Our tour to Kuching consisted of seven people from three different generations. My grandma led the pack with her daughters, niece (MC's mum) and grand daughters. All female - which probably made our male driver/guide from BEL-AIR a little awkward. The flight from KLIA to KIA was relatively short, being under two hours (estimated time is 1 hour 45 minutes, but we arrived 15 minutes earlier).
Neither of us have travelled to East Malaysia before so we didn't really know what to expect. I did a little research on the itinerary prior leaving, but most of the things I knew about Kuching was from Miao's comic blog and maameemoomoo's travel posts. My first impression on Kuching was that is was cleaner and had less busier roads compared to KL. The suburban houses we passed were also more modern. MC's mum was blown away with how modern the city was as she thought Kuching was a kampong (rural area).
Our first stop was the Malaysia-China Friendship Park. We stopped here briefly just to look see look see and take photos with the massive statue of Zheng He. It reminded me of Ned Kelly's statue in Glenrowan. We then drove past a few landmark locations in the city before heading to the Sarawak Museum . If you ever go, do check out the long house exhibit on the top floor.
We experienced a slight drizzle which turned into a massive downpour, denying us access into the Kuching Civic Centre (open viewing platform). So on request, our guide drove us to Dayang Salkah, a very famous/popular kek lapis shop.
There's probably around 100 different types of flavours you can sample, but I reckon the best seller, 'Lapis India' tastes the best. Business was so busy that staff were constantly taking orders, packing and taping boxes. Prices start at RM10 and they even do hotel delivery prior the day you leave so it's guaranteed to be fresh.
I thought 'Sisik Ikan' was fish flavoured since ikan means 'fish' in BM, but when I asked the guy, he just started laughing (at my no0b-ness). "Sisik Ikan is just the name of the kek lah", he said. I had a sample just to make sure and it was just an original flavoured kek lapis with some red jam inside.
It was still raining cats and dogs when we had our dinner at Topspot (formerly known as Taman Kereta). It's like a huge hawker centre with all the stalls selling seafood. Most of the meals were included in our tour package so we just ate what the guide ordered for us. The dish that wow-ed us was the ho jian (the UFO/wok-shaped like oyster cracker). A local we met on the lift told us that Topspot the best place in Kuching to eat seafood. I don't know much about seafood, but our first meal in Kuching was pretty good.
...and here are some cool looking cupcakes we saw on our way out. A very unhealthy looking Hello Kitty for sure.