Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Hometown - Kapit, Borneo Sarawak Part 2

Fort Sylvia
One of the most remarkable historical monument in town, Fort Sylvia. Built in 1880, known as Fort Kapit was primarily built to prevent the Iban from migrating up-river and attacking Orang Ulu settlements. It was later renamed after Rani Sylvia Brooke , wife of Rajah Charles Vyner Brooke, in 1925. During the 1960s, the fort housed the District Office and the District Court House, and later the Resident's Office when Kapit Division was formed in 1973.

Kapit Town

Kapit comprises 15,595.6 KM and has a population over 100,000; Majority are Iban(Sea Dayak- native) and Chinese. It is the vibrant commercial and social center for the middle Rajang River catering to the longhouse communities and timber camps. Besides that, it is also an excellent base for exploring nearby longhouses or for arranging trips to the Upper Rejang and Balleh Rivers.

A traditional Hiap Chiong Kopitiam which famous with "Drunken Chicken Claw" and fried noodles. 
 Majority of the local Chinese running Kopitiam (Cafe), sundry shop, budget hotel and gold smith whereas Iban are into trading of handcrafts, Padi Huma (Hill Paddy), forest products (wild boar, deer meats, Civet, Dabai fruits (Sarawak Olive) -, etc), fresh water fish and van transporter.
One of the famous hotel in town, New Hiap Chiong Hotel, overlooking the Rejang river welcoming the arrival of express boat from lower river.

A view from New Hiap Chiong Hotel
The arrival of express boat from lower river. (A view from New Hiap Chiong Hotel)
Kapit is famous for fresh water fish such as Empurau, Tengadak and Semah Mahseer
(Tor Duoronensis) and Dabai fruit.
Empurau - one of the most expensive fresh water fish in Sarawak, USD265-350/kg.
Tengadak Sarawak, (Puntius Schwnenfeldii) - USD67-97/ kg

Most of the locals are having a more laid back pace of life. Local business started around 6.00am, tea break at 3.00pm and rested at 5pm; It comes to peak during Chinese New Year, Gawai (Dayak's Harvest Festival) and Christmas as most of the wanderers came back visiting family and friends.

Colourful long boats parked parallelly 2 weeks before Gawai Dayak.
Most of the Ibans came to Kapit to buy sundries and bring back to long house in the earling morning.
Securing long boat
Timber log is commonly used as a floating bridge.
Boat hut along the river 
River is getting busier with long boats, tongkangs and express boats.

An express boat is ready to depart
The activity on the river reached its peak in the afternoon and reduced after the last express boat reached Kapit around 5.30pm.
A fisherman is busy catching fish in the evening.
Enjoying a relaxing walk along the riverbank in the evening, watching the river flows and sunset is a great moment to calm and nurturing your soul.

A beautiful sunset beyond the river

The pathway to upper river.
The nature of the rainforest in Kapit is still in remarkable condition; It has some of the highest rate of plants and animal endemism. 

Some of the Ibans living by the stream.
A stream is the pathway to river

A lonely Radio Tower 
The moment before storm
A traditional long house 
The interior of the long house  where a few families living together

A friendly Iban elderly

The tourism board of Malaysia hasn't really introduce this beautiful town and its upper reaches to the eye of the world. Anyway, most of the travellers get to know this place through word of mouth; They are German, Swedish, American and OZ.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Hometown - Kapit, Borneo Sarawak Part 1

Map Of Sarawak
I have been away from my hometown since I was 8 years old and only visited her occasionally. My feeling toward her is so close yet so far, indescribable unique feeling. All this while, I would like to write or post something about her and I don't really have time to do so. During my last visit in March 2011, I managed to take some photos of her.

Here we go................

Kapit is an inland town (which can only be accessed by express boat), 126km from city of swan (Sibu).  
To reach there, you need to take flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu (1 hour 55mins) and another express boat ride of 3 hours; It took me approximately 14 hours 55 mins to reach Kapit. The boat ride ticket can be purchased at the entrance of the wharf at RM20 (economical class), RM25 (business class) and RM30(VIP class).

The wharf entrance
The only transport to Kapit.

When cruising along the river, you can see mixture of traditional and modern Iban's long house lined up at the river band. After one hour of boat ride, Song is the 1st town to come into sight followed by Kanowit, a township slightly bigger than Song.

Modern Iban 's long house

River getting busier with tongkang (Tug Boat or Burge) and express boat upon approaching destination due to the timber industry and forestry activity.

The common main transport, "sampan" or long boat used by Iban

Timber is the main stream of income and business along Rejang river.

Tongkangs or tug boats are commonly used to carry and tow the timber logs to Sibu for processing and export.

Tug boat is ready to tow off the timber logs.
Kapit's new bazaar is the 1st segment came into sight upon arriving and most of the Tongkangs are anchored here.  
New Bazaar, 1st segment of Kapit

Most of the express boats are stopped by the main wharf at main bazaar.

The final stopping point at main wharf.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vesak Day In Auckland

Visited Fo Guang Shan North Island NZ during Vesak day
(Sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday", it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of Gautama Buddha) for prayer which is about 25km from CBD Auckland.

Main Temple
The Temple is adapted from the palatial design of the Tang Dynasty, using greyish green glazed roof tiles, maroon stone pillars and vertical slat window frames to project magnificence, grandeur, cultivation and strength. The courtyard is lined with stone lanterns of the Tang Dynasty, with pine trees, bamboo, cherry blossoms and willows imparting an atmosphere of grace and elegance.
"Da Xion Bao Dian"- Buddha`s Shrine

The layout of the courtyard is the basic pattern of siheyuan composition. A few little cute monks sitting at different corners further enhance the peaceful and soothing atmosphere of this temple. This will be a place to calm your soul, to heal a "broken heart". wink!
A cute little monk sitting at one corner.
Remember these quotes

1. Give others confidence.
2. Give others Hope
3. Give others joy.
4. Give others convenience

Be a wise and happy human being. Wink!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My 1st Autumn In NZ

I have moved to a new house at Kohemarama and busy settling myself down. The weather is getting colder and I realized that Autumn has arrived. Autumn arrived late in New Zealand this year and will be over soon. I decided to grab my camera to catch what Autumn has to offer.

Queen Street in Autumn

Warm sunlight has warmed up cold Autumn
Took a walk through Albert part heading to Domain, one of the major park in Auckland. Most of the leaves have turned into startling golds and warm reds as the temperature has settled. This is my first Autumn in my life that I have experienced, awesome! Can`t imaging I have living in New Zealand for almost a year!

A credit should be given to Auckland City Council for preserving greenery of Auckland., well done!

A Korean`s family enjoying Autumn`s scenery.