May 2, 2011

Up the Great Rejang River

East Malaysia has always held such an appeal to me ever since I was young. It seems so mysterious, so undiscovered, with all its natural resources, cultural fascination and tradition waiting to be explored. And I have always yearned to go and see what I can discover from there.

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So when I was in Sibu, I decided to take a boat ride up the Rejang River. When I mentioned this to people, I received questions like, “Is it safe? Will you be OK? Go there for what? Got crocodiles or not? You one girl go alone OK ar? Not scared ar?” and etc etc… I believe they have too much imagination thinking that I will be in danger, maybe in meeting headhunters or wild boar or getting lost in the jungle… like erm… George of the jungle??

A tiny church tuck peacefully along the river
But I am here to dispelled all your fears…Its perfectly safe. I did meet headhunters (sort off)  and wild boars but sadly, I missed out the part on getting lost somewhere in the jungle and also not dressing up like George… or maybe Jane…

Logging & construction activities along the river
I caught the 8.30am express boat (RM25 - economy class) from Sibu’s Jetty, up the Rejang River, heading straight to the little bustling town of Kapit. The air-conditioner was turned on full blast and the cold was frost-biting… really… my toes were about the fall off. It’s quite a comfortable ride, except for the frozen toe parts. Please remember to bring a jacket. To help passed time, movies are being played the whole journey but I was too fascinated with the view along the river. 

Long express boat. The engine are located at the rear end of the boat. The nearer you are to the engine, the cheaper the cost of boat ride is due to its noise and heat. I’m somewhere in the middle. Behind me is where the VIP class are located.

Modernize Iban Longhouses
The small town of Song
First glimpse of Kapit. See, it doesn’t look like the jungle right?

I was one of the first one of the boat as I impatient wanted to take some pictures. My boat was the one on the far right, blue in colour. See how we/I had to cross all the boat to get to the jetty. Pretty dangerous huh? Need some skills especially if you are carrying loads of stuff..

Kapit is a small, bustling town packed with people, cars, more people and more cars. It’s a very small town with the town square located in the middle, surrounded by rows of shop houses. The town square is the main attraction for the locals. It’s a popular hang-out place for them just to chat and spend time with their friends.

Harmony Mall. 
Market Teresang, the main attraction in Kapit.It is where you can get vegetables, knick-knacks and fishes, which are famous for its quality and cheap prices.

Wild Boar... *see, I told you I met them*
Turtles *illegal* and fishes
Kuihs… What is Malaysia without its colourful and tasty kuihs?I love the brown one. Its sweet and crispy and I think it is made out of brown sugar.. Can’t remember what it is called tho.

Methodist Church
Kapit's Hospital. There even have a forensic unit there *don't play play k*
Boats, their main mode of transportation
View of river from old jetty
Accommodation in Kapit
Big church up on a hill
Kapit's buses.

Fort Sylvia. Didn't manage to view inside as it closes every Monday. 
Kapit's New Jetty. 

The water level on the Rejang River has gone down tremendously due to the filling up of the new Bako Dam. I did not manage a trip to the dam as time did not permit me. Maybe another time :(

I met this little girl at the kindergarten beside the church. She was waiting for her mum to pick her up after class. She is so adorable. When I ask her for a picture, she readily strike a pose. 

This little girl is the grand niece of one of the Sibu BB Officer. She refused to shake hands with me, kept hopping around and was only bribe with a box of chocolate and a lollipop to stand still for 2 seconds :( hence the blurry, caught of guard picture. 

Oh, and at any places I visit, food is a definite must. I had lunch at Hua Hua CafĂ© with freshly bought fish from the market. 

Soup. Wild Boar. Cangkuk Manis, a type of fern. Wild sawi. Venison. Steam Patin. 
After lunch it was time to catch the 2.30pm express boat back to Sibu. Though it was a short time spend there, it was an eye opener for me and that truly is an amazing experience; to be able to see the busy and vibrant community, the life of the locals, the interior of Sarawak, the Great Rejang River and of cos not forgetting its delicious food. 

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