Kuching and Damai, Sarawak

So here's a few pictures from out first few weeks in Sarawak. We have spent most of it in the capital, Kuching; as that's where we are working, we did get chance to go north to the coast (Damai) and spent a few days in a treetop cabin next to the sea.

So we arrived just before Chinese new year, which has pros and cons obviously. When you are trying to get stuff done (like find somewhere to live) it's not good, but there are quite a lot of interesting cultural events going on. These dragon dancers were performing all over the city, as well as lion dancers and musicians.

This is the state administrative building in Kuching, which almost dominates the skyline and is a real focal point. Kuching is actually a nice manageable city and very relaxed compared to most Asian cities. A river runs through the middle, and it's very lush and green with trees and greenery everywhere.

We have also arrived during the rainy season, so it has rained most days at least for a little while, and other days have been seriously major downpours.

The city is a nice cultural mix of all the peoples of Malaysian Borneo; Muslim, Chinese, Indian and a large number of tribal peoples of Kalimantan and a smattering of expats. The seperation of 'races' is not as strict as in other parts of Asia, so lots of inter-breeding has taken place over the years, making it very difficult to tell where anyone's origins really are. Which I suppose is a good thing.

The pic below is from the very busy weekend market, that sells almost everything, though a lot of it is given over to local produce and foodstuffs obviously. The smells can be rather overwhelming on a hot sticky day; but it's an amazing place to takes photographs.

Characters like this one hang about on the river taking tourists and locals across to the other side for 0.5 RM or 1 Rm at night, they usually wait and fill up like shared taxi, unless you are willing to pay a little extra for a 'private' trip. An unusual aspect is that they are paddled and steered from the front as you can see.

Our employer paid for us all to go on a river cruise along the river as a team building exercise and to get us out of the hotel for while, it was a bit cheese-tastic....but sipping beer as the sun goes down, aboard a boat with friends, in Sarawak, Borneo...there are certainly worse ways to spend an evening..

Here's a pic of the cabaret dancers, in traditional costumes after performing traditional dancers that had stuff to do with eagles and fish and hunting.

They also worked as the boat crew and served drinks, but they were lovely, and we've all got to earn a living some how, so good luck to them.

I'm tempted to put in some more pics of theevening, I'll restrict myself to one, my fave from the boat trip.

We also went up to a place north of Kuching, called Damai and Santubong a small peninsula that sticks out into the south China Sea. Beautiful little place and we splashed out and stayed in a treetop house on the edge of rainforest and stormy sea. Only the sound of jungle and crashing waves to sleep and wake to. We had a small troop of purple-faced-leaf-eater monkeys for company. It was a very nice four days; here's a few pics, the first of which has been heavily doctored in PS, but I took it in RAW to do exactly that.
Grainy Photo-shopped effort


This one's for Ant


Local cooking cakes