Sarawak Electives: Part 1 (Food & Travelling)

Heading back to Hong Kong this coming Sunday. Class starts on Monday but I haven’t had the heart to decipher my new Surgery rotation timetable yet >< Why oh why.

I know if i don’t write this post in these few days, I will never ever get it done. But my electives to Sarawak is definitely worth reflecting upon and (hopefully) it will be useful to others out there planning to come to Southeast Asia for their electives!

Basically 4 of us classmates went together; Charlene from Sibu, Malaysia, while Florence and Judy from Hong Kong. Charlene and I were mainly out to see the working environment back in Malaysia and also some diseases that we would not/rarely see in Hong Kong. My HK friends were also interested to tour around the country.

We spent 3 weeks in Kuching (the capital city of Sarawak) and 1 week in Bintulu. We stopped by Miri over the weekend before we started our attachment in Bintulu Hospital. The pic below shows the map of Sarawak; it’s the largest state in the country and is located in East Malaysia.

Our trip was coordinated by Dr Wong Jin Shyan, who was previously working in Sarawak General and currently in Bintulu Hospital (but is moving back to SGH this coming Sept). He helped us a lot in our application, provided a place to stay for us in Bintulu and also letting us follow his ward rounds in the medical ward in Bintulu Hospital.

Travelling in Sarawak:

DSCN0471I realised that bringing overseas friends to Malaysia gave me an opportunity to utilise stuff I learned about Malaysian history back in my schooling days. James Brooke rang a bell; he had something to do with Sarawak but that’s all that I remember. dang. This photo was taken during our boat cruise along Sarawak River. The sunset was spectacular.

DSCN0528Bako! wonderful place for hikers.

DSCN0548The wild pig grew fond of mine and Judy’s trousers so we left the park with a muddy kiss on our legs xd (p.s. we took the trail T. Paku as you can see on the signboard)

DSCN0576we chose the shortest trail that took us 1.5 hours to get there; but it was only 0.8km! But it wasn’t an easy one given the steep and narrow trails and we were busy taking pictures all along the way. saw some of Sarawak’s famous proboscis monkeys but they were too high up in the trees it was hard to get a good shot of them.

DSCN0628there was a beach at the end of the trail Teluk Paku; teluk literally means gulf so it wasn’t a clear full view of the sea; but nice nevertheless. we didn’t manage to see the famous sea stacks though; to see that we would’ve had to take another trail that was 1.5 hours long/take a 35 ringgit boat to get there.

DSCN0703Semenggoh Wildlife Park where we saw around 6 orang utans. not really that worth it compared to the national parks (and maybe cause I have seen orangutans before xd)

DSCN0750Beach Republic in Miri. Thanks to Zhen Yu who took the effort to drive us all the way from Bintulu to Miri!

DSCN0812Our main purpose of going to Miri was actually to go Niah National Park. To see Gua Niah (niah caves) that was in our history textbooks about the earliest Stone Age settlers in Malaysia.

DSCN0923Unfortunately the painted caves (where we could see prehistoric carvings on the wall) was closed so we could only go to The Great Cave. which was already breathtaking by itself; my first time entering a cave; we bought headlights for 5 ringgit each at Supersave (a popular mart in Sarawak) and it served us well!

DSCN0953Charlene’s aunt took us to the beach at Bintulu. it’s funny how we went to three beaches in Sarawak but each having a totally different sunset =)

The gastronomic part:

2013-06-03 19.16.59Kueh chap. (果什)Basically kuey teow noodles + eggs + some pig innards. tasted pretty good (but i’m not a fan of internal organs sorry)

2013-06-03 19.21.08roti kahwin; (kahwin literally means marry; roti means bread) we have it in West Malaysia as well; ours just goes under the name of roti bakar. (bakar=toasted) Bread with kaya and butter dressing.

2013-06-08 14.04.11We also tried some local Iban food in a restaurant called D’yak. It’s just opposite The Spring, one of the major shopping malls in Kuching. the food was good but forgot what we ordered xd

2013-06-08 14.04.42 2013-06-08 14.21.06This was their local wine i think. i have no idea how to comment on wines but it tasted a bit like plum wine to me and it wasn’t very strong. anyway i liked it =)

2013-06-29 08.43.24Sarawak laksa. Looked for it high and low and only managed to eat this twice throughout the month cause it would usually be sold out during lunch hours. but not as good as our penang asam laksa i think. maybe i’m just not eating at the right places

DSCN0682A popular place for seafood in Kuching would be Topspot. Apparently they say seafood is cheaper and more fresh here but i’m not a very money savvy kind of person so i cant tell @@ but i find pandamaran klang seafood better hee =)

DSCN0680prawn with cornflakes topping or something like that.

DSCN0512I realised I have never really tried much foochow food! this is fried pai guo gan (炒白果干)which tastes similar to char koay teow except that they use a different kind of noodle. had it in the food court in The Spring.

DSCN0503There are lots of SCR Singapore Chicken Rice restaurants here in Sarawak; i have no idea why. But their chicken rice is good!

2013-06-03 10.59.24Kolo Mee, another Sarawak delicacy. Tastes similar to wan tan mee but using maggi mee-type noodles.

2013-06-20 20.27.43Had some Indian food too. Here is some Naan from Tandoori Palace located in Kuching Town. The curry was good =)

2013-06-25 19.30.41Roti tisu in The Banana Leaf Restaurant in Bintulu. Tastes sweet and crispy =)

To be continued in part 2!