After five enjoyable days in Kuching we catch the early morning ferry to Sibu. We were advised to arrive at the port early due to it being holiday season so we had an early start, leaving the hostel at 6.45am, for a boat departure at 8.30am!
Big mistake of the day was not packing jumpers in our hand luggage. For some strange reason the air conditioning was set on freezing and there was no escaping the blast of icy air that filled the ferry. Even my other half who normally wears shorts during winter months in the UK was shivering. With a five-hour journey ahead of us we had to improvise with things that we had readily available in our bag. The laptop sleeve made a great hat, the sun cover for the buggy was used as a blanket and the cover for the wriggle band became an arm warmer. Needs must and all that!
We had been warned that there was a big swell on the sea and it made me feel very uneasy. We tipped rapidly from side to side and feeling very responsible for ‘the boy’ I had already devised our escape strategy in the event of the boat capsizing. Luckily I didn’t have to put that plan into action but it’s better to be safe than sorry… (Paranoid mum syndrome).
The majority of tourists arriving in Sibu make a swift boat transfer and head up the river into the jungle. We wanted to avoid the high-risk malarial areas and therefore decided to stick to the coastal (or as close as) towns/cities. Judging by the reaction from the locals ‘the boy’ was a novelty in their neighbourhood. Unlike Kuching where the locals would look, but not touch, in Sibu ‘the boy’ was public property. People would rush across the street to pinch his cheek (apparently pinching the cheek of a white baby gives them good luck) kiss him, touch him or crowd around in big groups to giggle and photograph him. Being British we’re very aware of personal space so it was a strange phenomenon but ‘the boy’ took it all in his stride and is becoming a very sociable little character.
In the evening we headed to the night market. ‘The boy’ was in the sling and slept as we walked around the stalls deciding on what delicacies we should try. Fried whole chicken heads, pig heads (choose the head and then it’s chopped up as you like) and chicken bum holes (yes that’s right, the arse-holes of chickens!) were ones that we chose to ignore. Instead we opted for dim sum, potato fritters, banana fritters, chicken satay, pork buns and peanut pancakes. All delicious and set us up for a good nights sleep.
Top tip of the day:
Pack a light long sleeved top when travelling on coaches and boats as the air con is often on a low setting. We’ve certainly learnt our lesson and it saves you having to wear a laptop bag on your head!!