Sunday, September 21, 2014

Marudi - Cultural Heart of Sarawak’s Highland Tribes Folk

A quiet town situated inland from Miri, similar in size to Kapit, Marudi is a town on the Baram River in the north of Sarawak which borders Sabah and the small country of Brunei.

Marudi is the cultural heart of Sarawak’s highland tribes folk, collectively called Orang Ulu. A riverine town about 100 km upriver from Kuala Baram, Marudi is the largest town in the sparsely-populated Baram district. It is also the district administrative headquarters and has been since the days of the White Rajahs.

It has a riverfront, a couple of buildings riddled with small shops, restaurants, the occasional hair salon, hotels and at the top, a museum on Marudi.

Marudi town is, as usual, dominated by Chinese has Chinese association as follows:
Hokkien Association Baram
59, Jalan Kapitan Lim Ching Kiat, 98050, Marudi, baram, Sarawak
Tel  : 085-755469  
Fax:  085-755049

Baram Foo Chow Association
Lot 29, Jalan Kapitan Lim Ching Kiat, 98050 Marudi, Baram, Sarawak
Tel: 085-755717  
Fax: 085-755333

Kwong Tung Community Association Baram
Lot 83, Jalan Kapitan Lim Ching Kiat, 98050 Marudi, Baram, Sarawak
Tel: 085-756678  
Fax: 085-755415

Hakka Community Association Baram
Lot 44, Jalan Kapitan Lim Ching Kiat, 98050 Marudi, Baram, Sarawak
Tel: 085-756282  
Fax: 085-755076

Like any other town in Sarawak, it is a common sight to see a Marudi Tua Pek Kong Temple situated nearby the Bram River.

The population of Marudi is approximately 83,900 as follows:

Malay        :   4, 800
Iban           : 29, 500
Chinese    :   5, 917
Kenyah     : 11, 031
Kayan       : 11, 387
Kelabit      :   2, 095
Penan       :   7, 724
Bidayuh    :       620
Melanau   :       420
There are 3 ways to get to Marudi :

By Air
MASwings Twin Otter from Miri - RM100 return ticket. Maswings fly from Miri to Marudi daily. A mere 20 min flight time as compared with 4 hours by road or 3 hours by boat upriver. This may be a good choice for those with limited time.

By Boat
From Kuala Baram jetty in Miri, there are speedboats leaving daily with the first boat scheduled at 7.20 am and there could be as many as 4 trips per day, depending on demand and weather permitting. The express provide transport from Marudi to Kuala Baram, Long Lama, Totuh and Tinjar.

By Road
Going by 4WD trucks from Miri is a little tougher and a little sore by the end of the trip. The road is bumpy and the 4WD will be bouncing along an old logging road, it takes about 3 ½ hours – 4 hours.

                               Marudi Town

                                                                             Marudi Town

                                                                  MASwings Twin Otter
                                                                            Marudi Airport

                                                                 One of the big Hotel

                                                                 District big events held here


                                                                               Interior Market

           Traditional House


                                                                 petty trading on five-foot ways

                                                                           Tua Pek Kong

                                                                            Temple Outlook

Amazing Design

                                                                          Traditional Design

                                                           Wooden House along the main road

                                                                      To Komplek Persekutuan

Friday, September 19, 2014

Indigenous Durian in Sarawak

The indigenous red and orange durian from the rainforest of Sarawak is unique and rather small in size which can be held by a palm. It is found scattered in mixed dipterocarp forest. The fruit is covered with long sharp spines. The red durian, better known as Durian Sukang and the orange one called Durian Dalit, both are categorized as wild durian.

The wild durian of Sarawak is the King of fruits, although the flesh is thin and the taste is bland but their scent is strong and distinctive. 

Comparatively, the red flesh durian is almost creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of the orange durian, yet the taste and flavor is twice as strong as the orange one with its own characteristic unique flavor aroma. 

The red is more expensive and a bundle of 5 was sold as high as RM 45 in Limbang road side market.

                                                                             Red Durian

                                                                             Orange Durian

Orange Durian

                                                                          Orange Durian

                                                                           Bundle of Durian

                                                                           Bundle of Durian

                                                                        Good Harvest in Niah

                                                                       Limbang Market

                                                                              Limbang Market

                                                                 Limbang Road Side Market

                                                                 Limbang Road side market

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu, a town at the mouth of the Terengganu River is the state capital and the largest town in Terengganu. With area of 12,955 sq km and population of 1.2 million people (2011 estimate), on which 95% are Malays, 5% are Chinese and the remainder is Indian and other ethnics.

The Chinese, who made up about 5%, mostly concentrated in Chinatown at Kampong China Road, Kuala Terengganu. It's the trade Centre since early 13th Century. However, the Chinatown is first established by the Chinese community in the late 19th century. 

It was once a hub for commercial activities that help shape Kuala Terengganu into what it is today. The Chinese built the traditionally designed shop houses according to their place of origin in China. The buildings have been declared a heritage site by the United Nations.

Terengganu mean literally in Chinese “have long term perspective and aim for higher achievement.” An earlier traditional Chinese name had the meaning “slavery from childbirth.” Because of this, the local Chinese appeal to the local government to change to the existing one.

Traditionally, the Chinese name for Terengganu has been "丁加奴", which is a direct transliteration of the Malay name. However, some Chinese in Terengganu raised objections to the name, citing that the characters used loosely translate to “bring a child into the world to be a slave" (添丁加做奴).  

As a result, they petitioned the regulatory commission for Chinese language in Malaysia to change the Chinese name for the state to "登嘉" , which can be loosely translated to "step up advance to next higher levels". It wasn’t until September 2004 that such attempt was finally successful

The successful attempt, however, add nothing to the Chinese culture. It’s worth nothing and do not have any meaning to that society because the new name has been in use unofficially by the local Chinese society for not less than 30 years.

Some segments of the Chinese society and those who opposed the name change base their opposition largely on the fact that the new name contains too many character strokes, making the writing much more difficult.

They proposed the name reverted back to the version used before the year 2004, but changing the word “slavery” (), the main cause of the controversy to the more positive similar sounding word “perseverance”().

                                                                      Beautiful unspoilt beach

                                                 Durian at Pasar Payang or the Central Market

                                                                           Heritage Building

                                    Reclaiming site along the coast of Kuala Terengganu Town

                                                                    Dataran Shah Bandar

                                                                         Turtle Alley

                                                                           Chinese Temple

                                                                           Worship God

Beautiful temple structure

                                                           Prewar old building in Chinatown

                                                                          Taoist  Temple