Melaka in History

Melaka in History

Melaka came with over 600 years of history, beginning with the Malay Sultanate in 1400, followed by the Portuguese occupation in 1511, then the Dutch occupation in 1641, British occupation in 1824, Japanese occupation in 1942, and finally under the British administration in 1946 before gaining independence in 1957 (part of Malaya) and part of Malaysia in 1963. Its history and interracial marriages gave the city (UNESCO world heritage site) a unique East and West blend in local lifestyle, historical…

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Big Market for a Small Place

Big Market for a Small Place

My uncle took us to the Satok Market, a Kuching weekend indoor and outdoor farmers market where all kinds of food are sold. And the breadth and depth of scale is an eye-opener—nothing in Canada or US can compare to it. To look at everything, one would have to take at least half a day. We didn’t have time to see it all—we covered only a third. So here are the photos we took: Cleaning fish for a customer

Orchid Surprise

Orchid Surprise

The DBKU Orchid Garden is across the river, just opposite the Astana. It is a bit of a hike from the hotel in late morning heat. What a pleasant surprise! Sometimes a garden in this part of the world can be disappointing, but this 15.4 acre garden can rival most orchid gardens in the world for its breadth (over 75,000 plants of 82 genera). And free admission. Here are some photos from the visit.

Going Country

Going Country

Our uncle and aunt took us on a Sunday ride in the countryside, going through small towns and villages, coconut, banana, and palm oil plantations, pepper (as in white and black peppercorns) and rice fields, and longhouse communities to visit my cousin and his wife in their rural convenience shop. Here’s the river ferry Another rural roadside stalls—they are everywhere on rural roads It is good to see how people live, how simple their lives are, how little they have,…

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Changes Among the Familiar

Changes Among the Familiar

So many changes, so many new things. Western food chain eating places (KFC, Starbucks, McDonald, Subway, etc) are huge and popular now. Sad to say that they are every where. Tougher to find authentic Sarawak food at downtown mall food courts; they are still around at street coffee shops (kopitiam) and in the suburbs. Extremely cheap and flavourful. Again, we are spoiled by our hotel breakfast buffet here (Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western) so we are often too full to…

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Steamy Cat Town

Steamy Cat Town

We can go back to our places of birth but not to the past. Things constantly change and sometimes memories are what we have left. Unlike Singapore, we really feel the heat and humidity in Kuching(Cat Town, population: about 850,000), the steamy rainforest of sweats. It feels like being in the sauna.   Fortunately we have rain every day we are here. Downpours for half an hour or two and then it’s done. Quite constant in its timing—usually between 1…

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Breakfast is a feast in Taiwan (and it’s free)

Breakfast is a feast in Taiwan (and it’s free)

Both hotels in Kaohsiung and Taipei provided free daily breakfast buffet. Our expectation was a continental breakfast similar to Holiday Inn Express or Hilton Garden Inn. Boy, we ate and ate, often ended up not having lunch; instead we had an afternoon snack, followed by early dinner and a walk after. Our breakfast buffet in Kaohsiung (Chateau de Chine) would probably cost $30CAD back home.  There were so many food counters (Western, Chinese, Japanese): one for rice, congee, soup; one…

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Chinese New Year Eve evening walk

Chinese New Year Eve evening walk

After our Chinese New Year Eve dinner at Irodori (Grand Hyatt Hotel), we explored the surrounding areas since it was close to Taipei 101 (the world tallest from 2004 to 2010), now the tallest and biggest green building in the world. Here are some photos taken during our walk: