Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sibu revisited

I last visited Sibu 10 years ago for a school band performance. Over the years my memories of the place have been constantly diminishing, until last week. My dad, brother and I decided to revisit Sibu for old times sake, by road.

If you're visiting Sibu, this is one of the must haves along the way - Jakar prawn noodles. The broth has a very intense prawn flavour similar to the Foochow "fried soup noodles", but this is way better. The prawns are large and fresh too. This probably won't be your daily breakfast at RM 15 each, but its good to try it once in a while!

We resided for three days and two nights at the Masland Methodist Church center. The whole complex was very recently built, and we were probably one of the first guests in their hostel.

The whole complex has been excellently organised and detailed by the architect, whom I believe to be Chang Jih Ren.

The Masland church is within a stone's throw away from Wisma Sanyan, which is still the talest building in Sibu. You can see the spire of the church to the right of Wisma Sanyan. To the eft is RH Hotel.

In the evening, we joined my uncle and his family for dinner. The last time I met my uncle was also about 10 years ago, so naturally his kids (my cousins) were a little apprehensive to meet us.

We had some stirfried river snails, prawn fritters, cangkuk manis (a local vegetable) and soup.

I'm not trying to be biased here, but in general, Kuching has better hawker food than Sibu, albeit probably being more expensive.

If we compare eating habits, my brother and I (sadly) consume more food than our smaller sized cousins.

The next morning after church, we went for a late breakfast near the Sibu Civic Center. We had kampua....

and "Timengu".

I feel I can't adequately describe this Foochow dish, but its basically rice cakes in a soupy broth mixed in with fishballs, cuttlefish, black fungus, fried onions, etc etc.

This is one of the memorial parks in Sungai Merah which commemorates the first landing point of the Foochows in Sibu nearly a century ago.

It is at this spot where in 1900, the first wave of immigrants from Fuzhou, China were led by Pastor Wong Nai Siong to the humble area of Sungai Merah.

My dad also visited the government quarters where he grew up, near Bukit Aup. His unit is the one with the black Perodua Kembara.

My uncle invited us again for lunch at his place where we fed till our stomachs were on the brink of bursting. He also has plenty of dog's at his place. This is a very friendly 2-year-old golden retriever, which likes to punish naughty toy monkeys.

And as if we had to relive my dad's memories to waaaay back, we visited my great grandfathers old house near the very center of town.

This 60 + year old house is literally on the verge of crumbling, and is unfit for occupation. If nothing's being done, its only a matter of time before the whole house comes crashing to the ground.

On the morning of Gawai Dayak, we went to the ''original'' Timengu shop for breakfast.

Compared to the ones we had the previous day, this Timengu is waaayyyy better!

Its surprising to see rickshaws still exist in Sibu, admist the bustling traffic of cars and motorcycles.

And compared to Kuching's Waterfront, water transport is very much alive here.

Multitudes of villagers still depend on these boats to take them from their villages to larger towns such as Sibu and Kapit.

This century old, 7 storey Pagoda Tua Peh Kong temple lies within the heart of Sibu town.

And similar to Kuching, shop houses are in abundance.

I'm not sure whether people from Sibu are a kopitiam-cultured lot, but they do love their food!

As usual, I order teh si peng (iced tea)...

and kampua mee. I reckon Kuching Kolo Mee tastes way better than this!

These shophouses have been existent for a long time, and they will continue to do so for a few more decades.

Sibu is an elegant place, but I think I'll die of boredom if I indeed do stay here!


BaByy Nana said...

argh my ceasar is so fluffy and cute muahahahahahaha

AnandaSim said...

Some shots very memorable and significant - that Jakar Prawn dish looks really yummy but RM 15! I must have lost touch with Malaysian prices....

robin said...

I do agree though, if i live in sibu i would die of boredom too.
But I don't mind visiting just for a round of photo-frenzy !!

suituapui said...

Not with me around, Robin. Tsk! Tsk! Too bad I didn't get to know you earlier, Brandon or else we could have met up and bring you around...and maybe meet other bloggers here even.

brandon said...

suitapui, i don't think neither robin or I will be visiting anytime soon, but we'll contact you if we do. cheerz.


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