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. bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai MarokAs 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.

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Kapitan Liang’s family
bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Chatting with Kapitan Liang’s daughters in law
bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Fruit lunch

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. bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok

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.

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
On the way to the petai farm

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.

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Durian
bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Petai

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.

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Crystals after washed
bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Beautiful quartz scattered all over the farm!

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!

bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Everybody enjoying the fresh fruit from farm
bitter bean, Borneo, crystal quartz, dabai, durian, Iban longhouse, malaysia, mangosteen, Petai farm, rambutan, Sarawak, 沙捞越, Sarikei, stink bean, Sungai Marok
Kapitan Liang’s relatives & friends

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4 COMMENTS

  1. dear Bombastic Borneo
    I enjoyed reading your very informative article on Julau, living here in Kuching we tend to think that this is Sarawak, but reading about the folks who work hard and produce things with their own iniative there in Julau (and other similar rural towns and areas) of Sarawak, i realize that that is where the REAL Sarawak spirit lives ! Must make more effort to get to know my own back-yard before looking for adventures abroad.
    Thanks Bombastic Borneo
    Jay Blakeney, Retired Forester & Sarawak Resident

  2. Bombastic,

    how wonderful to come across your article. we went across the suspension bridge only today, June 11, 2012. we did not met Kapitan, instead a Foochow not far from the bridge Mr. Wong. I should have visited Kapitan for more information. where is his house, actually? I may like to visit him on my next trip this week.

    • Hi Steve, good to hear you made it to Julau. Kapitan Liang’s house is further down the right. There are only a couple of houses there. Just keep going on the path that leads to the last house. Have a nice trip. Nice blog you have.

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