8 photos from our road trip to Sarikei

1. Big Sarikei Pineapple

new sarikei pineapple statue

There’s a new twin statue of the iconic Sarikei pineapple in the older part of town! This is the “unripe” version, it’s green instead of yellow. smirk Technically, it’s not a statue since it’s not an effigy of a figure, person, or animal but a fruit – pineapples are the primary export of Sarikei and they’re famous for producing these prickly fruits.

2. The Journey from Sibu

sarikei 2014

My better half flew down with me from KL to visit my dad over the weekend. I decided to drive down to Sarikei since she’s never been there before so the three of us packed into a car and headed down to the small town. It’s roughly an hour’s drive from Sibu on a two lane road.

3. Entering Sarikei

red bridge

A beautiful red curving bridge is located at the border between Sibu and Sarikei. You can also reach there by a ferry service across the river but we took the route that takes us through Bintangor (another rural town).

4. Sarikei Clock Tower

sarikei clock tower

This is another famous landmark in town – erected in 1973, it’s been around for a while and recently the town seems to have found some funds to refurbish it. Yes, this is NOT the original clock tower – I have a photo of the earlier tower with a hollow center during my Sarikei trip in 2008.

5. Pasar Sungai Rejang

sungai rejang market

This roughly translates to “Rejang River Market”. Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia and connects much of Sarawak. This building houses the old wet market in town and there’s lots of interesting stuff in there!

6. Scenes from Sarikei Wet Market

sarikei market

There is a stall here that sells authentic home made Sarawak laksa paste but unfortunately it was closed by the time we arrived.

7. Salted Fish

salted-fish

Salted fish is a much beloved food item here. There are many different kinds of fish being dried, salted and sometimes fermented – everything from whitebait to local species to imported cod.

8. The Original Sarikei Pineapple Statue
(accept no substitutes)

sarikei pineapple statue

This is the original (bigger and ripe) Sarikei pineapple! It’s located by the waterfront and it’s almost bleached white from the constant cleaning. Contrast the Sarikei pineapple statue with a post I wrote when I went on a trip with a couple of friends during my winter holidays back from university in Melbourne – this is Sarikei back in 2002 where it’s a much dirtier but vibrant shade.

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19 thoughts on “8 photos from our road trip to Sarikei

  1. Hi Huai Bin! I think this is my very 1st comment in your blog. Actuallt have been your silent reader for a long time. ;)

    Firstly thanks for your comment in my blog.

    Secondly, it has been ages since I visited Sarikei and a lot of changes since then. No unripe pineapple back then. Hehe.

    I love road trip. Able to stop and see things you can’t see when you are flying etc.

    • Hello Rose! :)

      Thanks for reading! Yeah, it’s been a while since I was last in Sarikei too – I went in 2002 and then in 2008 (three times just to eat at Glory Cafe).

      I’m pretty sure the unripe pineapple is new. Haha! It’s on a pedestal so it *looks* higher than the original big pineapple but it’s actually not. I like the concept though – one unripe pineapple in the newer part of town and the older part of town has the ripe one.

      Indeed! I was thinking of places to bring my better half when she came to Sibu to visit my dad and decided to drive them to Sarikei to walk around and eat. She hasn’t been there either and I haven’t been on a road trip with my dad for quite a while too, so it was a lot of fun!

    • Thanks buddy! :)

      Surprisingly, she really does eat. Metabolism is better than mine even.

      I was down with dengue two weeks ago and couldn’t eat – think I had to force down a bun with water every single day and my stomach shrunk after that so I couldn’t eat as much.

      Now I’m back to normal, still wasn’t able to eat much in Hat Yai but during the past week have been eating my usual portions (which is a lot, as you’ve seen before when we ate together).

  2. It’s so nice of Ling (and you, of course) to fly from KL to visit your dad.
    Err, that (unripe) pineapple “statue” in the middle of town looks cute, but funny, like you said, it’s not a statue, but a fruit, LOL..
    Did you lose some weight? Or was it the photo angle?

    • I lost a lot of weight during the week I was down with dengue! :)

      I actually eat a lot, just need to recover from that period (and the week after) when I didn’t have appetite and my stomach shrunk so I couldn’t eat as much. I’m back to normal though, you can ask anyone who’s seen me eat, I can put down a lot of food!

      Yeah, it’s not technically a statue, it’s just a big pineapple. Haha! Last time there was only the original yellow ripe one in the old part of town right beside the river. There’s a new one now at the newer part of town, close to the Sarikei town center border which is green and raised on a pedestal of sorts.

      Sarikei is famous for their pineapples – they’re not in season right now and most of it is exported but it’s really good. It might be something to do with the soil there, a lot of people have orchards in Sarikei – good soil, they say.

      I went to a friend’s uncle’s orchard during my 2002 trip – it was the year I just started blogging so the post is still there.

  3. Was it on weekend? Shud had brought her to the new pasar tamu. not bad. ALso Sarikei is famous for her huge mud crab (if you are lucky). Was back to Bintangor last month so went down to Sarikei too. Sarikei is also famous for cheap food and cheap gold (some claimed). Hope u both have a safe trip back to KL.

    • Yup, I’ve seen the Nyelong Weekend Market! :)

      We just wanted to walk around, there’s a lot of markets even here in Sibu, particularly we were looking for homemade Sarawak laksa paste. Haha!

      You remember in Sibu there was RM 13 / kg crab (long ago – it’s a lot more expensive now)? That was also brought in from Sarikei and other places to sell in Sibu. Crabs are a lot cheaper in KL though.

      I have heard rumors about the cheap gold as well, since 2002 in fact! I don’t know where this came from, I’ve heard lots of different theories about this (including impure gold or illegal sources).

      Thanks James! We just came to Sibu to visit my dad over the weekend.

    • Yeah, it’s a rural adventure of sorts! :)

      I’ve been doing that for a long time – love to have road trips, even when I was younger. Sarawak shares a border with Kalimantan (Indonesia) and we used to drive to Serikin just to buy cheap Indonesian stuff when I was working in Kuching.

      We also went to Tebedu and once even took a bus to Pontianak! Fun days indeed…

    • Thanks Hayley! :)

      Yeah, it was taken in Sarikei – I wanted to bring my dear to see the town and eat Glory Cafe’s coconut assam tom yam big prawn noodles, which is served inside a coconut and cooked using coconut juice! I’m writing about that now, great stuff.

      She’s never been there before so I wanted to take a photo at the big pineapple. Haha.

  4. Oh…so you are back home and Ling visited you guys too! It seems Sarikei is a ‘pineapple’ town ..haha.. I am sure the place is famous for that fruit , just like Pekan Nenas in Johor. Nice pixs there !!

    • Yup, we both flew back together to visit my dad! :)

      Sarikei is known for pineapples but it also has a lot of produce since people keep orchards there. The soil is good, apparently. There’s also a lot of freshwater prawns so it’s slightly cheaper than Sibu. Cheers!

  5. Love your photo with your better half! Looks like both of you are enjoying yourselves to the max – very good! Your father must be very happy to see the both of you.

    I guess if I go to Sarikei, I must eat pineapples everyday or have the best pineapples all been exported and those left behind are not very good?

    • Thanks Mun! :)

      Yup, I wanted to come back to visit my dad and my better half came along too, last time she came was during my mom’s funeral earlier this year, so it was nice to come back and spend time with my dad.

      We had just arrived from the airport and I drove us all for Sarawak laksa and decided to take the hour long drive to Sarikei for a road trip so my dear and my dad could see something different and eat at a place which I like called Glory Cafe (best tom yam big prawn noodles around).

      You can get Sarikei pineapples in Sarikei but you’re right, like durians, the best and sweetest ones are exported…unless you have your own orchard. It’s still good though, the ones that are left, the soil is very fertile in Sarikei apparently coz many people own fruit orchards there.

  6. Sarikei. i miss it. and the pineapples. *salivates* can never find pineapples as sweet as those in sarikei…
    was a silent reader too until i read this post, been a long time since i been in the town….

    the last time i went there, i remember half of the dry market nearby had been shifted to empty space near the police station…

    nostalgia..

    rose

    • The tiny pineapples in Thailand is very sweet too! :)

      It’s about 20 baht each (RM 2) and it’s the size of a small fist but it’s very, very sweet and juicy! You can find it in most places in Thailand – from Hat Yai to Phuket and you have to try it if you love pineapples.

      It’s been a long time since I was back in Sarikei too! I used to drive down from Sibu quite often just to eat at Glory Cafe – their big head prawn noodles in assam tom yam style is the best around Sibu, even compared to Jakar.

      Thanks for reading Rose!

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