm juz trying to gather more information about who are my readers and what article are they interested in so that i can write more on the targeted article. Thanx anyway....

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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