Express Kuching-Sibu

The Express Boat

On Labour Day I managed to pay a visit to the new Sibu - Kuching Express Terminal near the Kuching Port. This is the alternative Public Transport that is quite popular in Sarawak. I remebered that I had great diffculty in explaining this mode of transport when I was schooling in Semenanjung Malaysia. It was basically due to miscommunication at that time.

In Semenanjung, when you say that you are travelling by 'Express', it means Express Bus. Being a Sibu boy and growing up in Sibu, I was accustomed to the term 'Express' describing an Express Boat. So imagine the two young minds, one from Sarawak and the other from Semenanjung when they both try to describe this form of public transport.

Naik Express? I was that thin 20 years ago!

Semenanjung Guy:Banyak Express tak di Sarawak?
Sarawakian Guy:Banyak....tapi di sini tak nampak Express lah?
Semenanjung Guy:Eh..., banyak la Express, cam Transnasional tu dah berapa biji.
Sarawakian Guy:Oh...Belum nampak satu lagi...
Semenanjung Guy: Ya ke..di sini berlambak la....
Sarawakian Guy:Oh macam tu...rindula nak naik Express..macam balik Kampung
Semenanjung Guy:Ya, kita orang selalu pegi balik kampung naik Express, murah dari Keretapi atau Teksi
Sarawakian Guy:Ya ka. Di Sarawak kadang kadang penuh sangat Express, penumpang kena naik atas 'perabong' (roof), barang pon kena bawak naik atas.
Semenanjung Guy:Weh...dasyhat orang Sarawak, boleh naik atas Express lagi tu...

And so that is how it went years ago. Express Bus travel was not yet the "in" thing in Sarawak at that time. Its just relating my experience - after a while I realised that its the Express Bus they meant. I was too used to the term 'Green or Blue Bus' or just 'Bas' in Sibu. Culture Shock lah. But it is very much significant now when we deal with the Federal Government Departments. We have to paint to the guys there, the right pictre about Sarawak, especially the planners and politicians who never step foot here- do they really know what its like here when they do the planning for us. Currently to overcome this there is two ways communications. Sometimes when they want to impose the Nation's Law on the State, we are usually reluctant to oblige, more so if we in the State Government feel that not enough planning and consultations have been done.

Ticket counter at the Express Wharf - the Kuching to Sibu Economy Class is RM40.

The jetty: its a long walk to the Express Wharf


The inside of the Express Boat - Pretty Comfortable & Air Conditioned

The Upper Level (those who get sea sick should avoid this level - this is presumably First Class)

The Lower Level of the Express

The stairs seperating the upper & lower level

This is at the top ('perabong') of the boat - those who wish to enjoy the view and the fresh air is free. Just be wary if it rains, you may have to rush inside. For the first timers, it should be attractive as the views or the Sea is quite breath taking.


Another view of the top of the Express


Funny, the Express's Captain looks familiar

Boat about to depart

Set to go

The sideview is quite impressive as the boat turns to Sarawak River's mouth to head to sea

You would probably love the toilets in here as it is quite well maintained

What We Are Famous For and Prefer Not To See.

The express I believe is a unique Public Transport alternative that we rely on so much in Sarawak. The trip takes about five hours and it stops over in Sarikei before it proceeds to Sibu. The facilities at the wharf are quite okay........except for a few things. If you are easily sick or sensitive, please I warn you, do not proceed to see the pictures I am about to share.

The Passenger Terminal building provides a modern and comfortable place for waiting and provides shade from the sun.

Don't stare too long - some unflushed poops (Malaysian bad habits).


A close up version - God knows what this person has for his meals....urgh!

However when you stand at the Passenger building be prepared to hold your breathe - the Smell of Terror emitted by the toilet is like something out of Hell. I managed to get a nice shot of the toilet but the force of the odour caused me to struggle out the building like Indiana Jones running away from the evil spells. Just one word to describe the %#&#*#* in the toilet.

The basin where you supposedly want to clean your hands. It is less than impressive - dirty and I doubt you would want touch anything there.

The moral of the story is: If you do decide to take the Express Boat should you travel one of these days, make sure you do your toilet business early (way before you wait for the Express Boat to depart because its a long walk to the nearest Public Toilet). I will do my part in reporting this nasty experience to the Sarawak Rivers Board. The Express Terminal's cleanliness is supposed to be under their supervision. Oops...will I get in trouble by commenting on another Government Agency? Its back to the Prime Minister's call - we have First Class Facilities but yet we have Third Class Mentality.

Comments

ngena seperis ehh? been a long time since my last ride to kapit ... the new sibu express terminal is quite good ... clean n well maintained also, maybe i should go n take some pics ehh ...
GroovyTuai said…
Igat Des, aduhhh I like the conversation! My buddy, Jeffrey Ngelambai convinced me I should try it once..and I did once..to Sarikei. Not bad actually.
King GuZZy said…
o kaban
ulih aku nanya jam berapa express kuching-sibu iya ka paling tumu?
aku ka prepare pulai gawai

thanx

ps/i dunknw hw u can reply but i hop its possible
this is my email thanx
guzandrew@yahoo.com