5 photos from Sibu Market

Sibu Market

Sibu Market is a source of a lot of interesting products from the far corners of Sarawak. The traders come from places like Belaga to Song to sell their stuff. The wharf and passenger jetty is within walking distance so a lot of them just hop off the express boats (many towns are only reachable by boat) and come over to hawk their wares. I have acquired a few hundred dollars worth of local durians (called buah pekan and buah isu) and am compiling that for an upcoming post!

Kek Lapis

There are also quite a few people selling the famous Sarawak kek lapis here. Kek lapis is actually of Indonesian provenance but the Malay communities in Sibu and Kuching have claimed it as their own. You’ll find them in the Kuching Waterfront / Padang Merdeka / Lao Pa Sat (Old Market) area. The kek lapis comes in all sorts of flavors like prunes, Milo etc.

Telur Terubok

Ikan Terubok is a delicious fish that is currently only obtainable from Sarawak. The fresh ones are usually sourced from Satok Market in Kuching where they have dedicated terubok sellers packing whole boxes of them to be shipped. These are the dried version which I believe comes from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – it’s not as good, but it’s cheaper. They also sell the prized terubok fish roe here.

Lokam Jellyfish

Lokam is one of the local clams that you’ll find aplenty in Sibu. One restaurant in town called Fisherman’s Restaurant is renowned for their stuffed lokam (they take the clam meat and mix it with pork before stuffing it back). It’s quite good if you cook it well. There’s also a lot of jellyfish for sale due to an old wives tale – it’s said among the Foochow that you have to eat jellyfish after a haircut so the hair can be digested (something about the juices in the jellyfish) so it’s common to slice this raw and serve with a sauce of lime and chillis after a trip to the barber. I’ve had it lots of times as a kid at my grandma’s place.

Ghetto Ice Cream

Ghetto ice cream! These are simply satay skewers that’s been inserted into a tube filled with either Milo or strawberry flavored milk. Both are watered down but it’s pretty enterprising of these young boys to sell them for RM 1 each. I bought one last time my better half and the kids were in town for them to try, the “ice cream” is made by physically turning the huge churn (which rests on a bed of salted water with ice cubes) which will slowly freeze the receptacles holding the liquid.

Sugarcane drink at Central Market Sibu

pasar sentral sibu

I arrived in Sibu late yesterday night, the flight was delayed
(again) due to an engine problem. I woke up early this morning and was
on site at 7:30 am. I’m on a break now and I went to Central Market to
get a sugarcane drink. It’s a hot day, and I reckon one of these would
go down well.

pasar sentral sugarcane skin

It seems that the coconut + sugarcane or cham cham as they
call it in Hokkien has hit Sibu. IIANM, the pioneer of this 1/2
sugarcane, 1/2 coconut juice with coconut flesh is the SKH food centre
in Kuching. It seem to have propagated to Sibu now, with even the
central market doing it.

pasar sentral sugarcane togo

I got one to go. I like this stall coz they actually skin the
sugarcane plant before grinding it in that grinder you see on the
bottom left. The majority of stalls just shove the whole sugarcane in,
but this one manually and painstakingly removes the outer skin from the
sugarcane before processing it, ensuring a smoother drink.

pasar sentral sugarcane

This is the reserve sugarcane bunches they have on the side.

Central Market, Kuching

central market

This is Central Market in Kuching. It’s only open on Sundays. I was
liberated from my slumber from one of my friends to go along with him
and his girlfriend, and I thought, why not…

upside down plants

There are all sorts of things there, strange things like this upside down plant.

sugarcane drink

It was a hot day, iced sugarcane drinks are a must…

central market us

L-R: Huai Bin (me), Miriam, Ah Lung

I know my pants are falling down; most of my attire doesn’t fit anymore without a belt.

keropok lekor

We ate our way through the market. This is keropok lekor, which I
assume is some kind of fish. There were samples and I thought it was
pretty good, so I got some. It tastes like real fish.

strange stuff

There were strange stuff on offer…these are edible.

assorted kuih

Here’s a stall with assorted kuih. The long phallic looking things
in the middle is a derivative of the fish keropok, or so I’m told.

drinks stall

This is a drinks stall with old skool 60 cent bottled sodas.
Memories…back when I was young, we didn’t have enough pocket money to
buy anything but these.



rm 160 dogs

RM 160 canines…


Cacti – none of them psychoactive, unfortunately.


My favorite – cats!


These are quails – note the quail egg at the side. I’ve never seen quails this huge before.


Stop looking at me like that, feline…


I’ll give you some goldfish to eat if you want?

pearl grass

Pearl grass at RM 10 per plot. Jesus, the grass at my house back
home looks exactly like this. You can have that for free if you want.


Here’s some parangs for sale.

parang exposed

Doesn’t look all that sharp to me. I’ll stick to balisongs, thanks.


Scary figurines to bring the wrath of the god(s) down on yourself or
to bring good fortune to your enemies. Or is it the other way round?

huge rabbit

Fuck, this is one HUGE rabbit. It scared me.

vegetarian drumsticks

The stall owner told me these are “vegetarian drumsticks”. I got one to try.

veggie drumsticks

It’s pretty good actually, and the “bone” is made of a slice of sugarcane…sweetens the whole thing.

salted fish

Salted fish anyone?

deep fried stall

Here’s a stall offering deep fried stuff.

goreng pisang

I saw they just got a batch of goreng pisang out, so I got some of that.

huge sotongs

I also had some of these huge sotongs…it’s a WHOLE sotong on a
skewer. Note the body at the end and the tendrils (or whatever
appendages they have) on the front.

I’m heading out again, will reply all the comments later. See ya!

Photo Friday – Symmetry


Photo Friday – Symmetry [photofriday.com]

Symmetry. This photo was taken yesterday night at around 10 pm at
the ground floor of Central Market in Sibu, Sarawak (Malaysia). It
shows rows upon rows of symmetrical stalls – selling anything from
fresh vegetables to meat products, all wrapped up in tarps and other
coverings in preparation for an early dawn opening.

The shooting data:

Focal Length: 8mm
Exposure Mode: Programmed Auto
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern 1/23.5 sec – f/2.8
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Sensitivity: Auto
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-C
Saturation Compensation: 0

The post-production work was done in Photoshop 7.0 and involves:

Image Size: Size reduced from 2048×1536 to 500×375

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