When we got off the plane, the first thing that struck me about their airport was how modern it was. It was relatively big and had all the duty free alcohol, cosmetics and perfume shops one would expect from a good International airport. Plus a Starbucks AND Coffeebean.Once out of the airport... it's easy to get a taxi from their budget taxi counter. A standard flat rate of (Malaysian Ringgit)$26 takes you to your hotel in the city. I love that it's all hassel free... you don't get touts and people trying to rip tourists off with an inflated taxi fare into town.As recommended by some blog readers, we chose the Hilton. We made reservations for 2 nights at a total of (Singapore dollars)$520.And when we got there, the Hilton upgraded us up to their Penthouse Suite! (Good thing we didn't spend the extra 300SGD to book THAT in the first place! I was very happppy.) The bedroom had a great view of the river and the city.And the bathroom and lounge area was nice too. No complaints about the suite.But what I hated about Kuching's Hilton was that their pool was shitty looking, their tennis court was old, and their Gym was under construction (upgrading!)... so not much to do there in terms of exercise! But other than that, the food, rooms, and staff are top notch.
Of course, there are many cheaper alternatives available at Kuching. In fact, Tune hotels ( like ten bucks a night!) is just across the street from Hilton. So if you don't mind not having a river view, and just want a room to sleep in, this is a great budget hotel. I stayed in it when I was in KL... and I remember paying $10 for the room... and then you add on $ for additional things like 10 hour blocks of air-con, toiletries, etc.
ok now... FOOD FOOD FOOD!
Ok... to be honest, when I first looked around the town... I thought... OMG there's no where decent to eat at. But with a little perserverance and asking around... we found a few great places which you must check out when in Kuching. And the prices!!! Great food at great places ... but such low prices!
James Brooke Bistro & Cafe
We had lunch here. It's by the river, just infront of the Hilton. James Brooke was the first Governor of Serawak. They called him the first White Rajah.It's open air but not hot. Good for a lazy lunch. They serve both western and Asian cuisine. Mark had a chicken salad, mango juice (x2) while I had chicken wings and wedges and a coke. The bill only came up to $40 Ringgit (less than 20 Sing$) The Junk Restaurant
The first night there, we were looking for somewhere quirky and trendy to eat at... and we made reservations at a restaurant called The Junk. I wore my new dress and shoes.. ( for those asking for pics of my $10 shoes... here it is!!)The ambiance of the place was fantastic, relaxing mood lighting. It's a two story shophouse, filled with bits of the old and bits of the new. It kinda looked like a collection of junk really. But well put together. It even had a nice little bar in the backyard. And the food was excellent! I had lamb rack and Mark had a lamb shank. We shared a brocolli soup and bruchetta to start with. And I found a new favourite drink.... kinda like a Lychee Martini... it's a Longan Vodka! Very niceeee...Total damage for the night (inclusive of a few more glasses of wine and beers as well): $150 ringgit. No way you can get all that food AND drinks for 2 people in a restaurant setting for $70 Sing dollars in Singapore!
The second night there... we were spoilt for choice. We had a few restaurants we wanted to check out... first, we went to Magenta, which serves an Western Asian fusion cuisine.. and they had Foie Gras on the menu!!
What can I say...? I'm not going to make any excuses.. it was just shameful glutonny. :( Total bill was also around $150 ringgit, but we had much less alcohol than at the Junk. How could I drink anyway?! I was too full of duck.