After the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, there was time for a final wander around the area before heading off to the airport in the early afternoon. The taxi ride takes about 30 minutes and on the main road heading out of George Town some young guys on small motorbikes were racing each other weaving all over the lanes. Suddenly there was a coming together and the next thing you know there bodies and machines in the air and then tumbling along the road in front of us. Luckily the driver had enough space to slow down and it seemed that no one was seriously hurt apart from scrapes and bruises.
From Penang it was a two and a half hour flight with Air Asia across to Kuching for my first visit to Borneo. I'm not sure why, but the air conditioning always seems to be set to freeze dry on Air Asia flights, which is not great news if you're wearing a T-shirt.
With Sarawak being a semi-autonomous state, you have to go through immigration again, and the smiley official who dealt with me was called Clarence Casey ~ a name that, to me, conjures up images of a 1940s B-movie actor more than a south east Asian civil servant.
Reached Kuching at about 8 in the evening and checked into the Holiday Inn which is right on the waterfront. Given that you couldn't do much by the way of sightseeing in a city you don't know after dark, I just opted for a short stroll to the waterfront and had some food in Cafe Khatulistiwa. Again the food was delicious, and again I probably ate too much, but how can you resist the temptation of trying so much mouth-watering food. Tonight I had some chicken satay, Belacan fried noodles and chicken claypot. Very nice and very filling.
Salads and tofu for me once I'm back in Japan I guess.