I will be travelling up the Rajang to Belaga tomorrow. Many Sarawakian, even those living closest to Belaga in kapit, have been to places all over the world but never to this tiny town tucked in the heart of Borneo.The last time I visited Belaga Town was more than 10 years ago and my first trip to Belaga Town was in 1983. Belaga became more known to the outside world with the construction of the gigantic Bakun Hydroelectric Dam in 1994. When it is completed and commissioned in 2010, it will be one of the largest in the world, and the largest in Asia outside China. The controversial multi billion dollar Bakun Dam located some 20 km above Belaga Town will produce about 2,400 megawatts of power,enough for Sarawak and with excess to export to West Malaysia. The above aerial photos of the Bakun Dam project were taken in February 2003 when they had just completed building the 3 diversion tunnels and the coffer dam. The present landscape will be completely different from the old pictures and I hope during this trip I can have a glimpse of the dam and the huge reservoir behind it from a mountain top. The reservoir which is the size of Singapore (695 square km) will certainly be an incredible sight to behold.
I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I found out that the departure time for the express boat from Sibu to Belaga Town is still at 5.45 am. That was the same departure time 26 years ago when I first travelled there by boat! It will take about 8 hours to reach Belaga Town with a brief stopover in kapit. The most exciting experience along the journey will be shooting the notorious 6-km long Pelagus Rapids (during low water) above Kapit.
I expect to do a lot of hiking after arrival in Belaga. Hopefully the weather will be fine the next few days. See you all when I return in the weekend and wishing all of you a happy and productive week ahead.