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Emigrating to Kuching
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2007/9/21 17:31
From Taipei, Taiwan
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Hi everyone,

I'm a German native who's been living in Taiwan for the past 19 years. My wife is Taiwanese and our two sons are six and eight years old, respectively. I'm a translator and interpreter (Mandarin/German/English) by training and co-run an international localization agency for video games.

Unfortunately, a few years ago I started growing tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes), a hobby that quickly mutated into a full-blown obsession. In combination with my life-long interest in tropical forests and the critters, bugs and plants that inhabit them, this led to the development of an almost pathetic mania about Sarawak. Over the past two years, I've read every English publication on the subject that I could get a hold of.

Last month, I finally had the chance to visit Kuching for two weeks as a participant of an international conference on pitcher plants (the Nepenthes Summit held at the old Courthouse in August). To my utter delight, I found everything in and around Kuching – the forests, the food, the people, the laid-back atmosphere, the prospect of interesting reptiles visiting our pantry - even better than anticipated, and when I got on the plane back home I’d already decided to move to Kuching as soon as possible.

Incredibly, instead of cracking my skull with a wok, my wife actually liked the idea because she sees it as an excellent opportunity for our kids to attend an international school with a British curriculum (Int’l Lodge) after finishing their elementary grades in a Chinese environment, so as soon as our kids are done with grade school here in two years, we’ll head out to Kuching.

Before that, we’ll try to visit Sarawak at least twice a year to familiarize ourselves with the surroundings, and so far I’ve been pretty successful in finding the answers to many questions that come with such an emigration project.

Alas, there are still some things I need to know, and I would appreciate it very much if y’all could help me out with your amassed knowledge.

In particular, I‘d be very grateful for any pointers regarding the following:

1. We’d like to rent a bungalow or a detached house with four bedrooms (I work from home and need an office) and a garden. Every time I try to find information about Kuching realtors, I get only “Hornbill Real Estate”. Surely there are others? If so, could you recommend any?

2. We’ll be visiting Kuching next April again and, among other things, would like to check out a few malls and shopping centers. Which shopping center is the best in your opinion, regarding one-stop shopping convenience and general product variety? (There is currently no Carrefour in Kuching, is there?)

3. How fast is the fastest Internet access the Sarawak telecoms offer? I practically live on the Internet, business-wise, and have been spoiled rotten by the excellent high-speed service here in Taiwan.

4. Lastly, I’d also be very happy about general tips for a family that’s new in town – anything you’d consider important to know.


Again, thanks very much in advance for your kind assistance - looking forward to become part of your great little town!

Cheers

TT

Posted on: 2007/9/21 18:29
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
Home away from home
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2007/6/22 14:54
From Kuching
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Hi, Twoton. Welcome to Kuching (Cat City), the capital state of Sarawak (the land of hornbill) with abundant species of flora and fauna and yet more new species to be explored.

To answer some of your questions. Here's my suggestion.

I think housing areas such as along the JALAN SONG or TABUAN HEIGHT might suit you. That is a very nice place and stayed mostly by rich people. Alternately, you can consider BATU KAWAH NEW TOWNSHIP as it is a very convenient housing areas with shops and supermarkets available. Besides, you could also consider houses in GREEN HEIGHTS which is near BDC and KUCHING INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

We do not have carrefour here but we are soon equipped with the most modernised shopping centers such as THE SPRING AND BOULEVARD MALL. At the moment, you can get to shop at the existing shopping centers such as RIVERSIDE SHOPPING CENTRES, SARAWAK PLAZA, TUN JUGAH, HOCK LEE CENTRES, CROWN TOWERS, WISMA SABERKAS... etc. Some of the supermarkets you could get here are EVERRISE, NGIU KEE, CHOICE, 100%, HON LEE, etc.

Yes there are broadband services here and it is namely TMNET STREAMYX and the fastest speed you could get is 1Mbs. It is quite fast and here is the package you could get right here. I am a broadband TMNET STREAMYX agent and you could contact me for that.

We hope you and your family have pleasant times here in Kuching. It is a very beautiful and peaceful city after all. Welcome, Welcome!

Posted on: 2007/9/21 18:49
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
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Posts: 47
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Hi Mike

thank you so much for your warm welcome and your valuable tips!

a very nice place and stayed mostly by rich people.

Well, I'm not rich by any standards and hopefully never will be, but I do need a garden for my plants and am willing to get in financial trouble for that, haha... If I wanted to find out more info about the housing areas you mention, would I have to approach their management directly, or are there real estate agents whocould show me around?

Thanks also for the tip about Streamyx - I've PM'd you

Can't wait to get back and show my kids the vipers in Bako and the skulls in Fort Margerita

Posted on: 2007/9/21 21:16
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/7/12 8:45
From Kuching
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Hi, Welcome to Kuching!

Try houseforsale.com.my to find homes for sale or rent in Kuching. This one seems like what you might be looking for.

Broadband here is ok when you can get used to it. But its notoriously unreliable. It can become a pain in the neck if you run a internet business. The standard of broadband here is not very high compared to other big cities.

Posted on: 2007/9/21 21:27
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
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Thanks for the tips, Tequila. My goodness, these prices are unbelievable! For RM900 you can barely rent two rooms and a small toilet here in Taipei!

What's the problem with broadband? Crocs chomping through the wires regularly? Too much rain? (<- this is what sometimes kneecaps our BB service in Taipei)

Posted on: 2007/9/21 22:38
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
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2003/6/27 19:19
From Kuching
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Hi Twonton, thank you for dropping this website and hope you find resourceful information here. I just got to know a German tourist 2 days ago. She said "Kuching is a Great place !, and just a question.. where can I get a taxi here?"

Anyway, regarding the broadband, my place here is highly affected by rain. if its rain, the connection won't be consistent or there isn't any connection at all.

But at normal times, its usable in anyway. I am a administrate 4-5 websites without much complain about the broadband service.

Quote:


2. We’ll be visiting Kuching next April again and, among other things, would like to check out a few malls and shopping centers. Which shopping center is the best in your opinion, regarding one-stop shopping convenience and general product variety? (There is currently no Carrefour in Kuching, is there?)


There will be few malls up by the beginning of next year. so I would say, Kuching is mushroom-ing. The current malls we have are not really bright I would say.

Quote:

4. Lastly, I’d also be very happy about general tips for a family that’s new in town – anything you’d consider important to know.


I think living in Kuching is similiar to where you live your life in any other place. Just a normal simple life. Any particular question that you might want to ask regarding this matter?

Posted on: 2007/9/21 23:44
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
Quite a regular
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Thanks for all that!! I've heard about the new malls (Google Alerts is your friend!) and am looking forward to visiting them!

Quote:

I think living in Kuching is similiar to where you live your life in any other place. Just a normal simple life. Any particular question that you might want to ask regarding this matter?


Well, yeah, you know....stuff like

- is there anything I should bring because you can't get it in Kuching? Stuff the Kuchingites usually buy in KL or SG?

- Are there places to buy oversized clothes? (I'm XXXL)

- Is there a greenhouse maker in the area?

- Is there a garden center in the area?

- What places can y'all recommend to take our children on holidays? You know, amusement parks, playgrounds, things interesting for children.

- Are there bookstores specialized in Chinese books?

- What's the best bookstore in town to buy English books?

- What's the best bookstore in town to buy books on Borneo? (apart from the Sarawak Museum and its Journals)

- and, most importantly: where can I get a monitor lizard for my garden (a friend in Kuching has one living in his backyard). OK, don't answer that. But I would really like to have one


Thanks again!!

TT

Posted on: 2007/9/22 0:07
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
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is there anything I should bring because you can't get it in Kuching? Stuff the Kuchingites usually buy in KL or SG?

Erm..you can get the basic necessary stuff to live in Kuching. Unless you're are into very high end products or some high tech stuff where its pretty low in demand in Kuching, you might want to bring it over. But for me, I usually make my order from KL and they deliver it over to Kuching. So not much a problem even if I can't find it in Kuching. (specificly camera accesories where its sort of limited in KUching)


- Are there places to buy oversized clothes? (I'm XXXL)


I recalled there was one retailer that kept on advertise their stocks in newspaper. They're selling what you're looking for. Well if you can't find it here, there are always tailors around. Or you can travel to KL to buy



- Is there a greenhouse maker in the area?


I am not very knowledgable in this field. Greenhouse, you mean a house with all glass panels? If thats the case, there are always contrators that you can find. If you have they specs, they can build it with the materials you requested.


- Is there a garden center in the area?


I don't quite get what you mean. Kuching does have alot of garden around. There is a pitcher plant garden at 10th mile off Kuching city.


- What places can y'all recommend to take our children on holidays? You know, amusement parks, playgrounds, things interesting for children.


There are parks around Kuching. most people like to jog there during early morning and evening time. and mostly there are small playground in the park.

Amusement park - none, unless there are special events going on like Euro Fun Fair that comes to Kuching once in a while and setup a reasonably big amusement park with lots of machine.

Well Kuching have beach, that could be an ideal place or usual entertainment center like the cineplex.



- Are there bookstores specialized in Chinese books?

Yea there are. But you can also get chinese books at other places in Kuching. Once a while, there are chinese books fair selling at cheap price.



- What's the best bookstore in town to buy English books?


Currently there is only one franchised bookstore in Kuching which is called "POPULAR". But next year, there should have another giant bookstore franchise coming in which is called "MPH".



- What's the best bookstore in town to buy books on Borneo? (apart from the Sarawak Museum and its Journals)


None specificly. I do suggest the one in Crowne Plaza, Times Bookstore I am not mistaken.


and, most importantly: where can I get a monitor lizard for my garden (a friend in Kuching has one living in his backyard).


I am not sure if that is legal. A green garden lizard or a chameleon might be ok. But a monitor lizard may not be okay. Just need to find out with the forest department or something.

Posted on: 2007/9/22 1:26
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
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I won't have problem with the braodband connection unless I've downloaded too heavily with the torrents.

By the way, why would u keep a monitor lizard in the garden? It's scary, Twoton. I'm not so sure if that's legal. After all, they are wild animals and usually won't be allowed to appear in the city. Same reason like you're not allowed to keep tigers, lions or elephants as pet at your house.

There are a lot of national parks in Kuching and the entire region of Sarawak. Sarawak is very popular with the nature of flora and fauna, a place for eco-tourism and for people to discover new species. I think right here, you can get all the pitchers you want.

Posted on: 2007/9/22 11:10
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Re: Emigrating to Kuching
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A monitor lizard is illegal? But they are so common.

I have a couple in my house too. They pop up randomly here and there. Sometimes u look in the drain and u'll see one!

I dun think its illegal to have a monitor lizard in the house. Even on the golf course you will see many! The caddies like to catch them and eat them.

Posted on: 2007/9/22 11:52
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