The annual Kuching Festival is back! As usual, it’s located at MBKS Community Hall. This year, it runs from 28 July to 20 August. I didn’t go on the first day. Instead went on the third day, a Sunday. Not even 5pm, looking for a nearby parking space was impossible on both sides of the road. People had been pouring in since 4.30pm.
The main entrance…
The entrance to the festival ground is hideous! It’s like the arc used for a funeral setup. They shouldn’t put that two little roofs on top of the pillars. That’s the main issue. Why can’t just have the mascot and balloons cutouts decorating the top? It gives a more festive and cheerful mood.
Many stalls but nothing fancied us
There are over 300 stalls this year. Unfortunately, many stalls that used to be there were no more. We went there and wanted to get some of the familiar food but they were not there anymore. We spent 1 1/2 hours walking the whole festival ground and even made 1 1/2 rounds, we still couldn’t decide what to get. Too much fancy food and food prices have increased so much! It’s really not worth it to spend that much money on them.
What an experience!
We ended up just buying Taiwanese sausage (RM10 for 3) for the sake of buying something. If we didn’t buy anything, that would be a record! We would go back empty-handed for the first time. Thinking that it’s the safest food to buy as it’s something we’re familiar with. Apparently, the sausage was contaminated, got worms! Only knew after eating it. That was also due to someone on my Instagram alerting me about it after I posted it on my Instagram story. Otherwise, I won’t know. Had also sent the hi-res photo to people who are familiar with such things to confirm and indeed it’s worms! It’s not skin! It’s worms! Not gonna share the photo here. If you know, you know.
I didn’t even see the dead worms when I took them out to take a photo. After taking the photo, I put it back into the bag. Maybe the “roasted” worms were shaken/rubbed off into the bag when we took it out again to eat. That’s why we didn’t see the worms when we ate it.
We had also seen the doctor and showed the photo to the medical professionals there. We were given deworming medicine. Even though the tapeworms seemed “cooked”, we’re not sure the temperature inside the sausage was high enough to kill whatever it was inside. Hence, we’re eating the medicine as a precautionary measure to kill off whatever was not “killed” by the heat in the sausage. I don’t know how many people were affected by this and how many days it’s been like this.
Update from the relevant department (2/8/2023)
A complaint was lodged on Talikidmat on 1st August. They are very efficient. I got the feedback on 2nd August with this reply:
Dear sir, the sausage casings are made of natural animal intestines, in the process of making sausage, the external fatty tissues and inner submucosa of the animal intestines are removed or break and washes. The “white strips” could be the remains of the submucosa left after the washing process. It is found on a few of the sausages shown to us. To conclude, the white strips are not the tapeworm as per reported. Case closed.
This is also the reason why I don’t post the photo on this blog or do a full post on it on my Instagram or Facebook. I wanted to make sure that it is really not worms. If the specific post was done, I’m 100% sure it would get out of control.
With the response given, for those of you who were lucky to see it in my story, are you convinced? if you are not, there’s nothing much that can be done. I don’t have the sample for them to test, just a photo. They went to check and that’s what they found. All I can say is just be extra alert with what you put into your mouth at festivals like this. Do spend and eat at your own risk. If you really encounter any issues, do report them.
No plastic bags
Do take note there are no plastic bags given. Therefore, you have to bring your own bags so that you can carry your food around. Some stalls even charge you for paper bags! Like… Excuse me? You don’t charge for plastic bags last time when plastic bags were allowed but you are charging for paper bags now. What’s the logic?
Tomorrow, the 1st of August, there will be a roadblock at the Kuching Waterfront area starting at 6am until the end of the event. This is in conjunction with the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of Kuching achieving its city status. It will happen at 10am at the compound of Square Tower at the Kuching Waterfront.
Next, there will be a Kuching Street Parade in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Sarawak Independence this coming Saturday evening (5 August, 7pm). There will be roadblocks this coming Thursday and Friday for rehearsal. Then, another roadblock will be Saturday morning till the end of the event. So do avoid Padungan until Padang Merdeka area these three days unless you wanna join in the fun.
A Special Tent
There’s a special tent this year. Many creative fusion food here. There’s pansuh siobee some more. It’s cooler to sit here but the place is limited. If people decided to smoke or vape in here, you are pretty much trapped inside inhaling all of those.
Garden Show & The Stage
How can one miss the Garden Show and the series of performances on the stage on the lake?
The Garden Show these few years had been scaled down a lot. Not many surprises there. It’s pretty much what you get every single day.
There are two wishing wells here. One is a well, one is a cat. So, wish at your own risk *LOL* You believe your wish will come true by throwing money inside?
The indoor trade show is in the hall every year. Back then, there were outdoor ones too but now no more. Its space was taken by food stalls. It’s no longer as exciting as it used to be. Even many booths were empty. Not rented.
Be prepared to brace for the crowds and the heat. It’s hazy these days too. Be sure to stay hydrated. Also, make sure you check your food before putting it into your mouth. Don’t expect to find your usual Kuching food there. Aside from that, there isn’t halal and non-halal segregation. That’s the beauty of the festival.
Feel free to go and join the fun. As for spending money on food, spend it at your own risk.
On a Side Note
By the way, Sarawak is hosting the national-level International Museum Day at Sarawak Cultures Musuem from 31 July to 5 Aug. There are a series of activities there. Do note that the parking there is closed. So you have to park somewhere and walk there to join the activities. You can check out further details on their official FB Page.