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Visit Sibu Year 2017

Sibu Sarawak

A Visit Sibu Year 2017 has been launched to attract more tourist to one of the lesser-visited places in Sarawak Borneo where it is also getting to be known as one of Malaysia's best-kept tourism secret.

Not many people have actually visited this charming town in the middle of Sarawak and for those with an appetite, Sibu is one of the foremost places for traditional Foo Chow food in Malaysia.

Visit Sibu Year 

Sarawak Mukah
Visiting Mukah via boat from Sibu
Sibu, a predominantly Chinese and Melanau area has been one of the important towns from back in history as it served as the main gateway into the upriver places of Sarawak.

Traders would sail into Sibu and barter trade before continuing up the mighty Rajang River to reach the deep settlements by the riversides.

Even nowadays, the river is still being used to move goods and people up and down the river making Sibu one of the key cities in central Sarawak.

Pasar Besar Sibu
Sibu Central Market, the largest in Malaysia
In terms of tourism, Sibu offers visitors several unique experiences like food tourism where one can explore the city to sample the unique Foochow style of local dishes.

For culture, Sibu showcases some interesting Melanau heritage and the best place to start is at the Sibu Heritage Centre, located in town.

And for local culture, one should not miss the amazing Sibu Central Market, which is the largest market in Malaysia, showcasing over 1000 stalls selling all kinds of local produce.

One can easily spend a couple of hours exploring this massive market and I believe that this would be one of the highlights for Visit Sibu Year 2017.

The best time to visit the Sibu Central Market is also in the mornings when it is very active. You can also find some souvenir shops selling ethnic tribal items like Iban and Melanau things.

Sibu Melanau Village
An original Melanau Village by the river
Visiting a traditional Melanau Village in Sibu is also one of the must-do activities as these riverside villages are so different and unique compared to other traditional Sarawakian villages.

The experience allows you to do a day trip or even an overnight trip where you stay at a traditional Melanau house by the name of Lamin Dana where tours are organised by Mr Hou Kang of Greatown Travel as he has been the pioneer tour operator in Sibu for a long time.

For Visit Sibu Year 2017, the council together with the Sarawak Tourism Board has come up with a dedicated website to showcase the many places of interest around Sibu and they have also listed down a list of places of interest in Sibu for visitors.

If you should also know, there is an amazing nightly food market in the town area while at certain places around Sibu, you can find some street art too. 

Sibu Lamin Dana Homestay
Lamin Dana, a boutique lodge and homestay
From my personal experience in visiting Sibu in May 2016, I was taken to several interesting places and stayed at Lamin Dana, the traditional Melanau house by the river village.

My journey also took me to the town of Mukah which is a coastal town filled with local charm.

Food in Sibu

Back in Sibu, I was brought to visit the best restaurants in Sibu where the traditional Foochow food was served and if you are a serious food traveller or foodie, Sibu is highly recommended.

One of the popular places is at the Sibu Night Market, where you can find lots of Chinese and also Malay street food.

Currently, there is no Sibu Food Trail, but I am pretty sure, there will be one soon enough as Sibu is filled with a lot of exciting foods.

Among the famous foods are the Foochow noodles with super large freshwater prawns which come for RM25 per bowl.

Other dishes include the Mee Sua, local porridge and some pretty interesting rice dishes like the Fish Rice, imagine Chicken Rice, but with deep-fried fish instead.

One great place to experience most of these local Sarawakian dishes is on top of the Sibu Central Market.

As for those seeking a little more modern food, fear not as there are plenty of cafes which caters to the hipster generation.

You can find coffee joints and fast food around Sibu while for the halal traveller, there are several Malay restaurants available here too.

A Melanau fisherman checking his catch of the day at the local Melanau village

From my personal point of view, I would easily say that it is probably best to visit this unique city and spend at least one or two nights there.

For those travelling from Kuching to Miri, you can opt for an overnight stay in Sibu before continuing your journey.

From the local tourism council, it would be a different perspective due to the governmental involvement which will see many new events being held around the city.

For anyone planning to travel to Sarawak, I would highly recommend making a stopover at Sibu for the Visit Sibu Year, as it is easily accessible via land or even ferry service from Kuching.

There are also various flights into Sibu via AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines for those wanting a quicker journey into the heartland of central Sarawak.

1 comment

umar aham said...

thanks for sharing your valuable experience