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Monday, December 8, 2014

LIFE ALONG THE WATER'S EDGE, SARAWAK


Borneo, the largest island in the world, enchanted and still calling for adventure. The jungle teeming animal life and rivers afford livelihood and much economy for the people whether in the interior or towns. 

For most Malaysians, we take Borneo for granted. It is just there. Perhaps the fear in the yesteryear was the marauding headhunters. But for the white men many have traversed , studied, and even conquered parts of Borneo (Brookes, Beccari, Wallace, Harrisson, Hose, Mjoberg, Nichols ...).

Where the mighty rivers and tributaries meander in the lowland expanse to the sea, the view is akin that of the Amazon. 

Longhouses are prominent abodes in communal life in the Land of the Hornbills ie. Sarawak. An Iban (Sea Dyak) longhouse by a (man-made) lake to rear fish.

An Orang Ulu longhouse by a river bank.

The dwellers selling beads, baskets, bark hats and souvenirs to tourists who ply by on their way to Mulu Caves.

Tourism brings some income to people in the interior.

Towns are built along river banks or coasts to facilitate transportation and means of living. Mukah town is located close to the mouth of Batang Mukah - hustle-bustle of morning market (pic).

Off the coast of Betong - fishing is a major source of income for villagers that live along the coast, . 

Small boats ferry passengers and goods for short distances.

When more bridges are made across rivers there are left fewer ferries in operation to bring vehicles and people across. A ferry pilot is called juragan.

Sibu, is the second largest town after Kuching are both situated by the rivers' edge. 


For longer distance travel up and down the rivers long express boats cater for the people. Express boats waiting for passengers, Sibu (pic).

An express boat reaching a destination to drop off passengers and goods.

Small ships transport heavy materials (eg. construction materials) from town to town.

Barges tow timber to sawmills located along the rivers.

Shipyard, Sibu.


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