Sunday, April 5, 2009

A ship called Happiness

Express Bahagia No.8 is a high power motor vessel plying between Kuching and Sibu. The journey takes 5 hours and courses through the murky waters of the Sarawak River, then a two and half hours sprint across the South China Sea and another two hours into the mighty Rejang River, the longest river in Sarawak, and finally into Sibu.

Smoking section of the open deck are provided with bone rattling "seats" - 7 parallel stainless steel tube - to give your buttom a free massage. I can only tolerate 10 - 15 minutes of the discomfort and had to give up the space to the next bystander. Perhaps thats the way the management rotate seat availability to the usually overcrowded vessel.

"Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes..." this photo reminds me of the lyrics of The Carpenter's song. Clear blue sky, open seas, fresh air mixed with the cigarette smokes from your fellow passengers, unfortunately.

Fresh air (with cigarette smokes), and sunshine not for you? Then chill out in the cabin with the temperature dropping to 16C (?) thanks to the industrial strength of the air-conditioner. Bring your winter clothings, I'm not joking. Its even worse in the lower cabin.

Want fresh air and open sea view without the cigarette smokes? then move to the far end of the open deck, but be prepare to get roasted. The sunshine plus the blowing wind is a lethal combination in getting a tan before you can finish singing "Top of the World".

Ah, what is a holiday without shopping, even though the selection is quite bare. Mineral water, chocolate, junk food and smelly prepared cuttlefish to tickle your taste buds (and annoy your seat mates). However business hours is limited to the time the seller is awake from his nap, when he cart three basketful of merchandise and plonks them in front of all eager passengers. Then all transactions are done, he light up a cigarette, count the taking and haul the remainding goods back to the store and continue his slumber.

Coursing through the murky waters of the Rejang River near Sarikei, a somnolent collection of shophouses and a lethargic atmosphere. A retiree's paradise maybe.


Ormand said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


James said...

Hi Kaylee,
thanks for your kind words. I have a new website at:
I hope you like it too.


A'madudin Mohd Arshad said...

Hi, I was searching for distance Kuching Sarikie by sea and found your blog.
I have been to Sarikie, and Sibu but only a few hours only. Had to catch the ferry after getting off the bus from Sarikie. :D
Anyway, I love Sarawak.
Cheers and good blogging.