Shutter Happy in Sibu
That’s right. You’re looking at a spanking new blog post on tehCpeng.net. Betcha didn’t see this coming did ya? Okay. I’m gonna refrain from pointing out the obvious about my blog’s inactivity and how it all happened — busyassignmentsandprojectshaveyounootherexcuses? But really, blame the photoblog.
So — *slaps on a 3-foot-thick face* — during the mid-term break five uh, weeks ago, the family tagged along Dad to Sibu where he had official duty. We spent the night at Betong before continuing on the journey along the Trans-Borneo highway to the third largest city of Sarawak.
Almost six whole hours on the road later, we found ourselves in the midst of the bustling town of Sibu. Dad took us straight to the famous express boat wharf — a nostalgic sight I haven’t seen in some good 10 years. And boy had this laid-back town changed over the years, most prominently with the addition of Sarawak’s tallest building — the Wisma Sanyan.
Incidentally, our hotel was right next to this towering monolith and the country’s largest town square it looks upon. We sighed a breath of relief when Dad pulled up onto the lobby of RH Hotel, which was thankfully a universe away from the bare-boned one we spent the night in back in Betong.
So this was where we spent the next 5 days.
My Sis and I was also lucky enough to find access to the executive floors one bored morning. We literally explored every corner of that 14-storey building. Funny thing was, the lift blocked access to the executive floors the next time when we tried to bring Mom and Dad up.
Because the rooms came with complimentary breakfast at the hotel restaurant for two, we took turns to head down every morning for a scrumptious buffet breakfast.
When not eating in the hotel, we’d head out. I must say though, RH Hotel has the most strategic location. It was just a stone’s throw away from the Wisma Sanyan mall and the humongous Sibu Town Square. Not to mention, only a walking distance from countless eateries of Sibu’s CBD. Seriously, you have to be really lazy to stay hungry there.
Throughout our stay, the rain gods were kind enough to spare their lightning spears and water hoses. For it didn’t rain even a single drop in the five days we were in Sibu. The clear skies all day long eventually led into beautiful sunsets over the Rejang River. Ones that scream for you to get out and shoot.
Which was exactly what I did.
We also walked over to the really well-kept Sibu waterfront park for an even better view of sunsets.
On the last day, we had lunch at the Sibu Central Market. Dad recalled of how they display livestock for sale in the market — all wrapped up in newspaper tubes with only their heads bobbing up and down. It was a must-see.
It didn’t take long for us to find the live chickens. While initially amused at how they were left with their heads excitedly bobbing, some of these poor birds just hung their heads low — as if in hopeless despair. I felt a tinge of sympathy as I shot them through my viewfinder. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not turning vegetarian anytime soon. Chickens are..well, chickens. It is their fate, however unfortunate.
Nonetheless, we headed up to the 1st floor of the market to savour some authentic Sibu food for the last time. Not missing, of course, the oh-so-overrated kompiah — dry and hard oven-baked lumps of flour sprinkled with sesame seeds. I never understood how could people eat them as-is. Other than its bland taste, its dry and rock-hard texture could seriously break some teeth.
But, when you slice a kompiah in half, stuff some juicy minced meat into it and deep-fry it into some golden-brown goodness — you’ve got the best delicacy 60 cents can buy you (prices may vary). It was the first stuff we ordered as soon as we sat down.
Knowing all so well one cannot leave Sibu without a large bag of kompiahs, we headed to the old Sibu Market after lunch to get ourselves some of them freshly-baked from authentic kompiah bakeries. If you’ve never seen how kompiahs are baked, here you go:
The bakery workers wasn’t all that happy about me pointing my camera into the kitchen as he swiftly moved into the frame to completely block my view. As if I’m planning to copy and patent their space-age tech to mass-produce kompiahs in my mega kompiah factory. Although that isn’t such a bad idea. =)
So armed with a huge bag of steaming hot kompiahs we embarked on the journey back home with only Dad to thank for bringing us along for this trip while he worked is ass off. This is my Dad for you. Thanks pops!