April 11, 2010

Riding a Ferry across the Mighty Rajang

It was my first time crossing the Rajang at the Nan Chong points(Paradom and Kwong Hua) to the West Bank of the river. Lee Hua Sawmill is a little in the south and Khong Thai sawmill and Ensurai to the right......

This ferry has been in use for the last 20 years. No bridge had ever been planned as the land is low and perhaps the population has been too small to support the need for a bridge(?). My maternal grandmother's property would be a little to the north of this point.

This is a lovely sunset scene....all so cool and blue in the later part of twilight....when my mother's peers went to school they had to paddle their own small boat across the river. Later Chung Cheng school had boarding facilities and many boys and girls had the chance to study right up to Senior Middle Three/Form Five. They walked or cycled to school if they were from the west bank. Those from the east bank took the motor launch but it would be too costly and not practical. So they became boarders.

The ferry coming in from the west bank. the skies were darkening as we proceeded towards SM Chung Cheng. This ferry came as the roads widened and cars superceded bicycles or motor bikes.

A motor bike coming up....nowadays many Malays and Indonesians are residing in the surrounding areas changing the demographics of the riverine settlements. Foochow farmers are finding this area too expensive to live on.

The ferry fare is 7 ringgit per car......backbreaking and pocket emptying. Here Thomas has to get off the car for safety reasons and Meng Lei is driving down....

These two were classmates in Chung Cheng School years ago. Thomas's house is next to the school. My cousins were also school mates (one of them class mate) with Thomas. My cousins cycled to school. Meng Lei was a boarder. Many teachers also stayed in the boarding school or rented houses around the school.

Ex-Chung School students are all over the world today. Some are in Tasmania and many are in New Zealand. Some are in the UK...and if we draw a map to show the diaspora of the Chung Cheng students all over the world you will be indeed amazed!! It is indeed true to say that the Foochow pioneering spirit is still strong.

Former students visiting the school would take this ferry and return to Sibu using the Assan bridge. That was what we did the other day.


Ann said...

You remember the one in Durin, it was exactly where my WAI KUng's clan was. We set sail the first day.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

The ferry in Durin will always be remembered with a lot of pain. We spent so much time waiting...and we were so late - after a long queue we could not cross at midnight and we started the next day. That trip to Kuching almost broke our backs...and husband and wife were not on talking terms for sometime.

wenn said...

wow, interesting!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Wenn for visiting. The Mighty Rajang has a lot to offer to bloggers and journalists...

Ann said...

yes, even my husband was impressed with the Mighty Rejang river. I used to boast to the New Zealanders how big our river is.

Do you know of a drowning there on the opposite side? This is semi goss and semi fact. Apparently this was after I had left Sarawak. My mum knew the couple, he was a civil servant like my dad.

Don't know why, he drove the car to catch the ferry, the ferry sailed, and they drowned. Fact.

Gossip: One of the member, can't remember who, was adopted into the family. The boy and girl fell in love, much against the family's objection. That siblings should not wed. The couple say it is old fashion, after all, they were adopted siblings. The Skies didn't forgive them. I think they already had children.

My realistic husband said, may be they wanted to kill themselves.

Another custom, KU BIAO, not allowed to marry. YEE BIAO is ok.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann
Nope haven't heard of this one. May be Sibu news not published in Northern Zone. that's a good story although sad.
Many ferry accidents like that though in other parts of Sarawak.
Foochows quite adamant about Ku Biao not marrying.
The Pandaw Cruise is now doing some sailing up and down the Rajang. 360 miles is a long distance. Europeans love the cruise and the sunset sentengahs.
Very Somerset Maugham.

thanks for visiting!!

NicoleB, Egypt said...

That food looks delicious!
Looks like you had a great day with great people :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi NicoleB...thanks for visiting...we have great fish here when the weather is good.
Do visit Malaysia to see for yourself!
Will try to check out your wonderful photos!
I am surrounded by great people!!

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