Category Archives: travels

Brooke Gallery

The Gallery was officiated by the Honourable Yang Berhormat Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Minister of Housing and Urbanization and Jason Brooke, grandson of the last Rajah Muda and Director of The Brooke Trust.

The Gallery, sponsored by The Brooke Trust, is a collaboration between the Brooke Trust, the Sarawak Museum Department and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak.  The Gallery contains artifacts on loan from the Brooke family and Sarawak Museum Department.

An international team of advisors and subject matter experts was appointed to develop the concept and created a sensitively-curated exhibition design on Sarawak history. 

The final installation of the many artifacts, panels and display cases was an effort made possible by a large body of volunteers from Sarawak, the UK and Australia.  An enthusiastic group of local volunteers has also come together as the Fort Rangers, to help support the operation of the Gallery. (

No one explains the Brooke history more precisely than

Brooke Gallery on a rainy Saturday aternoon

Felt like Night At The Museum


Swordfish okay not swordfish

I was psyched on the first floor but after the first floor it was just..meh

First floor

The first Sarawak flag

SARAWAK Malays have followed in the footsteps of the Dayak in pushing the state government to protect their “sovereign rights”.

The minority ethnic group in the state has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, reminding the state administration that in an 1841 agreement signed between the state’s first White Rajah, James Brooke, and the Brunei sultanate, Brooke had agreed to respect Malays’ religion and customs, and protect their “special position” in the administration, before the sultanate relinquished its territory of Kuching to him. (The Malaysian Insight) 


Chronology of Sarawak throughout the Brooke Era to Malaysia Day

Chronology of Sarawak throughout the Brooke Era to Malaysia Day (Chronology is translated from the official 45th anniversary souvenir book,

‘Perayaan 45 Tahun Sarawak Maju Dalam Malaysia, 1963 – 2008

(The Borneo Post, 2011)


September 11: Chief Minister, Stephen Kalong Ningkan, and three ministers as well as 10 members of the Alliance fly to Kuala Lumpur to meet the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the Colony of Britain, Duncan Sandys. September 13 UNMM presents its report.

“The Mission is satisfied that through its hearings it was able to reach a crosssection of the population in all walks of life and that the expressions of opinion that it heard represent the views of a sizable majority of the population.

The Mission is convinced that the time devoted to hearings and the number of localities visited was adequate and enabled it to fully carry out its terms of references.”

Sir Alexander Waddell announces that Datu Abang Openg is appointed by the Yang Di-Pertuan as the first Yang Di-Pertua of Sarawak beginning from Malaysia Day.


British colonial Governor, Sir Alexander Waddell, and wife leave Astana, the official Brooke residence and that of British governors since 1870, at exactly 12.30pm.

September 16 Tun Abang Openg is sworn in as the first Yang Di- Pertua Negeri Sarawak. Prime Minister of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman reads the Proclamation of Malaysia in front of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Raja- Raja Melayu and thousands of citizens at Stadium Merdeka to mark the birth of a new country named, the Federation of Malaysia.

He says: “The great day we have long awaited has come at last – the birth of Malaysia.

In a warm spirit of joy and hope ten million people of many races in all the states of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah now join hands in freedom and joy.”

Khir Johari reads Proclamation of Malaysia as the representative of the Prime Minister to mark the independence of Sarawak in the presence of Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Abang Openg, Chief Minister Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan, the State Cabinet and the people at Padang Sentral (now Padang Merdeka), Kuching, and in all divisions of Sarawak. (Chronology is translated from the official 45th anniversary souvenir book, ‘Perayaan 45 Tahun Sarawak Maju Dalam Malaysia, 1963 – 2008).


We left Kuala Lumpur for Miri in 1996. Dad was posted to Miri for the Sarawak Land & Development Berhad (SLDB) , me thinks. But what I can remember is I was seated next to Dad and Uncle Razali from Shell (later became Dad’s friend).

After several years in Miri, Melaka and Seremban, Dad got posted in Pontianak, Kalimantan and we stayed in Kuching.

I have the best memories in Kuching. I went to school in Kolej Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah (13 October 1862 – 21 November 1946) , who I read at Brooke Gallery (last weekend) was  Sarawak’s independence patriot. He fought peacefully against the British colonisation of Sarawak after World War II. 

19 years on, I’m back in Kuching for the weekend.

Here’s my take on some of the places I went:-

  1. Sarawak Cultural Village

The house (hut) on the lake

Hello there!

We got there on a Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Vaguely remember the last time I was here but it just looks smaller as compared to before. The lake was smaller and looks unkept but maybe it was a Sunday?

But here’s an amazing view of the waterfalls; definitely Insta-worthy!

Man-made waterfall

Breathtaking view of the waterfalls within Sarawak Cultural Village


Took some photos of the houses; 

  1. Rumah Melanau
Rumah Melanau

Nasib bait gamba clear, mun sik tek nang gulin atas lantey

Ethnic Melanau makes up about 6 percent of the total state population of Sarawak. A majority of Melanau professes the religion of Islam and the ethnic is commonly associated with ethnic Malay. Their concentration is quite restricted to the central coastal region of the Rajang River delta in towns such as Oya and Mukah. 

It is built some 40 feet above ground that you will wonder how these tribal people, isolated from common modernity, were able to build such a behemoth. The main reason, according to the literature that I read, is that the coastal areas where the Melanau live are prone to frequent pirate attacks from the sea, hence the tall house is some sort of protection against these perpetrators. Not to mention, the river delta that the people call home is also subjected to occasional flooding that having a house with the floors raised considerably above ground is a necessity rather than a cosmetic pursuit.

There are staircases provided for visitors to enter the tall house. The first staircase will bring you to the first floor where the display of tools and utensils associated with ethnic Melanau is available throughout. Surprisingly, there is another staircase made of tree trunks to the second floor where the bedroom models are showcased. Climbing these trunk-staircase is an acquired skill on its own and caution should be exercised. (The Malaysia Hotel Review)

2. Rumah Orang Ulu



Rumah Orang Ulu

Where the monkeys are

The Orang Ulu Longhouse is built on raised floors some feet above ground amidst lush tropical greenery.  

The term Orang Ulu is not ethnically correct per se, mainly because it consists of various well-distinguished ethnic groups such as the Kayan, the Kenyah, the Kelabit (found in the famous Bario Highlands), the Lun Bawang and to a certain extent, the Penan. Nonetheless, the term Orang Ulu is associated with the tribes living in the inaccessible interior regions of Sarawak rainforests. In fact, orang (means “people”) and ulu (means “interior or up-river regions”) is often useful to signify the “up-river dwellers” who often settle in the middle and upper reaches of Sarawak’s many great rivers. (The Malaysia Hotel Review)

In general, the Orang Ulu are famous for their unique musical instrument called sape, elaborate beadworks, extensive body tattooing, sword-making (or called parang ilang), exquisite totem poles and intricate native arts. The sape is also my favourite instrument in Federal Highway traffic. 

2. Carpenter’s Street 

Carpenter's Street

Loving the streets in the rain


Took a walk in the rain with my trusted hotel umbrella and the cap (just in case I lose my umbrella, which is bound to happen). There’s so much to see here; jewellery shops, vintage, dressmaker, hipster cafes and Yeck Sung Frame Makers. 


Uncle and us

Sistersss with the co-founder of Yeck Sung Frame Makers

According to Uncle co-founder (we didn’t get his name lol), he came to Kuching in 1947 from Hong Kong to manage the shop from his elder sister. He is now 86 years old but he looks fitter than you and me. 


That’s the end of Part 1 of my Kuching trip.

Meow you later! ❤

My visit to Auschwitz

28th January 2018 is commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, political leaders and Jewish officials warned that the Nazi genocide must never cease serving as a reminder of the evil of which humans are capable.

Here are some photos from my last solo trip to Auschwitz:-

It was one and a half hours trip from Krakow. Can’t remember much from the bus trip except that when the documentary was played on the bus, everyone cried.

A woman asked if she could stay on the bus when we got to the Museum.

An emotional bus ride for everyone.


The trains will stop here for the screening process


The ashes from 1940-1945

Auschwitz was the largest Nazi German Concentration Camp and Death Camp

In the years 1940-1945, The Nazis deported at least 1,300,000 people to Auschwitz

"Jews are a race that must be totally exterminated"

“Jews are a race that must be totally exterminated”

Lost for words

I’ve always seen photos of Auschwitz but when I got to the camp and the barracks, I was lost for words..

I've always seen photos of Auschwitz but when I got to the camp and the barracks, I was lost for words..

There were no sight of birds in Auschwitz

There were no sight of birds in Auschwitz


“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956


I’m big on birthdays.

Birthday vouchers, birthday cakes, birthday trips. You name it.

Every year, I will go on a birthday trip for a few days to a week, away from my family and friends. (sometimes I do it during Eid but that’s another story). My solo travels are usually to reflect on life and shizz.

In 2010, I set off on my first solo birthday trip.

To Siem Reap.

Floating Village of Tonle Sap Lake

The view (back) of one of the huts

Floating Village of the Fisherman's Village, Tonle Sap Lake

The frontal view of one of the floating huts from the Floating Village of Tonle Sap

Crocs are made of these

Crocodiles are not alligators

Another tourist attraction on Tonle Sap Lake, The Crocodile Farm. Just look at the size of that thing. The crocodiles are reared for the handbag and shoe Industry. Funny how it’s sought after the rich. Reptiles are meant to be in the Wild, not on men or women.


Domino’s back in the day. Not the pizza, the game.

Next, I find myself in Angkor Thom, here’s a structure of the floors of the Angkor (temple). The steps going up the top was pretty steep too.

Angkor Thom

Went up the stairs to watch the sunset. Not really sure why but I love sunsets back then. More now.

Some parts of the Angkor was under works. Went around the Angkor for a bit and walked a couple of metres out to the other temples.

Probably the gundiks

Or the Guardians of the Temple

I’m so glad I did Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the other Angkors before they revised the tourist rate for entry (USD 20).

Solo trips are fun when you’ve built an itinerary but it is also fun if you just wing some parts of your adventure. It can be from waking up to see the sunset to cycling the city/town and having croissants at the favourite local cafe. I didn’t do any of that in Siem Reap. I wanted to ‘be safe‘ and stuck to the trusted Air Asia Go (lol).

Speaking of birthdays…

Happy birthday rockstar ❤

Hope you have a dreamy birthday as dreamy as you ❤


“Travel brings power and love back into your life” – Rumi 

Times Up

TIME’S UP is a call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.

No more silence. No more waiting. No more tolerance for discrimination, harassment or abuse.


On Sundays, we wear black ⚫️