Kuching (in Malaysian Borneo) means cat in Malay so it makes sense that this city should have something historical or cultural to do with cats. After five days in Sarawak’s capital the most I’ve gathered is that there once used to be a lot of cats here so they called it cat. There’s also a lot of cat folklore and superstition here as there is throughout Asia so maybe that’s got something to do with it. Kuching has however used its namesake as an excuse to develop a weird and wonderful museum dedicated to our feline friend.
Kuching City Hall
Kuching Cat Museum
An easy enough bus ride from the town centre the cat museum is set in Kuching’s impressive city hall. It’s totally random and a bit out of way but completely worth it for something different. And it’s free!
This is truly one of the most bizarre museums I have ever been to. I didn’t learn a thing about how Kuching is connected with cats but I did get to feast my eyes on every historical and cultural cat reference known to mankind, literally. A must for budding cat ladies.
Some interesting cat superstitions…
Movie posters: If you can name it, it’s there…
And a whole bunch of other stuff…
From artistic genius to the tacky and downright creepy, you won’t be disappointed.
I climbed the highest mountain in South East Asia yesterday. I can’t feel my legs. 4,095m up in the sky, all the pain was worth it.
Mountain shadow – sunrise at the summit
I wasn’t always sure I’d get the chance to climb Kinabalu due to different things I’d heard about cost and availability but when I stayed at the lovely North Borneo Cabin in Kota Kinabalu the owner told me about the deal at Jungle Jack’s and so I jumped at the chance and left the next day.
Jungle Jack’s is just outside the National Park. Jack is an absolute diamond and completely runs the show. We were provided with steaming hot showers, kitchen and food supplies as well as dinner in a local restaurant. Cute dogs for company – always an added bonus. 420 ringgit (£110) included 3 nights accommodation (the second night is spent in a lodge on the mountain), all food, entrance to the park and trekking guides – bargain.
After 6 months on the road and next to no exercise I wasn’t sure how my body was going to respond to climbing over 8km and 2,000m. It was tough but worth every step. The first 6km to the lodge for the night weren’t too bad especially as you can take your time. No rush to get to the lodge where you have dinner and get some kip before an early start for the summit at 1.30am the next day. Despite getting up at such an unearthly hour this was by far the most fun part as you literally get to scramble up rock faces, pull yourself along cliff edges with rope and battle through ice cold winds in the dark. Adrenaline is a fine wonder.
I cannot describe how cold it was at the summit. We just about managed to stick around for half an hour to make the most of the incredible colour changing skies as the sun came up. It didn’t take long to get back to the lodge for a rest and second breakfast before we faced what I hadn’t realised would be the most challenging part. The decent was horrible. The first few kilometres weren’t so bad as you’re still running off the high of your achievement. But the last 3 nearly killed me. I felt like my legs were detached from my body and simply refusing to work. Even though I’m still walking like an old lady I wouldn’t change it for the world.