Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Kapit hive of activities during festive seasons

KAPIT: The interior town of Kapit literally comes alive twice annually, during Gawai Dayak and weeks before the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

On these occasions, the town would be filled mostly with locals returning for family unions and also for the reopening of the new school term, where parents accompanied their children to school.

Businessmen love these occasions, with some firms reporting a 10 fold spike in their monthly revenue! It is very common to see furniture and electrical appliances stores, telecommunication outlets, textile shops, barber shops, and eateries jammed packed with patrons.

Since the middle of December last year till now, the hotel occupancy rate in Kapit hovered at more than 90 per cent. There are a total of 400 rooms here, and except for a handful of 2-star hotels, the rest are budget class.

When the school holidays started in the middle of November last year, the express boats also enjoyed brisk business. Kapit is, in a way, ‘an island’ because it is only accessible by express boats from Sibu, Belaga or Putai in Baleh.

A trip to Kapit from Sibu takes about three hours, passing through Kanowit, Nanga Dap, Nanga Ngemah and Song.

As for Belaga to Kapit, travelling time depends on the water level, but in general it’s about five hours journey.

From the interior Putai to Kapit, one can expect to remain in the express boats for three hours.

The food and drink vendors too are smiling all the way to the bank. They know that many longhouse folks, especially those who work in the timber industry, would normally take yearend leave and would think nothing of gulping down can after can of beer. To cater to this group of clients, the vendors would normally extend their operating hours. Wet market Gelanggang Terasang, along Jalan Penghulu Gerinang, is also the spot where a huge crowd of shoppers would convene.

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