Since i was back last tue till now, i din blog about my vacation due to a few factors. firstly, there was way too much photos for me to edit (totaled 800+ of them). then i was hit by flu and sore throat and still enduring it. last but not least of cos is the workload when i went back to office. but thank God that everything was under control.
This trip or i called it ‘vacation’ even though to some of you may not even consider it as one, is one that i have anticipated for since the beginning of the year. besides, i needed a break from the real world so badly that 2003 was the very last year i stepped out of this oil town. this trip is basically just make a trip down to Betong, to Justin‘s Tanjong longhouse. it’s really a good choice since i love nature and it doesn’t matter i there’s no shopping mall. wat’s important is that there’s shelter, food and clothes!
This post is the 1st part of i-don’t-know-how-many parts and this post will be basically about my trip wit my sweetheart, cheryl and justin. i took the last saturday off from work instead of working half-day. so, cheryl and i stayed over at justin‘s place on friday cos we planned to set off the next day around 9am. our things was packed and waiting to be loaded onto the pick-up.
Part of the luggages we’re bringing
I basically just brought a big bag and a backpack. but then my big bag is lighter than my backpack cos i brought along lappie for the trip, thinking that i have time to watch movie which i didn’t. we slept early that night so that we could get up early to prepare and also we’re tired from our work. haha… cheryl was the only one who stayed up till 2am to watched her movies. and please watch out the photos below if you do not sleep well for a long trip.
The following morning (saturday), we got ready the stuffs to be loaded onto the vehicle and prepared breakfast. it’s always good to eat nicely but not fully before driving for a long journey cos it helps to stay alert and can reduce a number of stops make for getting something to munch.
We also got ready a box of mineral water with us for the journey. i know it’s a hassle for road trip of 6-8hrs drive that you always need to look for places to relieve over here in the Sarawak, unlike semenanjung (west malaysia) where you have nice toilet or rest areas. over here, the common toilet will be the roadside if you’re not able to hold on but of cos there are petrol stations at certain areas.
It rained even before we set off at around 9.30am, not wat we expected though. i’ll be happy if it rain when i’m not going anywhere but sleep at home. driving in the rain is no fun, somemore on a long-winded road and some parts of it have huge pot-holes!
on full alert
cheryl was excited
ready to hit the road man!
wet wet road
As Mirians, it’s knowledgeable that there are 2 routes out of Miri. one is thru the airport passing Taman Tunku and the other one is thru the coastal highway all the way thru Esplanade beach. i’ve never use the coastal route before and this was the first time and i’ve come out with a conclusion of my own. the good thing about the coastal highway is that it saves alot of time but if you wanna see civilization, stick to the airport route. i personally like to look at scenery and therefore i prefer the airport route.
Rain got heavier as we drove on and this causes difficulty in seeing the road clearly. this is the main factor that slows down our arrival time to Bintulu.
it’s boring traveling on a road that no human live there!
The only things that can be seen along this road are palm trees and more palm trees! and if you’re lucky, you might bump into some cows crossing the road but just watch out for cow dung. haha…
We reached bintulu about 12pm and headed for lunch just before the cross-section of the road to Sibu. that eating place is a popular place for travelers to stop for a break before driving again.
We had ginger fried chicken, cangkuk manis and corn soup for our lunch. after filling our tummy, we headed for sibu heading thru the bintulu bridge.
Bintulu is an industrial city, where it has the highest pollution rate in this region. this is due to fact that the MLNG (liquified natural gas), fertilizer company and timber logs factories are here.
We didn’t stop by for going around the bintulu town area as we were rushing to sibu to fecth justin‘s father arriving from KK (kota kinabalu) in sibu airport in the evening. the journey on the way to sibu was the longest cos there’s no major town except for some minor town that you won’t be bother to stay over for the night. it takes around 3hrs to reach, depending on the weather condition.
In the midst, we did stop by Tatau area for toilet break. Tatau is a small area, just like Bekenu (located after miri). another small town after that is Selangau. the town area is different from other major town like sibu, bintulu or kuching as their town areas are just located right beside the highway instead of driving further for a number of kilometers.
While on the way to sibu, i felt abit tired but i couldn’t sleep cos cheryl was asleep at the back and i couldn’t leave justin driving on the road along. it’s advisable not to let the driver to drive alone on a long journey but instead keep talking to him to keep him awake. this is wat i did when i was bored since there was nothing to see on the road;
This is nostalgic for some of us, you can buy it for 10cents and it’s like a toothpaste that you put the paste or whatever-you-call-it on the little straw and blow it to make balloon. the only bad part is, it has an unpleasant smell. Here’s a few shots on the road before reaching sibu:
police watch tower but… where’s the police?!
We made a final stop for another toilet break before heading straight into sibu. remember wat i have mentioned earlier in this post that wat happen if you do not sleep enough for a long trip???
sleepy head… :p
Reached sibu around 5pm and headed straight to locate the airport. one funny thing about sibu is that, once you’re in you’ll have difficulty getting out. i think it’s because all their roads are linked to one another. so if you’re not careful, you might end up going round the town for a few round before noticing it.
Once we were at the airport, the first thing for me was to look out for any ATM machine available. why? cos during that time, i thought my pay was suppose to come out. well to my disappointment, no money coming in yet.
tu lan face waiting at the ATM
We then headed into the town area to meet up wit Jaq who was suppose to follow us on the trip initially but she couldn’t make it due to family matters. we were told to meet her up at the Dewan Suarah (civic centre) which we did had abit of trouble searching for it but eventually we found it.
The civic centre here is larger than the one in miri. just a bit of extra info, there are more churches than temples or mosques here too! and the methodist churches here are really huge as in they have their own compound and some even looks like a resort where you can stay over at this quiet place to seek God’s presence. furthermore, these churches are mostly located out of the town area quite a distance.
What they didn’t have is number of shopping mall. they only have one whereby we have 3! hehe… still, i have to say i like their one and only shopping mall. it’s call Wisma San Yan (San Yan Complex) owned by one of the Datuk.
It’s not only a shopping mall on itself, but wit a hotel attached to its side too. something like wat Bintang Plaza is doing now, implementing a hotel next to it. above the shopping mall is the office and it’s looks better than BP in miri. we did went in to walked around accompanied by Ah Lung but couldn’t shop the whole building due to time constraint. we only managed to bought newspaper and magazines to feed our non-working brains for that few days holidays.
After we met Jaq, we went over to her place to take our shower before heading off for dinner. and we met up wit her friendly little dog named ‘Gaby‘ (if i’m not wrong).
We went out to this place called Dynasty restaurant but it was closed and so we had to think of another place to eat. so, we ended up at Nice House restaurant.
thinking of where to go for makan
These restaurants mentioned are air-conditioned. it’s unlike here where shops that called themselves restaurant but yet it’s open-air like the typical koiptiam (coffee shop). from outside, the restaurant doesn’t attract but the food served in there is definitely delicious!
This is wat we had from the above photo. the one in the bowl is a roasted chicken cooked in a herbal soup. over here, it cost around RM30 or more but in sibu, it’s less than RM 20! on top of that, we had 2 veges and 1 meat dishes and altogether was only for RM 35+.
After the full meal, we headed for the airport but then there was delay in the MASWings flight. it was supposed to arrive at 9 something but then was further delayed till 10pm. we reached the airport after 10 still there was no sign of justin‘s father and we waited since we were told by the announcer that it’s still in the sky.
At around 10.30pm, there staffs rushing in and out of the arrival hall. we didn’t know wat happen until justin’s father told thru the phone that the plane he was on landed without the front landing wheel.
already 11pm and yet flight MH3187 is still in ‘confirmed’ status
The plane actually flew around the nearby area for 6th rounds before deciding to make a landing. this was one way to reduced the fuel in the plane cos it actually landed on the airport runway, instead of on the grass. landing on the runway wit tar against metal-plating of the plane could cos spark and result in an explosion. even the cavemen new this theory of making fire and they din do science! praise God it did not ended up that way. of course, there was ppl who panic especially some of the ladies. after the plane has landed and stopped at the runway, a few ladies couldn’t wait anymore and just jumped off from the back of the plane to the ground. so, they got hurt and they have to be brought to the hospital for further check-up due to back, hand or leg injuries.
Everything was settled around midnight and we decided to stay over at Jaq‘s place instead of driving straight to Betong for another 2hrs. it’s been a tiring but really thank God for smooth journey. well, that’s all for the 1st day trip. stay tune for part 2!
Keep the faith…
cheers & GB…