I Went to Sarikei and All I Got Was…

One of the great things about Sarawak is the large number of public holidays and festivals that all the different ethnic groups enjoy.  The Chinese have their Chinese New Year, the Malays have Ramadan and Hari Raya, and the Dayaks or native tribes have their Gawai Dayak. Schools close during these festival seasons to allow the folks to “balik kampung” or return to their home village.

For us, we would normally take the occasion to travel elsewhere, like when we went to Singapore in 2010 and to KL in 2011 (which I have yet to blog about – I’m so behind!). This year, we stayed local and spent the long Gawai holiday weekend with a group of friends in their hometown of Sarikei, about a five-hour drive from Kuching. Besides some great experiences and memories, here are a few of the things we brought back with us.

Welcome to Sarikei

Welcome to Sarikei

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Velocity Go Karting in Bintawa, Kuching

I feel the need, the need for SPEED!

Velocity Indoor Go Karting, Bintawa, Kuching

When we were back in San Jose, we had friends whose kids were all the same age as ours. In the Bay Area, there are lots of choices for birthday party venues for young kids, like My Gym in Campbell, Pump It Up in Sunnyvale or even Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay. Those were some really fun experiences.

However, we’ve not really found a lot of birthday venue options for our kids here in Kuching, especially as they approach late childhood-tween years.

Last year, we threw a birthday party for Esther at our place, but catered and organized by McDonald’s. This year, we actually held the party at McDonald’s. (Please don’t hate us!) Our kids are growing a bit older now, and parties at McD’s or KFC are just too boring for them.

Where can 10 year-old kids go for a fun birthday party in Kuching?

Well, we’ve found something that is up to their speed.

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Rainforest World Music Festival: Exhausting and Energizing

I think I need a vacation from my weekend.

Sunset at One Hotel Santubong

Hotel Santubong Sunset

This past week, Annie and I spent 3 and a half days in Santubong (a hour’s drive north of Kuching) at the 2011 Rainforest World Music Festival as invited media representing the Sarawak Bloggers group. The good people at Sarawak Tourism Board gave us media passes to the event, allowing us access to the press conferences as well as the workshops and concerts at the Festival being held at the Sarawak Cultural Village. We didn’t manage to get a hotel room in Santubong, however, so that meant we had to make the 1 hr drive from Kuching and back, each day.

It was quite an exhausting experience. But it was one I’ll never forget.

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Rainforest World Music Festival 2011 Press Conference

We’re in!

Media Passes to Rainforest World Music Festival 2011

rainforest world music festival media passes

Thanks to a generous arrangement between Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers, Annie and I are attending the Rainforest World Music Festival here in Kuching as invited media! The Festival officially opens on the 8th and runs all weekend. But today we went to the One Hotel Santubong to attend the pre-Festival press conference and to pick up our passes.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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