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Damai Beach Resort

June 27th, 2016 · Nobody Surrendered

Damai Beach Resort is one of the resorts you can find at Damai, Santubong.

Situated along the sandy beach of Teluk Bandung, facing the breathtaking South China Sea (on the northwest coast of Borneo) nestled Damai Beach Resort, a self-contained haven residing on a 90 acres of sea frontage, clad among the world’s oldest tropical rainforest by the slope of the legendary and majestic Mount Santubong, a mere 40-minutes drive from Kuching City, the capital of Sarawak and 50-minute drive from Kuching International Airport

I stayed in the hilltop seaview deluxe room. That’s the accommodation on the hill I stayed.

They have different types of rooms to choose from. From those down at the beach to those on top of the hill. Rooms are spacious!

To go to the hilltop, they have vans going up and down the hills to pick up and drop off guests staying on the hilltop to the lobby/main byuilding. It’s a bit inconvenient but you get better privacy. No big deal for me.

Here’s the room I stayed. Very spacious and the bed was huge. Can sleep 3 people hahaha…

The bathroom too.

This resort has a spa on the hilltop. I tried the hair spa. It was relaxing with an awesome view of the South China Sea. Hair felt so soft, smelt so nice, and head was not as heavy after that. However, the staff who attended to me might need a bit more training in terms of skills, that would make her even better.

Left: The view from my room. There’s a balcony.
Right: The view of Baruk Suite.

Left: No worries about have to go all the way down for the pool. There’s a pool at the hilltop as well.
Right: View from the pool area.

Here’s the pool at the main building.

Guess who visited us at our balcony? Two iguanas! So cute! They were looking at each other. I wonder were they different gender hehe… Therefore, be sure to keep your balcony door close if you don’t want any visitors from the wild to accompany you in your room.

Finally the view of the beach. Do not expect beach with just sand. Our beach here is rocky. It might not be your typical beautiful sandy white beach but it is still beautiful in its own way. It’s unique!

Overall, the stay was not a bad one. The room might be a bit dated but it is clean enough.

Categories: Going Places · Uniquely Kuching

Bako National Park

June 19th, 2016 · Nobody Surrendered

Bako National Park is no stranger to everyone in Sarawak. I’ve never step foot here prior to this. It’s indeed one experience to remember.

Source from SarawakForestry.com

Gazetted in 1957, Bako is Sarawak’s oldest national park, covering an area of 2,727 hectares at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula. It is one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting, as it contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. The well-maintained network of nature trails – from easy forest strolls to full-day jungle treks – allows visitors to get the most out of this unique environment.

We went there in the morning. You have to take a boat there. We took the boat from the jetty. No sure how much the cost of the boat ride though. However, you can get more details and tough estimations of the cost you’ll need from this link: http://wikitravel.org/en/Bako_National_Park

It was a less than 20 minutes ride. Along the way, you can see locals fishermen catching sea produce and all sort of creations by mother nature. The other group on the other boat managed to spot a crocodile. The boat will slow down when there there are small fishing boats approaching.

Heading out to the mouth of the river.

You’ll see lots of rock formations and vegetation while on the boat.

There, there… The iconic landmark of Bako, the sea stack.

Going nearer to see it up-close. If you don’t see this, your trip to Bako is not complete for sure. I have a photo taken with it too hehehe… Forgot to include the photo in this post. If you are interested to have a look, here’s the link to my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/BFq7sW6GoEw).

Can you see Mt. Santubong? How majestic is that? We reached the island, as it’s low-tide, we had to take off our shoes. Once we arrived, the guide told us there’s monkeys around. So we went to have a look. Well… My old camera couldn’t take good photo of it. It’s getting old… See the monkey? Can’t remember the name of this monkey, could be the Long-tailed macaques aka silvered langurs aka leaf-monkeys. The tail is long alright hahah…

Welcome! We were greeted by Bornean bearded pig. First time seeing it right in front of me. When you’re there, be sure not to make noise, do not provoke, do not touch, and do not feed the animal, and keep your belonging close to you at all times. You’ll know why later in this post.

It was such a hot day. There’s one place with air-con that you might want to rest in hahaha… The information centre where you could also learn about Bako.

After that, we started our trekking. There’s accommodations available for staying overnight here. The road leading to the beach…

On the way to a short trek. I think it’s the Tanjung Sapi Trail.

Bako has “25 distinct types of vegetation form seven complete eco-systems – Beach Vegetation, Cliff Vegetation, Kerangas or Heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest.” Source: SarawakForestry.com

I’ll just let the photos do the talking…

We didn’t come across the proboscis monkeys. You are lucky if you get to see one. According to the guide, they are sleeping during that time of the day because it is hot. Oh yes… Monkeys also need to have a siesta. It’s not a very hard trail, we even met some parents who brought their toddlers on the trail too. Just one thing is that the humidity was really high and would make you sweat buckets! Make sure you bring enough water with you. After the trekking, lunch awaited us at the park’s canteen. Man… Was so hungry indeed!

After we finished lunch, suddenly a bunch of silvered langurs came out. Lo and behold! It grabbed whatever that were on the table. Looks cute but don’t try to fool around with it. Photos not by me obviously. It’s from the photographer of our group.

After lunch and rest, we went back to the mainland. Almost reaching the jetty, there were boats filled with jellyfish. You definitely not seeing this everyday if you don’t live here. These jellyfish will be processed and export to country like Japan.

It was quite a fun and eyeopening trip. You should go there at least once in your lifetime. This is coming from someone who doesn’t like outdoor activities, that’s me!

Categories: Going Places · Uniquely Kuching

Ramadan Buffet 2016 – Merdeka Palace

June 12th, 2016 · 2 surrendered

It’s that time of the year again. Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites is having their annual Ramadan Buffet Dinner. Was there to try it out on the first day. Pardon the bad photos, my camera’s battery decided to die on me when I wanted to take the first photo so had to use my phone instead.

There are more than 120 varieties of food on offer. Not too big, not too small. Just nice.

This year’s theme is Arabian. They have added new choices of food in the menu too. Dimsum is one of them.

Lok-lok and pizza. The pizza is the exact same pizza you’ll get from their Italian restaurant, Ristorante Beccari. Love the pizza, one of my favourites.

This year, you don’t only get roti john, you’ll also find shawarma, and mini burger. Another new addition is the cucur station where you can find banana, prawn, and vegetable fritters.

The whole roasted lamb of Merdeka Palace never failed me. Another favourite of mine. Meanwhile, I was craving for satay as well, so satay was another must-go for me hahah…

Wide selections of salad with many types of dressings and appetizers to choose from also. Umai of Merdeka Palace is a must-have.

Sarawak Laksa should not be missed. There’s also pasta station but I forgot to take photos of it duh… Not to forget the hot dishes such as rendang, curry, mixed vegetables, and so on.

Oh ya! Another new addition, Beriani Gam (no photos), a dish from Johor, serving for the first time in Merdeka Palace.

I didn’t get to try every single one of the food there, it’s just too much. I just went for my favourites. Hehehe… That’s all ate and some appetizers such as umai and ulam-ulaman. Don’t have the capacity to eat that much anymore. I need few sessions to try everything -.-”

Let’s just say, there’s great improvement this year. The price is still not so bad if compare to other places. You can even opt for the Ramadan Buffet in Aurora Court, the coffee house of the hotel, which will have all the food in Balai Merdeka minus the roasted lamb.

Ramadan Buffet Dinner is priced at RM86nett/adult at Balai Merdeka (6th June – 5th July) or RM76nett/adult at Aurora Court (13th June – 5th July).

For reservation or more information, please call 082 – 258 000 ext 8061(Aurora Court) / 8054(F&B Department)

Categories: Food Porn

Kayaking at Semadang River

June 4th, 2016 · Nobody Surrendered

Kayaking… Years back, friends kept asking me to go with them but I rejected them every single time. Now… I have no choice but to participate in it. After dating the Orangutan at Semenggoh, we went to Kampung Bengoh at Padawan area for river kayaking.

We started the journey at Kampung Bengoh. Briefing was done to make sure we know the basics, what we should do and not do. It’s a 11km journey which took about 4-5 hours to complete with pit stops of course.

Getting ready to start…

It was a really hot day. Good thing there’s rain the day before so the river flowed better and didn’t need much energy. Well… Still requires energy, just not as hard, we just let the river did the job while enjoying the work of mother’s nature. There’s some small rapids too.

Our first pit stop was a mini waterfall (Aruang Pi’ at Trusan Mini Waterfall). Need a great deal of balancing for me to walk in as I’m very bad in balancing. What’s more, I was just wearing flip flops which is not recommended. It’s better to wear aqua shoes or water shoes. The rocks are slippery. It was great to dip into the water after kayaking under the hot sun.

After that, we continued on to Kampung Danu for lunch and rest. You can go around the kampung to experience the surrounding before continuing with the journey.

Along the river, the view changed from greens to lots of limestone formation along the way. It’s so pretty! Just too bad, I don’t have the photos. All the photos in this post are not taken by me. You can google it by keying in “Semadang kayak”.

We had a final stop at a sandy bank (I think it’s called Sibudak) for a rest and swim if you like before continuing the journey to the pit stop at Kampung Semadang.

It was a really good experience and eye opener even for a local like me. I did suffer bites from sand flies because we stopped too long at the riverbank for vine climbing activity. I would suggest not to stop here unless you would like to climb the vine. Was tanned by the sun too which is unavoidable but it’s nothing major.

Did suffer from shoulder and arm soreness that evening. However, after taking paracetamol, I woke up feeling no pain or soreness the next morning. I’m quite surprised since I’m not a person who do outdoor activities or even exercise. Hence, I guess anyone with no serious illness can do it without much problem. You’ll be taken care by experienced guides too. The river is quite safe, it’s not too deep and you have life jacket also. Great for beginners too.

Last but not least, be sure to apply sunscreen and insect repellent. Cap is very important. Wear something light with long sleeves to cover your arm if can. If you have swim tights would be great too. Sunglasses isn’t recommended unless you can secure it well enough from falling off. Don’t forget about towel and dry clothes for change after kayaking.

Will I go again? Depending on my mood hahaha… I’m not an outdoor person, that explains why. Still I would recommend it to anyone who are interested to try. It’s a good one.

Categories: Going Places · Uniquely Kuching

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

May 28th, 2016 · Nobody Surrendered

Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is where you can see semi-wild Orangutans and their babies roaming around the place freely. No cage at all. It’s located at Padawan area. Feeding time is between 9-10am and 3-3.30pm.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve visited this place. I think once or twice during primary and secondary school. Anyway, that was decades ago hehehe… Due to work, I have the chance to visit this place again last weekend. Can’t really recall much of the place except the one of the orangutan called Ritchie. So this recent trip can be considered a totally new experience for me.

We were lukcy that day to see 3 Orangutans. These photos were taken by one of the team members. My camera is just too hopeless to zoom this far.

How to get here? You can take the green CPL bus number K6, it will go all the way to the centre. Otherwise you can just drive there or hire taxi. From Kuching without heavy jam, it should take less than an hour to reach.

It’s an interesting place to go if you would like to see Orangutan without the cage. However, there is no guarantee to see one if you’re there. It’s all pure luck. If you can see one, you’re pretty lucky. Even the guide who went with us, the most he had came across was 5 Orangutans at one time.

Hmmm… I foresee that I might be coming to this place quite often from now on hahaha… We’ll see…

Categories: Going Places · Uniquely Kuching