See more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/140043503@N03/8hBa35
The first day Franki, Ranah, and I arrived in Cebu, the Central Market was mostly closed because we it was already quite late in the afternoon. So instead, we visited a small Chinese Temple named Tua Pek Kong Temple. It is situated right on the on the water and had many detailed lanterns and figurines inside.
Afterwards, we headed to the Night Market for dinner. It was a triangular area in the middle of the city with a collection of food and goods vendors, barbecuers, and food stalls. Some stands even sold alcohol! It was great to see that the majority of people there were locals. Cebu looks a little grimy compared to Miri, but it definitely grew on us very quickly.
The following day, we got to sleep in! For breakfast we shared some rambutan fruit and leftover glutinous cake from the day before.
We stepped outside and explored the Central Market buzzing with people and products. The outside plaza area sold local fruit including the famous dabai (which tastes like a milky olive), durian, local ferns and plants, live eels, and more. Inside, stalls sold chickens and ducks wrapped in newspaper ready to-go. A famous layer cake (Kek lapis) was also available. They are rectangular and have many colourful patterns and designs in them.
Next we visited the Sibu Heritage Centre. Most (if not all) the museums in Malaysia are free, which is great! The museum was tiny, but did a good job displaying the history of Sarawak and the different peoples that have made it what it is today.
In the afternoon, we visited the Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum. It was scary to see what implements were available in the 1900s for surgeries, operations, medical procedures, and dentistry. Older machines that were on display included an old ECG Machine from 1981, CPR training equipment, a defibrillator from 1981, and a Bicycle Exercise Stress Test. It definitely gave me a greater appreciation of the advanced technologies and medical practices we have access to today.
Franki and I continued to explore and walked into a car dealership called Proton, an Izuki Malaysian car company. Although, we were clear that we didn’t need any help, a sales representative named Alex guided us around. He was very kind and provided us with tips on where to go and what to see in Sebu. He then decided to leave work early to drive Franki and I around town to try some famous local dishes. Some of the places were closed so we ended up at the 2nd floor of the Central Market. I got a Teh C Special – a sweet tea drink with condensed milk. Awong also shared some squid and tofu with us which was delicious! His generosity and actions will never be forgotten and are such a stark contrast to the cold unfriendly city I grew up in! I wish more people were like him.
For dinner we went back to the Night Market and tried the famous Kompia. It looks a bit like a tiny bagel with meat in the middle and is delicious. It reminds me of a slider. Traditionally, it was used by the Chinese during periods of war. They would string the hole through a holster or rope over their shoulder. They lasted incredibly long and were very accessible this way.