Kuching city

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The Sarawak River dominates the city, as does the imposing Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak building shown above. On our first evening in Kuching, long boats were racing up the river. Also, on this evening there was a concert followed by a street parade of song and dance. It was too dark and rainy to get any decent photos, but these are just a reminder of the event for me.

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During the evening, a walk along the river front will be accompanied by music from buskers who are actually very good singers and guitar players. Some play the traditional sape (Borneo guitar) which makes a lovely delicate sound. I don’t have a photo of any of these buskers though, just a collection of singer plus drummers.

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If you walk along the Sarawak River front (from west to east), these are some of the sights:

The Old Courthouse (now a restaurant complex).

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The Brooke Memorial for the second White Raja, Charles Brooke (in front of the Old Courthouse). 

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On each side of the memorial pillar, are bronze images of the four main tribes of Sarawak: the Dayak (top left), the Kayan (top right), the Malay (bottom left), and the Chinese (bottom right).

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Just across the road is the curious Square Tower, now a restaurant. The metal structure on the left of the photo is something under construction. It looks like a bridge over the Sarawak River, but we could not figure out if it was for foot or vehicular traffic.

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The Istana (palace).

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And, more views of the Sarawak River.

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On our first night, Kuching held a marathon race, traces of which were evident all around the city.

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The city is quite compact so it is easy to get around.

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Further into the city, and near the padang, is the Sarawak Museum. On the ground floor is a collection of insects and stuffed birds and animals provided by Alfred Russel Wallace, who travelled extensively in the Malaysian Archipelago in the mid-nineteenth century, and developed this own theory of evolution at the same time as Charles Darwin. Upstairs in the museum are models and artefacts of Sarawak longhouses, but poor lighting and design made viewing hard work. Much better to visit the Sarawak Cultural Village.

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Kuching city has a dominant Chinese temple near the river, the Chingsan Yan Temple. It actually looked more interesting in the distance rather than close up.

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There is also a distinct Chinatown area to explore and a pink Chinese Museum.

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Our favourite dining place was the James Brooke Bistro, along the river front. Really excellent Malaysian food and very cheap!

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Note the Sarawak flag flying everywhere.

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Finally, I could not resist including this photo; make of it what you will!

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© Helen Gray 2021