Ancient civilisation? Think Egypt. Which city conjures up an image of a metropolis with mega landmarks among the desert? Think Dubai. So what is the value proposition of Sarikei to tourists? The immediate imagery that props up in the mind of a tourist about Sarawak is ecotourism and that's what Sarawak Tourism Board has been positioning in fairs and magazines. Sarikei should tap into this marketing campaign.
Tourists that come to Sarawak want to pursue a different experience from those going to, say, the casinos of Las Vegas or Macao. They want their senses to be excited by the Sarawak experience.
Imagine them walking through the native market of Sarikei and get wowed by the tropical fruits unknown to them, the weird vegetables like midin, the local pastries and the dried seafood from the South China Sea. It will be a photographer's delight to film natives with mouths red from chewing betel leave (sirih) and areca nut.
When Taiwan's Adventure King 冒險王 TV travelogue came to film in Sarawak, the novelty of eating fat and juicy sago grubs and making sago balls was a big portion of the show. Sago grubs are our superstars.
Source: Tuan Lokong
Another big attraction of Sarawak is the number of tribes. The Iban longhouse and culture has long been a fascinating tourist attraction. The design of the longhouse, the colourful costumes, the ngajat dance to the beat of the gong, the potent rice wine (tuak)...
..and the skulls from the world famous tales of the old head hunting days. Sarikei has its fair share of traditional longhouses - all we need is an improvement of roads leading to a few selected showcase longhouses. Tourists want to see the old stuff. I went to an old double storey longhouse in Selalang by a fast flowing river some years back. It was a cool experience.
What about a trek through our evergreen flora where towering trees and shrubs fight for sunlight? And a boat tour to explore mangrove swamps and its diverse ecosystem?
What creatures call this home? Ants? Crabs?
Source: Tuan Lokong
What about our fauna? Let your imagination run wild.