Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Reminiscing Kapit’s rich history


A WOODEN tombstone painted in black with gold lettering at the old cemetery is evidence of the first batch of Chinese people who set foot in Kapit as far back as the Manchu Qing Dynasty (the last Imperial Dynasty of China from 1644 to 1912).

According to history, the Hoklo (Hokkien) Chinese came to settle in Kapit during the reign of the White Rajahs in the 1880s, while the Ka Chinese (Hakka) immigrants arrived some 16 years later, followed by the Foochow Chinese.

Today, Kapit is a modern vibrant town with stretches of shophouses and buildings fronting the river offering a full range of services and amenities including schools, hospitals, food outlets, banks and administrative offices.

This quaint little town is located 140km upriver from Sibu and is only reachable by express boats that ply the mighty Batang Rejang.

Our adventure to Kapit from Song by express boat took about one hour, zipping past numerous longhouses and dense jungle along the longest ‘teh-si’ (brownish) coloured liquid highway.

The Kapit Express Boat Passenger Terminal is busy all day through as it serves as an important embarkation and disembarkation point to move people and trade from one destination to another.

Kapit was originally set up to bring peace to the troubled region during the reign of Charles Brooke when the Iban and other tribes especially Orang Ulu were constantly fighting each other there.

It was a garrison town with a fort built to ensure that the Ibans did not venture up river to fight with the other tribes and it grew in strength from that early period.

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