Monday, August 19, 2013

Wong Nai Siong Garden 黄乃裳公园

This garden along Sungai Merah is build to memorize our ancestor, Wong Nai Siong who brought our great grandparent or grandparent from China to settle down in Sibu. Sungai Merah was the place where they alighted. Some background of Wong Nai Siong from Sibu Wiki.

Address: Along Jalan Sungai Antu, beside Sungai Merag MAP

In 1901 Wong Nai Siong (Huang Naishang) led the first batch of Foochow Christians from China to Sibu to open up the fertile lands of Sibu for cultivation, a massive opening up of Sibu. This was a landmark year in the history of the development of Sibu.

Wong Nai Siong came to Singapore in September 1899. From there, he proceeded to West Malaysia, Sumatra and the Dutch East Indies. For six months he explored the places but failed to find a suitable place for the immigration and settlement of his folks in China. In April 1900, Mr. Wong Nai Siong came to Sarawak and got the approval of the Sarawak Rajah to look for a suitable site for Chinese immigrants.

Wong explored the lower valley and upper reaches of the Rajang River. He soon discovered that the Rajang Delta was very fertile and particularly suitable for cultivation. So he decided to choose the area for opening up for cultivation. With that decision, Mr. Wong went to see the second Rajah of Sarawak, Rajah Charles Brooke, for discussions regarding the matter of opening up of land for cultivation. In those days of the Rajahs, Sarawak was sparsely populated with vast land yet to be developed, Wong's plan was timely and very much appreciated.

So, when Wong Nai Siong went to see Sir Charles Brooke and explained to him his plan to lead large groups of Foochows to open up Sibu for cultivation, the Rajah immediately agreed. Both parties signed an agreement.

The Chinese immigrants came in three batches. The first batch consisted of 72 people, the second batch 535, and the third batch 511, totalling 1118 people. Of the total, 130 brought their spouses and families, while the others were bachelors. After working in Sibu, nearly all the immigrants chose to settle down and made Sibu their new home. They were happy to settle down for a brighter future in Sibu.

There are 2 parts for this garden which separated by the road. This garden is not that fantastic as some of the items is not well maintained but it is still clean and nice to walk. However, I would still recommend you to stop by and check out this historical site. Local people sometime will jog here, the place is quiet and not much noise, you can feel the peace here.

Besides, you can walk around the surrounding, Sungai Merah area has lot of good food too. Some places you can find the food - Joystar Garden花悅枋Jin Xuan CornerNest Station Egg Puff 巢阁鸡蛋仔Choon Seng Coffee Shop.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pingnan Egg Tea屏南蛋茶

Pingnan Egg Tea屏南蛋茶 is a traditional hospitality custom from China, Fujian Province Pingnan district, when the guests visit Pingnan people, they will prepare egg tea. This egg tea is good for healthy. You have to use boiled tea and mixed with egg, then add some sugar or rock sugar to flavour it.

You might be wondering I am introducing Sibu and not China. Majority Sibu Chinese is Foochow people and some of them still maintain the traditional culture. However, this type of egg tea culture is not that common in Sibu. I happened to attend the Pingnan Egg Tea ceremony and got to see how it was made.

**Chinese source taken from Baike Baidu and畅游白水洋

The way that Pingnan society in Sibu did was, they use chopstick to help. Basically this is how they made the egg tea.

  • 80g Tea Leave艾叶
  • 5 cups Water水 
  • 5 Egg蛋
  • Sugar or rock sugar冰糖 (if you wish to be healthy, you may add honey蜂蜜) - Optional

**I am not sure the exact amount of ingredients needed. For the sugar amount, you can adjust yourself depends on the sweetness level you like. If you totally cannot take it sugar, you can just skip it.

  1. Boiled the tea leaves and sugar in the water. According to them you can use most of the tea, they were using normal Chinese tea leaves. The tea must be really hot to make the egg tea.
  2. Place one egg in the bowl. Take one chopstick and place straight onto the egg yolk like the picture below.
  3. Pour the hot tea slowly down along the chopstick until the tea fill 75% of the bowl. You will then notice the egg started to get cooked.
  4. Egg tea is done. You may serve it to your guest.
**Tips: The tea MUST BE HOT when you make the Egg Tea if not the egg will not have the nice shape and the raw egg smell will be very strong.

There are some other recipe of cooking the tea egg online but I can only found in Chinese Version.

  主 料: 桑寄生2两(约80克),鹌鹑蛋8只,红枣8-12粒,冰糖9/2两(约180克)。
  做 法:
  备 注: 鹌鹑蛋壳较鸡蛋壳薄,而且表面花斑斑,即使有裂纹也不易觉察。假若将之放入水中浸煮,蛋白便会从裂缝中渗出,改用隔水蒸的方法,则可避免鹌鹑蛋直接受热,能保证熟蛋完好。


  [功效] 宣肺润喉,除烦止咳 适用于慢性支气管炎、声音嘶哑等。

Introduce Sibu Cuisines

If you are asking what to eat in Sibu, I would say there is really a lot of  good food for you to try out. The MUST try cuisines are kampua, BianNyuk, Sarawak Laksa, Dian Man Hu, Kompia, Midin,  Big Head Prawn Noodles, Ka Lang, Foochow Red Wine Chicken etc

You can find the list of restaurant in Sibu HERE.

I happen to come across this video on Youtube by Sibu呷透透 and I feel it will be nice I added to my page. This video summarized most of the traditional or local delights, although the coffee shop that introduced here might not be the famous. How we choose which coffee shop has the best one? That is all based on individual preference.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gawai Dayak

Gawai Dayak is a festival celebrated by Iban Dayaks in Sarawak and West Kalimantan which is officially public holidays on 1 and 2 June every year in Sarawak, Malaysia. It is both a religious and social occasion. It is a thanksgiving day marking a bountiful harvest and a time to plan for the new farming season or other endeavors ahead.

I do not have any picture on this festival, but if you Google search the Gawai, you will find a lot of pictures like below. From there you can have more understand on how our Iban people celebrate their festival.

Pictures source from Google


Deepavali or Diwali popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a five-day Hindu festival which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej.

Malaysia does celebrate Deepavali as we have 3 races and Indian is the 3rd largest race in Malaysia. It is public holiday throughout the country except Sarawak. Although not a public holiday in Sarawak, Hindu in Sarawak does celebrate the big festival at their own.

Pictures source from Google

Some reading to understand how Sarawak Hindu celebrate their big festival.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year(CNY), an important event for Chinese. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. So originally it should be a 15 days event, but for the modern day now, it is impossible the company shut down for 15 days. For Malaysia and Singapore, it will be 2 days public holiday. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".

Eve of Chinese New Year(除夕夜), in Sibu, we normally gather as whole family with the oldest as the central. Traditionally each family will cook some dishes and bring together to the grandparent's place(if not stay together) then we will have the CNY Eve Dinner(年夜饭). Dishes every year almost the same, we will have fish, chicken, duck, fried Foochow noodles, dumplings, mixed vegetables, etc

2010 CNY Eve Dinner

2012 CNY Eve Dinner

On the day of the 1st day of the CNY, my home tradition will have Foochow Redwine Chicken Noodles for breakfast. It is depends on each family, some may not follow traditional and mostly for Buddhist families, they will have vegetarian for breakfast.

During the CNY period, homemade cookies and cakes always the best to serve our guest. My mum always prepared a lot of the cookies.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Big Head Prawn Noodle

Big Head Prawn Noodle is very common in Sibu but the price is higher than normal fried noodles. The cheapest I know now cost RM18 and I am not sure how big is the prawn. The most expensive one I heard is around RM30. The price difference might be due to the size of the prawn.

I went to the wet market and checked the price as my friend said Sibu has cheaper price. The smallest big head prawn is RM45, medium RM55, Large RM58 and giant RM60 per kg. (Update as at Aug 2013) The price of the prawn will change time to time and normally it will be more expensive during any festival event like Chinese New Year or Hari Raya.

Pictures below show the size of the large prawn. This costed RM58 per kg.

This is the home-cooked Big Head Prawn Noodle, the one you see at restaurant almost the same as below but of course not as much prawn as home-cooked. Here we put 2 big prawns, the cost already RM14(assume we have 9 prawns per kg). That is the reason why the Big Head Prawn Noodle is so expensive if you eat in the restaurant.

Terminal Penumpang Sibu快艇碼頭

This is the ferry express terminal that connects Sibu with other suburb like Kapit, Song etc. You can check and buy the tickets at the terminal.  I never use the service before.

Address: Terminal Penumpang Sibu, Jalan Maju, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak

Thursday, August 8, 2013

1 Malaysia Culture Village

I heard about this place when I asked my friend if there is any long house open visiting for public in Sibu. She told me there isn't any and said there is one culture village opposite Taman Bukit Aup. I heard from my mum there often have some events organised. It is a place good for BBQ, you can rent the pit there and have BBQ gathering.  There is one restaurant inside which you can settle your dinner or catering.

In the culture village you can find different culture's pavilion, like Iban Pondok,  Malay Pondok, Chinese Pondok etc. If you never been there, you may have a short visit. 

More pictures:-

Taman Bukit Aup Jubilee Park 石山公园

Opened in March 1993, Jubilee Park has become favorite local place to relax and unwind especially during weekends and public holidays. Phase one of the park covers 8 acres and comprises an observation tower, sky steps, pavilion, amphitheater, landscaped gardens, canteen, lagoon, children's playground and barbecue areas. The lookout tower allow visitors view surrounding plantations, longhouses and the Igan River. The tower is often visited by local Ibans bringing offerings to a benevolent spirit, the Naga Bari, which is believed to help people in need. The park had won the National Landscaping Competition Award In 1997 and 1998 and has also a suspension bridge over a lake.

This park is there for long, I remembered there is one hiking event from school and we walked  from SMB Tung Hua to Taman Bukit Aup. I can't remember how many km but I just recall it is really really far. I have less memories on this park, mainly I visited the place less than 5 times during my stay in Sibu. Even now when I go back to Sibu, I will not think of visiting this place reason being I just have too many stuff to do and don't have much time for this. Perhaps one holiday I should hike there. It is located at Jalan Kuari Sibu Sarawak.

You need to climb some up hill and there is no cover, unlike Bukit Lima Forest. I personally advise do not go during noon time as it is really burning hot if it is a good weather, probably because I cannot stand the heat. Of course if you dun mind on the heat, that will be the best timing for the walk. There are a lot of activities you can do there, jog, walk, enjoy the pond of fishes and also BBQ. 

There is also some rumors said that if you are unlucky you may see haunted stuff especially during night time as local believe that is because there are grave yard nearby this park. :)

Address: Jalan Bkt Aup - Rantau Panjang, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia

Guess what is this? This is one of the childhood memories, we used to buy this and is very precious to us during the old time. It is chewing gum and now it is selling at 10 sens per piece.

Video Source: Youtube