Travel, Food & Books

Gayu Guru, Gerai Nyamai

Harvest festival in Sarawak known as Gawai Dayak, is an annual celebration celebrated every 1st & 2nd June. It’s similar to Kaamatan; the festival celebrated in Sabah every 30th & 31st May. On this trip, we will be joining the Sarawakians celebrating their Hari Gawai. It is always exciting to be part of any celebration.

The flight time from Penang to Sarawak was two hours and five minutes. We had booked our bus tickets from Kuching going to Sri Aman. However, Madam Chong and Peter were also heading back to Sri Aman for the Gawai festival, so they offered us a ride.

Before we left for Sri Aman, we stopped by Kuching town for lunch. While eating the delicious Kollo Mee, they told us that Anthony Bourdain will be in Kuching until the 3rd of June, filming for the travel programme, Parts Unknown. Too bad we didn’t cross paths with him while we were there.

The journey took about 3 hours (183km) from the airport to Seri Simanggang Hotel, our accommodation for two nights while we were there in Sri Aman town.

Sri Aman Town

From the hotel, we walked for about 8 minutes to Muzium Warisan Sri Aman Kubu Alice. Unfortunately, it was closed due to the public holiday, but we headed there anyway. We were able to view The Lupar River from the top of the hill, and we tried to spot crocodiles. However we didn’t see any, maybe they were on holiday too 😊.

We visited Madam Chong’s relative in Entulang Entawa, a modern longhouse made of concrete and housed about 20 families or more in this establishment.

Entulang Entawa Modern Long House

They served us the colourful Kek Lapis and Tuak (rice wine). It tasted the same as Sabah’s rice wine, Tapai. It was sweet, delicious and capable of making you drunk. I had to drink it slowly because they kept refilling mine whenever my glass was almost empty.

On the 3rd of June, Madam Chong and Peter drove us back to Kuching, on our way there, they took us to see the Longhouses made of wood.

We stayed at 360 Xpress Citycenter in Kuching for a night before leaving for Kota Kinabalu the next day. While we were there, we wandered around the town, walked along the beautiful waterfront, and had a few drinks at 21 Bistro Kuching and Havana café Kuching.

I’m not sure which one was the official Kuching’s landmark monument, there were just so many of it.

I enjoyed every moment we spent with the Chong family; their friendliness made me feel like I was one of them and not an outsider.

Travel Date: 1st ~ 04th June 2015

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