Through the South China Sea and up the Rajang
Jan 28, 2013
Mar 09, 2013
I recognize very little in Sibu
. The express boat docked at a large terminal building and there are other wharfs for smaller boats down river. Buses still line up outside the terminal. The market and food stands are gone from the area and have been replaced with a promenade or walkway several blocks long. A new huge central market has been built near the center of town. The older part of the city downtown, Chinatown, looks much the same and I saw one corner hawker center (= several food stands sharing an area) that could potentially be the one we used to eat at. I found two "supermarkets" with a wide array of products.
I found the visitor information center and the kind gentleman called a friend who told him where Buloh Road (my former address) is. I have sketchy directions so will try to walk there in the relative coolness of the morning. I managed to get totally lost for awhile - a map with only a few major streets on it isn't too helpful with a hodge-podge of streets going every which way and almost no street signs. I found someone who pointed me to the river and made it back to the hotel.
Taxi to the Express Boat wharf 8 miles east of Kuching this morning to catch the daily speedboat to Sibu. Forty first class seats in an air-conditioned cabin, second-class seating below and outside. First 20 minutes we traveled south on the Sarawak River past dockyards and small ships. Then to the South China Sea. The weather is good today but it still was a bumpy, swaying ride. Couldn't see land though I think we were primarily following the coast to the Rajang River. Got to the mouth of the Rajang around 11:00 a.m. and made the first stop at a village there. The river in this part is lined with timber mills though many look unused. Arrived in Sarieki an hour later, then another hour to Sibu. Logging company operations were much more active as we approached Sibu. The river is brown; one of my guidebooks suggests that erosion from extensive logging further up the river has made the problem worse.