road trip

It’s the long Merdeka Day weekend and it was decided that a road trip is due to bring Autumn to check out the legendary Big Prawn Assam Noodles in Sarikei. She hasn’t tried it before and it’s a public holiday so down we went. We got some much needed rations for the one hour drive down – this is Autumn’s favorite vegetable crackers.

pumpkin

She was tempting me during the drive down…

cucumber

…with various different crackers

potato

…from a repertoire of herbivore food

carrot

…like carrots

long beans

…and long beans. It’s really hard to drive with someone feeding me random bits of vegetables. The long beans threw me off a little due to the phallic shape too. ;)

oat congee

We stopped at the intersection before Sarikei to have some food since it was already past lunchtime. This is mixed oat congee (from a can) which tastes better than it sounds. We’ve been eating this for lunch for quite a while now.

congee inside

It’s really good, comes with a folded plastic disposable spoon and is full of constipation solutions (otherwise known as “fiber”).

me eating

I’m not a big fan of Healthy Stuff (TM) but I have been having a host of health issues lately (not just ED, but constipation to boot :p) so I’m trying to get more fiber into my diet.

me autumn

Anyway, after the brunch inside my car, we weren’t really that hungry anymore so we walked around Sarikei town and did a bit of the tourist camwhoring thing. There’s not much to do in Sarikei except walk around the (only) supermarket – Ngiu Kee.

4114

After an hour or two of this, the QAG 4114 arrived at Glory Cafe and parked in its usual spot – right in front of a yellow fire hydrant. ;) Oh, this is becoming something of a recurring joke.

noodles

Autumn was a bit apprehensive about the Big Prawn Assam Tom Yam Noodles, but after a sampling of the rich broth, she was sold.

antenna

It turns out that Autumn is really good at peeling the antenna of the big prawns as well. She claims it’s a trick she learned from eating prawns during her youth. I can’t do it myself…

peeled

…but she was kind enough to peel the antenna for me. Thanks Autumn! :)

us

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like the great noodles over here. It’s really worth the drive down if there’s a long weekend or holiday and you haven’t got anything better to do. Cheers!

sebangkoi

Sebangkoi Country Resort is located about 30 odd kilometers from Sarikei. The place has been a national park for quite a while but the addition of the resort is relatively new.

sebangkoi country resort

Sebangkoi Country Resort is located right in Sebangkoi Park and has accommodations ranging from the budget traveler to suites.

sebangkoi stone

Sebangkoi Country Resort has a guardhouse that is landscaped to look like a chunk of rock. The place is meant as a country retreat and the gates are closed and locked at 9 pm unless you make arrangements with the staff. Sebangkoi Country Resort does not lack in creature comforts (except WiFi) and there’s plenty to do at the park.

sebangkoi resort

Our contingent arrived at the Sebangkoi Country Resort at about 2 pm and checked into the suite. I had booked the RM 280 suite for the night. Mr. Tang kindly offered me the entire suite for the special price of RM 60 coz in return for a writeup about the resort on my blog (which I was going to do anyway ;)). Cheers!

sebangkoi dorms

There are two types of rooms in Sebangkoi Country Resort. The dormitory accommodations (pictured above) sleep 20 people in double decker beds and costs RM 18 per person. The suites has three (3) bedrooms and a living room and can sleep up to 7 people. It’s also fully air conditioned.

sebangkoi bbq

Sebangkoi Country Resort also has BBQ facilities, as well as a conference room that can accommodate up to 200 people. There is also a sound stage that can be used for free if you’re organizing events and such. Okay, enough with the obligatory promotional spiel. Back to the post. :)

bunga raya

We took the Bunga Raya (Hibiscus) Suite, which is our national flower. It’s the VIP suite and it’s one of the two suites in Sebangkoi Country Resort.

sebangkoi rooms

The exterior walls of the suite is plastered with images of Sebangkoi Nature Park. The main feature at Sebangkoi is a waterfall, which is interestingly called “pooh pooh” in Chinese.

hibiscus suite

The suites has glass sliding doors which reflects the nature surrounding Sebangkoi Country Resort. The foliage around the place is impressive…

spider

…as is the wildlife. I’m only taking this coz the spider is dead. I have severe arachnophobia.

dining table

The two RM 280 VIP suites are furnished with a dining table and TV (with Astro) and leads right into the three (3) bedrooms.

couch

There is also a living room with couches and a mini-fridge which you can use to store contraband…

sparkling red wine

…like the RM 41.40 bottle of Don Camillo Lambrusco sparkling red wine you bought prior to coming to Sebangkoi. The official policy at Sebangkoi Country Resort is that outside food and drinks are not allowed.

queen bed

Two of the three rooms are fitted with a queen sized bed and a single bed while the other room is only fitted with a single bed. There is also a wardrobe in each of the rooms.

room view

The rooms all opens up to a great view of the greenery around the Sebangkoi Country Resort, with a thoughtful mosquito netting screen to avoid the pesky insects from indulging in your hemoglobins during the night.

canteen

We headed straight to the only canteen at the resort straight after unpacking our stuff for lunch. I hadn’t eaten anything since the morning and was starving for some solid food. The canteen is located at the reception area and is open to the public as well as resort guests.

canteen coconuts

There are coconuts, ice cream, and snacks on offer as well as a la carte orders.

oranjeboom

The canteen Sebangkoi Country Resort also serves alcohol (only beer) and we ordered Oranjeboom Premium Lager at RM 10 for 3 tins. It certainly went down well in the warm weather at the place.

nasi goreng pattaya

I ordered the Nasi Goreng Pattaya (RM 4.30) which the proprietor highly recommended. It tasted great, but I was craving for carbohydrates at that time so I’m unsure if my judgment was affected by this situation.

nasi goreng inside

It’s fried rice with bits of meat and frozen vegetables (defrosted and fried before serving, naturally) wrapped in an egg omelet.

maggi mee

My traveling companion went for the Maggi Mee Telur (RM 2.80) which is a bit of an interesting choice. She said she hasn’t eaten the stuff for ages and wanted to eat instant noodles. It came with the packet of flavoring on the side and has an egg and some vegetables inside.

arrival food

Thus properly nourished, we went for a walk around the resort area.

sebangkoi resort area

Sebangkoi Country Resort is not a big place – there are two suites, four dormitory style accommodations and a central dining area.

resort stilts

Sebangkoi Country Resort is located on top of a hill so the air is relatively fresh and cool. This also necessitates the construction of concrete stilts to accommodate the hilly gradient of the terrain. There is a long flight of stairs if you go up to the suite using the back entrance but the front access is on flat ground.

greenery

The entire resort is located in a forest, so there’s lots of foliage and greenery to sooth your eyes. It’s been ingrained into us as school children that proper rest for the optical senses should be done every hour by looking at a distant tree, so I think we used up our quota for the month so we can stare back at the LCD screen at work without breaks. ;)

panties

I also saw some decidedly feminine panties being hung out to dry. I assume it’s from the local girls working as staff at the resort. Washing dirty linen in public.

earthquake

ZOMG! Sichuan Earthquake 7.8 Richter aftershock hits Sebangkoi! More than a month later!
(Which makes it OK to joke about it) 

wasps

It should be noted that wasps have made their nests under the resort’s structure, which can make it unsafe for people who’re allergic to stings.

sebangkoi falls path

The most popular attraction at Sebangkoi is the Sebangkoi waterfall. It’s about a 10 minute walk (up and down hilly terrain) from the resort through a guests-only gate behind the main reception area.

stream

There is the occasional stream running through the planked path as well as forest trees all around.

rest stop

The famous bright red Sebangkoi park rest huts are located at intervals down the path. There is also a 2.6 km jungle trekking trail for those who’re into this sort of thing.

waterfall entrance

Sebangkoi Falls is not very difficult to locate since there is just one path leading to it. We soon heard the sound of falling water and arrived at the falls.

sebangkoi waterfall

The Sebangkoi Waterfall is located on an inclined rock terrain with a bright red bridge behind it. This is the only waterfall in the park and there is already a family frolicking in the water when we arrived.

Sebangkoi Waterfall video

sebangkoi falls me

The water isn’t exactly clean but it’s very cold and refreshing. It’s not dirty from garbage or anything like that, but rather topsoil and other dead leaves being washed down from further upstream so it’s perfectly safe for swimming in.

log throwing

There are random logs and rocks in the pool under the waterfall and I attempted to remove a rather solid looking log, but nearly got a hernia instead.

Hello, I’m Johnny Knoxville and this is Log Throwing.

beer belly

Dad? Is that you? We have the same beer belly.

blood

It should be noted that there are sharp stones at the bottom of the waterfall pool. I managed to get a gash on the knee without realizing it.

gash

It’s a good thing it didn’t get infected or anything like that, but I did sneeze a couple of times. I attribute that to the hundreds of people cursing my existence though. ;)

Row, row, row your boat.

under waterfall

It’s actually very therapeutic to be under the waterfall. The falling water acts as a massage on your aching muscles and the cold water from the highlands is very invigorating.

kung fu waterfall

Please do not disturb. Kung Fu Practice in session.

mr universe front

Mr. (from another) Universe – front view

mr universe back

Mr. (from another) Universe – back view

relaxing falls

Smoking beer and drinking cigarettes while soaking in the pool. What could be better?

me family falls

I met a nice family from Sibu on vacation there as well. Please focus on my potbelly, not on the poor little girl’s puberty manifestations okay? ;)

narcissism

This is the very last photo taken before my Sony T-70 fell into the water. It’s divine retribution for my narcissism, I’m very sure of that. ;)

open wine

I was so depressed that I just had to open up our bottle of red wine before dinner. This was taken with a cell phone camera so the image quality is lacking.

narcissism 2

I still managed to do the narcissism (is necessary) thing to get back at the divine retribution thing though. ;)

lounge

The canteen closes at 9 pm and the cigarettes and snacks counter closes at 6 pm so keep that in mind if you’re intending to be eating anything at all at night. We got there at about 8 pm and ordered:

sweet sour fish

Sweet and sour fish slices

chicken soy sauce

Chicken cooked with soy sauce

local veggies

Wild leaves cooked with egg

rice

There was only enough rice for two (2) – they didn’t expect us to eat more than the two dishes of rice, apparently, and that’s a bit of an oversight on the management’s part.

eating dinner

We didn’t really get enough to eat so we managed to wake up the staff at around 1 am in the morning and drove down to Sarikei (about 15 minutes away) to get more alcohol (and food).

two coconuts

I still haven’t worked up the courage to try and start up the submerged digital camera the next morning when we woke up so the breakfast photos were also taken with the cell phone cam. I noticed that the canteen has a larger selection of coconuts now so we each ordered one.

coconuts

I had a yellow ripe coconut while my traveling companion had a green pandan coconut.

nasi goreng seafood

I tried their Nasi Goreng Seafood (RM 4.30) while she had the Nasi Goreng Pattaya (RM 4.30) I had the previous day. The seafood fried rice didn’t taste as good as the previous day’s offerings.

breakfast pic

The proprietor was kind enough to let us check out at 4 pm so we decided to go to the “other” waterfall in Sebangkoi. He told us that there’s a lesser known “waterfall” about a two minute walk away so we changed and went down the route he showed us.

second waterfall

I got some beer from the canteen and with a little bit of Dutch Courage, inserted the battery into my digicam and started it up, while praying to the very same deity that struck me (or rather, my digicam) down in his righteous fury at my narcissism. It worked! =D
(albeit with an extremely slow startup time) 

second falls

I wouldn’t call it a waterfall though…that would be stretching it a little bit too thin. It’s the runoff from a storm drain!

second falls water

However, the water seem to be clean enough to be swimming in and the place is very private. There are even tiny fishes in the water.

charcoal

It’s not completely free from habitation though – traces of a very recent campfire/BBQ session was seen from the charcoal beside the “waterfall”.

debating

I was debating whether to enter the dubious looking runoff water…

the leap

…and jumped in anyway. Call it a leap of faith. ;)

kung fu 2

I did more vertical Lotus Position training at the storm drain runoff. It’s not as dirty as I expected, the water quality is about the same as the Sebangkoi Falls. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it, but swimming should be fine.

second falls smoking

You can bring you own beer if you feel thirsty though…and your own tobacco/other products. ;)

search leaf

I went au naturale in search of a leaf to do a Garden of Eden scene.

adam

Hello, I’m Adam…

small one

…and I have a small one coz I ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Sebangkoi “Waterfall” a.k.a. Sebangkoi Storm Drain

catching fishes

The water was very cold, and soothing on that warm afternoon. I tried my luck at catching some of the little fishes swimming around, before realizing the futility of the exercise.

narcissism 3

I tempted The Creator with another narcissistic shot…and this time, judgment day came just a little over 24 hours later. Oh well.

second falls drinking

I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon drinking beer and smoking at the pool. Please keep your cigarette butts and empty beer cans in a trash bag and carry it away with you. Seriously, a few bad apples will ruin the rest of our reputations. Leave nothing but footprints and all that.

sebangkoi welcome

Sebangkoi Country Resort is a great place for a private and quiet weekend getaway instead of the usual Saturday night excess. You still get to drink, and get some exercise in addition to all that. There’s the nature surrounding you too, so you feel invigorated. It’s the closest natural waterfall from Sibu and the water is cold and refreshing. :)

sebangkoi end

Sebangkoi Country Resort is not a 5-Star resort like Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, so don’t expect the same level of creature comforts, but it’s cheap if you go in a group and it’s close enough to Sibu for a quick weekend getaway. Cheers!

sarikei

Sarikei is a town located about 105 km from Sibu. Sarikei is famous for its pineapples, which is cultivated here and exported. I drove down with Faye to sample the Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles over there (see previous post) and had an acute case of the post-lunch coma after the enormous serving was consumed and decided to stay the night before driving back early next morning.

pier street

Sarikei is a pretty small town by anyone’s standards and the main commercial area is concentrated around the pier (esplanade). There are only a few main roads in town and you’ll be hard pressed to lose your way around the town.

sarikei pineapple

There is a gigantic 3.6 meter pineapple located at the Sarikei waterfront. This distinctive feature pays homage to the famous Sarikei pineapples, most of which is exported and is renowned for it’s sweet and juicy fruit.

pineapple prick

The Sarikei pineapple replica is perhaps the most popular photo op available in this sleepy little town. There were a couple of other tourists taking photos with the prickly fruit too. I don’t know what the structure is made of but the thorny leaves are not very conducive to sitting, as I found out first hand.

pineapple us

Faye also wanted to take a photo with the famous Pineapple of Sarikei. Please, no jokes about inserting bromeliads where the sun don’t shine. ;)

kings inn

I was feeling rather drowsy after lunch and didn’t feel like driving back home so I cruised around town for hotels to check into. I had seen a billboard on the road leading to Sarikei advertising King’s Inn and decided to spend the night there. It was a rather impulsive decision since we didn’t even bring a change of clothes (or even the basics like a toothbrush). I had an extra pair of pants and a spare pullover in my car from a road trip several months back and Faye elected to wear the shorts and T-shirt I was currently wearing at night so it worked out alright.

kings inn outside

King’s Inn is newly renovated and has WiFi in every room. The proprietor of Glory Cafe recommended the place to us since it’s clean and relatively cheap. It cost us RM 40 for a double room. The occupancy rates are very high – we saw a FULL sign being put up as soon as we checked in.

kings inn lobby

The lobby at King’s Inn is smaller than my bedroom but it’s comfortable, with a couple of rattan lounge chairs and some reading material (mostly newspapers and magazines) on the shelf. There is also a water cooler and a chiller with sodas and snacks.

kings inn bed

The room at King’s Inn is indeed clean and neat. This is pretty good by rural standards – there are no international class hotels over here, most of them are budget hostel accommodations and dodgy old inns. The only complaint I have is the desk between the single beds, which prevents the beds from being joined together. King’s Inn ran out of queen sized bedrooms so we had to go for a double single bed room.

kings inn tv

The fittings in the hotel room is pretty standard – there’s a vanity mirror on a desk, a very small 14″ TV set, several cloth hangers and a plastic stool. It’s only RM 40 per night nett so it was alright with us since we’ll just be staying until 4 am before we have to drive back to Sibu. The room is clean and the air-conditioning is cold and that’s all that matters. :)

main street

I crashed for about an hour due to excessive consumption of alcohol the previous night before waking up to go exploring around the small town. The last time I was here was back in 2002 so a good six years had passed since I have been in Sarikei. This is the Main Street of Sarikei town taken at dusk.

sarikei toilet

I would be remiss if I didn’t do a reenactment of the popular pose at the Sarikei Public Toilet that received critical acclaim (?) back in 2002. The photo is somewhere in the archives of sixthseal.com – this is our version of the “I was here” photo.

sarikei clock

The Sarikei town clock is also another landmark in Sarikei. The town clock served an important function back in the days when wristwatches and cell phones weren’t available but no one probably bothers to look at it nowadays, except for the visitors. I took the liberty of squeezing myself into an empty waste disposal post. I don’t think that worked out very well for my shorts…

shell

Sarikei Wharf Esplanade is another popular place to watch the sun set (and for lovebirds to gather at night). It’s conveniently located at the main row of shophouses in Sarikei town. You can take a leisurely stroll in the evening when the sun sets as the cool breeze coming in from the Rejang River makes it ideal for a nice walk down the wharf.

playground

There is also a playground at the esplanade where the children play on the plastic swings and slides. It seems to be a very popular pastime among the families over here. I guess there’s nothing better to do on a lazy Sunday evening.

fishing

The other popular activity for locals is fishing by the pier. We saw quite a number of anglers whiling the time away at the wharf. I went to have a look and saw that the people here mostly use baited hooks instead of the jigging or popping method which is more popular with recreational fishing enthusiasts elsewhere.

pineapples

We also went exploring at the local market and found a cache of pineapples. Pineapples are Sarikei’s claim to fame and the variant they cultivate is noted for its juiciness and sweet texture. It costs RM 4 for a kg of the fruit. One pineapple weighs about 1 kg or less, depending on the size. Sarikei’s pineapples is a must try if you ever come over – it’s delicious!

pasar tamu

The local marketplace has received a makeover of sorts and is now painted in (rather garish) tribal designs. The taller building behind the market is an old Chinese opera

ted hotel which has become rather run down since the glory days of Sarikei as a wharf town.

local foreign

The difference is clear.

mangrove

Sarikei also has numerous smaller jetties and docking bays made out of roughly bound timber. I found a little path opposite a place selling coffins (of all things) which led to a mangrove beach (it’s actually silt deposits from the river).

jesus

Jesus walks on water (with adidas trainers)
“Ye of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14:31

sheraton

Dusk came over pretty soon and we took a shower at the hotel before heading out for dinner. I had asked for recommendations from the receptionist at the inn we were staying at and she suggested checking out Sheraton Seafood Centre.

prawns egg

This is the steamed prawn with egg, which is flavored with chilli, ginger and Chinese red wine. It tasted absolutely fabulous! The prawns were so tender and juicy it came off the shell with just the gentlest of nudging from a chopstick.

deer meat

This is deer meat cooked with dried chillis. I’m not sure about the legal status of deer as a protected species, but they serve it (as well as bats and other exotic wildlife). It’s good, tender and spicy.

pork

This is sweet and sour pork which is one of our staples. It’s nothing to write home about – I’ve had better. We wanted sweet and sour fish but the proprietor (who is also the chef) advised against it since it would take a long time with the crowd at the place.

dinner

The meal cost us RM 40.20 inclusive of drinks. Faye paid for the dinner. That’s why I sayang her while posing for this photo. ;)

chicken king

We saw a couple of bars and pubs around Sarikei and was intending to check out the interestingly named Fire before noticing the distinctive Guinness sign and neon blue lighting above Chicken King Restaurant. Chicken King Restaurant is er…emulating, shall we say, the KFC operational model and has almost the same menu items.

chicken king interior

However, the second floor is al fresco (albeit covered) and offers a cafe style environment. I asked the proprietor and he told me it’s been open for six months and they serve a small selection of beer. It’s called Chicken King Cafe and is meant as a watering hole with a more relaxed ambiance.

chicken king tv

The entire perimeter of the place is open and there are plenty of ceiling fans to provide adequate ventilation. There are various seating arrangements and a huge projection TV to attract customers but we were the only ones there.

view down

The place affords a nice view of the main street of Sarikei, though it seems that this town becomes a bit of a ghost town after 10 pm. Perhaps it’s due to it being a Sunday, but the rural lifestyle seems to adhere to the sleep early, rise early philosophy.

drinks

We ordered a couple of beers to relax and chill out at the place before heading back to the hotel. The Guinness Stout is priced at RM 7 per bottle and the Tiger Beer is priced at RM 7 per bottle.

pier night

There is another pier opposite King’s Inn where we were staying and we saw a bit of man-on-man love going on at a secluded bench when we went for a night stroll. I was surprised to see such tolerance of GLBT relationships in a small, rural town. ;)

pier night us

Despite our decidedly heterosexual orientation, the two male-male couples were kind enough to take a photo of us by the pier at night before we went back and hit the sack. I had to wake up at 4 am the next morning to drive back to Sibu in time for work.

pineapple night

Sarikei is a sleepy, quiet town that’s ideal for a weekend trip away from the city with friends and family. The hotels are cheap and the seafood and the pineapples are great! It just cost us a little more than RM 100 for the entire trip.

Note: You should be careful when driving back at night. There is a turn going into Durin before reaching Sibu and the 40 km of unpaved gravel road is seriously going to mess your car tires up. It took us 1 ½ hours to drive back due to a wrong turn into Durin. It takes MUCH longer for that detour and there are no road signs but if the marker jumps from Sibu – 100 km to Sibu – 50 km within a kilometer, you’re on the wrong road. Stick to the main road.

glory cafe

I drove down to Sarikei to sample the famous RM
14 Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles at Glory Cafe on Sunday morning. I went
with Faye and the journey from Sibu to Sarikei took about 45 minutes. It
can take up to an hour (or more/less) depending on how fast you drive -
the distance is approximately 105 km. Glory Cafe is located at the only
Magnum 4D outlet in Sarikei – do note that there are other gaming
operators there (Sports Toto) – it’s the Magnum 4D outlet you should be
looking for. The QAG 4114 arrived at Glory Cafe at just a little before 12
pm and parked right in front of a fire hydrant no-parking zone. ;)

asam tom yam noodles

It took
about 20 minutes for our order to arrive. The Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn
Noodles
came in a large glass serving bowl and is filled to the brim with
huge big prawns, noodles and the asam tom yam soup. Asam Tom Yam is a
cross between asam laksa and tom yum soup. It is made of tamarind, lemon
grass, lime leaves, fish sauce and chili peppers. It is a delicious
contrast of sweet and sour flavors with a hint of spiciness thrown into
the mix. You can opt to substitute the default noodles with other
carbohydrate chains e.g. rice vermicelli, kueh tiaw, tang hoon etc.

big prawn macro

The big
head prawns in the RM 14 Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles are huge and the
chef was generous enough to include several of them in the dish. Each
prawn is sliced vertically for easier consumption. Nevertheless, this is
not a dish for dignified foodies – you almost certainly have to manually
separate the shell from the crustacean with your fingers to get at the
flesh.

asam tom yam mee

I went for the Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles (RM 14). The egg
noodles is thick and has an almost tangible sweet undertone that goes very
well with the asam tom yam. The noodles go well with the sour (from the
tamarind) and sweet flavors from the soup. I noticed that the noodles also
tend to absorb the flavors better. The noodles taste better than rice
vermicelli due to the latter being unable to absorb the flavors of the
asam tom yam soup. The portion is huge and it will definitely satiate all
but the most voracious appetite.

asam tom yam mee hoon

Faye went for the Asam Tom Yam Big
Prawn Rice Vermicelli
(RM 14). Rice vermicelli is known locally as bee
hoon. It’s the same dish except with rice vermicelli in place of the
noodles. She thought it tasted alright until she sampled my
noodles…after which she promptly took possession of my bowl. I am
considering an appeal to the International Court of Justice for the
disputed two-cubit Asam Tom Yam Noodle Island, I mean, bowl.

glory cafe us

It
should be noted that the asam tom yam concoction is a notorious fabric
stainer. You should probably reconsider wearing white or light colored
articles of clothing during the consumption of this particular dish. The
splash damage can be considerable despite elaborate measures to avoid such
occurrences.

Sarikei

Sarawak, Travel Comments Off
Jul 112002

I went out at 8 am this morning to get some breakfast with Diana. Picked
up Daniel too and headed off to Sugarbun to get something to eat, partly
because it’s air-conditioned and partly because we haven’t eaten there in
a while.

Me and Diana

Hung around there for an hour before Ah Chan joined us. We had to leave at
10 am though, to meet up with Yi Ching and Justina to go to Sarikei. We
went to the city bus terminal to catch the bus, but the buses leaves in 2
hour intervals and we just missed the 10 am bus. We decided to take the
express boat to Paradom and catch a bus from there. The bus fare from
Paradom to Sarikei is RM 5.40, the most I’ve paid for a bus ticket in Sibu.
Heh.

Me and Daniel

An hour later, we were in Sarikei and got some lunch while waiting for
Jonas to pick us up.

Lunch at Sarikei

Obligatory picture with Sarikei signboard to show I was there

The pineapple replica in Sarikei town

After lunch, we walked to the tallest building in Sarikei (some government
building) because it was air-conditioned. It was really hot today. We
walked to Courts Mammoth after that to pretend to try the couches there.
Another thinly veiled attempt to enjoy their air-conditioned premises, of
course. I saw this interestingly named coffee shop besides Courts Mammoth.
It’s named Ma Li Cafe which cracked me up.

Ma Li

If
you speak Foochow, the words “ma li” will no doubt elicit chuckles. For
those of you who don’t, it sounds like a mild profanity in Foochow. After
that, we walked to SMB St Anthony (a high school), who seems to produce
several individuals of high caliber.

St Anthony High School

Jonas picked us up from St Anthony’s
and we headed to get some ABC special to cool down and headed off to Ngiu
Kee to get a large bottle of cold mineral water.

Eating ABC special (an iced dessert)

We went to this new park in Sarikei after that, it’s called the Water
Tower Park, if I’m not mistaken. The main feature is an old water tower.

Water Tower Park

The Water Tower

Jonas dropped us off at
the government building again after that and we got visitor’s passes to go to
the top floor. The top floor is the 10th floor (what did you expect?) and
there is nothing much there, except a good view of the river and some
exceptionally cool air conditioning.

View of the river with ferry in dock

A friend of Justina’s picked us up
after that and took us to Sebangkoi, a nature reserve about 30 minutes
away from Sarikei town. Took heaps of pics there and Yi Ching had cramps
and was trailing us all through the reserve. =D

Bridge over a waterfall

Rapids

Arrrggghhhhh…the croc got me!!!!!!!!!!!

We headed to Daniel’s
uncle’s orchard after that, where I was promptly bitten 1000 times by 1000
mosquitoes.

The orchard

Managed to walk though most of the orchard, which contains
‘landmines’ in the form of holes (some going down as far as 1 feet) which
are covered by shrubbery.

Landmine

Tr navigation. I also managed to drive this
mini tractor thing, which has no gas pedal, but only a lever to move
faster. The gear shift is in between the legs too, and the tractor
jittered all the time, which makes an interesting experience.

Mini tractor

We drove
Daniel’s uncle’s car to Jakar (har har…sounds like penis in Malay) to
get something to eat. Headed back to the orchard after that and his
uncle drove us back to Sibu at around 8:15 pm. Interesting day, but I
managed to get mild heat stroke from the obscene heat. Poor Yi Ching was
struck by heat stroke too, we’re both sensitive that way. Now where did I
put my Poh Chi Kit pills?

all.jpg

From left: Huai Bin (me), Yi Ching, Justina, Daniel

I’m heading down to

Sarikei
[sarawaktourism.com] tomorrow with Daniel, Yi Ching and
Justina for Part III of my Rural AdventuresTM. Heh. We’ll be
taking either the express boat or bus there, depending on which one leaves
first. I was also surprised to receive a call from Diana today, who is in
Sibu for only two days. She’ll be leaving tomorrow evening, so I’m going
to grab some breakfast with her tomorrow morning and catch up on things.

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