Journey into the Heart of Borneo
Trip Start Feb 23, 2006
168Trip End Jun 24, 2009
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The ride up the river is great. There is densely packed jungle and the farther up the river you go the less logging you see. But it really disgusts me to see all the piles and piles of logs along the river bank. Literally millions of tons of trees chopped down in unsustainable forestry practices by companies like Mitsubishi were strewn along the river banks. Behind the logs, you can see people living in long, I mean really long houses. Traveling in a speed boat, the longest house would last about 15 seconds or I'd estimate about 500-600 feet long. Behind the houses, it seems as if the jungle stretches forever. Without this river as their life's blood, I can't imagine you could penetrate the dense foliage much less live this far inland. I imagine in dry season it would be very difficult to get supplies when the bigger boats can't run the Pelagus Rapids.
You can ride on the outside of the speed boats if you want to. It's much more scenic than sitting inside watching the entire James Bond series. Be careful! It can be very dangerous out there though. Whenever they drop off a passenger or run up next to another boat, the platform that you stand on either goes under or over the next boats platform
There is not much to do in Kapit, but you pretty much have to spend a night here if you want to go further up river. There is one boat currently running at 9am to Belaga.
Traveler's Tips: Ignore the LP if you are looking for long house stays or other activities surrounding Kapit. If you go to the New Rajang Inn, they will refer you to a known shyster, Joshua, who will try to rip you off for as much as he thinks you can pay. He's a smooth talker, but if you look a bit under the surface, neither he nor his numbers add up
Be cautious of your bags while traveling up river. 2 travelers had several items stolen out of their bags when they put them on top of the boat from Sibu to Kapit. Apparently, they did a very thorough search through their bags, but fortunately left a very expensive dive mask behind as they probably didn't know the value of it. Fortunately, we took our bags inside the boat with us.