Location : Kanowit, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.
It was the second day of CNY and the drive from Sarikei to Kanowit was surprisingly more pleasant than I thought as it was my very first. The bigger surprise was upon arriving at the ‘Town of Dabai’ we found that it was very nice and clean, although deserted and quiet.
A beautiful Chinese temple sat on the bank with excited school boys screaming in delight from the catch on their fishing line. The beautiful waterfront overlooking the Rejang River also consisted of the ageless Fort Emma, basketball court and an outdoor exercise area.
Before deciding on which one of the only 2 hotels to stay for the night we decided to stroll for a bit. The biggest surprise of the day was to bump into my friend Jacky at the lottery shop. He being a local boy was of course back for the celebration with his family. Accepted the invitation to his parents’ house and the night was filled with the most educational lecture on male fertility, thanks to Jacky, as he proudly hugged his daughter Joan, the result of years of trying!
The next morning at 7am the whole town burst into a bustling place and the river was shockingly heavy with water traffic, small boats, express boats and even a huge luxury yacht!
A visit to the vegetable market is a must. Truly educational on the diet of the people of Kanowit.
Kelly the wife of Jacky struck lottery (locally called 4D) and treated us to breakfast which included durian (oh heavenly!) After that was done Jacky kindly volunteered to be our tour guide and brought us to the handicraft centre and Fort Emma (both were closed w/o reasons), church and 3 longhouses namely Rumah Benar, Rumah Udan and the most impressive of all Rumah Rantau Kemiding which has a homestay.
For more info on Dabai, please click here
For more info on Homestay Rantau Kemiding, please click here
Know what is so special about Kanowit? It has a FREE lodging house for outstation folks. Looked basic but clean, with ceiling fans.
I am not sure if tourist can avail to it. But given the shitty hotel which we paid for RM50 a night, I would rather be bunking here. In fact the hotel room is the only thing that marred our visit to this town. Perhaps the Ministry of Tourism should look into the standard of this particular hotel which was horrible and lacking even the most basic of facility – a place to hang your clothes. No chair or table too. Oh well, lesson learned. We will definitely pay Kanowit another visit but will try out the other hotel or better still the homestay at Rantau Kemiding.
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