K’ching

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We had to wake up very early in the morning and catch a taxi cab to the airport. After breakfast and a short flight, we landed in Kuching. The warm tropical Bornean air greeted us as we left the terminal. Always looking for a bargain, we followed the advice from the guide book and decided to walk a bit to catch a bus from the roadside, as there is not bus service from the airport. We walked and walked as the equatorial sun beat down on us, even though it was only ten in the morning. However, there was no bus stop in sight. So up the thumbs went and we tried our luck with hitch hiking into town. We were not sure what to expect, but lo and behold, a shiny Toyota pickup truck stopped with only the driver inside. We piled the backpacks and the guys into the back while the girls sat in the front. The ride into town was very exciting.
Kuching means “cat” in the Bahasa Malay language. Statues of cats adorn large intersections and roundabouts. It is very a clean, quiet, and easy going city on the bank of the Kuching River. Across the river, a large golden government building overlooks the city and makes for an easy to find point of reference. The city center is quite small and easy to walk around. Overall, we have a good vibe here.
We settled in into a very clean and cozy “long house” style hostel where we shared a six person room for a reasonable time. Once again, we were in staying in Chinatown, but unlike some of the previous towns, it was tidy and quiet here.
We walked around the city enjoying the sights. We took a short ferry ride across the river to get a closer look at the gigantic golden structure which looms over the city. Later, we continued through some parks and went back to our hostel for a good night’s sleep. In a nearby Chinese temple there is some sort of karaoke / sing along contest / talent show and the loud music and singing provided a backdrop as we dosed off for the night.

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