Location : Julau, Sarikei Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Our first ever visit to Julau was not exactly what we had planned or expected. We thought that we could visit some longhouses and perhaps Fort Brooke at Nanga Meluan. Driving out of Kanowit on the 3rd day of CNY we arrived at this sleepy town and decided to drive round it hoping to see a hotel but realized there wasn’t any. Decided to park the car and walk one last round, had a cold drink and asked the locals a few question.
As we were about to walk back to the car we noticed a newly completed suspension bridge that did not look like one! No usual hanging cables along the whole bridge! Strange. We decided to cross it and maybe check out the opposite bank a bit. What was supposed to be a 10 minutes affair turned into 5 good hours. All because we innocently, as always, ‘trespassed’ into the property of Kapitan Liang Yung Sing. Before we knew it one of his daughters in law invited us, total strangers from Kuching, into the house as Chinese New Year celebration was ongoing. Attracted by their country folk’s humility and friendliness we accepted and was glad we did as we were treated to all kinds of fruits, unlike any other house visits. There was rambutan, durian, duku langsat, mangosteen and dabai (local olive) all fresh from their farm.
As we were enjoying the fruits and hospitality we enquired about the unique bridge that crossed Sungei Marok. Liang Hung Chang who is one of the Kapitan’s 3 sons explained it was just been completed end of December 2011. The long overdued bridge was part financed by the government with the amount of RM190,000. The other part of the contribution which was RM160,000 came from 7 families of Sungai Marok and about 30 families of Kampung Selaut. With a meager RM350,000 budget the Liang family performed miracle. They designed and built the bridge, an engineering marvel if you care to take a closer look at the details. Doubtless this bridge has opened the door to new hopes, possibilities and dreams. First and foremost the Liangs have opened up dirt roads all around their huge fruit farm to make work easier and faster.
When Hung Chang invited us to visit his farm and especially the 3 hectares of ‘petai’ trees we immediately accepted. We trekked through the hilly farm for about 30 minutes before we arrived at the petai spot.
Probably the one and only petai farm in Sarawak. The tastiest too, sweet orange pulp that covers the bitter and spicy (like wasabi) seeds. (For more info on Petai, please check out our post here : https://bombasticborneo.com/2012/02/petai-%e8%87%ad%e8%b1%86/). The durians we picked up along the way were awesome too.
As we hurried back to the house Joshua Liang picked up a number of pieces of crystal quartz from the freshly leveled dirt road. Our unforgettable souvenirs.
The visit to the Liangs ended after savouring the freshly cooked petai. Expressed our sincere gratitude and bade our farewell. The sky was getting dark and fast. Time to do the 1 hour drive to the next town Sarikei……….. the kind of ‘unbeaten path’ experience any tourist would die for!
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