Trip Report - January 2013
03/01/2013 - 09/01/2013
Let me firstly say thanks to everyone for the information you post on this forum. This report reflects my opinions, views and feelings only.
Husband, son (now 12) and I travel to Asian destinations about 4 times per year, so we have travelled extensively and frequently to places like KL, Bali, Phuket, Singapore, we have also been to KK, and Penang several times. We like to walk, look and shop (more window than actual buying), and we can spend days and days just doing this. We also like to find interesting and fun things to do with our son.
So we decided we wanted to see and experience something different this trip and after reading many reports on this site decided to book to go to Kuching.
Flew with Airasia to Kuching (as always, very happy with flights and service). We had just spent several days in Singapore and then cruised on the Superstar Virgo to Penang, Phuket and then back to Singapore.
Arrived in Kuching on time (about 8pm) and purchased taxi coupon to take us to our hotel, Grand Continental. I think the coupon was around 26Rm.
I had booked a family room in Grand Continental. Room was huge and had both a king and single bed. Very clean, neat and comfortable. Staff were friendly and helpful, very happy with hotel choice. Breakfast buffet was included and while not a large spread, was suitable variety and quite tasty.
First morning (it was raining and quite humid) we went walking to see what was around. We were eager to have a look at what shopping was available. We left the hotel at around 11am, so I thought most shops/stores would be open. Walked over to the Hills, which is quite close to our hotel. Not much open on the way, a laundry, a chemist, and old/run down shop selling tapestry - just about everything else closed or boarded up. Very disappointing.
Proceeded to walk to Plaza Merdeeka, Sarawak Plaza, waterfront, walked along the river - couldn't get over how "grotty" everything seemed. Don't get me wrong, we have been to Bali about 30 times, so have seen and smelt grotty, but we were seriously surprised.
Got a taxi to The Spring, which is really big and very nice, took us about an hour to wander around. Walked across the pedestrian bridge to another shopping area (very new) but only a couple of shops open.
Walked back to The Spring to get a taxi to take us to The Carvery restaurant. There is a row of taxis just beside The Spring waiting to take you wherever you want to go, however, none of the drivers really knew where I was talking about and I had to give directions to the one who finally agreed to take us. Cost 20Rm.
The Carvery - a real highlight for us. The restaurant and staff were excellent and my meat eating hubby rated this as an amazing feed. There are 14 meat "courses" that are brought out one at a time and carved onto your plate. First up was the roasted lamb shoulder and hubby was happy to have two helpings, however, he wasn't aware that there were 13 more meats to come. One-by-one, out came the meat, carved onto our plates. Hubby didn't even make it all the way through. We loved this restaurant!!
Walked back to our hotel, and on the way only saw some small food stalls and a 7/11 open - it was quite dark and everything else was shut and it was only about 8.30pm. We usually like to have a wander and a shop after dinner but there was nothing to see.
Got back to our hotel and hubby and I say to each other "how the heck are we going to fill in 5 more days here?" Son says "why don't we just go back to KL?" So that's what we did, booked flights for the next evening to take us back to KL.
Next morning - raining again, so hubby and I decided to go for a foot reflexology. Big mistake on my part because even after I asked for a more tender massage, I still have some bruising on my feet and ankles - hubby loved it and it cost us 40Mr/hour each. Again, had a walk around and not much open to speak of, didn't see any buses either even though there was a bus stop right next to our hotel.
So, we stayed 2 nights in Kuching - it just wasn't for us. I know a holiday destination is what you make of it, but for us it didn't tick any of our boxes. The shopping was severely lacking, however, if you just want to laze around in your hotel or by the pool, Kuching could work for you. Let me also say that the people of Kuching were just so lovely and friendly to us.
We are very happy that we have been to Kuching (although we may not have experienced any where near what it has to offer) and are also happy with the decision we made to leave after just a few days.
Overall, these comments and opinions are mine and mine alone, please don't take what I am saying as anything other than that - I know many people love Kuching which is what makes travelling such a wonderful experience.