Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 5: Sibu - Kuching

Our trip was coming to an end. It was our final morning to be in Sibu. We were to take our morning flight back to Kuching and then from Kuching, to take an evening flight back to Penang.

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Knowing that I would be away for a long time until I go back for Chinese New Year, my dad wanted to have breakfast with us. However, due to having breakfast that morning, we were rushing for our flight. Funny how all of us worked together as a team – who went to get the luggage, who went to get the trolley, who went to the check-in counter first and all. No worries. We made it in time, of course.

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In Kuching, we went back to the food court we went on the first day in Kuching. We had Sarawak Laksa and gongpia for the last time. Awww, I feel like having them both now!

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Knowing I will not have gongpia when I am back in Penang, trust me, I had loads of gongpia that morning. Damn! I am so going to have gongpia when I go back to Sibu.

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Before we took our leave, we went to China Town to buy some food and snacks back as souvenir. Kuching does not have much but it has loads of nice snacks and food. We raided a shop and came out with bags of plastic bags.

It was indeed a memorable trip. I really had fun with them and I believe, now that we had travelled together, our bond is definitely stronger and tougher.  Since David is planning for a trip in Sabah, let’s all do it together again!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 4: Sibu

What did we do in Sibu for the whole day?

We ate and ate and ate non-stop. Trust me, we did. The friends joined my family and I for breakfast that morning.

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We ate original kampua for breakfast.

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We ate tomato koay tiaw for breakfast.

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We ate soy sauced kampua for breakfast.

We did not stop there though. After sending my family back, I brought the friends out for second round – to one of my favourite places since I was younger.

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We had fried noodles and fried noodles soup. Both also my favourite dishes. If I am not wrong, they preferred fried noodles, saying that the yellow noodles in Sarawak are so much different compared to the ones in Penang. I guess they are and that is why I do not fancy fried noodles here at all.

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When we returned home, my grandmother prepared home cooked for lunch. Of course I sat down and had lunch. I do not have home cooked meals in Penang, alright? So I just had to eat as much as I can when I am at home.

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We went out for food hunting again after we had our rest. I brought them to the famous dian bian hu. It is something we cannot find in Penang as well.

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Since I know most of them visit temples, I brought them to Sibu’s oldest temple, Tua Peh Kong.

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Took some photos at Pintu Gerbang Sibu before I sent my auntie back home and then came out by ourselves again.

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I went back to my primary school and wow, though many years had passed and the school had moved to a new place, the building is still there and I heard a familiar voice. I walked towards where the voice came from and guess who I met?

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I kindergarten school teacher! I was 5 years old when she taught me. She taught my older brother too. Then she was my tuition teacher when I was 7 and 8. She did not change at all, still looking the same apart from having shorter hair.

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Later, I brought the friends to the park by the Rejang River before we ended the day with the last visit at the night market. I guess they were pretty hooked up with the night market here. It was my very first time to be at night market after I left home for so many years. Crazy, huh?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 3: Sibu

It was finally the day to go back Sibu. It was an early flight and boy was I glad that we caught our flight. It was about 30 minutes’ flight and therefore, before the friends could settle down in the aircraft, landing announcement was made.

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We were picked up by my parents and baby brother. We went straight to Kanowit because I wanted to visit my maternal grandparents there. I informed the friends earlier and they did not mind following me wherever I had to go. Well, they had no choice but to follow me though.

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Once we reached our destination, the first thing to do was to eat! I was so hungry and I had to eat! We went to the regular restaurant to have kampua. Trust me, that restaurant has the best kampua in town after my maternal grandparents stopped selling kampua.

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We then went for a second round at another restaurant that we frequent. There we had iced kacang, pangngan with kaya jam and also toast.

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Okay, we never stopped eating because when we finally got to my maternal grandparents’ home, my grandmother was already preparing lunch for us. I missed home cooked food so, that was the first home cooked food I had ever since I returned. My friends love it too!

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When we finally left Kanowit and back to Sibu, my paternal grandparents had already arranged a dinner to welcome us. Yes, we never stopped eating. That is the beauty of coming back. I always eat non-stop when I am back home. I never went hungry. Not even the slightest chance.

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And finally I could introduce the friends milin, one of my top favourites. I do not get to see this in Penang. However, you still can get it in Kuala Lumpur though. I remember I had it in Taman Connaught. I wonder if the restaurant is still there.

After dinner, I brought the friends to night market and Sibu’s shopping mall, Sanyan Tower. Some of the ladies fell in love with apom balik sold there. It is quite different that what you can get in Penang. As for the shopping mall, it certainly cannot be compared to the ones that we have in Penang.

First day had been a satisfactory one. Let’s see how it went for the next day in my next post.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 2: Kuching

Second day just came like that. My brother had already left Kuching. He went back to Sibu one day earlier than me. Therefore, we would be seeing each other again very soon.

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That morning, I wanted to bring the kids to taste one of my favourite dish – chao zhu mian. Unfortunately the stall was not opened. Yes, I was disheartened. Then we had second round at Top 10 Food Court – I wanted them to try different dishes. 

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Since I was to meet my aunt and uncle for lunch, we went to a shopping mall nearby – The Spring. The kids were really happy to be in the shopping mall. It was like Penang does not have a shopping mall.

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We kick-started our adventure in Kuching after lunch. We went to the museums first. There were a few other museums in one place. At least they got to learn something about Sarawak. Photography is not allowed though.

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As we were driving towards the museum, we passed by a huge town square and in the middle of the field, there stood a huge tree. We had already marked that place for some photography. When we were there, we were excited to find out that it is a silk-cotton tree. There were cottons everywhere!

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I drove them further up to Cat Museum. It was not as good as I used to think. The place was warm, it was like they were saving up the electricity. Some of them bought souvenirs so, I guess it was not that bad?

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We went back to the town area after we came down from Cat Museum. We walked along Carpenter Street to hunt for food. We had kuay chiap and since I was not feeling that well, we did not stay for long. We did not waste our night in the hostel. Instead, we went to City One Megamall, a new mall that was recently opened. We walked around for a bit.

I was not feeling well that I vomited a few times. Fortunately they are a bunch of caring friends – when I was still inside the toilet, Timi went to get a drinking water for me while Muhau and Teany went to look for a pharmacy for me. I am so glad to have traveled with them. Really appreciated their good intention.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 1: Kuching

It was supposed to be an usual annual trip back home to visit my family members. However, it was not the same for this year. I went back with 5 friends of mine. We booked the flight tickets together last year during Air Asia’s promotion. It was not the first time for me to bring my friends back though. The last time I did that was back in 2005. Never would I imagine to be doing the same after 9 years. The only difference was my friends went to Sibu with me too.

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My baby brother was already in Kuching. Therefore, he went to the airport to welcome us. Since my parents had moved back to Sibu, we neither have accommodation nor transportation. Therefore, we booked a few rooms at a hostel as well as rented a car from my mother’s friend.

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The first thing that we had was Sarawak Laksa. Initially I was a bit worried that they did not like it since Penang was famous with its own Asam Laksa. Fortunately they love it. And now they are missing it. I also ordered gongpia for them to try. Mostly I wanted it but yeah, I wanted to have a taste what gongpia is. I go crazy over it because it is one of my favourite dishes back home.

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After we had filled up our stomach with food, we decided to go for some adventure. I wanted to bring them to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre but it was still closed when we reached the place. Therefore, we decided to explore the nearest longhouse.

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It was my very first experience to walk on a real longhouse. It was far different from the ones in Sarawak Cultural Village. Of course they no longer use the traditional stairway. Most of the things are modernised.

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When it was almost two in the afternoon, we went back to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre to witness some real orang utan. We had to wait for about one hour or more for the feeding period. Fortunately we managed to see a pair of mother and baby orang utan. At least worth the sweat. One of out friends even went to the point of taking off his shirt. The horror.

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After a long, tiring afternoon, we resumed our food hunting at night. My baby brother brought to us a place that is famous for its kolo mee, For your information, I am not a kolo mee fan but thanks to this stall, I like kolo mee. Of course if, only if, kolo mee was bought from them.

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We continued second round of food hunting nearby where I brought them to taste my top dish, char koay teow tomato. Yes, it sounds weird but it is really good. Not all stalls that sell char koay teow tomato are good. For this, the taste of the tomato was not strong enough.

We ended our first day quite early because we would have a longer day the next day. Stay tuned!