By the time we returned back to our hostel in Kuching (Lodge121; map), it was late afternoon and we decided to check out the Kuching Waterfront area (map) which is just a short 10minutes (1km) walk away.
The Kuching Waterfront is a relatively small area along the river (Sungai Sarawak). This is the old town centre of Kuching which includes the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building and Fort Margherita on the northern banks, and the Old Courthouse and waterfront bazaar on the southern banks.
During the evenings, the waterfront bazaar has a number of al fresco style riverside food stalls serving local dishes. Sensing that these stalls mainly cater to tourist, we decided to take a boat to the northern side of the river where there’s a local food centre.
There are boat services on the river (board at the jetty in front of Hilton Hotel). These small boats ply between both sides of the river. The frequency of the boats are high and there’s typically 1 boat waiting for passengers at the jetty at any one time. The boatman will wait till the boat is full before leaving for the opposite bank; the boats do get filled up rather quickly.
We understand from the locals that the fare to cross the river is RM0.50/pax. However, on both occasion of us crossing the river, the boatman insist on RM1/pax. I shall not state the obvious reason for that in this article. Once on the opposite side (northern bank), the food centre is just a few metres away (map).
The food centre is what you’ll expect of the typical “hawker centre” in Asian countries. Catering mainly to locals, the stalls serve typical Malay cuisines priced around RM5-7. The food quality and serving is good; definitely worth the time and money that I spent crossing the river.
After a satisfying and sumptuous meal, we took the boat back to the southern bank of the river and had a leisure stroll before coming across this sight.
As fate would have it, I might have missed this treasure had it not be so brightly lit and crowded.
This Tua Pek Kong Temple is situated near the waterfront (beside Hilton Hotel) (map), and it’s the oldest Chinese temple in the area (details). Stretching back to the 1800s, this temple is extremely popular with local Chinese and is one of star tourist attractions of the city.
After snapping some pictures and paying my respect, we continue strolling down the riverside.
A short distance away is the Square Tower (map), which together with Fort Margherita on the opposite bank, serves to guard the river during colonial times.
At the open space beside the Square Tower, we found a number of roadside vendors selling a certain type of LED-lit catapult toy. The toy produces a streak of light as the LED is catapult into the air. I spent the next couple of minutes trying to capture this on camera.
By then, it was getting late and we proceed to retire back to the hostel. Our flight back to Singapore would be the next morning. This would close the curtain for our trip.
This is my first time in Kuching; and East Malaysia for the matter. It was a trip that is hugely enjoyable; though The Pinnacle hike was tough. But the overall experience was enough to convince me that I should plan another trip here with my wife, in the not too distant future.
Goodbye Kuching, see you soon.
- Adventure in Sarawak, Malaysia (Part 1/3: Introduction to Kuching & Mulu National Park)
- Adventure in Sarawak, Malaysia (Part 2/3: Challenging Pinnacles Hike, Mulu)
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