Red River Valley…

This is Sungai Merah which literally means “Red River”…

Sg Merah Sibu

Annie-Q‘s mum lives in that area of Sibu so I guess Annie would be pretty familiar with the place. Sadly, however, everything is changed now and it is no longer anything like the Sungai Merah that we used to know.

I dropped by one morning and I decided to check this place out…

Sg Merah Bai Sun Cafe

This is smaller and less crowded than the more popular coffee shop a few doors away and one thing I noticed was that there were a lot of people speaking in dialects. I heard some speaking Hinghua – which came as no surprise as there are a lot of Hinghuas living in the vicinity and there were others conversing in Foochow and ย Hokkien. That was a refreshing change as it seems that these days, if you go anywhere around Sibu town proper, most of the people will be using Mandarin and you may get to hear quite a bit ย ofย Foochow too…but very sadly, many of the dialects are dying out. Many cannot understand Hokkien anymore – the dialect that was widely used in the past alongside Foochow, Sibu being a predominantly Foochow town, when I was younger and until quite recently.

Anyway, I had the beef noodles at that coffee shop…

Bai Sun beef noodles

…and though it is not the best in town, I found it hard to believe that it only cost RM2.80 a bowl. Those at other places would be at least RM3.50 or RM4.00 or more. Hence, I certainly could see no cause for complaint since it was so cheap…and to give it due credit, it was actually very nice.

I probably would drop by again to try the other stuff that they have in store…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

40 thoughts on “Red River Valley…”

  1. Ohhhh… that bowl of noodles looks so yummy. Looks like the one in Jalan Alor… o.O

    There are a few places here that have nicer ones but none THAT cheap!

    1. I guess cannot complain much… not with that price…not easy to get such cheap bowl of noodles liao these days… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Nowhere here can we find beef noodles this cheap – really glad I dropped by that day.

  2. i couldn’t agree more with cleffairy..
    the noodle looks good…
    oh and look at the meats yum yum

    It is good, very good…and though not the best around, it’s really value for money!

  3. just taking my breakfast now…
    fried rice with sunny side up egg…

    I haven’t had mine – not even 6 here… Maybe I’ll go some place today for something nice…

    1. oh you go out for breakfast???
      i cooked mine though the egg is quite horrible as always haha

      Yup…I did today. I need to eat out sometimes so I will have things to post and share. You dunno how to cook eggs? Poor thing! LOL!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Where’s the river?..hahaha. When I was younger, my family used to live in a place called Sungai Udang.There is a river there but look more like a longkang with no udang.
    At least people there still speaking some kind of Chinese language when a lot of youngsters nowadays does not even want to acknowledge that they knew some kind of chinese for fear of not looking they want to be known as banana.I am a true blue banana and I had a tough time growing up..always kena scold by old Chinese men saying a Chinese must know how to speak as if it’s my fault for being a Nyonya pekat. Anyway, the beef noodles look so syiok!!

    Nice, and dirt cheap too! Can’t find any at that price elsewhere.

    I’m Foochow-Melanau mix…but we grew up speaking Hokkien at home and Malay and a bit of Melanau with my childhood friends living around my house and we may pick up Foochow when we went to school (and studied in English, of course). I think when we learn so many dialects and languages, we become more flexible and are able to pick up languages faster. These days, they only have ONE language all the way… Real sad.

    1. Come, Shereen… we go and cry in one corner together… I am also a true blue banana who comes from a nyonya family. Tsk… dono how to speak any Chinese dialect, and I had tough time growing up too. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I heard the late Tun Tan Siew Sin also – could only speak Malay or Peranakan, could not speak Chinese.

  5. Arthur,
    I noticed thus far,almost all part of Sibu look buildings and I guess new township. Don’t have anything that is in its original state kah?

    That is the sad thing about Sibu – they got rid of all the old buildings, all new…or most of the town at least. There are some old shophouses around still and though they may be well-maintained (forced to by the town council, nicely painted and all), they may be fire hazards – colonial days’ wiring still in use). They “restored” some – …but unfortunately, they’re like all those in Singapore. Somehow, they’re not the same anymore, not authentic at all….and somewhat pretentious.

  6. the beef noodle is cheap. and sungai merah looks beautiful and clean. I haven’t seen any part in the philippines as clean as that place ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sibu used to be the dirtiest place in the state, and maybe in the whole country but the late member of parliament when he was in charge of the town council changed the image. Today, it definitely is a pleasant place to visit and to live in. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Sungai Merah does not look the same anymore. I seldom go there as I stay at the opposite area, Lanang side.
    If I have a chance to go back to Sibu, I will want to spend some time to revisit those little township.

    Oh? I seldom go to Lanang side as I’m on this side of town. You probably have not been back for a long long time… Many places look quite different now.

  8. That’s a pretty nice peaceful town! I would love visiting such places!!

    Come! Come! MATTA Fair this weekend… I’m sure you can get very cheap fares on that cheap airline – direct flight JB to Sibu.

  9. LOL! I tot i can see reddish river here. :p the beef noodle certainly the cheapest I guess, here can’t get something less than rm3. :/

    My Stories

    Yes, the river is reddish…like tea because of the dead leaves fromthe trees upriver dropping into it. KK? I know beef noodles cost RM8 at one place but it’s very nice…even though people say it’s buffalo meat! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. only RM2.80?? wow, that’s unbelievable cheap.. here in KL a bowl of beef noodles will cost at least RM6 leh..

    Not as bad as KK. RM8 there… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  11. Beef noodles! I remember there’s one quite famous one at Jalan Alor, near bukit bintang. So is the beef soft and tender?

    Yup, very nice…and soooo cheap! Jalan Alor? They say it’s at Tengkat TongShin actually, not Jalan Alor…but some say the one at Lot 10 Hutong is nicer. I wouldn’t know – haven’t had the chance to try both.

    1. Bro. Heard you’re going down Penang this April? What’s the occasion? XD

      1st – 4th. My niece’s wedding? You’ll be around that weekend? I think it’s Ching Ming.

      1. I can try to be around! Eugene’s organizing ya? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Ya…but nobody’s coming. Never mind, just let me know if you’ll be around. We can always go out for dinner some place. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. OMG!….drooling at 1st glance of the beef noodles.

    There is one stall at Kuching Open Air Market which people claim to have the best beef noodles….”AH MUI BEEF NOODLES”…..Indeed deserved the praise. Used to frequent that stall if I am craving for it.

    The price is between RM4.00-RM4.50 but duno whether it has increased or not due to the recent rise in flour. Yours for RM2.80 is considered very …… very…… cheap!
    Will drop by to savour the beef noodles if i happened to visit Sibu.

    Yup…I love Ah Mui in the 70s but thelast time I went, in the 90s, I think…it wasn’t good anymore. There’s a good one at Greenhill (end of block from Harbour View Hotel) and I heard the fella’s related to Ah Mui. I liked the one at Peterson too – Satok Market – dunno if it’s stiill there. Ya…when are you coming to Sibu? Do let me know… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. โ™ซFrom this valley they say you are going.
    We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
    For they say you are taking the sunshine
    That has brightened our pathway a while…

    We sang this *song* in school too hahaha..

    Ya…and we danced the twist to the instrumental version of the song by The Ventures – retitled “Red River Rock”. LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Why so much difference in prices? The other places is in Sibu or out of Sibu?

    All in Sibu, different parts and there are two or three nice ones in the town centre…but Sibu is a small place really. Every place is near, no matter where. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. That’s just a few doors from my favorite place. So where’s the best beef noodles in town? And have you tried the kampua there? It’s one of the few places in town that still uses pork fat.

    I like the one at Farley and the bus terminal one is nice but I think it’s the most expensive…and there are a few places at the town centre that are good too. This one may come in at No. 5 but pricewise, it’s No.1! Nope, not craving for kampua right now… Hehehehehe!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. I notice you like beef noodles a lot.. next time if u come to ipoh, i take u to one place hawker one.. they serve very nice stewed beef.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love it…but it has to be really good! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. RM2.80, good price, beef very expensive ler!

    That’s why I could hardly believe it… So cheap! Cheaper than the Foochow fried noodles. Usually, it would be a lot more expensive.

  18. Oh gosh the beef noodles looks SO good !! The broth looks yummy. It’s really quite hard to get good beef noodles here ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Where’s “here”? Are you back in the UK…or in KL or where?

  19. Ah, this coffee shop, i been there once for kampua. Usually we will go to the one few doors away from Bai Sun, they got more choices, my mum love their milk tea.

    Beef noodles, have you try the one at “Lot 10”? I had it last year, i find it is quite good too.

    But..aiya…i still kampua , die hard fans for kampua! LOL

    Ya, the one’s Choon Seng, I think – more popular so very crowded. The kuih chap stall has moved away/closed down…so nothing that I really fancy there now. Maybe the char kway teow (wrapped in egg)or the pork porridge. Didn’t really like the kampua…

    Nope, didn’t try the one at Lot 10 – they say it’s the best in KL. Lots of kampua here, so not craving for it. Can have it anytime. LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. wow dirt cheap….next time wen i go back sarawak will go find u to bring me eat…. nothing nice in bintangor la, kampua kompia n typical foochow noodles only i think.

    Just let me know when you’re passing by this way – sure will take you mam-mam!!! Yum!

  21. i was going o comment why so little beef but when saw the price..hahaha…so cheap. Kira okay la

    Tastes good too…so really worth it!

  22. I understand your concern. Many language are indeed dying out. I guess we can’t do anything about because languages do change. They either die, transform or joined with the more popular languages.

    Very sad…

  23. hinghua ? oooh… I didn’t know Sibu has hinghua community and sadly.. not many hinghua-s speak the dialect now. hubs n I are hinghua ๐Ÿ˜€

    We have…quite a large Hinghua community here…especially in that Sg Merah area.

  24. RM2.80 a bowl is dirt cheap, these days. Don’t think can find anywhere else. Was it a small portion, though?
    I like a bowl of good beef noodles. Over here, there’s a good one in Tengkat Tong Shin and another near Petaling Street. Both taste good, dunno which is the best. Next time you come here, I bring you, ha.

    Nope. It was a bog bowl, really so very cheap. I’ve heard of both places in KL but have never tried. The Jln Petaling one and the one at Lot 10 Hutong are the same…but I guess if you go and eat it at Lot10, you have to pay more. Got class more… LOL!!

  25. Only RM2.80?? That’s REALLY hard to believe! I would have no complaints at all, judging from how nice it looks too! yum!

    Me neither! Good enough.,..and incredibly cheap! Can’t ask for more… ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. thats the same kopitiam that have one of the best porridge in town…if not the BEST hehehehhe. when r we going to jalan jalan cari makan again STP? i noticed that there are quite a few new eateries in town…maybe we can check them out…CHEERS!

    Ah yes! That’s the same stall! They have all kinds of porridge but the porridge is more expensive than the beef noodles. That certainly caught me by surprise. Must go and try the porridge one day…but unfortunately they’re not as cheap… New eateries in town? Where?

    1. porridge ? *droooll*
      cikgu, bring me there!

      Come! MATTA fair this weekend… Grab a cheap or zero fare ticket and fly back quick…even if it’s just for a weekend. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Wow… my husband’s favourite beef noodles! WHAT?!! Only RM2.80, I think he won’t mind to fly over for a bowl!^-^

    See my reply to goldflower86! MATTA Fair is on now… Book quick! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Sungai Merah is a Heng Hua stronghold. I used to live there as a kid, although I don’t remember it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My grandfather (deceased – God bless his soul) used to bring us there for kampua and I used to be babysat by this kind old lady in one of the shophouses back when it was wooden lots.

    I like the place, but the character seem to have changed. The Sungai Merah I remember has NOTHING to do with the Sungai Merah now, with all its concrete shoplots and worse of all…a massage parlor. ๐Ÿ˜ก

    Hahahahaha!!! I was wondering when somebody would comment on that! LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I thought you would love it! Wink! Wink! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ya…so sad that it’s all gone now…all the wooden shop lots. The last surviving one – the stalls selling fruits – they’re all gone too. I don’t think the market is originally Sg Merah…but right now, it’s probably the oldest building in that neighbourhood. Ah yes! You’re Hinghua…though I’ve never heard you speak the dialect? ๐Ÿ˜‰

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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