Kuching Day 6: Chong Choon kopitiam & Kenyalang CNY market

Can’t believe a third of my holiday is almost over! I know lots of friends have started flying out to Malaysia for the start of their CNY holidays. Soon they’ll be in Kuching and we’ll be catching up again 🙂

chong choon

Day 6 breakfast was at the popular Chong Choon kopitiam which is another old establishment in town. So popular that we had to wait around for seats, this doesn’t happen that often in Kuching.


I didn’t feel like having a big breakfast so opted for my usual kopi and kaya toast with half boiled egg. The half boiled egg was more like full boiled egg so that was a fail. The kaya toast was nice though, I liked the thick toast which was slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Spread with a thick layer of kaya and butter, yums.


My mum had some cheese toast, hehe, very different from the western style grilled cheese sandwich, but it looked tasty all the same.


I’m told that Chong Choon is well known for their laksa and sure enough, lots of people were having laksa for breakfast. Taste wise I couldn’t really discern any particular difference from the normal laksa, I’m not saying it wasn’t good, it was pretty good laksa, but I couldn’t find anything special about it.

jo and pa

I couldn’t resist taking a snap of Jo and Pa. It goes to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re getting married or have left the nest, you always need your ah pa to hold your hand when you’re crossing a busy road.

At night, Jo and I went Chinese New Year decoration shopping at the one and only Kenyalang CNY market where everyone is selling Chinese New Year goodies ranging from sweets, tidbits, decorations to mandarins. This is an annual Chinese New Year ritual and a must go for all Kuching-nites.


These buckets of pickles, sour plums and dried fruits always make a roaring trade during Chinese New Year. For some reason we’ve always steered clear of these for our CNY shopping, instead opting for dry goods like biscuits or cakes. I guess they’re just too messy and sticky.


Can’t help noticing that it’s the year of the Dragon with dragon decorations everywhere. It’s pretty hard to make the superior dragon look cute, but I reckon they did pretty well with this soft toy!


We don’t hang lanterns around our house during Chinese New Year (my ah pa says it makes our house look like a temple) but every year my father will still buy two new lanterns to replace the ones hanging outside my grandparent’s house. Although my grandparents are now too old and frail to make it to the back of the house to see the lanterns, my father still insists on buying new lanterns for them every year because he wants to keep the old tradition alive.

My ah pa is the epitome of filialness and respect for elders. Yesterday HC told us that one of his relatives told him that they went on a tour to West Malaysia with our family when Jo and I were still kids. They remember my dad vividly because he was the nice guy that carried luggage for two old folks (who were also on the tour)  throughout the entire trip. Jo and I immediately answered ‘Yup, that’s my ah pa’. I hope that when I grow old (ok I know I already am)  I will be like him too :).

1 Response to “Kuching Day 6: Chong Choon kopitiam & Kenyalang CNY market”

  1. 1 slappedbygunk January 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    The char kueh at Chong Choon is alright. That’s what I ate last time when I didn’t want laksa. I’m really off laksa now that I’ve been making it myself.

    I think we don’t buy dried fruits etc from those buckets more from a hygiene standpoint right? Imagine how many people have sneezed/ talked over that stuff! Eurgh.

    Oh what a nice story re HC’s relatives remembering Ah Pa.

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January 2012
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