Borneo Part 1

I drove back to Kuching with a happy heart because Scoo is with me. I stayed in Beds Guesthouse, I think that was the best guesthouse in town! Well I haven’t stayed in all the guesthouses there, but this guesthouse is the type of guesthouse that a backpacker would love because is clean, has a nice kitchen, where you can cook, and a pantry and unlimited coffee and tea. I didn’t do much in Kuching. I just drove around the villages next to the Astana and waterfront areas.

The Astana (Palace), Sarawak

The Astana (Palace), Sarawak

View of Astana from the Sarawak river

View of Astana from the Sarawak river

Sarawak River

Sarawak River

I found this slum area quite ironic. The slum area is hiding between all the fancy buildings.

The Slum Area

The Slum Area

In Kuching, I went to the orchid garden near the Astana.

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

After spending a few days in Kuching, I continued my journey to Sibu. I was played hide and seek with the rain. I drove for an hour and it started to rain. Then as I continued to drive, the rain stopped, only to resume again in the next village. It was like this for hours. At one point, I lost my rain cover, maybe because I had not tied it on properly. I drove back for more than 5 km to look for it but I couldn’t find it. I stopped at the first place I could find, which turned out to be a mechanical shop belonging to a Chinese man who could not speak Malay or English and completely ignored me like I was not there at all. I stopped under their garage roof only to find that the roof is leaking. I covered my Luggage with my rain coat and I was drenched by the time I finished covering my luggage.My misery did not stop there, as I later found out my mudguard had broken. Must have been my lucky day!

Me, Completely wet because of the heavy rain and my broken mudguard

Me, Completely wet because of the heavy rain and my broken mudguard

I didn’t care about the rain anymore and I love rain anyway and my luggage was covered, so I continued to Sibu. It was very long drive. In the beginning, I thought Sibu was not that far, but it turned out it was more than 350kms away. However, it was easy ride because the roads were good and the views were nice.

Roads View

Roads View

Along the way, I was hungry, so stopped at this little market. Soon, I became the center of the attention, because they had never seen bike like mine before. When I wanted to take their pictures, they walked away. Only one guy could speak Malay and he asked me questions about my bike and my journey and translated to the people around us in Chinese.

The Market

The Market

I bought few cakes from this lady. She gave me an extra cake and it was very nice of her to do that.

The Nice Lady

The Nice Lady

I didn’t stop very long at the market because Sibu was still far away and it was going to be getting dark soon.

Twilight

Twilight

When I finally arrived at Sibu, it was already dark and I felt little bit unwell after almost all day in the rain. While I looked around for hostel I found a night market. I think Malaysians sure love night markets. In this kind of market you can find almost everything: food, clothes, raw vegetables, chargers and all different sockets and cables, etc. I didn’t capture everything because I was too tired and stopped because I was curious and also wanted to buy some food.

Night Market #1

Night Market #1

Night Market #2

Night Market #2

After the night market, I found a hostel in a safe area. A friend of mine made sure I stayed in a safe area because there are crime syndicates in Sibu, called “Pai Kia” by the locals. I am not sure whether they are secret societies or just the local thug gangs. In front of my hostel, there was a Chinese restaurant where customers drank and sang. My friend and I were sat there because I was too tired to go somewhere else. After some time, I saw ten or more people pass by, each carrying a machete. I wanted to take a picture but I didn’t want to risk it, so we sat quietly there until they all passed by. I asked what they are up to, and my friend said they are probably going to fight and kill someone.

Local friends

Local friends

The next day, I looked for mechanic shop, because I need to fix my mudguard. These guys welded my mudguard and made it nice again.

Mechanic Shop

Mechanic Shop

The majority of people in Sibu are Chinese immigrants from Fuzhou. And the Swan is Sibu town’s symbol. When the early Chinese settlers came, Rajang River reminded them of the Swan River in Fuzhou, China. That is why Swan was chosen as Sibu’s symbol. You can find few Swan statues in Sibu, and I captured two of them with my camera.

The Swans

The Swans

This is roughly what the city center looks like.

City Center

City Center

When I drove around, they were in the middle of fumigating some area.

Fogging

Fogging

And my trip ended with a beautiful sunset in Sibu. Then, I went back to the hostel and rested for another long journey the next day.

Sunset at Rajang river

Sunset at Rajang river

6 thoughts on “Borneo Part 1

  1. Amazing… all of this post, speakless – about you (writer), about story, about pictures all is great..(but I was limited about language, if pleasure with Indonesian, please !!!!)
    eh ada mas sayur di atas gue.

  2. Wonderful! Bravo for your journey and the resulting pictures.

    Michael Romary romary.albrecht@Gmail.com 1017 Christopher Circle Ada, OH 45810 Polio 1952; post polio/wheelchair 2007

    “*All that exists in the world, exists to end in a book*”

  3. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    Shinta, you are the most beautiful and amazing person that I have ever met. Keep inspiring others Adik

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