Posted Date : 25 Aug 09
|Passengers on the sun deck enjoying the cruise along the Rajang River.|
Mice in Asia’s writer cum marketing director, Keith Douglas enthusiastically joined the RV Orient Pandaw on August 10 at the Port of Sibu, located at the lower reaches of the majestic Rajang River for its 5th cruise into the heart of Borneo. The itinerary had been designed specifically for passengers and travellers keen on getting to know what Borneo is really all about. After settling in to our very nicely appointed air conditioned cabins and being made very welcome by Chief Purser Saw Kaw Thoo and his assistant Roger, we had a safety briefing which assured us all that we were in the hands of a very concientious and competent crew.
Despite a recent dry spell and low water levels and after a pleasant shore excursion for last minute shopping, we cast off at dusk and headed up river. Our destinations being Kanowit, Kapit, Baleh River and Pelagus rapids. After Kapit we headed for Muau, Song, Tanjung Kunyit, Sarikei, Kampung Seberang, Rajang village, the Rajang delta, and finally returning to Sibu on August 18 having covered a distance of 720 km. At all stops we were invited to partake in shore excursions under the care and guidance of one of the most knowledgeable of gentlemen who was our guide for the cruise. With intimate and in-depth knowledge Louis Jap brought us to longhouses, Songkit weaving establishments, local schools, pepper farms, and rubber farms. We witnessed palm wine tapping and got to taste this unique brew. The local people were charming and friendly and made a small place in all our hearts forever.
The Captain, first mate and pilot all handled the ship with great skill, dexterity and competence. The seamen and stewards were a happy and efficient body of men. Food was great with a nice balance between east and west. With such a ship’s complement it makes Pandaw Cruises one of the finest ways to explore East Malaysia and get to know the true heart of Borneo.
|Sunset at the upper deck.||Keith Douglas with the Assistant Purser, Roger|