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First Cruise Ship Of The Year Arrives In Kuching

First Cruise Ship Of The Year Arrives In Kuching

KUCHING, Friday: The Cruise Ship ‘Star Legend’ of Windstar Cruise docked at Sim Kheng Hong Port on January 8 at 8.45am, making it the first cruise ship to berth in Kuching this year.

194 passengers, mostly from Europe and the United States, were greeted with a traditional garlanding as they disembarked to visit Bako National Park, Sarawak Cultural Village and experience a tour around the Cat City.

This was the maiden voyage by Windstar Cruises and is the first of nine cruises scheduled to berth at Sarawak’s harbours.

Kuching is expected to receive three additional ships this year as compared to the six cruise ships from last year.

Last year 1,964 passengers arrived in Sarawak, with the Silver Shadow, Insignia, L’Austral and Silver Shadow docking in Kuching and the Silver Shadow docking twice in Bintulu.

In 2016, nine ships carrying 3,782 passengers with the Nautica, Astor, Hamburg, Silver Shadow, Seven Seas Voyager, Seabourn Sojourn and Insignia docking in Kuching and Silver Shadow docking twice in Bintulu.

Ten ships with 3,646 passengers arrived in 2015 with the Seabourne docking in Kuching once, Insignia twice and Nat Geo Orion thrice in Kuching while the Silver Wind, Statendam, Silver Shadow and Europa 2 docked in Bintulu.

Arriving cruise ships positively affect local industries such as attraction caretakers, food, and beverage and service providers, receiving an injection of a few hundred additional customers in one day.

“The gradual increase in cruise ships arriving to Sarawak is encouraging, as passengers from these cruise ships are a boon to the Sarawak economy in the port cities, creating a spinoff in the service industry from their patronage,” stated Director of Events and Corporate Relations, Angelina Bateman.

Cruise Ship Garlanding

Passengers disembarking and being garlanded by cultural troupe.

Cruise Ship memento

STB Director of Events and Corporate Relations, Angelina Bateman presenting memento to Captain Neil Broomhall, with General Manager of Kuching Port Authority Robert Lau on the left.

 

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

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Teaspoon | 24-Hour Culinary Tour Around Kuching

Teaspoon | 24-Hour Culinary Tour Around Kuching

“Where to eat in Kuching?” might be the million-dollar question that leaves you stumped.

Here’s the list compiled by Teaspoon on to do list for 24-Hour Culinary Tour Around Kuching, just to help you out.

A HEARTY BREAKFAST @ SIN LIAN SHIN

Famous for their Kolo Mee, this bowl of thin, springy noodles tossed in fragrant lard and garnished with flavorful minced meat is definitely a favorite among us Kuching folks.  Besides the Kolo Mee, you can also order their thick and smooth skinned Kiaw for a more filling breakfast.

BREAKFAST Sin Lian Shin KOLO MEE

BREAKFAST Sin Lian Shin KIAW

BREAKFAST Sin Lian Shin (2)

BREAKFAST Sin Lian Shin

A PLEASING LUNCH/AFTERNOON TEA @ SONG KHENG HAI HAWKER CENTRE

One of the local delights you have to let your friends try is definitely the delicious and hot-out-of-the-wok Gong Pias from Rihga (Stall No.7), which is located at a corner around the back. They have 4 different kinds of fillings, Minced Meat (Original), Cheese, Garlic Ham. Come try out all the flavors!

LUNCH Song Kheng Hai RIHGA STALL GONG PIA

LUNCH Song Kheng Hai RIHGA STALL

Besides Gong Pias, Sio Bees and Rojak are also sold at Rihga. Their Rojak is one of the local favorites too. Crispy “Yu Char Kueh”, veggies, fruits and fresh boiled squids are mixed together with the savory prawn paste and garnished with finely chopped peanuts.

LUNCH Song Kheng Hai RIHGA STALL ROJAK

The next well-known stall would be Mao Zhong Drink Stall (Stall No.1) for their Sugarcane + Coconut drinks.  The sugarcane’s juice are freshly extracted from the plant and mixed together with coconut water and served with a generous amount of freshly scraped coconut meat.

SUGARCANE  COCONUT DRINK

LUNCH Song Kheng Hai MAO ZHONG DRINK STALL (2)

LUNCH Song Kheng Hai MAO ZHONG DRINK STALL

Another one of Kuchinglangs’ favorites would be a plate of savory and delicious Belacan Bee Hoon which you can find at Belacan Bee Hoon, Cuttle Fish Kang Kong Stall (Stall No.4).

LUNCH Song Kheng Hai BELACAN BEEHOON STALL BELACAN BEEHOON MAKING

TAKE A LEISURELY WALK @ KUCHING WATERFRONT

The waterfront is as long as 1km and this is undoubtedly the most happening place you can find in Kuching.

AFTERNOON WALK Waterfront

AFTERNOON WALK Waterfront (6)

HAVE AN AFTERNOON CUPPA @ BLACK BEAN COFFEE TEA CO.

Hidden away at the edge of Carpenter Street, Black Bean Coffee Tea Co. is definitely a must visit if you want a cup of coffee.

TEA TIME Black Bean Coffee  Tea Co. CAPPUCINO

A DELICIOUS DINNER @ HUI SING HAWKER CENTRE

Hui Sing Hawker Centre has remained one of the best in Kuching over the years and if you are after great tasting hawker food you can’t go wrong here.

DINNER SATAY

DINNER Hui Sing Hawker Centre HAP CHEN HIAN SATAY STALL SATAY MAKING (2)

DINNER CHAR KUEH TIEW

DINNER Hui Sing Hawker Centre JO TO METAHON

DINNER Hui Sing Hawker Centre

Have fun touring around the Cat City y’all!

More Delicious Kuching Foodie Info, only at Teaspoon.

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Taking a River Cruise At A Traditional Melanau Village in Sibu

Taking a River Cruise At A Traditional Melanau Village in Sibu

sibu-telian

Sibu is one of the main gateways for the central region of Sarawak, attracting locals from the surrounding areas. While he city serves as a massive trading ground for the surrounding interiors of Sarawak, I was actually quite amazed on how much culture Is found around here.

The city of Sibu is connected by flights and also using the traditional waterways using boats. In an experience I never thought I would do, I managed to catch a ferry from Kuching to Sibu, seeing how the coastal and river life still operates as if modernization ceased to exist.

sibu-telianCruising down the Telian River towards Mukah

From Kuching city, I boarded the ferry which takes almost five hours, stopping at various villages and towns along the way. This is also a common mode of transport for locals, and just to share with you that it also takes about the same time if you take a bus, only here you can relax and absorb the beautiful views.

Once in Sibu, I was introduced to a very laid back way of life in Sarawak, and visiting iconic places like the Sibu Heritage Center, Sibu Night Market and of course, the largest wet market in Malaysia, the Sibu Market. Soon after, I was on route to Lamin Dana, a traditional Melanau boutique guest house in the heartland of the Melanau people.

sibu-telian

A lone Melanau boatman going to work on his boat

Melanau People of the Telian River

It was here that I was exposed to the centuries old ways of the Melanau people. Lamin Dana is located by the Telian River or Tellian as some spell it, which is on the outskirts of Mukah, a coastal town in Sarawak.

The main Telian river runs from inland towards Mukah, and along the way, Melanau villages are built by the river here. Nearer to the coast, you will see more Melanau fishing villages and as you go upriver, you see a different type of Melanau village.

sibu-telian

Raw Sago trees cut into chunks floating in the Telian River

As I cruise down the river in a traditional Melanau wooden boat, complete with a small engine, I am captivated with how rich the river life is. Meaning that local Melanau people still use the river as a main source for everything. From cooking to washing and even Sago processing.

Sago is one of the main homegrown processes here, and along the Telian River, I saw two main Sago producers, and made a stop to see how the process was done. From the Sago tree, it is cut into chunks and processed by one family using old ways.

sibu-telianProcessing the raw Sago into little balls and baking them on a traditional fire stove

From there, the raw sago is sent to another home where it is then processed into little Sago balls and then baked with firewood. This process was done by skilled Melanau women who painstakingly do this on a daily basis. The younger generation is not seen anywhere, and asking, I was told that the parents have made sure that education was the priority and hence at school.

For me, this was truly an eye opener as I had always assumed that the the Melanau people were seafaring farmers. And little did I know that the Melanau were also found inland and by the main rivers. Asking my guide, I was told that the Telian Village is one of the few remaining traditional Melanau villages in Sarawak.

sibu-telian

The Melanau village by the Telian River known as Kampung Telian

Having experienced this, I would strongly recommend those wanting to see a different side of Sarawak to visit Sibu. Also, I would recommend taking the boat or ferry there from Kuching as it will show you a very unique and different side of Sarawak.

When you are here, do ask them about the walking tours around Kampung Telian as you will see how close the homes are, and how life is at here. My journey here was truly a fascinating and enchanting experience, and I believe it should be explored by other travelers.

___________________
Photos by David Hogan Jr

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Christmas Treat For Sibu Methodist Children’s Home

Christmas Treat For Sibu Methodist Children’s Home

Sibu, Thursday – 30 children from the Sibu Methodist Children’s Home were treated to lunch by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) at the Tanahmas Hotel recently. The children were aged four to 17 years old.

Activities for the afternoon included games and gifts presentation to the children.

“We are delighted to host this Christmas gathering and do our part in sharing the joy of Christmas with the children as part of the board’s ongoing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme,” said Angelina Bateman, Director of Events and Corporate Relations.

Similar programmes are also conducted in Miri and Kuching,” she added.

That afternoon, Hii Chang Kee, Sibu Resident was invited to present certificates of appreciation to bands and individuals who participated at the busking programme carried out fortnightly at the grounds of the Sibu heritage Centre. This event was initiated in 2016 by Sarawak Tourism Board, supported by Sibu Heritage Centre with the objective of providing a venue for the locals to showcase their talent and to create activities at the weekends.

Since January until December, Sibu Martial Art, The Japs, Sarikei Buskers, Human Energy, Borneo Spectrum, D’vine, Astronaut, Camy, Elizabeth Bungan, Tribalcoustic, Trial Tone and Vessel Joey took part in the busking events.

To close the event for the year, Tribalcoustic and Borneo Spectrum provided the public with a splendid performance with Christmas songs among others.

Through this busking programme, local talented bands and individuals could promote themselves. The programme will still be continued in 2018 and it is open to all interested parties who can contact Visitors Information Center Sibu or email [email protected] for more details.

Children of Methodist Children’s Home Sibu during the gathering.

Certificate presentation by Hii Chang Kee (third from right) to Angelina Bateman, Director of Events and Corporate Relations.

 

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]ism.com

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China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

Kuching, Monday – 20 selected travel agents from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China will be in the City to do tourism product inspection from December 28 to January 1 as part of the promotion initiative for Air Asia’s Direct Kuching-Shenzhen flight.

These top China agents are selected from the list of more than 70 agents that turned up at the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Air Asia’s business sessions that were held in Guangzhou and Shenzhen on December 13 and 14 respectively.

The five-day familiarisation trip will enable the China agents to see and check for themselves the various Sarawak tourism product experiences and also the various hotel properties while at the same time they will be given opportunities to do networking sessions with local travel partners.

The Business sessions were being conducted by STB with five Sarawak hoteliers and eight travel agents attending to propose their tour packages to their China travel operators.

Meanwhile, Sarawak trade partners who participated at the two business sessions in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the Roadshow trip.

The opportunity to meet up with quality big time China travel agents was intended to share business opportunities available in packaging the Sarawak tourism products and also a networking platform to discuss business potentials.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who also led the roadshow delegation together with the Chairman of STB, Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz, expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the trip.

“The Business sessions allow us to meet more than 70 China’s agents and they are very enthusiastic about Sarawak as it is seen as a new destination”, he said.

The proposed direct flight has given new window of opportunities for the industry and with the strong business support from these China based agents, we hope that it will turn a new chapter on China potential tourism market for Sarawak, he added.

He was optimistic that China’s huge tourism market will open up the travel and hospitality business in the State and bringing in tourism related investment opportunities to spur up development in the State.

“STB will continue to collaborate with Air Asia to tap the travel potential in South China especially now that we will have the direct flight and the need to sustain it,” he reiterated.

The Assistant Minister called on industry partners to prepare for the influx of China tourists with the availability of the direct flight and he equally hoped that more direct flight will be planned in the future connecting Miri to China as well.

Meanwhile, tourism promotion for the proposed direct flight was extended to Kalimantan Barat where Indonesians are expected to transit in Kuching to catch the flight to South China.

STB had earlier organised the Sarawak Travel Fair in Pontianak on November 17 to 18 and the proposed direct flight to Shenzhen which had received favourable acceptance to the Indonesians, said the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering.

Adding that it will be a double bonus to the state, the arrivals of Indonesian on transit to South China augurs well for the tourism arrival into the State, she said.

While admitting that air connectivity is crucial in getting the tourists into the state, she said   without it, a double hurdle challenge is in for us to promote the destination in the market place.

We are truly thankful to Air Asia for being able to look into our needs, she enthused.

China Agents

Picture show, the Sarawak delegation with Datuk Lee (front row fourth from left) with Datuk Wahab on his right with their China guests posing a thumb up photo opportunity   after finishing the Shenzhen business session.

 

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]

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