Location : Kampung Awat-Awat, Lawas District, Limbang Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
We have been travelling so much into the interior of Borneo that whenever the word village pops up the feeling of tranquility and quietness filled our mind. But in a fishing village, things can be quite the opposite as in the case of Awat Awat. With the ongoing prawn season the busyness was even more intense. Young or old, everyone had to help out his or her family.
Orange coloured plankwalks all over Awat Awat during the prawn season
Immediate unloading of prawns once berthed
Boiling the prawns before drying in the sun
From our 3 days’ observation, there was never a lack of family bonding in every household. The guys would mostly be the ones busy out in the sea bringing in loads of prawns. The ladies would be busy boiling big pots of prawns and spreading them on nets to be dried under the sun. The kids played their role too in the fish gutting section. Sometimes under the same roof the prawn and tahai processings go hand in hand. This 2 product industry is enough to keep this fishing community in business, thanks to a rich Brunei market.
Keropok Tahai / Smoked Fish (Fingerling) processing
Scrapping the tahai before packing
After the morning’s hunting for monkeys in a boat and an hours’ tour on foot under the hot sun, we decided to break for lunch in one of the 2 coffeeshops in the village. Basic fried food was available. Too bad no Kopi O in the menu.
One of the 2 kopitiam here in Awat-Awat
In the evening, we walked on foot from our host’s house Mr Aji to the local traditional cake maker Hajjah Kamariah’s home to catch her and the daughters busy preparing ‘kueh’ for the next day’s breakfast sale.
Kueh in nipah leaf boxes
If by any chance you guys should pass by Lawas town and wanting to experience life in a Malay fishing village, homestay can be arranged with Mr Aji. Do write in to us for contact details.
Walking around Awat-Awat
Keropok or fish/prawn cracker making
From boat to the dryer
Kid helping mom in gutting the fish before drying in the sun
Mending nets is another essential chore as a fisherman
It’s an anchor said Azri…..I’m learning
Showing his catch
Crab tying is an art
Suhaili usually gets a good harvest from his fishing trip that uses a very long line of hooks, no nets
Suhaili preparing his long line of hooks for the next day outing