Sunday, March 6, 2011

Images of Bintulu Today

A section of the Bintulu waterfront at the town proper.
The Bintulu waterfront is the longest in Sarawak, nearing 5 kilometers in length. The main waterfront lies alongside the Bintulu town proper. A new extension that runs another four kilometers towards the sea facing the river mouth has been completed mainly for recreational purposes. The above view shows part of the waterfront at the town proper where business making use of river and sea transportation facilities are carried out from dusk till dawn.

A late afternoon view of the Bintulu river called the " Kemena River" with the Bintulu town proper in the background.
Much of the romance of Bintulu revolves around the river mouth. The Bintulu river mouth has been a confluence of activities, history and culture since times immemorial. The town's heart beat is kept alive by the daily movement of people, goods and all types of river transport that arrive from upriver, off-shore gas platforms or oil rigs, nearby coastal villages and far-away foreign ports. The best time to admire the beauty of the river romance is from the Jepak fishing village situated on the opposite bank of the Bintulu town proper. For more river scenery and life along the Kemena river please go here.

Long poles and net for shrimp fishing.
A boat used for shrimp fishing is parked next to a jetty at Kampung Jepak fishing village. This week fishermen in Bintulu took to the coastal waters nearby to fish for shrimps that are the feedstock for making 'Belacan'. Bintulu's belacan or shrimp paste has been the much sought-after quality belacan by visitors to this well-known coastal as well as deep-sea fishing town. The shrimp fishing set is called the "pakaq" in the local Melanau dialect. The pakaq set consists of two long heavy poles which have a 'shoe' attached at the front end to help it move smoothly in shallow waters. Very fine nets are attached to the poles and the set is pushed in waters using the power of an outboard engine. At today's price a "gantang" ( equivalent to 2.5 kilo) of fresh shrimp costs RM 20/kilo. From a gantang of fresh shrimps you can process about 1.5 kilo of belacan. Finished or processed belacan in town now fetches RM 50/kilo. For more interesting stories and snippets about Bintulu, click here.

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