SIBU CITY – KINGWOOD HOTEL
On the confluence of the Rajang and Igan Rivers, 70 miles from the South China Sea, Sibu is the second largest town in Sarawak. It is a thriving, modern town dominated by its bustling and crowded waterfront. Anchor on either side of the wide river, keeping well clear of the central channel and busy barge traffic.
Best holding is off the famous Sibu Swan sculpture past the ferry piers near the new Kingwood Hotel. Sibu’s wealth and fame are largely due to its enterprising, hard working, Foochow community, who arrived in Sarawak from Southern China during the reign of Rajah Charles Brooke (1900-1917). The city’s population of 260,000 is a colourful mix of Chinese, Malays, Ibans and other ethnic races. Each race takes great pride in its own traditions and customs, but racial harmony is the norm here.
Sibu City is the gateway to the mighty Rajang River and its vast hinterland. As the main commercial centre and port for the Rajang Basin, it is the starting point for one of the world’s great river journeys. From here, local ferries can be taken hundreds of miles up the river through steep sided valleys, and on occasions rapids, right into the heart of Malaysian Borneo.
The passage from the coast to Sibu is available only through the Ranjang River. The Igan River was an option until the recent causeway was built. The Ranjang is well charted and deep enough for keeled vessels up to 4 metres draught. The journey is fascinating and anchorage can be found virtually anywhere, but particularly at one of the many longhouses on the banks.
The local tribes provide famous hospitality and are always ready to tell you of the exploits of their grandparents. They may even show you the hut where they keep ancient shrunken heads from previous skirmishes.