Something to remember…

I mentioned in an earlier post that my Singapore friends rented a car and drove on their own all the way to the longhouse in Kanowit

RK Kanowit 1
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…for a one-night stay. I wished I could go with them but unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right.

They had a memorable and enjoyable experience and got to go jungle trekking…

JT
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…while they were there and they also had to pick stuff from the jungle…

Picking midin
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…to cook for dinner including some midin

Midin
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…and tapioca leaves

Daun bandong
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

They also cut some bamboo and the ingredients needed to cook ayam pansoh (chicken in bamboo).

However, I was rather disappointed to hear that they did not get to eat all that. It so happened that there was an Australian there already and  he was staying in the headman’s bilek (house) and my friends had to stay in another one under that same homestay programme. The wife in the one where they put up cooked dinner for them but they had none of all the aforementioned – they said they probably had that in the other bilek…but they were not too sure. Actually, I was expecting them to get together at the ruai (common corridor) to enjoy the food together…and luckily, they were very nice people and did not mind one bit and were quite happy with what they were served…and they said that the people they stayed with were very pleasant and hospitable and they really felt at home with them. Hmmm…they did not even know who had the ayam pansoh and all in the end but if I had been there, I probably would have kicked up a fuss and demanded for all that jungle produce. Tsk! Tsk!

They were supposed to go boating…

Boat
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…but it rained heavily so they decided to put it off till the morning the next day.

When evening fell…

Sunset
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…they had some traditional dancing – the ngajat

Ngajat
*Alfred’s photo n Facebook*

…to the music played with all their traditional instruments including the sape and the gongs and drums, big and small. I heard that the ladies joined in and had fun while my friend, Alfred, was shy and insisted he could not dance. They also tasted the tuak (traditional rice wine) but they said it was kind of sour. Maybe it was not the right time of year and they had run out of the good ones – usually, they would have new wine around May and June for the Gawai Dayak Festival which certainly would be a better time to visit to join in all the merry making.

The next morning, they decided to skip the boating as they could not wait to head into town for the Kanowit red kampua noodles. Unfortunately, they said the town was flooded with people, so very busy, the shops were so crowded and the roads were terribly jammed and they could not find a parking space so they just left and headed back to Sibu.

However, they were able to make a pit stop here for my favourite popiah

Popiah 1
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

– the best I have had anywhere and yes, they really liked it too…

Po piah 2
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

They also had the kampua noodles…

Kampua
*Alfred’s photo on Facebook*

…from a stall at the coffee shop there and they said it was good.

After having had their fill, they headed to the brand new hotel…

New Li Hua

…just declared open earlier this month – another one in the same chain of hotels as the one where they stayed on their previous trip here. I had made prior reservations there for their stay in Sibu at only RM98.00 nett (around SGD38.00) per night for each BIG room with a king-sized bed, so they were able to check in as soon as they arrived…and return the rented car.

They said they enjoyed it all, very different and truly something to remember.

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Author: suituapui

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

25 thoughts on “Something to remember…”

  1. I like all these Alfred’s photo on Facebook. Looks really nice and interesting.

    Yes, and he took lots!!! I just picked a few to feature in this post on their trip.

  2. By the way, I would have kicked up a fuss too if I did not get a taste of those jungle produce 😦

    Not too sure what is stated in the brochure. Maybe just jungle trekking, jungle survival skills (no mention of eating), boating plus the cultural stuff. RM65 per head for one night stay, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner – can’t expect much. They did say the food was all right, simple homecooked stuff but going there, I would want to eat the ethnic stuff, peculiar only to them and them alone…not things I can cook myself at home.

  3. Was it part of the homestay programme for guests to pick those ingredients themselves, learn/watch how to cook the dishes or help to cook the dishes and then eat those dishes they helped to cook?

    I find it weird that they were asked to pick those ingredients but not to take part in cooking and eating them but still it looks like a nice stay from all the lovely photos Alfred took.

    See my reply to Merryn above.

    They did say it was very nice, very different and all and they did have a great time. Didn’t complain about anything – maybe they’re very nice people, not fussy or snooty and were ok with everything?

    1. If it is not part of the programme then ok lah, cannot complain but I guess still can pay extra to eat those jungle produce.

      Or just ask. They’re ok one, nice people. What I feel is that they have assigned the guests to the family at that house…so the general practice is they stay with you, you take care of them and feed them. They did get to try a bit, I hear…and I do know for a fact that some of the stuff would require an acquired taste. I saw ulam raja in one of the photos (not here) – I am not into that but my missus loves it!

  4. Same here, if I picked all the greens and did all that hardwork, but didn’t get to eat those homecooked food, I would make a scene and lots of noise too, hehe.. But not sure what was stated in the brochure, hmm, what to do…

    Yup! Must read the fine print…or see what is in it and what isn’t. First time, no experience – next time, anybody going…I would know what to tell them and what to insist they must have.

  5. Wow! I haven’t been to Kanowit in a long time! 🙂

    That Li Hua Hotel looks so new, and for RM 98, it’s a bargain! Hmm…I don’t mind dropping by with my dad since he used to teach there when I come back for Ching Ming.

    That will be next weekend, eh? Hope to catch up if there’s time. There’s a shortcut now to Kanowit, good road…use Salim bypass and turn left right after the Durin bridge – not like before…and the road goes straight to the longhouse. My time there, we had to walk an hour along a small stony footpath. 😦

  6. Picking up fresh greens from jungle sounds like a fun thing to do 😀

    They enjoyed it…and now they know what’s midin…and how it is different from paku.

  7. I think it’s part of the activity of the homestay to go jungle trekking & picking jungle stuff but at least let them taste what they have pluck. Luckily, they experience the pleasant & friendly hospitality at the homestay. Popiah & kampua looks so nice. Hope your friend will be coming back for more.

    Sure, he will. Already checking the air fares every day. He loves it here and I do enjoy having him around as well. Great company, keeps me occupied.

  8. Looks like a nice clean hotel for RM98. What is that extension at the side?

    To the left? That’s the covered path to the Sibu bus terminal…and there’s another one to the sister hotel on the other side…and to the BIG supermarket opposite the terminal too. The area around the one they stayed last time, all the buildings linked by these covered paths…so no worries about rain or shine, can walk around, no problem.

  9. I would be unpleasantly surprised if I did not get to eat what I picked. What was the point of picking those vegetables then? It is like you attend a handicraft making class but not allowed to bring it home because the teacher wants to sell it to someone else 😦

    I guess they’re too nice, never complained, all was fine, ok with everything. Too bad that they did not get to taste what they collected. Now I know – next time anybody going, I would insist on that. 1st time, blur blur…did not know what to expect. Well, at least, they said they enjoyed the trip and the whole experience was truly worth it.

  10. Some of your photos here are great, they remind me of my nice long walks in nature parks. 🙂

    Very nice eh? Bet you would love going on the trip too.

  11. wah, this is a cool rustic experience … plucking wild leaves and veggies off the land to cook for a meal. i’m not sure i’ve ever done that, and i wouldn’t know how to recognise what’s edible 🙂

    Would be interesting for you then, an eye-opener, for sure. We learn new things every day.

  12. We did actually eat some of the things we picked, just not the traditional bamboo thingy. For a 2 full days package, I’m sure there will be time for that and everything else, but we had arrived at mid afternoon – all the way from Singapore(which was a 12 hours journey), with some rest and our preference to leave early the next morning, there are only very little time left for activities. We decided on the trekking, picking of vegetables and cultural dance for the rest of the day. I think coz of the dance, the bamboo thing was overlooked coz it was supposed to be at the same time…plus I did disappear for a while into the kanowit town for about 1hour :p. There wasn’t a proper schedule but kinda ‘do it whenever there is time’ kind of arrangment. They did ask for our preference order in activities and barring for time/weather they will try to oblige.

    Yes, it was such a rush. It was more like one night only since you all got there mid-afternoon…and left the next morning, not really one full day. Yes, the guy did say visitors can select their activities – whatever you want…just that some may entail extra payment. I guess they have their reasons for that. Never mind! First time…and good for me to know also so that should anybody want to go there, I would know what to expect…and can ask for this and that depending on what one wants. Can even buy udang galah and all those things, bring there and get them to cook – of course for RM65 a night, you can’t expect those. Hehehehehe!!!!.

    1. No complaints at all. Didn’t really want to spend a lot of time there. Like I told you, I was only interested to see the jungle (nature stuffs).

      And you had that… Glad you all liked it – but it sure left very little time to spend in Sibu with me. Never mind. You’ll come again, I know! And I’ll be right here waiting. Hehehehehe!!!! 😉

  13. It’s interesting that the guests have to pick the cooking ingredients from the jungle. I suppose that’s part of the homestay experience. I would have been very disappointed if I did not get to eat the dishes that I wanted especially so if I had done the work of picking the ingredients!

    They did get pretty good homecooked stuff though…and quite a lot of it for only so few people – things that kampung people (like me) would cook for their regular meals on an ordinary day…simple and nice!
    Dinner
    *Alfred’s photo*

    1. No it’s not like that. There are a list of I think 10 – 15 activities which you can choose what you want to do. Some will incur extra charges. We only have abt 5 hrs from mid afternoon to evening there as we would like to leave early morning the next day so we only have time for a few of the activities. And we did eat some of the vegetables we picked for dinner. In fact there wasn’t a lot we picked, just some midin, tapioca leaves, spring onions, banana stem..its more for the fun of doing what they do there..these things can be eaten anywhere. 🙂

      Yup, that little bit of midin in the basket – surely not enough to go round, will be much less after cooking too.

      But no…can’t get their ethnic dishes in Sibu (unless I cook for you…wink…wink…)…but in Kuching, yes…very easily. Check the air fares – I’ll meet you there and we’ll go and eat those…and all the great stuff Kuching has to offer! Very different – Kuching is not Foochow, more Hakka, Teochew…originally, that is. I know one place in Miri too! Lun Bawang cuisine, different ethnic group some more. That’s Sarawak for you – so much to explore and to try…

      1. That was quite a bit basket and after about an hour, it was filled right up to the brim. Definitely more than enough to feed a few heads but then again like I say, it’s the experience..vegetables can eat anywhere. 🙂 Kuching sounds good, will see but would love to see the rural side as well..something you’ll definitely avoid :p :p

        Oh? I thought that was all you all collected. Gosh! That big basket, enough to last a few days…or for sale at the market the next day. 😀
        Kuching? Ummm…it’s very touristy, fake…like Singapore? The Sarawak Cultural Village is not worth visiting, a showcase of the cultures…and there’s the museum…and the wildlife centre at Semenggoh – see orang utans and maybe the Rafflesia. Anyway, let me know when and I will ask around – sure will come out with something interesting.

  14. Sounds and looks interesting! How come we didn’t go to this place? No time? Or we prefer food and more food in Sibu only? 🙂

    Not too sure why – maybe I had not had the experience myself at the time – driving to Kanowit and the longhouse. These days, anyone who comes – sure I will take them there -something different from Sibu and the nearby towns…even if it’s only for a day trip.

  15. Oh. .very interesting and a good experience long house stay!!

    New Li Hua hotel? I don’t even know! hahaha

    Hah!!! Big building. You did not go to that area when you came back? Tung Lok zhao chai hung ngang? Or that bakery shop beside (the old) Medan Hotel, Sibu Bus Terminal – you said the food is nice?

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