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Sibu
Sibu Fort, which was built by Rajah Brooke in 1862, and once located at Race Course Road, no longer exists Step into Sibu and you are stepping into what was once wild frontier that was given to Sir James Brooke as reward for taming the rebellion for the Brunei Sultanate, who ruled the land then. He became the first ‘White Rajah’ and began his administrative seat from Fort Brooke in Sibu, in 1862. As interesting as its history, the name Sibu comes from the local fruit ‘sibau’ – a small, sour and wild-version of the sweet fleshy rambutan. While the Melanaus were the first inhabitants of the area, it is now steeped in Chinese influence, as the Chinese settlers began to make their home here encouraged by the first White Rajah.

Although the city was razed to the ground twice – once in 1889 and again in 1928, the spirit of the people survived. They rebuilt the town, this time with bricks and mortar and lots of determination, to become a thriving town.

Enviable located in the heart of Sarawak, Sibu is a holiday destination for culture, adventure and nature. You can shop, dine, go bargain hunting or for a little more excitement, take a ride in fast passenger ferries to remote areas where the locals live right next to the jungle inhabited by exotic animals or simply enchanted by the lure of Sibu.

As you journey upriver from Sibu, Chinese shop houses soon give way to Iban longhouses. This exciting journey will take you on to the Pelagus Rapids where Iban culture quietly merge into that of the Orang Ulu with isolated settlements of Punan Bah, Kajang, Kayan, Kenyah, Bukitan, Lahanan, Ukit and Penan people.

A visit to Sibu has to include:-
  • Lembangan Market. Perhaps the most vibrant night market in the state, the Lembangan Market is the place to get a real taste of Sarawak. With its 700 stalls located along the Lembangan River between Mission Road and Channel Road, it is used by the locals, upriver villagers and longhouse dwellers. It is a great place to try all kinds of local delicacies and sweets and to experience what the local livelihoods are like. The vendors even sell a fascinating range of jungle produce, including flying foxes, squirrels, snakes, turtles, snails, edible jungle fruits and ferns. Not only that, the vendors also sells a variety of garments, toys, electrical goods and foodstuff at a price anyone can afford. If at night, the atmosphere is thick with a carnival-like feeling.
  • Sibu Civic Centre Museum. The museum, which serves as Sibu's municipal museum, has a rich collection of white ceramics dated back to the 10th to the 12th centuries. Well-known local figures and tycoons contributed most to these collections. Among the interesting exhibits is a three-metre long spear with a gigantic blade used by the legendary rebel leader Sherif Masyahor, who fought against the British colonial masters. There are also photographs depicting the town's past when it was just a fishing village, as well as those on the timber industry, the main contributor to Sibu's rapid growth in the early 1970s.
  • Rejang Esplanade. An ideal place to relax or take an evening stroll, the Esplanade was completed in 1987, using reclaimed land along the riverfront. It is frequently used for cultural performances and public events.
  • Seven-Storey Pagoda. The seven-storey pagoda is said to be more beautiful than its counterparts in South-East Asia, and even Taiwan. The pagoda offers panoramic views of Sibu town. It is situated next to the century-old Tua Pek Kong Temple.
  • Bukit Aup Jubilee Park. The park, opened in March 1993, is located about 12 km from Sibu town. This is a special place for Sibu people to relax and keep away from the hectic town life. Sibu people used to come here for picnics and family outing. Barbeque stands are available for visitors to cook their delicious meal. It is a clean place. Visitors are advised to up keep the cleanliness of the park.
  • Forestry Recreation Park. The Forestry Recreation Park covers 200 hectares of land at 18.5 km Ulu Oya Road. Managed by the Forestry Department, the park serves as the centre for carrying out research into soil and plants, particularly the mixed dipterocarp species such as Belian, Engkabang, Alan and Bintangor. A section of the park is open to the public. The park's facilities include a camping site, a 30-metre watch-tower, a cattle and deer farm, and a huge fish pond. A major attraction to be included soon is a butterfly farm.
  • Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is Sibu's central business and entertainment district. It is filled with hundreds of shops, many restaurants, several hotels and the multi-storey Sarawak House shopping complex. It is a haven for shoppers, especially during public holidays and festive seasons.
  • Iban Longhouse. A trip to the Sibu area is incomplete without taking the opportunity to visit an Iban longhouse. Although the Ibans in the Sibu area are modern people who have fully embraced the 21st century, they still practise many traditional customs and retain their adat or traditional law. The Ibans are a warm and hospitable people, and this hospitality, coupled with their rich and colourful customs and traditions, can be a memorable experience.
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