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.
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 river making Sibu one of the key cities in central Sarawak.
|Visiting Mukah via boat|
|Sibu Central Market, the largest in Malaysia|
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.
|An original Melanau Village by the river|
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.
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 traveler or foodie, Sibu is recommended, especially 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 at a price of 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 dishes are 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 traveler, there are a number of Malay restaurants available here too.
|A Melanau fisherman checking his catch of the day at the local Melanau village|