The boat travels out of Kuching and before long it was in the sea so there wasn’t much to look at. The boat journey took 6hrs hours rather than 4hrs but we just arrived in Sibu with enough time to leg it onto the last Kapit bound boat of the day. This left us with no time to look round Sibu. These boats are very different from the Kuching-Sibu boat. It look to me like a torpedo you could sit on. We were sitting on the roof as there were no seats inside but it was best way to see the sights
. The river was in a bit of a mess as the area is heavily logged and the companies must just throw the wastre straight into the river. So there are enormous bits of trees and branches floating downstream. The express boats go at 55km/hr and somehow avoid all the debris in the water! It was fairly built-up for a good few miles out of Sibu and I was wondering whether we would see any of the rainforest. Boats were coming down the river laden with massive trees and there were vast areas of river banks completely void of trees with just silt running into the water. These were the areas that we could see from the boat so I guess there must be huge areas of deforestation. It was fairly hard to see.
Along the way we constantly stopped at longhouses to deliver things or pick up/drop off people. We were the only tourists but there was such a variety of people on the boat. There were businessmen with their laptops to the local Iban and Orang Ulu village people with their elongated ears. As we travelled towards Kapit the forest became increasing dense and less affected by the logging.
When we arrived in Kapit, after 10hours on a boat, it was almost dark and we had a quick wander around to find some accommodation. We went with a LP recommendation called the Rejang Inn
. All the locals were very helpful in assisting us to find it! We were told that there was a night market in town and were disappointed when all we found was a few small chicken skewer stalls. We still bought some even after the owner had said that they were ‘chicken tails?’...sadly they were horrible. Maybe there’s a reason the tails aren’t so popular! On the way back to the hostel we finally found the proper night market and it was the best nasi goreng I have had! Very happy. The night market was positioned underneath some telephone wires on which I reckon about a thousand swifts were settling in for the night. The locals knew which tables were safe if you didn’t want the added extra to your noodles. Kapit is a very untouristy, quiet place, which has a good markets but as we were short of time we could only stay the one night.
So today was the first day of our 'Express Boat' to Kapit via Sibu. It was an early start to get to the pier...unfortunately no public transport so it was a 20RM taxi ride. Annoyingly when we went to pay ‘Tracks’ the owner didn’t seem to realise that if you use one of the online hostel bookers that the 10% deposit should be taken off the bill...after awhile I realised that I wasn’t going to convince him either. Oh well, it’s only a very small amount.