The first express passenger boat came into operation in 1969. The "Swallow No. 1" then was plying between Sibu and Sarikei. It was a great leap forward in river transport. The usual boat journey of 4 hours was reduced to merely slightly more than 2 hours. With this success,the fast,comfortable and reliable boat services were introduced to other parts of the Rajang and later to all over Sarawak. In the 80s and 90s,Sibu became internationally famed for its ship building skills and technologies. Bigger and even faster express passenger boats were built for overseas markets such as Indonesia,Singapore,Brunei,Vietnam, Cambodia,Thailand,The Philippines, Papua New Guinea and China. Some of these sea going boats can carry up to 380 passengers and sail nonstop for more than 15 hours, such as the route between Jakarta in West Java to Pontianak in West Kalimantan. This journey normally takes about 16 hours at an average speed of 30 nautical miles per hour. Presently there are daily boat trips between Kuching and Sibu and vice versa. This 5-hour journey has a brief stopover in Sarikei and Tanjong Manis. The return fare is very reasonable at RM80 for first class and RM70 for ordinary class.
Monday, March 31, 2008
As far as I know, the cause(s) for the collapse of this relatively new bridge in Kanowit, Sarawak, has never been made known to public. The bridge collapsed at least 3 years ago and since then the replacement was only a single lane temporarily bridge as we see on the right of the picture. Fortunately there was no one injured as it collapsed in the middle of the night when there was no traffic.
Lunch time for two groups of kindergarten children at the Zoo Negara after their teachers brought them around to see the animals and birds.Overheard students asking some funny questions about sex organs of animals which their teachers could'nt answer. And also overheard teachers telling students wrong names of some animals. Anyway, it was certainly a fun outing for the noisy young children.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The ethnic diversity of Sarawak is being showcased in one place-the award winning Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV). SCV dancers who are from the various ethnic groups all over Sarawak, are very skillful performers in both traditional dances and songs. Watching the very entertaining 45-minute cultural performance is a must during your visit to SCV which is also dubbed as Sarawak's Living Museum. SCV, which is located on the foothills of the legendary Mount Santubong, also showcases the traditional homes and handicrafts of all the major races of Sarawak such as the Iban, Orang Ulu, Malay, Melanau, Chinese and Bidayuh.