Archive for February, 2013

Miri – halal food outlet

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

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Jasmine Cafe is hidden from main roads in Miri downtown area. It is located in between rows of shophouses, along North Yu Seng Rd. Just turn left after Imperial Hotel. Jasmine Cafe serves chinese and local dishes at a reasonable price. Indonesian waitresses are friendly too. Fully airconditioned. Certified halal by JAKIM as of this posting. (Feb 2013).

Morning rush hour in Miri City

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

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View of a road dividing SK and SM St Columba in Miri, Sarawak. Schools start early in Miri, where sunrise occurs at about 630am. At this time of the day, roads in Miri are congested with cars with schoolchildren, driven by their parents. Well, kids are the best long-term investment a man could ever have.

A very quiet day in Dalat, SARAWAK

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Dalat is a town near Mukah in Sarawak. It was not easily accessible from Miri, where I work. From Miri, you get to pass Bintulu and along the road to Sibu, at a junction called Selangau, you turn right to Mukah. Drive another 80 kms or so to reach Mukah town, and from Mukah town it is about 40 mins drive to Dalat. All in all, it is some 400 kms from Miri, I would say. The road stretch between Tatau and Selangau is no PLUS highway either. If you see a driver in front of you driving zigzag, do not worry. It is not that he is drunk, but he is avoiding potholes.

I visited this town one day after I reached Mukah (see my other posting on Mukah) in December 2012.  It is the same day I visited Oya, another unsung places in Sarawak, both near Mukah. The names of these places were reasons why I came here. No relatives. No wedding invitation. No other interests.  Only armed with a compact digital camera, soon to be upgraded, insyaallah. In fact I planned to travel further up including towns like Igan, Mato and Daro, but time was not really on my side. May be later, God willing.

Lets get back to Dalat. To begin with, Dalat is one of the district in Mukah Division in a state of Sarawak. The majority population are  Melanau (60%) and Iban (30%) and the rest. Dalat town is self-contained. It has everything people need — secondary school, primary schools, a post office, a hospital, a stadium (Stadium Perpaduan Dalat), an old Chinese temple by the river and two mosques — one on the other side of the river.

In Sarawak State Legislation, Dalat is currently represented by Hjh Fatimah Abdullah, a very active ADUN, under PBB.

How to get to Dalat?

Dalat is about 40 minutes drive from Mukah. The road is good and you could see sago trees and fruit orchards along the road. Locals also travel by speedboat to Sibu and Mukah. Nearest airport is Mukah. More reliable airports are either Bintulu or Sibu. From either, you could fly to Kuala Lumpur.

What to do here?

I am not sure myself. Certainly it is not a tourist area. But if you like to see and feel how Melanau people live, come to Dalat.  If you want to see a small girl navigating boat along the Oya river, come here.  If you are local to Dalat and reading this post, pls share must-visit sites in Dalat.

Enjoy  the photos though.

 

Dalat waterfront

Road Oya-Dalat is sago tree-lined. Well, roads are good

Typical Melanau house along Oya-Dalat road

Hospital Dalat - seems new, but no patients

 

A stadium

Life by the river - a masjid at the other side.

A post office in Dalat, Sarawak

A primary Chinese school in Dalat, Sarawak

A Chinese temple in Dalat, Sarawak

Town square in Dalat, Sarawak

A jetty at the Dalat waterfront

Beatiful Melanau houses along Oya River in Dalat, Sarawak

Tatau in Sarawak

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Tatau is a small town near Bintulu in Sarawak, Malaysia.

I was passing by the town in November 2012 en route Mukah, the Melanau country in Sarawak. Some unique (read: weird) names of places sometimes pulled me back to study more. Tatau is one of them. The town of about 30000 people of mainly Iban, Melanau, Malay and Chinese  is about 40 km from Bintulu on Bintulu-Sibu trunk road.  Tatau itself is the name of the ethnic once discovering and early settlers of this place.  Their ancestors came from Kalimantan, Indonesia, and their numbers now are insignificant due to migration and mixed marriages. Foreigners are aplenty here, mainly Indonesians working in timber and agriculture business.

Like any other Sarawak towns, Tatau is located by the river. River transport  are crucial for timber industry and provide links to upriver interiors.  Pan Borneo road system to Bintulu and Sibu and the rest of Sarawak is good.

Driving down from Bintulu, this newly-opened petrol station greets you

Probably the biggest mall in Tatau

National Registration Dept -- Tatau Branch

 

A clinic in Tatau - Dr Kho probably is from Penang

Bugis Cafe at Tatau in Sarawak

 

Masjid Darul Ibadah at Tatau town in Sarawak

Like many other Sarawak towns, river system is vital to the economy.

Health clinic in Tatau, Sarawak

The only public school in Tatau, Sarawak

Main entrance to Pan Borneo Road from Tatau town in Sarawak

Pan Borneo Road near Tatau -- leading to Sibu

Taman Negara Simalajau (Simalajau National Park), Bintulu, Sarawak

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Sudah banyak blog dan laman web yang menceritakan pasal keindahan Taman Negara Simalajau dekat Bintulu di Sarawak.  Jadi dalam posting ini, saya tidak bercadang menulis dengan terperinci kecuali secara ringkas dan foto-foto menarik, juga petua-petua melalui beberapa trail jika anda berminat untuk jungle trekking. Kita menggunakan BM kali ini — bahasa jiwa bangsa. Saya ke sini pada bulan November 2012.

Beberapa insiden kemalangan dan orang hilang juga pernah didengar dan dibualkan oleh orang tempatan. Betul tu, tempat ini agak keras apatah lagi agak terpencil dari jalan utama Bintulu-Miri. Nak tahu cerita-cerita misteri mengenai tempat ini, tanyalah pekerja di sini di waktu santai mereka. Jika ditanya secara rasmi atau semasa waktu kerja  — semua baik-baik belaka. Jika ditanya kepada staf ABF dan MLNG di Bintulu yang pernah membuat teambuilding di sini, cerita mereka pun boleh tahan jugak.  Saya tidak bercadang mengupas isu itu di sini kerana blog ini bukanlah majalah Mestika.

Kami tiba ke sini dari Miri melalui jalan pantai Miri-Bintulu pada hari Sabtu 15 November 2012.  Sebelum anda sampai Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong), ada sebuah papan tanda menunjukkan  simpang ke kanan menuju ke Taman Negara Simalajau.  Walaupun hari Sabtu, pusat khidmat pelanggan Taman Negara dibuka. Di sini, anda boleh membeli pas sekali masuk (single entry pass) dengan harga RM10 untuk seorang dewasa dan RM3 untuk seorang kanak-kanak berusia 6-18 tahun. Keratan tiket perlu disimpan dan mesti ditunjuk jika diminta oleh pegawai Taman. Dewan, kafetaria, chalet dan fasiliti lain terletak di belakang pusat khidmat pelanggan ini. Jika anda ingin bermalam, buat tempahan dan bayaran di pusat khidmat pelanggan ini. Terdapat banyak tempat penginapan berbagai saiz di sini — hostel, chalet kembar dua chalet VIP semuanya ada.  Boleh pilih samada nak kipas atau penghawa dingin. Harga sangat berpatutan. Tempahan awal digalakkan, tetapi semasa kami ke sini, bilik banyak kosong.

Simpang masuk ke Taman Negara Simalajau dari jalan pantai Miri-Bintulu

Welcome to the Park

 

Customer service center cum park office. Buy tickets here.

Tempat ini memang menarik. Satu bahagian anda melihat chalet dan hostel menghadap pantai berpasir halus dengan latarbelakang Laut China Selatan.  Satu lagi bahagian ialah hutan tebal menghala ke kawasan pergunungan. Pejabat Taman Negara dan kawasan riadah awam terletak di tengah-tengah. Terdapat sebuah sungai dengan jambatan gantung yang membahagikan kawasan pamtai dan kawasan hutan. Banyak aktiviti teambuilding dan hari keluarga termasuk BBQ boleh dilakukan di pantai.  Tempat ini memang bersih kerana tak ramai pengunjung. Itu ironiknya — lagi terpencil dan jauh dari manusia, lagi bersih sesuatu tempat itu. Quran menyebut manusialah penyebab rosaknya muka bumi ini.

Salah satu chalet di Simalajau

At the car park at Simalajau National Park, Bintulu

Chalet yang baru siap di Simalajau, Bintulu

A family having fun over the weekend in November 2012 at Simalajau National Park in Bintulu

Papantanda menuju ke trail dan pantai di Taman Negara Simalajau di Bintulu

Untuk pencinta alam semulajadi dan jungle trekkers, terdapat beberapa trail di sini. Jarak perjalanan juga berbeza. Trail paling pendek ialah Education Trail, khas kpd pelajar sekolah (bukan pelajar pun boleh juga) yang mana jaraknya 600m. Trail Viewpoint sekitar 1000 meter sahaja (satu hala). Paling jauh ialah Trail Golden Beach iaitu 10km.

Circular dan Education Trail di Taman Negara Simalajau. Trail Circular tidak semudah yang disangka. Periksa dulu dengan pegawai Taman Negara trail mana yang dibuka dan ditutup.

Sungai Likau di Simalajau. Kalau anda bertuah, anda dapat melihat buaya bersantai di tebingnya.

Jika anda kesuntukan masa atau tidak mempunyai kudrat tetapi masih berminat untuk jungle trekking, cobalah trails yang paling hampir dengan pejabat taman negara ini. Antaranya ialah View Point Trail, Circular Trail atau Education Trail. Setiap trail diberi kod warna. Contohnya, trail utama berwarna merah, education trail berwarna hijau, view point trail berwarna jalur putih dan merah, dan sebagainya. Sepanjang trail anda dapat melihat pokok-pokok ditanda dengan warna masing-masing supaya tidak akan sesat. Setiap trail akan bermula di penghujung jambatan gantung.

Jambatan gantung merentasi Sungai Likau di Taman Negara Simalajau. Setiap trail bermula selepas jambatan ini.

Trail utama di Simalajau

Di persimpangan trail, terdapat papantanda agar tidak sesat

Viewpoint trail berakhir di hujung jalan iniPantai Simalajau -- view dari viewpoint trail

Kawasan industri Tanjung Kidurong - view dari Pantai Simalajau

Pantai Simalajau -- view dari viewpoint trail

Circular Trail ditanda jalur putih/merah

 

Pantai Simalajau, Bintulu, Sarawak

Pantai di Taman Negara, Simalajau, Bintulu