The Crouching Tiger

29Apr07

As published in the Traverama Magazine and Karangkraf Online, May 2007

BY MAJIDAH HASHIM

The legend that is Borneo has spread far and wide. Headhunters. Enchanted Princesses. The Old Man of the Forest. Borneo has captivated the minds and imagination of travellers for centuries. Mighty rivers flow past darkest jungle. Beautiful beaches are lapped by sparkling seas. Smiling faces welcoming you to a different world. It’s time for you to discover Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Even people from the peninsular find that going to Kuching is like travelling to a whole different country. They look differently there, they dress differently there, they talk differently there… Somewhere along the way, you tend to have to remind yourself that you’re still in Malaysia!

Kuching is one of the easiest cities to find your way around in. Contrary to popular belief, the ‘City of Cats,’ is not as catty as people make them out to be. For one thing, there aren’t really that many cats here. For another, the people here get along surprisingly well, considering that there are over twelve different major tribes in Sarawak and they all congregate at Kuching.

Your first stop should naturally be the Kuching Visitor Information Centre, but not just for the free tourist maps and updates on the city’s latest events. The Visitor Information Centre is located in a beautifully restored colonial Court House built in 1874, and still bears distinguishing pre-war and local features such as an incredible iron wood roof and engravings of local tribal art. The Court House was initially built to host state council meetings. Today, besides housing the Visitor Information Centre, this heritage building is also the premise of the state’s High Court, Magistrate Court and several government offices.

Opposite the Court House is the unmistakeably majestic Post Office building. The Post Office was built in 1931 and its most imposing feature would be it Corinthian columns which lines its main entrance. The columns accentuates its already striking neoclassical design, with friezes, arches and ornamental finishings.

*for full article, grab the may 2007’s issue of traverama!

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