Art & Places: Sarawakians, Sarawak

Sarawakians

Named Sarawakians, the sculpture portrays unity in Sarawak. It has a body and many heads. A body depicting Sarawak and many heads depicting the many diversity of Sarawak people and cultures.

This granite sculpture was sculpted by Robert Yong, an architect, in May 2003 and is located at the main entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village, Santubong, Sarawak.

I wanted to contact Mr Robert Yong to ask about the creative process but could not find his contact details. If you know him, please do let me know.

 

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Absolute Tribal in Kuching

This restaurant really had me at ‘Hello’.

Absolute TribalAbsolute Tribal entrance.

I thought to myself, “the interior must be as beautiful as the entrance.” My expectation was true. I fell in love straight away.

Absolute Tribal interiorInterior of the restaurant.

Absolute Tribal is a restaurant with a contemporary fine-dining ambiance serving Asian fusion food; mostly local authentic cuisine with a delightful presence of Thai’s unique selection.

Set in a historic building built during the Brooke Era about 120 years ago, Absolute Tribal is part of Sarakraf Pavilion. The historical attachment of the establishment will make you feel as if you have travel back in time and take a refuge to a spiritually enchanting holiday.

Here are some of the food that we had during the lunch. The lunch was on Sarawak Tourism Board and Malindo Air. This was part of the Familiarisation Media Trip last April.

at3Left row from top: Sarawak Tribal Salad, Pansoh Chicken, Umai Sarawak. Right row from top: Sarawak Pineapple Fried Rice, Terong Dayak with Fish Curry and Mee Kolok Fusion Style.

Yes, I love everything that I ate. The food live up to the beautiful ambience. I definitely recommend this restaurant to you. You will love it too.

Other than fine dining, Sarakfraf Pavilion features gift shops with local arts and crafts that could not be seen elsewhere.

craftIf you are visiting Kuching, Sarawak, do look for Absolute Tribal. The restaurant sign is not really visible from the main road, so be on the look out for Sarakraf Pavilion sign near a white brick gate. It opens from Monday to Sunday from 07:30 – 22:00. Address: 78 Jalan Tabuan, 93100, Kuching 93200, Malaysia.

Sarakraf

 

 

 

 

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7 things to do in Kuching, Sarawak

Flying on an inaugural flight with Malindo Air was great experience. Love all the features inside the aircrafts. And it was more great to be able to revisit Kuching after the first one in 2005.

For your information, Malindo Air flies to Kuching 4 times daily.

7500th Boeing 7377500th Boeing 737 (9M-LNF).

So, what’s interesting in Kuching? Plenty, actually. Malindo with collaboration of Sarawak Tourism Board had arranged tours around Sarawak for media who was on the inaugural flight.

Here are some ideas for you to start with if you plan to visit Kuching. This list is crafted based on places I visited only.

1Stay at Riverside Majestic Hotel. Riverside Majestic Hotel is strategically located in the heart of Kuching overlooking the Sarawak River. The hotel commands a panoramic view of the city and the Kuching Waterfront across.

The hotel has 241 comfortable rooms and offers chef’s selection of signature dishes and tonic soups. Their kitchens are all certified Halal. For relaxation, you can go to the Borneo Odyssey Spa located on the Lower Ground floor of their sister property the Grand Margherita Hotel, or cool off in the hotel’s swimming pool. A bowling centre and cineplex is also available in the adjacent Riverside Shopping Complex.

Riverside Majestic HotelFront view of Riverside Majestic Hotel.

2

Eat, eat and eat. For dinner, everybody is going to Top Spot Food Court. It is basically a hawker centre that sells mostly seafood. It is located on a roof top of a 5 storey car park right in the smack of the city centre. For exotic lunch, you can go to Absolute Tribal Restaurant located at Sarakraf Pavilion. For local kampung style food, you can go to Mount Serapi Corner.

absolute tribalInteresting entrance of AbsoluteTribal Restaurant.

3Go shopping! There are many places you can shop but if you want to look for food, fruits, seafood, go to Medan Niaga Satok. For gift items like pua kumbu, jeweleries and what not go to Main Bazaar. Another place you can go to to buy Kek Lapis is Dayang Salhah Kek Lapis. Another interesting place to buy crafts is Sarakraf Pavilion.

4Visit cat statues around Kuching. The most recognizable cat statue is the one near Kuching Waterfront, just opposite the Riverside Majestic Hotel. You can also find another one in front of the Little China Town along Jalan Padungan. There’s another one at Jalan Abell. More if you walk around town.

cat statuesClockwise: A cat family near Riverside Majestic Hotel, Lonely cat in front of Little China Town and four cats at Jalan Abell.

5

See orang-utans at Semenggoh Wildlife Center.  Established in 1975, this center cares for wild animals which have either been found injured in the forest, orphaned, or were previously kept as illegal pets. The center also offers a rare opportunity to view orang-utans in their natural habitat. Although these recently released orang utan spend most of their time in the surrounding forest, they do return to the centre where they are fed twice daily at a “halfway house” feeding station. Over time the orang utan appear less frequently as they start to adjust to life in the forest. During the fruit season they may not appear at all, which is a good sign and shows that they are adapting well to their new surroundings.

orangutanOrang-utan right right above me!

6Experience Sarawak heritage at Sarawak Cultural Village. Situated at the foothills of legendary Mount Santubong, this village, dubbed as Sarawak Living Museum, showcases fascinating   Sarawak’s ethnic diversity at a glance. You will have the chance to the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak namely their traditional houses, crafts, musics and clothings. Sarawak Cultural Village  is also the venue for the World Harvest Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival, an internationally renowned festival.

Sarawak Cultural VillageOne of the traditional houses.

7Take the Sarawak River cruise. The best way to see Kuching is from the Sarawak River located in the heart of Kuching. The cruise gives you a view of the city and its surrounding areas. You will see the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, Astana Building, Kuching Waterfront, colourful villages, villagers doing their daily routines, cargo vessels and many more.

Sarawak river cruiseSarawak River Cruise boarding area at the waterfront.

There you go. I will elaborate more on some of the places above when time permits.

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Flying on the inaugural Boeing’s 7500th 737 with Malindo Air

I was super excited when Malindo Air dropped me an e-mail inviting me for their inaugural media flight from KL to Kuching. Double excited when my blog buddy and BFF, LadjJava was invited as well. This inaugural flight was unique as we were on board Boeing’s 7500th 737! The first 737 was was delivered to Lufthansa in 1967. This new 737 is fitted with the new Boeing Sky Interior that brings in the new modern designed interior similar to the Boeing 787 with LED lighting, larger pivoting overhead bins and a greater feeling of spaciousness.

7500th Boeing 737
7500th Boeing 737 (9M-LNF).

The flight was even more unique as there were only 50 invited guests and media (13 being bloggers) and the rest were paying passengers. It was great seeing all the people (some who had no idea) enjoying the experience.

For your information, Malindo Air is a joint venture airline between Lion Air of Indonesia and the National Aerospace and Defense Industries (NADI) of Malaysia and the airline name takes after the two countries in the partnership (Malaysia & Indonesia). Hence the name Malindo Air. Malindo Air currently flies to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

The flight was awesome. Seated in the Economy Class, I got to enjoy the in-flight entertainment. Something that I didn’t get on board Air Asia during my Hong Kong trip last month. One thing missing is the earphones, though.  I normally carry earphones but lately I have been travelling without one because the earphones’ jack on my laptop is not working. Perhaps earphones is something that will be provided for free soon.

personal TV
Personal TV for everyone. Yay!

USB-portThere’s also USB Port. (Soon, there will be Internet connection, something that we social media freaks are looking forward to! )

view

view2Views from my window seat.

Other than that, Economy Class passenger enjoys up to 15kg free hold luggage, light snacks (sandwich and mineral water) and plush leather seats with 32″ seat pitch. Comparison to other airlines: AirAsia’s 29″, AirAsia X 32″ and MAS 34″. (*Thanks to Sedunia Travel for the comparison info.)

As for Business Class, service comes with 45 inches legroom, delicious meals and 30kg free bag allowance, allowing passenger to travel in absolute comfort.

The flight to Kuching took about one and a half hour and when it was time to descent, I was about to sleep (haha!) but anyway the touch down was very smooth and guess what? We had a water cannon salute upon arrival!

water cannon
Some had no clue that it was water cannon and thought it was raining!

All the invited guests and media were escorted to Media Room, VIP Terminal, Kuching International Airport for a press conference and welcoming ceremony. We were welcomed by YBhg Dato’ Rashid Khan (Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Tourism Board). Also present during the conference was Mr Chandran Rama Muthy (Chief Executive Officer of Malindo Air) and YB Datuk Amar Haji Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg (Honorable Minister of Housing and Minister of Tourism Sarawak).

During the press conference, Chief Executive Officer Chandran Rama Muthy said that Malindo Air’s next destination is Miri and India in June. It also aims for direct flights from Borneo to China and Hong Kong by early 2014. On expansion plans, he said right now the idea is to make Malaysia a transit hub for tourists coming in with Lion Air and also from the Malindo Air network.

Malindo Air is expected to have 12 units of Boeing 737-900ER aircraft by year-end.

MalindoAir

I am happy to be part of the inaugural flight as it was much more than just a flight. As a budget traveller, paying low fares but still benefiting from in-flight services without hidden extra costs is something that I look for.

Thank you Malindo Air for being not just low cost!

Summary
Who? Malindo Air – Not Just Low Cost
What? Currently fly to Kuching (4X daily)  and Kota Kinabalu (3X daily)
How much? RM78 to Kuching and RM108 (Promo price until 15 May 2013. Online booking)

Promo price
Photo: Malindo Air.

 

 

 

 

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Tenyok Rimba Community Resort, Long Bedian

Tenyok Rimba Community Resort, Long Bedian in Apoh, Miri, Sarawak boasts many wonderful waterfalls and several that are quite spectacular.


With media team; from left – Alice, Samsul, yours truly, Roland (tour guide), Cath, Nancy and Faiz.

There are 7 waterfalls in the vicinity of Tenyok Community Forest namely Nyang Fall, Dancing Fall, Sang Fall, Hornbill Fall, Ba-O Fall, Ipul Fall and Nawan Fall. I get to see 2 of them Nyang Waterfal and Nawan Fall.


Nyang Fall.

From Nyang Fall, it’s about 15 minutes drive half way up the White Cliff to Nawan Fall and a 20-minute hike through the forest. Nawan is beautiful!


Nawan Fall.

The powerful and dramatic rush of  the fall produces great deal of mist before the wind blew the mist away enough that I could see them. See my video to see the blown away mist.

The Tenyok Rimba Community Resort is great for those who love nature. Located about 10km from Long Bedian village, the resort offers an amazing view to visitors. It is one of nature’s heritage located in the natural forest on the upper reaches of Sungai Tenyok in the District of Baram. With an area of about 2,400 hectares, the resort is rich in the flora and fauna species.


Shorea macrophylla.  A dipterocarp species which is locally known as Engkabang. 


Ara (Ficus sp) has a potassium content.


Tarap fruit, closely related to jackfruit.

History has it that the area around Sungai Tenyok used to be a logging area in mid 1980s as it was rich with a variety of high quality timber. However, the intense logging activity had resulted in an imbalance in the local ecology, geology and hydrology. In addition, the uncontrolled widespread tree felling had almost resulted in the extinction of various flora and fauna such as animals, birds and other forms of wildlife. In fact, the quality of river was also badly affected. The residents of Long Bedian took steps to preserve the beauty of its flora and fauna and converted the area into a resort. The Tenyok Rimba Community Resort has several chalets and a cafe. The chalets are owned by individuals (they use their own money to build the chalets) and managed by the JKKK Long Bedian.

Here are pictures of the resort:

 To get here, contact the KJBMB Long Bedian:
Jok Eng Jok 013-8305962
Ding Laing Jok 012-8556118
Ulau Wan 019-4838311

 

 

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