Tag Archives: tourist attraction

Siew San Teng (Tau Pek Kong) Temple and Chinese History Museum, Kuching

photo of temple doors

The Siew San Teng (Tau Pek Kong) Temple in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia has retained this spot since 1770. It is across the street from the Kuching river walk (and the small Chinese history museum). The temple itself has been renovated and rebuilt many times.

photo looking toward the river

View of the river from Siew San Teng Temple. The museum is visible on the left of the photo.

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Street Art, Large Mural on Jalan Tan Hiok Nee in Johor Bahru

Large view of the mural including door

September 2013

A large mural has been taking shape on Jalan Tan Hiok Nee for over a year. The first photo shows it near the beginning, September 2013.

photo of large mural street art

March 2014

Large paintings have also been added along Jalan Tan Hiok Nee near the mural. It is quite a nice addition of street art to the historical JB walk. A new post with photos of those will be added soon. (Update: In turns out it was a temporary display, the paintings are not there now).

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Masjid Bahagian Kuching

The Bahagian Mosque (“Divisional Mosque”) is located just past the river walk in Kuching. Also known as Kuching City Mosque, the mosque was built in the late 1960s to replace the original State Mosque that was erected on the same site in the mid-19th century.

Kuching City Mosque, Sarawak

The mosque is surrounded by a Muslim cemetary.

The pink mosque is Kuching’s largest and stands as an important historical landmark in the city. Its magnificent gilded Mughal-style domes are its most distinct trademark, rising high above the city’s skyline. Gilded half-domes that match the domes on its roof grace its windows.

Masjid Bahagian Kuching, Malaysia

Masjid Bahagian Kuching is believed to be the state’s oldest and first-ever mosque, a memento from the time when Islam first arrived in Sarawak. It can accommodate up to 4,000 worshippers at a time.

Masjid Bahagian Kuching

Related: Sultan Abu Baker Mosque, Johor BahruMasjid Jamek, Kuala LumpurNational Mosque of Malaysia in KL

Orangutans in Sarawak, Borneo

One of the things you have to do while in Borneo is see orangutans in the rainforest. I went on a river rafting trip that included a stop at Semenggoh Wildlife Center (national park) on the way. From my research I believe this was 1 of the 2 good options for seeing wild orangutans near Kuching.

Mother orangutan with baby and bananas

The orangutans are free in the forest. They stop by the viewing points because of the tasty food (many were also brought here for rehabilitation so they are comfortable seeing people – though the rehabilitation is largely moved elsewhere now).

Because the orangutans are free when fruit is in season sometimes few or no orangutans show up. They generally have feeding time in the morning at 9 to 10 AM (when I went) and in the afternoon (3 to 3:30 PM).

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Sultan Abu Baker Mosque

The Sultan Abu Baker Mosque was constructed upon a hill overlooking the Johor Straits between 1892 and 1900 and is the state mosque for Johor. The mosque can accommodate 3,000 worshippers.

photo of Sultan Abu Baker Mosque

Sultan Abu Baker Mosque. All photos are by John Hunter.

I recommended taking a short trip to visit and walking around the grounds. You can walk to old town from without much trouble (I would guess it is less than 2 km from old town), obviously you can drive or take a taxi if you prefer.

building in the Sultan Abu Baker Mosque complex

This square building and two large rectangular buildings of the same style sit on the non-Straits side of the Mosque.

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Wonderful Hiking in Bako National Park

Bako National Park offers a network of trails through jungles, scrub environments and to beautiful beaches. The post includes spur trails which I took as part of a loop off the Lintang Trail. I slept in Kuching, hiked during the day in Bako National Park and returned to my hotel at night.

On the Pandan Kencil Path

photo of view from plateau on Bako National Park Pandan Kencil path

Great views from a plateau. And the plateau also had large numbers of pitcher plants.

photo of pitcher plants

Then there is a short spur off the Pandan Kencil path to this wonderful beach overlook (Besar):

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Lintang Trail, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

Forest trail, Lintang trail

The Lintang Trail, Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo is 5.25 km but it offers several additional spur trails. I will post on the spur trails in a future post.

Steep climb on trail, Lintang trail

The trail has quite a bit of step climbs. Along with the spur trails I was quite exhausted when I completed the hike (which is not normal for me). It was fairly hot, combining that with probably a bit over 10 km (which is not normally any problem) and the step climbs got a bit tiring.

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Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

Bako National Park is a wonderful location less than an hour outside of Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. The park includes rustic cabins (for overnight stays) and a visitors center that serves food. To reach the park you must take a 20 minute boat ride.

view from boat dropoff for Bako National Park

When the boat dropped us off here in the morning they said they would pick us up on the beach. I couldn’t really understand why, but this photo shows the tide has made the path to the stairs impassable, which explains why (I should have figured that out but my brain doesn’t always work as well as it should).

photo of sign showing Bako National Park trails

I only spent a day in the park. There are several intersecting trails. The “small” loop trail includes the Lintang trail and intersects with Pandan Kecil path, Pandan Basar path and more. I hiked through several trails and completely exhausted myself, actually. It was a wonderful hike.

There are probably enough trails to keep you busy for 2 days of hiking though I think you can get a good feel for the different settings in 1 day.

photo looking back at Bako National Park from the boat as I leave

Looking back at Bako National Park from the boat as I leave (the visitor’s center is just off to the left).

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Thaipusam Festival, Johor Bahru

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Murugan (Kartikeya) celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). Murugan is the Hindu god of war and victory. He is the son of the lord Shiva and Parvati; his little brother is Ganesha.

I took the photos in this post last year at the festival downtown (between the Arulmigu Sri Raja Kallamman Hindu Glass Temple and the Arulmigu Thandayuthapani Temple). This year the festival is scheduled for January 17th.

photo of Thaipusam crowd

photo of girl in a red dress

On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common.

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