Friday, August 19, 2016

Visit Sibu Year 2017


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
In terms of tourism, Sibu offers visitors a number of unique experiences like food tourism where one can explore the city to sample the unique Foochow style 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.

An original Melanau Village by the river
Visiting a traditional Melanau Village in Sibu is also one of the must do activities as these river side 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. 

Lamin Dana, a boutique lodge and homestay
From my personal experience in visiting sibu in May 2016, I was taken to a number of interesting places and stayed at Lamin Dana, the traditional Melanau house along 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 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
My personal point of view, I would easily say that it is probably best to visit Sibu and spend at least one or two nights there. For those traveling 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. More information on Visit Sibu Year 2017 can be obtained by visiting the official Visit Sibu websiite.

For anyone planning to travel to Sarawak in 2017, I would highly recommend making a stopover at Sibu for the Visit Sibu Year 2017 as it is easily accessible via land or even ferry service from Kuching. There are also flights into Sibu via AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines for those wanting a quicker journey. 

Author:

Malaysia Asia is a multiple award-winning travel blog site with information on unique and interesting places around Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Southeast Asia and the World. Malaysia Asia is also under MyAsia Services, a Digital Travel Solutions Company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. We are also not your regular travel bloggers. 

1 comments:

umar aham said...

thanks for sharing your valuable experience