People did not use to travel so much when I was younger. For one thing, it was certainly not easy to move around then. I remember I flew to Kuching once when I was in primary school to visit my cousins there and I guess I was one of the privileged few.
Later, in my teenage years, I hopped over to Kuching quite frequently as I had a lot of friends there and most of the time, I would use the Rajah Mas, formerly called the Rejang, paying RM10.00 only to sail on deck, meaning that I would not have a cabin to sleep in. The ship would sail from Sibu at around noon and would depart from Sarikei at around 6.00 p.m. and reach Kuching in the morning the next day. I never used the Pulau Kidjang which sank in 1973…and the Rajah Mas followed suit in 1997. Subsequently, there were express boats plying between Sibu and the state capital and I went on that once…
I cannot remember when this was exactly but I guess it would be sometime between 1978 and 1980 or 1981…and yes, it was called the M.V. Concorde. LOL!!!
I was in Singapore in 1973 when the Pulau Kidjang tragedy occured and that was when I travelled by train for the first time and went to Kuala Lumpur for the first time too…
*@ the National Museum, Kuala Lumpur – 1973*
…and I did go up to Genting Highlands as well.
It wasn’t a theme park at the time – just a hotel and a casino, the first phase of what is today a sprawling place with a few hotels and everything that is in it now. The road then was horrible – you would go zig-zag, left and right, till you reach the top by which time you would be quite sick, I’m sure.
After that, I took a bus to Penang – also my first visit ever, and stayed a few days on the island…and there wasn’t any bridge at the time so we had to use the ferry…
…which still runs to this very day.
Well, time has changed…and of course, I have changed too…a lot!!! And one thing’s for sure, travelling today is definitely so much easier and a whole lot more comfortable than how it used to be.