On the road…

Last year, my friend, Philip, took me on a road trip to Kanowit. Well, he’s back in town from the US and this year, he took me and my missus to Bintangor.

Road to Bintangor

Originally, the town was called Binatang but I guess some people did not like the name as it is a Malay word that means “animal” in English so they changed it to Bintangor. It is very near to Sibu, around 30 to 40 minutes by road…

By the roadside, you may get to see some stalls selling fruits…

Roadside fruit stall

…such as the celebrated Binatang kam or Bintangor oranges…

Bintangor oranges

These are known to be very sour and when peeling them, there would be this very pungent smell that would fill the whole house. My missus loves these the most and prefers them to all the other kinds of oranges in the world but my daughter simply cannot stand the smell while the mum is peeling and eating one of these.

These are the very sweet honey pineapples…

Honey pineapples

…that we call kelapa sawit as they are grown as a subsidiary crop in the oil palm estates around here. They’re more or less the same price as in Sibu – around RM4.00 for a medium-sized one and up to RM6.00 for something bigger.

The sweet corn…

Sweet corn

…or what they call Ligo around here after the brand name of the canned kernels is much cheaper though – 7 for RM10.00 while in Sibu, that amount of money would probably get you 5 at the most.

Owing to the fact that Bintangor is well-known for its oranges, the fruit is used as the symbol of the town…

Bintangor waterfront

This replica is located at the Bintangor waterfront.

The town is a lot bigger than Kanowit. These old shops have been around for a long time – they were there already in the late 60’s and early 70’s when I used to travel to Kuching using ships like the Rajah Mas or when express boats would stop by en route from Sibu to Sarikei.

Bintangor shophouses 1

There are many new blocks of shophouses now…

Bintangor shophouses 2

…and this is the tallest building in the town centre…

Bintangor's tallest

There used to be a somewhat impressive hotel there but the proprietor had gone bankrupt or so I heard and the place looks quite abandoned, left there completely  idle.

I saw a few schools around and many churches including this big one…

Bintangor Catholic church

– the Church of Christ the King.

I cannot remember the last time I was in the town but I can recall stopping here sometimes for lunch when I was driving back from Kuching to Sibu – those days when my daughter was still a toddler, probably some 20 or so years ago…and I did stay there once when I had to run courses for teachers at one of the schools in the town or was it at the teachers’ training college halfway between here and Sarikei, I can’t exactly remember now. But this time around, I noticed that the town, though bigger than Kanowit, was rather quiet  and not as busy. Usually, at this time in the morning every day, one would find a hive of activity there but not here…unfortunately.

Now, what brought us all the way to this town then, you may ask? Well, I will let you know the answer…in the next post. You’ll stay tuned, wouldn’t you? LOL!!!