Pesta Batang Ai
Regatta At Batang Ai Dam
(I am back with Pesta Batang Ai Festival news after most of Sri Aman connectivity to the Internet was down for 3 days!) The Pesta Batang Ai is one of the first few attractions in this area that I managed to be a part of this month. The countdown to the carnival was one of anticipation as the organisers. This was due to the fact that both Lubok Antu and Batang Ai are quite remote compared to the other towns in Sarawak. To have a Regatta on this grand scale, the logistics component would be very challenging. In addition the management of crowd and vehicle is another thing. The thumbnails of the pictures are below to enjoy, especially the Batang Ai scenes (click on the photo for a larger version).
As one approaches the Pesta Batang Ai site - the rainbow gate and white tents project an elegant image over the green surroundings
Lubok Antu District Officer, Mr. Nelson Mujah fires a pistol to signal the end of one of the events - as soon as the winning boat crosses the finishing line
One of the Regatta heat underway
The launching gimmick guy arrives with the launch balloons
The arrival of YB Tuan Haji Naroden Majais, Assistant Minister for Entrepreneur Development was recieved with a traditional dance. Accompanying the YB Assistant Minister was YB Dr. Wahbi (ADUN Saribas in blue bush jacket). Abang Shamshudin (Resident for Sri Aman Division), YB Tuan William Badak the Member of Parliament for Lubok Antu and YB Dr. Johnicol Rayong (ADUN for Engkilili)
YB Tuan Haji launches the Pesta Batang Ai via the cutting of the balloons
The crowd at the Pesta Batang Ai was phenomenal - for a town this small and remote, most of the visitors are from the surrounding areas 0f Betong Division apart from those in the Sri Aman Division. Some may be from across the border (entry point via Nanga Badau part of Kalimantan Indonesia which is less than one hour ride form Lubok Antu)
Business has never been good but who would think that these visitors are aware of the Economic Crisis in the global market. Mention Lehman Brothers and they will think it will be the next performing band in the Pesta
Sukan Rakyat Component - blowpipe competition
And most people thought that only 'golf' players are fashionable? What do you think of the blowpipers :)
Ever heard of "tug of war" using longboat - well you can see it here
Local handicrafts were sold at attractive prices
What does Lubok Antu and Los Angeles USA have in common apart from the Hilton Hotel? The LA Cops of course! This LA Cop supervises the starting of the Regatta race. One wrong move from one of the rowers and we know how LA Cops will handle it.
This Power Boat is one mean machine at the Regatta as its engine wreaks havoc during the race. I know I may be too old for Formula One or to be another Loius Hamilton but here's one hobby I might just try
There's no Sepang Circuit for Formula One Cars in Batang Ai but it has a large water body for this powerboat to cruise in the Dam area
View from the top - you have to click on this for the larger version
View from the top of the Concert stage
Youtube video of the Carnival venue
There is much hope for this Pesta Batang Ai as the folks hope that this can be an annual event. This is because it is currently not in the annual tourism calender. If the infrastructures can be improved to allow for the Formula One Powerboat Race to be organised here. Keep our fingers cross......meanwhile I am recovering from Sunburn.