Kuching embraces its identity as "The City of Cats." The Malay word for cat is "kucing" which has led to this branding. This is strictly a pun as Kuching was named long before the modern Malay language was spoken in Borneo.


The Sarawak State Assembly building is the most prominent structure in Kuching. It sits directly on the riverfront in downtown Kuching.

My trip to Borneo was prompted by finding an extremely cheap round-trip ticket to Singapore on United Airlines. Flight UA37 was a newly-created direct route from Los Angeles to Singapore and was the longest commercial flight by duration at the time. Since the route was so new, United was unable to fill seats on the flight before the route began. They started selling round-trip tickets for only $380 during the first few weeks of the route in order to recuperate fuel costs. I already had a flight voucher with United Airlines after I let them bump me off my return flight from the DEFCON conference several months before so I didn't end up having to pay anything in the end.

Counter-intuitively, the flight was emptier the lower the fare class. First and business were almost full, economy plus was about half full, and the basic economy cabin was nearly empty. I had a row to myself with two empty rows in front of me and behind me. As UA37 is nearly 18 hours, this made the flight much more bearable.

Dongdaemun Market

Wholesale fabric is the main focus of the Dongdaemun Market but there is also an ample selection of food on hand.

The Namdaemun Market operates 24 hours and sells practically anything you can imagine. Clothing, housewares, food, and toys can all be found here. Hoehyeon Station is the closest subway stop.


The city of Kaesong in North Korea can be viewed from across the DMZ at convenient lookout points on the South Korean side. The US/South Korean joint forces operate massive loud speakers at the lookout that pipe timeless classics such as "It's Raining Men" across the border to entertain the North Korean border guards.


The UNCMAC Conference Building is halfway inside North Korea. In this photo looking outside the window one can see the demarcation line between the two countries (North Korea on the left and South Korea on the right).