Malaysia is a true mix of race, religion and beliefs however I don't think I've ever seen it work as well as it does in Kuching. Borneo has been ruled by various different nationalities over the years however unlike a lot of other cities that has clawed back its native title, Kuching bears no ill feelings to any of its past or current residents. Chinese is spoken widely here, English is common place, you can hear a smattering of Tagalog (Philippino) and along with Bahsa (the malay language) you will also hear a few different local dialects.
Kuching is (or was) based around trade up and down the river and while the word Kuching in Malay means cat there is much conjecture that it in fact comes from a very similar sounding chinese word that means port. Despite that probably being correct, Kuching has embraced its cat status and everywhere you go there are statues of cats. OMG - EVERYWHERE!! Every sound about, every city monument - you can't escape the damn cats!
Kuching is a great jump off point for a few adventure places so its pretty popular on the backpacker trail, however in saying that apart from Chin who was staying at my hostel, I didn't see too many western tourists at all. But I wasn't hanging out at the Hilton either so its possible I was just head down bum up and didn't really see too many.
Chun Choon Cafe is "the" laksa place in Kuching. Aparantly its been on TV shows, is in Lonely Planet and is well known globally for the best laksa in the region. You have to get there early though as they sell out of produce around 11 so Chin and I headed off at around 7am. Laksa for breakfast - why not hey?
I wasn't fussed at all. It was nice, but I think the reason was that in Australia our Laksa is very strong. Its spicy sure, but mostly its a very strong flavour. The Laksa in Kuching is much milder so while I was initially a bit hesitant about having laksa for breaky, it was fine as it was very mild and easy to eat. So good food - but for Australians (weirly) maybe not quite what you are used to.
I was the only western face there (Chin is from Taiwan) and the food was amazing. So privileged to have had the experience and thanks again to Oliver for his unwavering dedication to his hostel and his guests visit to Kuching.