Thursday, October 19, 2006

Scenes - Sarikei Bus Station

Sarikei Bus Station 1977. The coconut trees in the background was the Malay kampung (village).

Sarikei Bus Station 2004 - Open air bus station. Shops replaced the front part of the Malay kampung in the background.

he Sarikei bus station by the Rejang River was operated by the Borneo Almagated (spelling?) Transport Sdn. Bhd. (BAT). It was where land journeys ended for rural folks who visited downtown to sell their farm or jungle products and then used the money earned to replendish their groceries. On weekends, the kids & teens from the rural communities would come dressed in their best outfits. The ladies would come dressed in bright colours. In the 60-70's, the roads were really badly after the 7th mile at Jakar. To say it was bone shattering is an understatement.

Sarikei Bus Station 2005 (source: Gong NH)

Scenes - Sarikei Bus Station 2005 - covered (source: Petre)

The bus station's overhead roof was completed on 7 June 2005. The high roof is to ensure that the exhaust fumes don't get trapped and yet provides shelter from the tropical sun and the monsoon rain. Before that, you could literally cook an egg on the bus seats of the buses parked in the al fresco station at the mercy of the sun.

Sarikei Bus Station - Jan 2006. Sungei Merah Bus ticket counter (right)

Sarikei Bus Station - Jun 2006 (source: Lam Lai Chee)

More buses have air conditioned comfort now. The older buses still depend on free breezes. Food and drinks are permitted on board. You can buy a ticket (free seating) on the bus from a roaming bus conductor who then punches your ticket. The bus conductor carries a board of differently priced tickets and a bag with different compartments for coins. You need to press the bell to signal your stop upfront.

Excuse me, one ticket to Kabong Beach, please. Huh, what do you mean? This bus will stop at Roban and I have to change buses? Won't it be sunset by then?

Happy Deepavali and Hari Raya Puasa to all. Drive carefully. Sarikei has several dangerous stretches of roads that are accident prone: Km3-5 Jalan Repok, Km5-12 Jalan Kong Ming Minah and Km20-27 Sarikei-Sibu


Daniel Yiek said...

When was the last time you took a bus ride? Maybe I have some facts wrong here as it was eons ago that I rode the bus!

fred said...

back when I was in school, i took it everyday for 2 years. waking up early.. waiting the for the special bus for students.. sleeping at the back seat.. :) memories..

fred said...

i bet one of the place prone fro accident is in front of my house. the road is a semi-hairpin. quite scary to drive sometime.. beware road user..

Sim Y said...

I did when I was going to Binatang (this is old name)Goverment High School in 1982. Going to school and come back.

Did you?

Daniel Yiek said...

Fred and Sim,
Those were the days of sore bums when the rubber hits the potholed roads. Now the roads are so much better!

Chen said...

If I'm not mistaken, the last time I took the public bus was during my Form 6 time..
mmmm... in the early 90's :D

I dunno about the overhead roof till I see the photos :)

burunghelang said...

I remember in my childhood years, when my grandmother was around, she would bring us to one of the small shops next to the bus station to eat "dian bian gu" and drink "dou nen" before she would do her shopping at the near by wet market in the morning.

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