Monday, November 13, 2006

Scenes - Sarikei-Belawai Trip 2006 Part 2

Belawai 2006 - Wharf view.
Find the Malaysia flag. Belawai boleh! (Belawai can!)

Belawai 2006 - Raised platform over mangrove swamp leading to town

e managed to walk through the boats parked 7-deep along the wharf and climbed up the cement stairs to the top of the wharf. A sleepy fishing village greeted us. Tourists from more developed places will love the rustic charm. It was like time had stood still.

Belawai 2006 - Hardy wood planks that has lasted double digit years

Belawai 2006 - Skeletal frame of a fishing sampan (boat) that had seen better days. Some mangrove plants had decided to hitch a ride.

We continued snapping photos without realising that the sun was blazing at its full glory. All of us were tanned by the warm sea breeze after a while. We had to find a kopitiam (coffeeshop) soon. Hey look, what's that beneath the raised walkway?

Belawai 2006 - Fiddler crabs
Belawai 2006 - Fiddler crabs (smaller turquoise version)

Below the raised platform was an ecosystem of mangrove plants, mudskippers and fiddler crabs. Fiddler crabs are characterised by a bigger asymmetrical claw for the males that are waved during its courtship dance and fights against rivals. The movement of the smaller claw during feeding, from the ground to the mouth, appears as if the crab is playing a fiddle (the larger claw); hence its name. If a male loses his larger claw, the smaller one will grow larger and the lost claw will regenerate into a new (small) claw. For some species of fiddler crabs, the small claw remains small, while the bigger claw regenerates over several molts.

Belawai 2006 - Mudskipper

Mudskippers are amphibious fish that can breathe through their moist skin and also through the lining of the mouth and throat. They dig deep burrows into the mud where they hide, regulate their temperature and lay eggs. When the high tide submerge their burrows, mudskippers maintain an air pocket inside the burrows to allow them to breathe in the low-oxygen mud. They live on small crabs and arthropods. They skip very fast on the mud like surfers but most Sarikei kids had caught them as pets from Sarikei's river banks but they didn't live long under captivity. In Southern China, I had seen mudskippers displayed as live seafood in restaurants!

Belawai 2006 - The vandalised signboard. It read:
"Welcome to Belawai. Observe cleanliness and love our village"

At the end of the raised walkway from the wharf, there was a vandalised welcome signboard. We decided to leave it as it was instead of uprighting it as it added to the allure of the village. It was probably the work of a frustrated teen. Many youngsters have flocked to the bright lights and big cities to earn a better living. Sign of the times ....


Sim Y said...

What about the local food?

Daniel Yiek said...

Stay tuned for next post. Part 3.

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