Saturday, February 21, 2009

Of Kuching (Cats) and Horses

Almost all major towns and cities have some sort of a landmark, either in the form of a building or a huge work of art. On my recent visit to Kuching, East Malaysia, I noticed lots of humongous cat statues all over town, and why not, since Kuching means cat in the Malaysian language. Not sure what's the story behind the name, but apparently, it has to do with cats.

Here is one set near the Holiday Inn hotel and there are many others all over Kuching.

CNN recently had a story about a horse statue. In Ebbsfleet Valley in England, a sculpture of a giant 50-meter white horse taller than the Statue of Liberty is set to tower over the countryside as part of an unusual scheme to help revive the fortunes of a depressed region of England.

The artist who designed it is Mark Wallinger. This 50-meter equine artwork is the winner of a competition to design a landmark to dominate the skyline of the Ebbsfleet Valley, set to be a new stop on the Eurostar London-to-Paris rail link. This £2 million ($3 million) horse will be one of the largest artworks in the UK.

There are not many or maybe hardly any equestrian horse statue here in Malaysia but if you have seen them overseas in parks and places like that, did you notice whether the horse had all four legs on the ground or one or two hooves in the air? It is often believed that the rider's fate can be determined by the number of hooves the horse has raised.

Theory has it that if one hoof is raised, the rider was wounded in battle; two raised hooves, death in battle; all four hooves on the ground, the rider survived all battles unharmed.

Revelation time.. According to, this claim is false and that the position and pose of the statue does not signify anything. Now that we have got that out of the way, time for some laughs..



  1. Interesting fact on the horse hooves. Now that you mentioned, I did notice some were raised and in some cases, all four were on the ground.

    I wanna visit Kuching one day :)

  2. Why not. Kuching is only a short flight away (less than two hours) and with Air Asia available, it's a great weekend getaway. Best not to go during year-end as there is a lot of rainfall and floods. The days we were there, it was raining from day one until the day we left!

    Lots of places to explore but because of the weather, we were rather restricted. Still, it was a good visit. We missed the longhouses but managed to visit the Orangutan (and I am delinquent in posting the pictures).

  3. Perhaps Kuching had a rat problem and cats were the answer. Good question to pose to "Unker" over at Kuching Kayaking.

    The horse statue is very odd. Glad I don't have to clean up after a 50 meter tall horse!

    Come to think of it, though, in the USA there was a phase during which people were building big concrete dinosaurs to attract tourists to diners by the road side.

    And here in Ibaraki prefecture there is a 120 meter tall statue of Amida Buddha. Perhaps it could ride that horse. :p

  4. Oh, I want to go Kuching too! But now want to go KK after reading Quachee's blog! haha! The comic about the horse - very funny! LOL!

  5. PandaB, LOL! Good one. Yeah, perhaps "Unker" would be able to clue us in on it.

    I agree, the cleaning part would be a real challenge.

    Thanks for the link. I reread the article and enjoyed it as much as the first time I read it. Three times the height of the Statue of Liberty. Amazing!

  6. Foong, why not. You can cover both places, Kuching and KK, the same time. Air Asia, mah..

  7. hey happysurfer. when did u go hehe. i think just before me ya? :)

  8. QC, I was there in Dec.