Friday, June 24, 2016

Sarikei a bustling riverside town

SARIKEI: Sarikei is a bustling riverside town with the mighty Rajang River flowing next to it, and is not called the ‘Fruit Basket’ of Sarawak for no reason. Its iconic pineapples are something the town should be proud of for their crunchiness and sweetness are unlike other pineapple species.

But the town is not only producing its famed pineapples but also other fruits such as green oranges, bananas, mangoes, corns and watermelons.

Being a vital agricultural centre, a visit to Sarikei would be incomplete without a trip to the wet market.

Hence, the Borneo Post Adventure Team 6 (BAT6) visited the wet market to have a look.

The wet market serves as a main trading centre for the local farmers to sell their produce such as kangkung, pumpkins and chillies.

Besides fruits and vegetables, there are stalls selling fruit saplings, potted flower plants and clothes as well, making the market a one-stop centre for the local communities.

Driving around the town, we realised that it is no less vibrant than the market itself.

It is easy to find fast food outlets such as Sugar Bun, KFC, Pizza Hut and even Pezzo.

When there are many traditional Foochow foods such as kampua, mee sua and kompia available around Sarikei, most foodies would not have a second glance at these fast food.

For those visiting Sarikei for the first time, do not be surprised that a big cup of hot drink in the coffeeshop costs only RM1. Furthermore, there is no such thing as small cup of hot drink like coffee or tea because they only serve one size of beverage.

The town is definitely fast growing as it has opened its doors to international retail outlets such as ShareTea, Guardian, Watsons personal care stores, The Body Shop and Blackball-original Taiwanese tea and dessert.

We also noticed a row of Bodhi trees at the town centre. The Bodhi tree is easily distinguished by its heart-shaped leaves. It was under the tree that Buddha was said to have attained enlightenment.

Slowly leaving Sarikei town centre, we passed a few birdhouses along the way. They are hard to miss as the buildings are dull-looking without any window except for tiny holes. It is at these birdhouses that swiftlets nests are harvested and processed.

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