Tag Archives: Borneo

Week 14: Kuching, Malaysia (Borneo)

My trip to Borneo was definitely the most spontaneous thing I’ve done during these months of travel, and proved to be one of the most entertaining, if not the most ridiculous experience so far. It all began when Courtney posted a link for the Rainforest World Music Festival on a friends Facebook page where I happened across it shortly afterward. After doing some extensive research (five minutes on the website) I was convinced that we should try and make it to Borneo for some jungle beats. Luckily, the festival started a mere four days from that point, so with some quick skyping and some frantic flight booking we were all set.

Seeing as we booked with Air Asia, we chose to travel with small carry-on baggage to avoid the ridiculous checked baggage fee. While Court was able to leave her big pack in Koh Tao with Derek (we were heading there after Borneo) I was coming from Koh Samui and had to figure something out in Suratthani (where we were flying out of). Lucky for me, I decided to stay the night at Serene Guesthouse, home of the nicest staff ever. In addition to getting me a cab to the airport, they also arranged for the cabbie to hold my backpack at his office at the airport and have it there waiting for me when I arrived back five days later. Perhaps a little sketchy sounding, but I had all of my important stuff with me, and as I said, the people who arranged it all were so nice. Worked out splendidly in the end, too.

Another bonus (?) of travelling Air Asia is that to get to many destinations you actually have to book two connecting flights, in this case Suratthani to Kuala Lumpur and then KL to Kuching. We purposely scheduled our connections eight hours apart so we would have time to head into town and check out KL’s famous Petronas Towers. Took around two hours once we figured out the bus and metro system, but totally worth it! I was actually a bit surprised at how impressive the towers were, pretty awe inspiring. Some quick pics and a tour of the mall at the bottom and it was time to go back to the ‘port and onto Borneo and the RWMF!

For the Kuching portion of this post I’m going to rewrite bullet notes that I made on the flight home after this wonderful adventure. I feel like they sum up Court and my time in the area perfectly. The official motto for these five days quickly became ‘Oh, Malaysia’, said in the same exasperated yet admiring tone you’d use if a toddler made a massive mess but looked adorable while doing so. Ridiculous, yet somehow endearing. So without further ado, here are my observations of Kuching, Malaysia. (And if you’d like me to expand on anything, don’t keep quiet! There’s a story for every point here, I’m just feeling a little laz right now. And it’s my birthday, so I’mma do what I want.)

  • Garrett’s popcorn in KL is the greatest thing ever- Oprah and Halle Berry are fans! Crispy caramel and macadamia nut… Mmm
  • Prayer rooms do not equal bathrooms
  • Petronas towers are seriously impressive
  • B&B Inn a little sketch, especially the giant padlock on the outer door/gate
  • “Princess Michela”
  • Everyone is so nice, everyone says hi and asks how you are-so genuine!
  • Skimboarding at sunset
  • Crazy bongos/xylophones/guitars/sitars/saxophones, etc
  • Kanda Bongo Man!!
  • Traditional Malay dance lessons- tried the ‘bamboo dance’
  • Tuak equals rice wine, does not equal good
  • Everything, especially booze is really expensive
  • Getting ripped off- they put limes into our tiny tequila shots
  • Leftover popcorn and cashew nuts for dinner… We’re cheap
  • Epic peanut butter/banana/croissant sandwiches for 3 meals… We’re cheap
  • Bakery shopping spree that cost us $5
  • Cat statues!
  • Weird museums… Textile, ethnology, art, natural history- spent my last 4RM to see a fossilized wood exhibit. Sweet.
  • Saw Brave in theatres for $3 (that we paid for with american $ cause we hardly had any ringgit left)
  • Best donuts EVER at Big Apple Donuts
  • Slept at the airport to save $… We’re cheap
  • Oh, Malaysia.

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