Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hello again, Teluk Kruin!

Teluk Kruin beach, Bako National Park

I made a second trip to Teluk Kruin and Teluk Limau (Bako National Park, Sarawak) recently. This time with three other friends (the first time I trekked to Limau, I went with two) who've never made the foot trek from Bako HQ all the way to Teluk Limau and Teluk Kruin.

I didn't have to carry as much water this time around so the trek was easier than the first time. But still very tough and tiring because of the heat and humidity. Spent 3 days 2 nights there, had a really good time overall.

The best thing we did was to set camp next to a beautiful stream that had deep natural rock pools carved out by flowing water in the soft sandstone. Went dipping in the pools just to relax several times! Even went in to relax late at night, "basking" in the moonlight! :)
Hope to return to that beautiful place soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hybrid vanda

The ID tag on this one has three names on it, Vanda Hilo Blue x Vanda Velthius x Vanda Doctor Anek. But since the tag isn't written properly I do not know what it is exactly other than it being a complex hybrid. It's a beauty though. There are ten blooms this time and this is only its second time flowering. Photo was snapped using my mobile phone so quality isn't so good.

Hot and dry days

Look at that! 45% relative humidity in Kuching! That is extremely low, lower than the inside of my camera dry cabinet! Temperature also soared to nearly 36 degrees Celsius the day I took this pic.
These readings are out of the normal range for Kuching. It's hot yes but thanks to the low RH, it hasn't been too uncomfortable. However, a visit to an electronics shop yesterday reveals that AC units have been flying off the shelves! In fact we bought two additional units for our home but have to wait till the end of the week to get them installed cause the tech's too busy!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

'Wild' Phalaenopsis bellina

'Wild' Phalaenopsis bellina. Don't get too excited though, I didn't stumble upon a wild colony of rare orchids in the jungle. These are all photographed in my backyard haha.

These tree mounted ones are so much healthier than the ones I have in pots or tree fern mounts which are constantly under attack from snails, mites and other pests.

Coelogyne trinervis

Coelogyne trinervis. Snapped the photos this morning. Flowers emit a pretty strong smell which I wouldn't call fragrant. The smell is strongest around noon time. Got a seedpod on this plant from a previous flowering several months ago. Will try and see if I can get some seeds to germinate.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dragon fruit bacterial rot

This is not good! Nearly all of my dragon fruit plants affected by bacterial rot. It's May and the weather is a lot calmer now but the high humidity and evening rains cause infection to spread quickly. This is what I dreaded the most after seeing a whole dragon fruit garden nearly wiped out by bacterial rot. Will have to replant some stem cuttings in a different spot with better air circulation and plenty of sunshine. Current spot gets too much shade.

Kuching waterfront

Here's am image one does not normally see. The Kuching waterfront as viewed from the north bank of the Sarawak River. That building with the shiny roof isn't part of the waterfront though. That is the new Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building on the north bank of Sungai Sarawak.

Also on this side of the city is the beautiful Kuching Orchid Garden. Not sure if I've ever posted anything about that place, will have to check! Got lots of photos taken there that I'd like to share.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Four kinds of Bulbophyllum

Four kinds of Bulbophyllum currenty in bloom in my shade house. Clockwise from top - dearei, lobbii, abbreviatum and strangularium.

Two kinds of Coelogyne

Top, Coelogyne pandurata. Btm, Coelogyne mayeriana. Both species are fragrant, currenty blooming in my garden.

Speaking from experience, C. mayeriana is surprisingly easy; flowers with every new growth and easily propagated from cuttings of at least three pseudobulbs.

C. pandurata is slightly more demanding, doesn't flower as easily as mayeriana and needs plenty of space as it can grow to a very large size.

Amazing sunset

Beautiful sunset in Kuching yesterday. Some friends saw and photographed double rainbows too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ais Batu Campur @ Lock Ann Cafe

I must have been living under a rock cause i'd never heard of this place till some friends invited me to makan here one afternoon. We had the ais batu campur, white lady mixed fruit drink and rojak.

Ais batu campur, also known as chendol or ang tau can-lut in Hokkien. RM2 per bowl. Red beans, green sago jelly, sweet corn kernels and shaved ice topped with either coconut milk or evaporated milk. Sometimes, gula apong (Nipah palm sugar) may be added.

When we got there the place was full of people. In fact some patrons had to stand around waiting for seats and tables to become available when people left. Groups after groups of people kept arriving. "wow" I thought, the owners must be laughing all the way to the bank!

White lady mix-fruit drink is a popular drink made with evaporated milk, syrup or fruit juices such as honey dew juice. Added to it are pieces of fruit such as pineapple, longan, sea coconut etc.

Kuching rojak. This big plate (enough for two to three) cost us only RM5. Cucumber, deep fried spongy tofu, pineapple and Mexican turnip (jicama or mangkuang) mixed well with a spicy rojak sauce (main ingredient belacan) and topped with crushed peanuts.

Lock Ann is located at the junction of Green Road and Rubber Road near Satok, Kuching. It opens daily from 10am to 630pm except Mondays. (Business is so good that they don't have to do business in the evenings?)

Next time, I'd like to try the jiu-hu eng-chai and belacan beehoon!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sarawak laksa for breakfast

Yes, that's right. Here in Sarawak it's not uncommon to have something 'heavy' like a hot bowl of rice noodles in a rich spicy broth early in the morning. The laksa broth is made with different spices cooked with coconut milk then poured over boiled rice noodles and garnished with prawns, bean sprouts, chicken meat and fried egg.

Just looking at a bowl of hot, steaming Sarawak laksa is enough to either cause one to water in the mouth or give one heartburn! I love Sarawak laksa and I can have it at anytime of the day. To me, it's the best type of laksa second to none. Yum!

Avoid the ones labeled or sold as Sarawak laksa in other states in Malaysia. I've tried those and they taste nothing like the real thing! So if you're ever in Sarawak, don't forget to try our authentic Sarawak laksa!

Labour day weekend

Long labour day weekend! Happy holiday! This picture was taken from the viewpoint at Mount Serapi. I still cant beat my own best time of reaching the top in 1.5 hours without stopping for photos. Total ascent is about 700m over a distance of about 4km.

I've been up here several times now but this is only the second time i've been fortunate enough to get a clear view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Usually it's just clouds and mist all around!

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