Notes on the Geography of Malaysia: Kuching Suburbs
We look here at the administrative district north of the river, then at some commercial and residential neighborhoods to the south.
Early in 2009, the State Legislative Assembly Building (Dewan Undangan Negeri) was nearing completion between the Astana and Fort Margherita, both of which it dwarfed.
Set back farther from the river, and in the style made famous (or notorious) by Brasilia, the Wisma Bapa Malaysia houses various government offices in splendid isolation.
Avenue of approach. No sidewalks.
An uncomfortable walk to the north brings us to the offices of Sarawak Energy.
The Wisma Sumber Alam, housing the ministry of Public Utilities and the Forest Department.
Located in a way that guarantees that nobody will ever arrive on foot, this is the state mosque or Masjid Jamek Negeri Sarawak.
Prayer niche, with floor fans.
There's at least one very chi-chi neighborhood in these parts. We'll take a look.
The gap-toothed Greek temple.
Italian Renaissance bringing up the rear.
Simpler housing, farther north.
We've jumped to the south of Kuching and to the first big building seen when driving north from the airport to the city.
A couple of miles farther in, the Premier 101 commercial center echoes New Urbanist principles.
Of course, the New Urbanism isn't so far from the traditional shophouse: shop down, apartment up.
This is the tropics, in case you needed reminding.
A nearby subdivision.
What would James or Charles or Vyner Brooke make of this? I suppose they'd be stupefied, at least for a moment.
Kuching's flashiest shopping center.
Sushi delivered by conveyor.
Globalization on the march.
Ooh! my favorite brand. The French, they are so civilized.
That's about USD 80 a pop.
Proof of the adaptability of the Malay language.
Local HQ for Yum Brands.
Apartment building on the river.
We've come here to juxtapose old and new. Right next to the building in the last picture, a truck approaches with big blocks of ice.
They're ground up and shunted down to the hold of a fishboat about to set out to sea.
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