Grab a group of friends, throw in a Kuching native or two if you have. Then bundle everyone into a chartered - aircon optional but most welcome - van.
And what you have is a holiday that is a pinch of this, a touch of that - the very best way to sample Sarawak.
Sun, sea and sand
Many beaches to choose from, although some may come with those nasty buggers called sandflies. Damai Beach has to be the most well-known among tourists, but if you make it out to other beaches such as Semantang, you'll share surf and turf with the locals.
At low tide in Semantang, we strolled for metres on the beach before we reached the water, and then waded further out before the sea was more than a metre deep. The clear, gentle waves made for great splashing and a placid swim.
Just watch out for the occasional jellyfish floating by innocuously and don't be fooled by the general calm into deeper waters than your comfort zone.
Nature is definitely one of Sarawak's attractions.
Even the casual walks we took, such as one in Semengoh Nature Reserve was fruitful enough. We urbanites "oohed" and "aahed" over pepper, cloves and pineapple plants, snapped pictures of mini carnivorous pitcher plants and generally goggled at everywhere leafier than the manicured gardens back in Singapore.
At the Semangoh Orang Utan Preserve, we jostled with countless other homo sapiens in the middle of the forest - all that effort just to catch a glimpse of the broad, haughty back of the dominant male Orang Utan as he surveyed the feast of fruits spread before him, in a clearing far away from the human gathering.
Then, movement up on the trees. Everyone looked up and saw a few more Orang Utans, including a mother with her child swinging from tree to tree.
A few squirrels cautiously made an appearance after the male Orang Utan decided he would not eat anymore with humans gawking at him. Still with his back to us, the diva suddenly dove into the trees, his grace belying his bulk. In minutes, he was a speck, swinging from tree to tree, which bent and swayed resiliently to take the Orang Utan's weight. And he disappeared into the forest.
Kuching has its share of department stores, concentrated near the Hilton at the riverfront. But, you shouldn't come to Sarawak just to shop. You have been warned.
Makan (Malay for food)
What's a holiday without good food?
There's plenty of chow, from sit-down dinner with wine and beer in aircon restaurants to street grub in aged coffeeshops.
One afternoon, we stuffed ourselves with gargantuan platters of fresh seafood, tucked in al fresco, next to a jetty where the village's fishing boats pull in every morning with the day's catch.
And have I mentioned the ou luak (oyster omelette)? We ate this dish at at least three different places, and the ou lauk tasted different each time. The oysters, however, were always plump and fresh, rather unlike the shrivelled versions from some eateries in Singapore.
Do I hear the cholesterol barometer flying off the scale? Well, smash it already and bon apetit!
* * * * *Getting there: Air Asia flies to Kuching, the captial of Sarawak, from Senai International Airport in Johor Baru. You pay in Malaysian Ringgit for your air ticket. After clearing customs at the Causeway, take a short taxi or bus ride to the Air Asia office at Kota Raya. Then, take the airport shuttle (RM4-8) to Larkin. Check air ticket prices and routes at: http://www.airasia.com.
Alternatively, fly SilkAir from Changi Airport to Kuching. Check prices and availability at http://www.silkair.com.
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