Kuching Day 14 & 15: Kuching Tour + Kenyalang

Kuching Day 14 was the day after the wedding. Everyone was tired but buzzing from the excitement of the wedding. This unfortunately, was also the day that Jason started falling really ill.

After a really late night out celebrating with the boys, I was surprised that we could crawl out of bed to have breakfast at Chong Choon cafe.

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Brio and Calv had done their research before coming to Kuching and were hankering for the famous giant teh c pengs in Chong Choon that I didn’t even know about *hang foodie head in shame*. I don’t even know how they managed to finish that giant class.

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After a good breakfast of laksa and kolo mee, we rushed to Hilton to meet up with the rest of the tour group for our Kuching tour! Yes, my mother had organised for a 25 seater bus to bring the Singaporean relatives and my friends around Kuching. It was quite fun even for us Kuching-nites. We visited the cat museum, Sarawak musuem etc. But the best was probably the sampan ride across the river.

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It’s been a while since I’ve had a sampan ride, I think the last time was when I was a teenager. Nowadays the sampans are very high tech and come with engines. The Sarawak river however, is still brown and murky. It was actually really nice being in a rickety sampan laughing and joking with good friends and family.

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It was a hot day in Kuching and all this traipsing around mesuems etc. wasn’t actually cooling. So we stopped for afternoon tea or should I say afternoon ice kachangs at the famous stalls behind Chung Hua Primary School No.3.

I must admit the location wasn’t my first choice because we always prefer the ice stalls at Song Kheng Hai which unfortunately wasn’t open due to Chinese New Year. Still, Gillian and the others enjoyed their ice kachangs very much.

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Calvin has his first taste of Sarawak belachan beehoon a.k.a. ‘it tastes like the bottom of the sea’ as dubbed by Andy my brother-in-law. This dish is of course an acquired taste but a firm favourite for many Sarawakians. I know Brio didn’t like this, but everyone else seemed to like it.

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I don’t know why ice kachangs, belachan beehoon and rojaks are always eaten together or sold in stalls next to each other. Maybe it’s a typical Kuching afternoon tea fare. Our rojak (I think you could  call it a mixed salad of some sort) was a special because it had cuttlefish in it, yums.

I remember Day 14 ended with a trip to the airport to send off my Singaporean relatives and my brother Darren. Jo started the waterworks and the women in the family were all teary eyed when we farewelled my brother who is off to start his career in US. One of the reasons why this holiday was so memorable was because of all the time that I got to spend with my brother. I will remember the funny conversations that we had, him teasing my mum, us teasing him about his harem of girls, listening to his music in the car while waiting for him to order road side burgers for us, teaching him how to cook even though he fell asleep halfway! Aaah,  it was a wonderful summer holiday and I really miss him.

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Day 15 was quiet and a little sad because everyone was leaving or had left. It was the last night in Kuching for Brio, Calv and Cheng. Perhaps it was the perfect day to visit my favourite Kenyalang, with the festive Chinese New Year market over, the normal sleepy Kenyalang of my childhood returned.

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Most people visit Kenyalang nowadays to buy pirated dvds/cds. I still remember when we were young, we visited Kenyalang almost everyday because we hired TVB/Singaporean drama video tapes from the video store. Everyday we would bring in the tape that we had watched the night before to exchange it for a new episode of TVB drama. This was a huge part of my childhood, watching dramas with my parents in their bedroom.

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These little shops have been around in Kenyalang forever. Sin Kui Seng sells all sorts of knick knacks, from junk food to kites to electric fly killing bats (I bought this!). I can’t remember whether my father ever cut his hair in this barber shop, I’m sure he would have at least once, but I remember his regular barber shop was another shop in Kenyalang. I wonder whether he still gets his haircut in Kenyalang nowadays. I’m guessing the answer is yes. It’s so nice that some things never change.

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Speaking of things that never change, I was so upset when many years ago, the icecream stall of my childhood ‘Moonlight’ moved away from Kenyalang. Whenever we had our daily stops in Kenyalang, my ah pa would sometimes give us $1 each to buy pandan icecream with chocolate sprinkles from Moonlight, we always had an extra $1 to get one for him as well. My ah pa still loves soft serve icecreams to this day, and so do I.

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Guess what?! Moonlight moved back to Kenyalang!

I was so excited when I discovered this a week ago, and swore to return to try the pandan icecream again. So I did! It was manned by the same husband and wife!! And the icecreams still cost $1 haha.

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I bought a pandan icecream for all of us. It was still wonderful and a blast from the past. I must tell my ah pa about this so that he can come and get some for himself in the future. I’m so happy that Moonlight is back in Kenyalang.

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At night it was time for my birthday gathering. All my close friends came and there was lots and lots of food. We spent the night chatting, playing cards, eating, drinking and eating some more. The core bunch Jaso, Gill, Cheng and co. insisted on waiting till midnight so they could wish me happy birthday. My ah pa waited with them too. I felt especially bad for Jaso who was feeling so sick.

But midnight came and they all wished me happy birthday. Thank you for being there and waiting till the stroke of midnight dear people. I was very touched and happy.

It’s a bit scary turning older each year and thinking of all the dreams that I have yet to achieve, but I know I’m really lucky, because I will have the love and support of my wonderful family and friends supporting me all the way. I reckon, it will be pretty great growing old with you guys (^___^).


2 Responses to “Kuching Day 14 & 15: Kuching Tour + Kenyalang”

  1. 1 slappedbygunk February 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Ooh giant teh c peng! Was it good? As good as Sien Ching koh koh’s?

    Haha bottom of the sea.

    Kenyalang looks so lonely in that pic!

    Did you guys play cranium? so many friends round, you could have played cranium.

    • 2 daitaoha February 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      i didn’t find it that special leh, I guess it’s more the size than anything. It was really huge.
      Darren and his friends found Cranium really hard, so I didn’t even try.. I wonder whether they have a HK version

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