My family went for a vacation in Kuching, East Malaysia last week. Kuching (nicknamed the cat city) is the city of Sarawak. Kuching has a population about 600,000, one third chinese, one third malays and the rest ibans and other ethnic groups. Main religions are Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism and Islam. The city is considered one of the cleanest cities in Malaysia and was voted as one of the world's healthiest cities, recognised and awarded by UN and WHO.
It was my family's 1st visit to Kuching and I am really impressed with the level of cleanliness and design of the city. It has an eclectic mix of old and new architecture with excellent outdoor adventures like hiking, longhouse visits and river rafting all easily available when you make Kuching your base. The "faerie cave" in pix 3 (click for larger view) was one of my cave visits one afternoon. It is breathtaking and beautiful. Shopping is another must do in Kuching. You can literally spend all your money in the many new malls and outdoor bazaars (I recommend Main Bazaar). I got myself a few traditional fishing cages (which I intend to make into decorative lamps) and also some wooden carvings and local textiles as souvenirs.
Whenever I am overseas, I will now try to locate and buy chinese tea. I found only one eating place that serve chinese tea. This was Life Cafe off Ewe Hai Street. Located in a renovated prewar shophouse, this cafe provided a nice stop for lunch. They had some pu erh for sale and I bought a 2005 raw Menghai Dayi 7542 cake for US$18.