Saturday, 29 March 2008

Sarawak Wrap

• At first glance, things in Sarawak look familiar, like home; it is only when you look closer that you see the differences. Could be Queensland.
• Very impressive modern architecture.
• Matang Park – sad animals in a ‘zoo’ where they can see the jungle.
• (Thinks) Am I allowed to talk about jungle or should it be a wilderness?
• Just the two of us with a guide in a car. A personalized tour by “Edward”.
• Lunch with our guide, local café. Fed fish-heads to the café cat.
• Sweet corn ice cream.
• Energy saving light-globes everywhere but freezing temperatures in cars, buses, hotels.
• Staying first couple of days at Crowne Plaza – five star, with all the fawning attention that I hate in such places.
• Security warning in the hotel about street robbery, pickpockets, conmen, tricksters, and general hotel security.
• Room has a floor to ceiling window with a sign saying ‘please do not open’. Outside the window is a 30cm ledge, nothing else. As we are on the 12th floor I will leave the window well closed.
• Expensive beers - $7 a can in the hotel, $1.50 locally.
• Do German tourists ever smile?
• Hotel staff seem genuinely pleased (and genuinely surprised) if we say “thank you” in Malay.
• Lots of new housing estates, lots of industrial estates. Many large, expensive looking houses.
• Margaret had “Ais Kacang”, a local dessert. We think it is a special one to confuse tourists – it contained green jelly cubes, Lychees, coconut seaweed stuff, green noodles (possibly made of sago), ice-cream, crushed ice, grenadine, a pineapple ring and sweet corn kernels.
• A boat trip to Boku National Park – Macaque monkeys, Proboscis monkeys, fiddler crabs, little sand crabs, little lizards, a monitor lizard. And a small crocodile.
• Different guide on day two. Odd walking through hot and humid jungle in Northern Borneo and your guide is talking to someone on his mobile (cell) phone.
• Visit to Long House – 75 joined houses with a common front community area.
• An unemptying rice wine glass while watching local dancers. Happily not a particularly strong wine.
• Memo to self: never leave your backpack anywhere, even in a locked van.
• Mulu caves – watching 3 million bats head out in search of mosquitoes – “Go bats, go!” A lot of them fly around the resort at night.
• Amazing caves (100m high, 100m wide) with constant waterfalls from the ceiling. Apparently one of the caves, the Sarawak Cavern, is big enough to hold 16 football pitches but is not open to the public.
• Native dancers at dinner time, looking a bit sheepish. (They doubled as hotels staff during the day.)
• Lots of frog noises at night – sounds like dinner time at the Lost Dogs Home.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure how you meant that last.
    "Frog noises" and "dinner time" rang a bell with Steve, who eats frog legs with a passion.
    Heck no! I have a hard enough time working on pig....
    (shoulder steaks....mmmmm)
    because I know they're up there with smart animals.
    And chickens? They are so cool looking that I KNOW I couldn't ever own one because then I'de have to give up my favorite meat. (bacon comes in for second place, but, then for tastes, a whole bunch'a veggies take up several places down below "chicken", and well, this ain't about me, anyway)

    ARE y'havin' FUN, though? I mean, as much fun as a twentfour year old would have?

    I suppose Mrs. Kennedy also retieved some dividends from this math birthday thing, eh? What, 23? 22?

    What a grin yer sportin' in that picture!
    Like I expect a feather to come floating out any second now...


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