29 Jul - 30 Jul 2009 Mukah

Malaysian Borneo
Sarawak aka Land of the Hornbills
Hotel Sri Umpang
Basic twin room with air-con for MYR 35.- or US$ 10.- per night.
Click below for an interactive road map of the Hotel Sri Umpang in Mukah and for directions:
N 02° 53.82' E 112° 05.72'

Exploring the coastal town of Mukah (population: 55% Melanau and 35% Iban) and her beaches near the mouth of the Sungai Mukah, learning that the Melanaus turned sago into their main cash crop and staple food (since the sago palm is the only crop that grows well in the mangrove swamps) and visiting a tebaloi (sago crackers) processing factory (monthly wages: MYR 500.-) and additionally discovering a few local delicacies such as (i) umai ikan (a spicy salad of raw marinated fish with shallots, salt, lime juice, chilli, wild ginger and ground peanuts), (ii) dabai (savoury fruits resembling big black olives in appearance and to some extent in flavour) and (iii) fat live sago worms - not for the squeamish (neither as food nor as a sex toy).

Hitching a lift from Mukah back to Dalat and occupying the last two free spaces amongst all kinds of luggage on the roof of the Gen Sung 250-hp speedboat (MYR 20.- or US$ 5.65 per person) from Dalat which for the first 20 km cruised slowly through the narrow, tree-lined, man-made Sungai Kut canal with its picturesque water villages where the local Melanau people were wearing their colourful terrendaks (sun hats made from sago-palm fronds) and which later accelerated to a breezy 30-kn cruising speed and thus took us on a wild ride for the remaining 90 km over the brown and murky water of the wide Batang Igan back to Sibu, the largest port and commercial centre in the Rejang Basin, located at the confluence of the Rejang River and the Igan River, approximately 130 km from the South China Sea.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

Click below and see more Konni & Matt Pictures
Photos 2009-12 Central Sarawak

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