Sunday, October 7, 2012

Where To Stay?

There are plenty of accommodation in Sibu, ranges from budget hotels to luxurious hotels. Below are the star-rated hotels & budget accommodation in Sibu.

RH Hotel (4 star) - within close vicinity of the major financial and shopping hub where offices and banks are located. All 226 spacious and chic rooms designed uniquely to satisfy the need of the guests. Two beautiful dining sites are available onsite for guests to chill and relax after a rough day, Hijau Lounge and Oriental Bistro, where guests can enjoy meals and refreshing drinks within a perfect ambience. For more relaxing mood, guests can visit the swimming pool and steam bath which is another spot to rejuvenate and unwind.

Kingwood Hotel (4 star) - Guestrooms contain Mini bar and Internet access for your comfort. Jacuzzi and Gymnasium are provided for your leisure needs. The 168 impressive rooms are stocked with 4-star quality amenities. Corporate travellers have access to Convention centre and Meeting facilities. 

Premier Hotel (3 star) - Located at the center of the city. Guests can enjoy airport transfer, laundry service/dry cleaning, car park, concierge, room service

Tanahmas Hotel (3 star) - Located at the center of the city. While lodging at this wonderful property, guests can enjoy business center, meeting facilities, coffee shop, Wi-Fi in public areas, safety deposit boxes.

Paramount Hotel (3 star) - The Paramount Hotel offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travelers. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers room service, laundry service/dry cleaning, salon, bar/pub, restaurant.

Kawan Hotel - air conditioning,direct dial telephone,hot/cold running water,long bath,shower,220 voltage

The Orchid Hotel (2 star) - Only 0.2km from the city center, the hotel's strategic location ensures that guests can quickly and easily reach many local points of interest. It include elevator, car park, smoking area, coffee shop, safety deposit boxes

Garden Hotel (1 star) - Free & unlimited Wi-FI service, Telefax, postal and secretarial services, Laundry services, Ample parking space, Safe deposit box facilities, Flight reservation & confirmation services, Porter services, Wake up calls,  Newspaper delivery upon arrangement.

Li Hua Hotel - Spotless marble, free Wi-Fi, and a helpful tourist information section in the lobby cause this hotel to fill up quickly. Prices for double rooms start at $24 a night. Li Hua Hotel is located on the esplanade, opposite of the River Park Hotel on Jalan Maju.

Salim Room (Budget Inn) - The hotel provides room service, concierge, Wi-Fi in public areas, family room, 24hr room service

Medan Hotel - Unlike many hotels that are adjacent to bus terminals, the Medan Hotel feels clean and safe. Located directly beside of the long-distance bus terminal, the Medan Hotel is a good option if you intend to leave Sibu early the next day. Rooms are priced from $25 per double.

River Park Hotel 濠景大酒店 -  Located on Jalan Maju directly across from the esplanade. The staff is friendly, rooms are large, and there is free Wi-Fi in the lobby.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How To Travel To Borneo Without Plane?

This seems to be an interesting topics recently when some travelers actually interested to go to Malaysia Borneo - Sarawak & Sabah without any plane when they are at West Malaysia. So I did an online search to find out if there is a way.

It is possible to travel to Borneo but it is not that straight forward. You need to have more times as I think one week is not enough for such a long travel. There is no way you can drive or take bus directly from West Malaysia to East Malaysia so do not ask me about what bus you can take.

I dun think there are any ferry or boat that can bring you direct from West Malaysia to East Malaysia unless you have the money to charter your own boat or may be tag along with cargo ship(totally no idea how this can be done).

If you want to travel Borneo from West Malaysia, you may try below method. I never try before, do leave me a message if you have do that as I am really interested to know the process. I am not too sure how long is the journey but I think you can travel along the way.

  1. From West Malaysia, travel to Singapore by bus or car.
  2. From Singapore, take fast sea ferry to Batam/Bintan(Indonesia Island)
  3. From Batam/Bintan, catch Pelni Ferry to Java, then Indonesian Borneo, Kalimantan. Find the map for Indonesia, you will know where is Java & Kalimantan. I am not too sure if there are other Ferry Service other than Pelni.
  4. From Kalimantan, find your way to cross over to Sarawak. I know if you drive, should be no issue. Not too sure about the public transport etc.

Hope this helps!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sarawak Steamed Layer Cake

Sarawak is famous for its steamed layer cake. During the Chinese New Year, if you visit most of the houses, you will sure find it served as part of goodies. When we talk about cake, we normal will think of baked. but Sarawak we use steam which means we just need the steamer. 

I am not too sure where is this originate but since I know it already the cake that we used to eat during Chinese New Year and there are so many variety. Even my mum will make 10++ different flavour cakes.

You can buy those cake in some cake and bakery shop in Sibu or even the morning market. All the races in Sibu, we know how to make it. Malay people normally have more colourful version, Chinese tend not to put in too many colour as they feel too much colouring is not good for health. So you can choose what you want and try it!

Homemade steam cakes except the top left fruit cake.
Top: Fruit cake, Coffee cake
Bottom: Sesame cake, Seaweed cake

Close up for the coffee cake

Shopping Mall

There are lots of big and small shopping mall you may find in Sibu. Here are some of the list.

  1. Wisma Sanyan
  2. Delta Shopping mall
  3. Medan Mall 
  4. Sing Kwong Shopping mall
  5. The Premier
  6. Star Mega Mall
  7. Farley
  8. Everrise
  9. Bus Terminal Shopping Centre
  10. Ngiu Kee Hypermarket - Proposed 
  11. Kin Orient Plaza Extension, Sibu - Proposed
  12. Daesim Square, Sibu - Proposed

Star Mega Mall

Star Mega Mall Sibu had started operating its business on 29 July 2011. It is part of the business from Daesim Group and located at 4th Mile Oya Road.

DAESCO Hypermarket and Departmental Store, Sibu’s first hypermarket can be found in the new mall. There are lot of brands that you can only find in KL previosuly, now brought into Mega Mall, like Vincci etc

I had been to there once and it is not fully opened. I think I can have more pictures on this new mall after my visit.

By Bus

Sibu City buses shuttle people to the long-haul bus terminal just outside of town from 33 cents. Regular buses run to Kuching (eight hours), Miri (eight hours), and Bintulu (four hours). Overnight buses to Kuching are available.

From Kuching
  1. Miri Transport Company (MTC)
  2. EVA Express
  3. Baram Express

Bus websites:-

By Boat

From Kuching

If you are not the fan of eight-hour bus rides, the best option for moving east to Sibu is by boat. It will be different experience as not many places provide you boat ride. One boat a day leaves the Express Boat Terminal in Kuching at 8:30 a.m. The Express Boat Terminal is not on the waterfront; you must take a 20-minute taxi. The scenic boat journey to Sibu takes less than five hours(shorter than the bus) and costs $40 almost the same as bus. (Do check on the bus rate on the day itself, as due to the inflation, the bus cost has been increased from year to year)

To Kapit

Kapit is the first stop on the journey up the Batang Rejang, departing between 5.45am and 4.45pm. Just go down to the terminal and ask which boat is next to leave. People are very helpful and the boats usually have a ‘clock’ showing the next departure time.

All boats to Kapit pass Kanowit and Song, and may stop at smaller settlements and logging camps en route; if you want to be dropped at any of these places, ask when you board. There are also a few scheduled services to Song.

You may refer to Sibu, Song & Kapit Express Boat Schedule if you want know the schedule off hand.

Read more:

By Plane

Direct Flight From KL

  1. AirAsia
  2. Malaysia Airlines
  3. Firefly

Direct Flight From Johor Bahru

  1. AirAsia

Direct Flight From Other State in Sarawak

  1. AirAsia
  2. MasWings

Direct Flight From Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

  1. MasWings

From Other State in Malaysia

There isn't much direct flight to Sibu, mainly you need to transit if you are travelling from the place other than the 3 stated above. KL & Kuching are the 2 most popular transit point to reach Sibu.

If you are planning to travel every place in Sarawak, then you may land Kuching and from there, you can take bus service or boat to travel around Sarawak

From Singapore

There is no direct flight from Singapore to Sibu. However, you can fly to Sibu via below common routes.

  1. Direct flight from Johor Bahru - Travel from Singapore to Senai Airport. You may refer to the website from Senai Airport - To & From Singapore to check how to travel between the 2 places.
  2. Transit in KL
  3. Transit in Kuching, Sarawak

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sibu Restaurants

I have a food blog which I update on my food journey and that included some of the restaurant in Sibu. You may refer to Sibu Food Blog here for more information.

Here are the list I extracted from certain sources and I linked with my blog for those I had visited:-

Coffee Shop
  1. New Nur Islamic Cafe
  2. Aloha Food Center
  3. Soon Hock Cafe and Restaurant
  4. Chop Hing Huong兴园餐室
  5. Aloha Food Center
  6. Sieng Heng Cafe
  7. Taman Selera Muhibbah亲善美食园
  8. Huang Chuang Cafe欢泉茶室
  9. Choon Seng Coffee Shop
  10. Jin Xuan Corner
  11. Kian Hock Coffee Shop
  12. Sie Kai Food Stall
  13. Ding Wang Gourment Place鼎王美食坊
  14. Rong Rong Seafood & Cafe荣荣海鲜茶餐室
  15. Bai Sun Cafe百顺茶室
  16. Kafe Up2U随億茶室
  17. Ipoh Town Kopitiam
  18. Xi Chan Lai Cafe喜常来茶室
  19. Little Umbrella小雨伞
  20. Ah Ching Cafe阿清茶室
  21. Master Eatery
  22. Roy Corner No.4
  23. Daniel Cafe迎宾美味茶室
  24. 966 Corner
  25. Yummy's Kafe吔美茶室
  26. Hock Sing Cafe福星茶餐室
  27. Thomson Corner 詩巫東昇閣
  28. Toto Cafe多多茶餐室
  29. Wan Li Sheng Ruo Mian 万里生肉面
  30. Red Vinasse Kampua 红糟干盘面
  31. King Sun Canteen 金顺阁
  32. Chopsticks
  33. Kiaw Hin Cafe 桥兴茶室
  1. Klang Bak Kut Teh
  2. Enjoy Cafe and Restaurant
  3. Cafe Cafe
  4. The Cafe IND
  5. Noodle House
  6. Peppers Cafe
  7. KCaffe
  8. Junction Cafe
  9. Payung Cafe
  10. Anson
  11. The Ark Cafe and Restaurant
  12. Rasa Sayang Cafe
  13. Oriental Bistro
  14. Tom's Too
  15. Victorious Cafe
  16. Italian Coffee
  17. Masjid Lama Cafe
  18. The Uptown Cafe
  19. 328 Katong Laksa 328加東叻沙
  20. Golden Bakery House & Cafe
  21. Espressense
  22. Nica Gelateria
  1. Singapore Chicken Rice
  2. Good Happiness Restaurant旺喜楼
  3. Zen Japanese Fusion Dining
  4. Hong Fu Seafood 洪福海鲜酒楼
  5. 168 Terminal Cafe
  6. Chui Shiang Court翠香阁
  7. New Capitol Restaurant新首都冷气大酒家
  8. 喜来登餐厅
  9. 金喜楼
  10. Akatsuki Animate Restaurant木ノ葉焼物語
  11. Joystar Garden花悅枋
  12. Hai Bing Seafood & Coffee Shop
  13. Mum's Place老地方食店
  14. Happy Hour Corner欢乐阁
  15. Kong Mama江妈妈
  16. Yu Xuan Thai BBQ Steamboat玉轩泰式(火炭)烧烤火锅
  17. Singma Herbal Roasted Duck King Food Shop鸭皇大食店
  18. Mitsu Shabu Shabu Restaurant 快可利涮涮锅
Dim Sum
Fast Food
  1. SugarBun
  2. KFC
  3. McDonald
  4. Pelicana Chicken
  5. Marrybrown
  6. PizzaHut
Dessert and Snack Place
  1. Ramadan Bazaar Sibu
  2. Sibu Foochow Festival

Friday, June 15, 2012

Traditional Bean Curd

Bean curd also known as Douhua (Chinese: 豆花) or doufuhua (Chinese: 豆腐花). This traditional bean curd that you can find almost everywhere at the night market in Sibu. Of course, you can find it in the morning market, but it normally packed with sugar and sale in pack during morning time.

It is usually served either with a clear sweet syrup alone, with ginkgo seeds suspended in the syrup, or in a sugar syrup infused with pandan. They will scoop the bean curd from the big container below and add with syrup. Some places, they will add in soy bean milk to replace the pure syrup, which make it taste more "bean". It usually served in hot, however, if you want to eat with cold, you can buy back and put in the fridge for 30 mins, then you will have cold bean curd, best go with hot weather.

In some other places of Malaysia, however, the most popular kind is served in hot and sweet ginger water.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Crispy Pancake(半个月亮)

Not too sure where is this from but since I have memory I know I like this Crispy Pancake very much. It is just so nice. In Chinese we call it 半个月亮, which in English, it simply means half moon. Do you think it is the same as half size of the moon?

There is another thicker and soft version. However, I still love the crispy one. How I love it? I can have 2-3 at one go. The ingredient inside the pancake is the peanut, butter and sugar. I normally requested less sugar as it is too sweet for me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sibu Gateway 詩巫之窗

The Sibu Gateway, situated at Kampung Nyabor Road, serves as a tangible 'entry point' to Sibu town. It is also located to the east of the Central Market, just right besides Lin's Swan Garden。

More photo can be found on Facebook.

Lin's Swan Garden

Located behind the Sibu Gateway, this small garden is a joint venture project between the Municipal Council and the Lin Clan Association. It was officially opened on 24th July 2005.

Swan has been adopted as the symbol of Sibu to symbolize her pace of development over time. The Swan Statue is positioned to face south which symbolises peace and prosperity. Surrounding it are the 12 zodiac animals. Next to it are 8 smaller swans with different pose. The whole setup underlines the meaning that it wishes to bring about a perfect happiness and good luck to all peoples of Sibu.

Location: Persiaran Brooke, Sibu (In front of the KFC@Tanamas[Jalan Nyabor, 96000, Sibu, Sarawak, 96000, Malaysia])

Wisma Sanyan

Wisma Sanyan (Mandarin:三洋大厦) located in Sibu town, the building has the capacity to hold 10,000 people at any single time. It is the tallest building in Sibu, a shopping complex with lot of variety and it has some restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut, Japanese restaurant etc

There is Giant Supermarket.

Rajang(Rejang) Esplanade 江濱公園

An ideal place to relax or take an evening stroll, the Esplanade was completed in 1987, using reclaimed land along the river front. it is frequently used for cultural performances and public events. It is located along Maju Road and strategically facing the mighty Sungai Rejang (Rajang River), the longest river in Malaysia.

You may check out the local tour that run for Sibu Rajang Esplanade Walking Tour. Some local tour that I found online as reference. I have to claim that I had never visit via the tour and do not know the standard, but cannot advise which is the one to go for.

This place used to have a fountain but it had been removed and replaced with below.

The Swan - Sibu's Majestic Icon. You will see quite a lot of swan statue like this in Sibu town.

There is a restaurant by the river at Rajang Esplanade. I never try before but heard that it is expensive.


Sibu is an inland town, and the capital of Sibu District (229.8 square kilometres) in Sibu Division, Sarawak, east Malaysia. It is located at the confluence of the Rajang and Igan Rivers, some 60 kilometres from the ocean and approximately 183.3 kilometres (114 mi) east-north-east of the state capital Kuching. The population is dominated by Chinese especially the Fuzhou as well as indigenous Melanau, Malay, and Iban.
** Description from Wikipedia - Sibu

Sibu is the gateway to the mighty Rajang River and its vast hinterland. As the main commercial centre and port for the Rajang Basin, Sibu is the starting point for one of the world's great river journeys. The second largest town in Sarawak, Sibu is situated on the confluence of the Rajang and Igan River, 130 km from the South China Sea. It is a thriving, modern town dominated by its bustling and crowded waterfront.

Sibu's wealth and fame are largely due to its enterprising, hard working Foochow community, who arrived in Sarawak from Southern China during the reign of Rajah Charles Brooke (1900 - 1917), and the town is still frequently referred to as "New Foochow". Nowadays, however, Sibu's populaton of 180,000 is a colourful mix of Chinese, Malays, Ibans and other ethnic races. Each race takes great pride in its own traditions and customs, but racial harmony and unity are the norm here.

Native Handicrafts

As the entrecote for the Rajang Basin, Sibu is an excellent place to go shopping for native handicrafts. The indigenous people of Sarawak produce very fine wood-carvings, bean work, rattan baskets and mats and woven textiles. Each tribal group has its own unique designs and artistic style. Several shops in Sibu sell a full range of these handicrafts, both antique and new.

Sarawak Pottery

A wide range of specialist shops and department stores offer the kind of shopping possibilities associated with any sizable, prosperous town. However, Sibu has a number of particularly interesting opportunities for the bargain hunter.

Sibu is a major centre for the production of fine quality Sarawak pottery. Some of the designs are traditional, whilst modern items incorporate elements of indigenous art and design. Local ceramics are reasonably priced, and make excellent souvenirs or presents.

KTM Edible Mushroom Culture Farm

The first large scale mushroom farm in Sarawak has generated much interest among locals and foreign visitors alike. Set up with the expertise of a grower from China, the farm produces some 8 to 9 varieties of edible mushroom for local consumption and propagation. The main varieties produced here are the Lingzi (chinese medicinal applications), Oyster and Abalone mushrooms (culinary usage). Seedlings are available for sale to add to your private vegetable garden.
 An interesting specie found here is the Bamboo mushroom. Although it requires 60 days of germination, it only takes half an hour to bloom before it is ready for harvesting, failing which rot will set in. Large size abalone mushrooms make delicious "steak" a la black pepper.

Come 1996, the farm will be re-located to a bigger premise at Km 18, jalan Ulu Oya. In the meantime the farm welcomes visitors at its Jalan Umpi Rantai location, Off Upper Lanang Road. However, one is advised to pre-arange for a view of one man's fascination affair with fungus.

Foochow people福州人

Fuzhou People福州人 is the largest population in Sibu. The people of Fuzhou (福州人), also known as Foochowese and Hokchewese, usually refers to people who originate from Fuzhou region and adjacent Gutian district(古田县), Pingnan district (屏南县)MingChing(闽清县) district in Fujian province of the People's Republic of China and in Matsu Islands of the Republic of China. Majority of native Foochowese are Han Chinese and are a part of Min-speaking group, who speaks Eastern Min language or specifically Fuzhou/Foochow dialect.

In Malaysia Fuzhou people are referred to as "Hockchiu". There are significant numbers of Fuzhou people in Malaysia, mainly in Sibu, Sarawak; Sitiawan, Perak; and Sri Jaya, Pahang. In fact, there is a saying that Sibu is the “small Hock Chew province”, Sitiawan is the “small Sibu” and Sri Jaya is the “small Sitiawan”.

I myself never been to Sitiawan and Sri Jaya, so I am not too sure if the traditional culture is still maintain in both of the places. In Sibu, we do keep some traditional but along with the time going, more youngster start to forget where we from and normally do not practice the traditional culture. However, it is glad that there are certain Foochow society in Sibu try to maintain and educate the next generation on our mother culture.

**Some information taken from the sources below:-

Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse

A trip to the Sibu area is incomplete without taking the opportunity to visit an Iban longhouse. Although the Ibans in the Sibu area are modern people who have fully embraced the 20th century, they still practise many traditional customs and retain their 'adat' or traditional law. The Ibans are a warm and hospitable people, and this hospitality, coupled with their rich and colourful customs and traditions, can be a memorable experience.
I am not too sure if the normal Iban house is open for visiting but if you have any Iban friends, make sure you request them for a tour to their house.

There is one homestay at Bawang Assan, you can experience the tradition there. Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse Stay Program is the first homestay program develop by Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism. If you are driving at your own, do get the address or ask the local people for the direction, I followed the big sign board but it is lost somewhere. You will reach Bawang Assan River, drive straight you will see the Iban long house. if you want to go to the homestay, you have to turn right just after you cross the bridge of Bawang Assan River.

To get to Bawang Assan, take a taxi (RM50), a van from outside the Sibu Central Market (every 2 hours, RM 2) or an express boat (every 2 hours from the Kapit Wharf, RM 2.50) or liaise with local travel agent to arrange the whole tour.  ***Information from Sarawak Tourism Board

For more information on homestay, please visit the Iban Longhouse Stay

Mr Marcathy Gindau
c/o Rh James Semilan
Bawang Assan, 96000 Sibu
Tel: 014-5828105

Pepper Marketing Board Malaysia - Sibu 诗巫胡椒局

The state of Sarawak produces 95% of Malaysian pepper hence the trade name, Sarawak Pepper. Over 90% of the 25,000 tonnes produced annually is exported to some 40 countries around the world. Traditionally, 80% of the crop is processed into black pepper with the remainder being turned into white pepper. At the moment Malaysia ranks 4th as a pepper producing nation. Today, pepper production has taken a different approach with the introudction of Specialty Pepper (creamy pepper, naturally clean black pepper and extra bold black pepper), Sarawak Green Pepper products (pepper sauce and pickle) and processed pepper products (sweets and perfume). The Rajang riverine towns of Sarikei and Bintangor accounts for 40% of the State's total production.

 The Pepper Marketing Board - Sibu Branch located at Jalan Then Kung Suk at Upper Lanang Light Industrial Estate welcomes visitors and is open during office hours. At a pre-arranged time, visitors will be taken on a guided tour of how Sarawak pepper is processed and packed for export. There are processed pepper products available for sale.

For more pictures, you can visit the Facebook.