Sunday, December 10, 2006

Scenes - Kuching-Sarikei Road Trip Part 2

Kuching-Sarikei 2006 - Longhouse



A
long the way, you can observe many longhouses. With easy access to towns, most of them along the road have lost the traditional charm and have upgraded with a mixture of brick walls, zinc roof and TV antennae. If you step inside a family bilik (room), modern sofa welcomes you. To experience a rustic longhouse, you have to venture deeper away from the main roads. Stay tuned for another post.


Kuching-Sarikei 2006 - Logs stored for transport later to a sawmill.


Sarawak is the biggest state in Malaysia (that's stating the obvious) and with it comes the vast potential for lumbering. The Sarawak Timber Association promotes and protects the continuous well being of the timber industry. It has 600 member companies that deal with timber products which include logs, sawn timber, plywood, furniture parts, laminated boards and other panel products. It provides jobs for 100,000. Are Sarawak's forests sustainable? Hopefully, in the long term, we can see the forests from the trees.


Kuching-Sarikei 2006 - Canopy

This interesting stretch of road has trees lined up on both sides with branches that will eventually cross each other from both sides of the road to provide a shady canopy. The question is who will prune them so that canopy will be high enough for the taller vehicles to pass.

Kuching-Sarikei - Old steel bridge with classic design

You will cross many streams and rivers along the way. Some are silty big tributaries like Jakar river and some are clear fresh water streams like Sungei Paoh. In the 60-70's, there were rumours that heads of kids were used as sacrifices during bridge construction to appease the evils so that the bridges would not tumble. It's not known whether this was simply adults' bogeyman tale to warn kids not to go near a river.

Kuching-Sarikei 2006 - Darknesss around the corner
Fluffy cotton clouds.

Kuching-Sarikei 2006 - Sunset boulevard near Betong exit.
Spot the longhouse. The rest stop has 2 new rows of shops & a petrol station.


After passing Jakar transit town at 7th mile, you will get this warm, fuzzy feeling. It's home, sweet home. You can take a person out of Sarikei but you can not take Sarikei out of the person.


7 comments:

Kanga said...

In the 60's, the Australian Government contributed to build a number of bridges in Sarawak. We can tell by the bridge design (Steel structures bolted together).The most important one is the bridge across the river (Batang Lupar??)in the 2nd Division.
Heads of kids used? No! It may be a figurative reflection of the lack of technical skills and safety awareness in the construction during that time. Lots of accidents happened in construction during those days.
Yes! the long house looks modern. When I was young I went to long houses in the Sarikei area which had bamboo floors. When you walked you felt the 'suspension' effect.
The Kuching-Sarikei journey by road is on my mind!

fred said...

I bet you passed my house.. hehehe.

Daniel Yiek said...

Kanga,
Great feedback - didnt know those bridges were sponsored by the Aussie gov - as part of Commonwealth, I think.

Fred,
Will visit your house when I get the chance to meet you. ;-)

gongpiang said...

Is Jakar not 5th mile? Just to confirm my memory.

Daniel Yiek said...

Gong Piang,
I have always remembered Jakar as 7th mile.

Can anyone else confirm?

ETing said...

Can confirm Jakar is definitely not at 5th Mile. My old kampong is at 5th Mile i.e. where Ming Lik Chinese School is (was? Is it still there?). Jakar is some distance further up, not sure of the exact distance though.

WinnieT said...

m sure it's 7th mile...but somehow nowadays jakar looks so much closer to town!

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