Did I expect to relax in a 5 star floating resort, go scuba diving in crystal clear waters, wine and dine on the finest cuisine on earth and to tan on a gorgeous beach? Damn straight I did! But that did not happen. Instead, I got drunk with the local hippies at the Rainforest World Music Festival, kayaked through a rainforest and ate a truck load of rice almost everyday.
Flying Malaysia Airlines and perhaps the best flight sleep I’ve ever had, we hit up the capital, Kuching. A bustling, diverse city set on the Sarawak River in Sarawak, a Malaysian state on Borneo; known for its rugged rainforest, protected parklands, distinct flora and fauna and its diverse indigenous tribes and amazing coexisting people.
Where To Stay
A comfy bed, a gym and an all you can eat buffet is all I need, which isn’t much to ask for, is it? For the duration of our stay in Kuching, we slept and ate at the Grand Margherita Hotel. It is Sarawak’s first international hotel and is situated along the 1.7km stretch of scenic Kuching Waterfront.
Rainforest World Music Festival
Perhaps one of the most craziest and unique experiences, we hit up the Rainforest World Music Festival in the Damai Peninsula. Over a 3 day period, it brings together renowned world and indigenous musicians from all continents and from Borneo, workshops, jam sessions and more importantly, food and drink stalls.
As it was freaking humid and we were sweating all day, we stayed at the Damai Puri Resort to cool ourselves down and have an afternoon nap.
What To Eat
No idea where and what to eat, our guide, David, took us to some pretty kick ass eateries around Sarawak to devour a few local delicacies.
Some might tell you there’s better, but I loved this joint. Bustling and covered in comic posters, hit up Kopi ‘O’ Corner in Kuching. They make an epic Roti Canai fresh, right in front you and a rather light Laksa Sarawak to whet your lips.
For something a little more intimate and hidden away from the rest of the world, check out The Village House. Situated on the periphery of Santubong Village in the foothills of majestic Mount Santubong, it is a private, ‘residents’ only resort with no wifi and no TV, pure privacy and time spent together are number one.
Regardless of what country you’re in, the local markets are rather intriguing; and the Sarawak Sunday Markets are no stranger to the deliciously interesting.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, seafood and some delicious fried and cooked goodies make these markets a worthwhile visit-to.
Looking for a casual traditional Malay dinner joint? Hit up My Village House; it’s hidden across the Sarawak river and has some mouthwatering bamboo chicken and succulent grilled mussels.
We kayaked 11kms through the gorgeous Sarawak rainforest and smashed some chilli beef noodles with a bunch of awesome strangers.
Craving freshly cooked seafood the way you want it?
Check out Top Spot Seafood Centre in Kuching – a rooftop with over ten restaurants serving the freshest seafood in Borneo, cooked the way you like it.
This was truly a life changing trip.
Got drunk with the local hippies, trekked and kayaked with some awesome new friends, devoured some delicious traditional Malay/Sarawakian food and created some insane memories. Steer away from the usual resort and pool holiday for once and head to Borneo, you’ll love it.
P.S David from Malaysia Tourism, thanks for being a fantastic guide and Ikhwan, if you’re reading this, thanks for an awesome week bro, really appreciate it.