Archived Posts from “The Backpacker”

Kuching Riverside Boat Ride

Taking the Kuching riverside boat ride is one of the must-do things for tourists visiting the city.

Many took the boat to visit the Fort Margherita opposite the river, now there’s the new Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Parliament Assembly hall) to add to the hot spots.

The Kuching Riverside Boat Ride
Mary and I took the boat ride but we didn’t go to the Fort nor the DUN, we’ve stayed on the boat and discovered something else – The life of the boatmen.

The Boat
Hello Boatmen!

Boat ride
Cruisin’ on the Kuching river.

The new DUN
Overlooking the new DUN and the Kuching City riverside skyline.

Closing in on DUN
Reaching the opposite river bank for dispatch of human cargo.

Curiosity
Curiosity kills the cat.

Islam prayers
Muslim prayers. Offering some real sense of security for the boatmen on the river.

Water bottle
The source of life – Water.

Hot water bottle
The thermo flask to store hot water for his daily meals.

Biscuit tin
A biscuit tin.

Kerosene lamp
A couple of kerosene lamp to light up the small boat throughout the night.

Brand new motor
A brand new motor to power the boat.

Now that’s the kind of life you’ll come to expect if you’re a boatmen on the Kuching river.
Glittering water

How is your life?

Kuching in HDR Photography

Mary and I were having a getaway in Kuching last week. We were enroute Lundu town, about 100km away from Kuching for its picturesque Sematan beach. The town sat close to the border of Kalimantan, Indonesia. But our journey were cut short, or rather, unsuccessful where we had to make a U-turn back to Kuching City due to bad weather, and as darkness closed in, we dare not venture into the unfamiliar territory.
Lundu Ferry
There are no lights nor residence for as long as the eyes could see and the terrain is rough. Wrong timing for a trip like this…but we could still afford to stop for a HDR photography session.

Kuching Open Air Food Court

Read also: The Best Laksa in Kuching: Choon Hui Cafe

After that long, 8 hours journey from Sibu, the first thing that comes to our mind once we’ve reached Kuching City is FOOD! We’ve yet to take any solid meals since we left early in the morning at 6 a.m. I’m nursing a sorethroat and any hot, deep fried finger food at the rest stop is prohibited by Mary.

It’s freaking hot and humid here in Kuching, a scorching 38 degree celcius sunshine is burning our skin off. Sitting under the lowly covered zinc roof food court isn’t such a good idea, but the food must be good enough to be able to lure us here! Many thanks to Mary’s brother-in-law, Francis, for bringing us around Kuching to hunt for their best foods.

Kuching Open Air Food Court
Kuching Open Air Food Court. Not the orange concrete building.

Kuching Open Air Food Court
Another stretch of the food court, which only opens at night.

Inside the Food court
Inside the food court. The ceiling is made of the old asbestos board and the roof structures made of wood, which is abundant in the timberland of Borneo.

Kuching Famous Sio Bee
The famous Sin Kwang Heng Kuching open air market Sio Bee (Siu Mai – 烧卖). So famous it’s even being “exported” to Miri! But you gotta try the fresh ones here.

Kuching Laksa
Laksa. Although I’m nursing a sorethroat, but die die I’ve to order laksa, because I’m in Kuching! They said Kuching laksa’s the best in the whole of Sarawak. But, I have other ideas, I would say Miri has the best laksa – and it’s at Jalan Krokop 10 just beside the Krokop Wet Market.

We also went to the place where they serve the best Laksa in Kuching at 3rd Mile, Golden Arch. Also, disappointingly, not as good as Miri’s.

Kuching Kolo Mee
Kolo Mee. This is the best kolo mee I’ve had for years. They “saturate” the noodle with their “Char Siew” (BBQ) oil, which brings about the addictive aromatic fragrance to their kolo mee. Although it’s a bit too oily and certainly not good for the health conscious bunch.

Kuching Rojak
Kuching Rojak. I know this is not the best rojak in Kuching. Nevermind that, cause Bintangor has the best Rojak in Sarawak.

5-flavor soup
Nothing beats this cool and refreshing 五味汤 (5-flavor syrup) on a hot sunny day. It’s a mixture of 5 (sometimes 6) different Chinese herbs in a sweet syrup with a scoop of blended ice on top. Perfectly cooled me down after a bowl of hot laksa.

ABC
Bb had her favorite ABC.

This concludes my first day in Kuching City. Stay tuned for more stories from the Cat City!

Suk 11 Hostel @ Bangkok

There’s really a lot to see and experience in Bangkok, the “dense, corrupted and dirty” metropolitan. (as described in Bangkok Dangerous, the movie).

It wasn’t that dangerous when I was there, maybe Nicolas Cage wasn’t there, I suppose.

So here I am in Suk 11, the place to stay if you wanna experience authentic Thai village culture, budget style.
Reception @ Suk 11
This is the reception area, filled with vintage and old Thai artwork. It’s Halloween by the way! If you’re observant enough, try to read the notice on the top. ^^

Staircase to the Rooms
The staircase to the rooms upstairs. The Sleeping Buddha welcomes you.

The Lobby
The lobby area as viewed from above. The place is always fully booked, so do book in advance if you’re planning to stay here. Some of them are even on waiting list. This is like the first choice for all backpackers to Bangkok so you’ve gotta book early!

Table at the Lobby
This is the view from the table at the lobby. All the classic Thai art pieces you can get!

Visa accepted
Visa is accepted here! But if you book online, you’ll need to pay for the first night and it’s non-refundable.

Kite at the Lobby
Kite on the wall. You can leave you signatures here, the wall act as a guestbook. If you’re good enough, you can even draw graffiti on it!

Checkout keys
Drop your keys here when you’re checking out.

Walkways to the Rooms
Walkways to the rooms.

Living room
Living room. This guy had been watching the TV for 5 straight hours non-stop.

Rooms
Walkways made of wood, resembling Thai village houses.

Breakfast notice
Breakfast should be consumed in the lobby area only. The hostel practice strict rules to ensure safety and cleanliness. They won’t tolerate sex tourists, and you can’t eat in your room.

The breakfast
This is what they have for breakfast. Breads, muffins, papaya and pineapples. Tea and coffee is ready at self service. Breakfast is included in the room rate.

Suk 11 Walkway
If you’re bored staying in the room, get down and take a stroll at night along the Suk 11 Walkway. There are art works on display/sale. There’s British lounge/bar along the same building where you can sit back and watch football. Suk 11 has a health spa and restaurant right beside the hostel, I’m thinking they’re of the same proprietor.

Many leave great feedbacks for this Suk 11 hostel. Honestly, I totally love the experience here but for one thing – the receptionist. To my surprise, the business owners, they tend be friendlier and more helpful to Caucasians than Asians. The employees were fine though. Overall, it was still a great experience at Suk 11. No harm done!

For bookings, please surf to Suk11.com

Serenity.

se·rene /səˈrin/
–adjective
1. calm, peaceful, or tranquil; unruffled.

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Country view. Photo taken from a cottage house in Trittenheim, Germany. This is what I call, serene, pretty much in demand right now in my life.

Love shape vineyard
and a love-shaped vineyard on the opposite. Tranquility.

Hari Raya in Brunei

I took a massive 3 days off last week and went back to Miri for the Hari Raya holidays. I had the chance to visit Brunei to check out the sports rims there. Will be getting them at the end of this year.

While approaching the Brunei Sultan’s Palace, we spotted these crowds along the stretch of the palace roads. The palace is open for public visitation every year during the Hari Raya season. During the visit, you get to shake hands with the Sultan himself and grab a free goodie pack, along with some hot food served on the spot – if you’re willing to wait on the queue.

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A little traffic jam here.

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The palace entrance.

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Visitation hour is over and the crowd comes out of the palace.

DSCN4736
I wonder how he managed to get so many of those goodie packs. I thought there’s only 1 for each person? By the way, those goodie packs are actually filled with food.

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And then, there’s more people with goodie packs.

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Everyone has it, little ones, old ones.

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Goodie packs for the whole family.

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Those who didn’t get it were left dejected and sitting by the roadside.

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The chick in pink got a goodie pack too!!!!

Alright, enough of those goodie packs, I’ll show you some nice rims in the next post.

I Love Mobile - Mobile Phone Accessories store

Buy Malaysian Plywood and Sawn Timber

New Honda City 2010 Concept Mod

Lamborghini Bangkok

Toyota Alphard 2009

Miri Jazz Festival 2008

Kuching Open Air Market Food

Kuching River Boat Ride

Bangkok Suk 11 Hostel

Sibu Flood: CNY 2009

Sibu's Famous Tiong Hua Road Kompia

Sibu's Famous Dian Bian Hu

RH Hotel, Sibu