Wednesday, July 20, 2011


KUCHING, 17 Jul 2011: Since treasure hunts became a part of my life almost a decade ago, I've done my fair bit of travelling. Treasure hunting provided me with a reason to travel, and directly or indirectly it has brought me to fascinating places across Europe, China, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and all of peninsular Malaysia. In 2006, I set sail eastward and added Sabah to my hunt log. Still not satisfied, I patiently waited for an opportunity to hunt in Sarawak to complete my journey across all of Malaysia's thirteen states and three federal territories. That final piece of puzzle was made possible when Bernama organized the Heritage Trail in the Land of the Hornbills, fulfiling a pledge to Senator Heng Seai Kie in 2009 to bring treasure hunts to Sarawak in the spirit of 1Malaysia.

Arguably the best way to explore the city of Kuching is by foot, with each attraction just a stones throw away from the next one. The 6 km walk hunt, meticulously designed around the major tourist hotspots in the heart of Kuching city, provided the 250 participants (more than half of them from peninsular Malaysia) with the perfect reason.

In teams of two, the participants congregated at the famous Kuching Waterfront just after sunrise for this 5 hour walk-about. From there, each of us was guided to historical places like India Street and Padang Merdeka, the popular Satok weekend market, the Muzium Dewan Tun Abdul Razak and the Ethnology Museum before making our way on the perahu tambang to the Orchid Gardens across the Sarawak river.

Along the route we got to marvel at the many well preserved historical structures - the Astana, Square Tower and the General Post Office. We were also fortunate to receive an introductory lesson in Sarawak history while scavanging through the two museums for answers to some of the 25 clues.

However, like many others, we got lost more than once during the walk-about, no thanks to the tourist map plagiarised by the clerk of course. The map was less than helpful as it did not include many landmarks and some roads called out in the "tulips" provided. Still, this minor setback did not stop us from completing the heritage trail well within the time allocated. Q21 did stall us a fair bit before we gave up after failing to decipher the significance of the intended pun!

Q21: Forerunner to 1Malaysia?
Ans: UniBorneo.

The heritage trail did do its part well to showcase the City of Cats. I truly enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to returning the following year

Waiting to be flagged off at the Waterfront with the Square Tower in the background.

Strolling along the Satok weekend market.

On board the perahu tambang, our ride across the Sarawak river.

Smelling the flowers at the Orchid Garden.

Bernama-Sarawak Walk Hunt
Maximum Score: 100

Photo courtesy of Bernama

1st: Lim Ming Yang, Chong Voon Kiat (97)
2nd: Vincent Ho, William Ho (91)
3rd: Ho Meng How, Geraldine Evonne Ho (91)
4th: Kheirul Nazib, Erawati (90)
5th: Loh Chee Kwan, Tommy Ng (89)
6th: Salehuddin Yusof, Azeman Saarin (87)

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