Ethnic Kaleidoscope I Sibu
Sibu, 130km from the South China Sea, is Sarawak's second largest
town, the main port and commercial centre of the Rejang basin, and
the starting point for exploring the river. Sibu was founded at
the turn of the century by Foochow migrants from Southern China,
and is often referred to as 'New Foochow.' The town's Chinese roots
are still very apparent, particularly the bustling waterfront, which
is dominated by the beautiful seven-storey Pagoda and the century-old
Tua Pek Kong Temple.
Sibu's town centre is very compact and is crammed with countless
small shops selling everything from chic designer fashions to indigenous
handicrafts and Sarawak pottery. It also has the liveliest pasar
malam (night market) in Sarawak, with hundreds of stalls offering
everything from clothing to a wide variety of local delicacies such
as stuffed dumplings, barbecued fish and duck and delicious Malay
and Chinese cakes. Sit-down dinners are also well catered for with
a choice of hawker stalls, coffee shops, plush air-conditioned Chinese
restaurants, hotel outlets and Western fast-food restaurants.
Sights worth seeing include the Rejang Esplanade,a landscaped waterfront
park built on reclaimed land; the SMC New Market, with 700 stalls
selling exotic jungle produces and the Civic Centre Museum, which
traces the history of Sibu and the Chinese migration, and also houses
a fine collection of Iban and Orang Ulu handicrafts.