Susan ar Strae 2009 travel blog

I can't hear you!

On the Batrang (river) Ratrang into Borneo interior

The Sibu Swan - Sibu Sarawak

Breezy boat ride to Sibu

Sally finding her feet!


Caught a taxi to the departure point for Sibu. 4 and half hours over the sea and down river. They clearly believe the tourists are - films included 'Gorillas in the Mist' and Might Joe Young (a bit of an updated King Kong remake) . That said there were only 7 or 8 of us on board. Rest were locals who slept through them all. We arrived windswept and deaf from the engine motor. I had remained on board so everyone else was pretty sun and wind burnt after their 4 hours. Sibu (pop 260k or so) is the largest port and commercial centre on the Rajang river and they call it the gateway to Central Sarawak. It has many claims to fame - boasting more millionaires per capita than any other city in Borneo! It has had a dramatic enough history including fire, famine, war etc since its founding. Its fortunes changed dramatically in the 50s with the advent of mechanized logging and huge fortunes were made by entrepreneurs in the timber industry.That said since the 1990s when sustainable (?) logging practices have been put in place as well as quotas, seen some decline through it remains an important hub for business. Yet another claim to fame is the 28 storey Wisma Sanyan building (see the photo) beside the town sawua which is the tallest buiding in Sarawak. Swan is the symbol of Sibu..and the one I photographed along the Rajang riverside is an ancient Chinese symbol of good fortune and health. Swan is said to have been fed by the villagers of Sibu at a time of famine when villagers themselves were starving. The bird was so grateful that it showed how to extrc edible starch from wild sago and ended their famine.

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