Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kembara Media 1M Trip; Day 1

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude (chewah!) to the Information Department of Sarawak as well as Sarawak Bloggers community for this golden opportunity to be a part of the Kembara Media 1Malaysia Trip to Mukah last week. Just so you know, I've blogged about my trip to Mukah back in 2010 (HERE and HERE, click to read!) but this time round, I went there with a different purpose; to get a better understanding of the recent and undergoing development under SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) in Mukah division and of course to get to know more about the historical background and attractions in Mukah. Our media group consists of 30 personnel from various media organisations such as RTM, TV3, The Star, Utusan Malaysia, BERNAMA, Berita Harian, New Straits Times and etc.
The buku program (read: itinerary) and a bagpack courtesy of the Information Department of Sarawak  that I got on the second day due to my absence during the briefing in Kuching. 
Since I was the only blogger and representative from Bintulu, I met them up in Selangau (a small town between Sibu and Mukah) during lunch at Selangau District Office while the others took a flight from Kuching to Sibu and had to take a bus to Selangau. My parents are nice enough to take leave that day just to drive me all the way there, thank you Daddy and Mummy (':
So, here we are for lunch! 

A photo of my lunch; t'was a good meal.  Since I was still new and I didn't know any of them, of course I was shy #sociallyawkwardpenguin.jpg and intimidated after seeing the other media representatives having huge ass cameras with them. So instead of taking photos, I just stay in a corner and draw circles HAHA just joking. 

Off we go to the land of linut, umai and sago woohoo 

After an hour ride from Selangau, (thank God that the road is not as bumpy as it used to be) we safely arrived at Mukah around 2.50pm and we headed to our very first media briefing at the impressive 10-storey Mukah Divisional Administrative Centre, Menara Pehin Raja Setia.  

A representative from Mukah Resident Office that gave us a briefing concerning Mukah and its upcoming development projects. 
Just a short summary from the notes I made;
Mukah and Dalat used to be under the administration of Sibu before it was upgraded to a division of Sarawak in 2002. Since then, Mukah has been on its own administration for 10 years by now. The majority of the people in Mukah is Melanau, followed by Iban, Chinese and Malay. Mukah is now the centre of Melanau culture and the "Pesta Kaul" festival, celebrated by the local fishermen in April to appease the spirits of the sea, is one of the major events of the Melanau calendar. Mukah is accessible by  land, sea and river. Mukah has an airport but it can only receive propeller aircraft.

Mukah will become Sarawak's first smart city as well as the HQ for SCORE (What is SCORE? Click here). Well, if you're a Sarawakian I bet your first question would be "Why Mukah?" and yes I asked that myself too. Apparently Mukah has a lot of natural resources thus leading to the upcoming big projects under SCORE as well as implementing halal hub at Tanjung Manis industrial port. Education wise, they had recently opened MRSM Mukah (boarding school) and they are planning to set up more secondary schools and religious schools as well as bringing in UNIMAS and Matriculation Mukah in the near future. The proposal of the new International Mukah Airport has been approved and by having a larger airport hopefully it will ease the problem of accessibility to Mukah and thus enhancing the development of tourism. On a side note, a second power plant in Balingian is in their planning as well. Official website of SCORE - but it's still currently construction, scheduled to be done in a few weeks time. 

Tourist attractions in Mukah which I will blog about some of them later;
Tasik Kenyana (You get to ride on a perahu to get there, how cool!)
Jerunei/Kubur Gantung
Site for Pesta Kaul
Riverfront Dalat
Melanau Longhouse (Lamin Dana homestay)
This is how a media briefing pretty much looks like. After the briefing, the media are welcomed to throw in any doubts or questions. One of the advantages of me joining this trip is that I was exposed to how media are like at work teeeehee

A token of appreciation from the Information Department of Sarawak to end our media briefing and we had a light tea session after that. After the tea session, we grab a few minutes and head to the highest floor of the building to snap a few shots of Mukah town. 

That yellow bridge that you'll go through to enter/exit Mukah. 

How I wish I could lay on those green grass and take photos of the sky and clouds! 

Somebody call 911! Fireburning on the dance floor  one of the houses :O 

One last shot before I say goodbye (: 
Meet Aliey from, one of the fellow bloggers from Sarawak Bloggers.
The bus you saw in that photo right there, my friend, was our ride for our whole trip, retro yaw 8)

Just a few minutes away from the Menara Pehin Setia Raja, we arrived at Kingwood Hotel Mukah, our stay for the next 3 nights. Needless to say, Kingwood Hotel Mukah have indeed served me well! 

Chilling around at the lobby while waiting for check-in ~ 

This is our priemer twin sharing room; spacious enough to fit for another two person I reckon and most importantly it's really comfy and cosy. I was really tempted to jump right on the bed once I entered the room. Behave Hilda, behave. 

Plasma TV on the wall with limited channels I would say T__T The only two channels I watched were Astro Arena and FOX movies HAHA
Clean toilet, a definite plus one and the basic toiletries were provided as well. 

They have extra pillow as well, you can have facilities like iron upon request. 

I would totally recommend this hotel if you were to visit Mukah, no doubt it's the best in Mukah! :D 
After refreshing ourselves, we headed to Oya to have our dinner with YB. Dato' Seri Muhammad Leo Toyad Abdulah, P213, Mukah and villagers from Komuniti 1M Kuala Oya and Pekan Dalat.
The dinner was at Selera Hujung Kampung, Pantai Oya, a well known seafood restaurant by the beach among the locals. Too bad it was already dark by the time we reached so we couldn't get a glimpse of the beach. Important tip #1: Armed yourself with mosquitoes repellent beforehand! The mosquitoes there can be slightly barbaric, I kid you not. I was attacked brutally by them that night #truestory 
Middle: YB. Dato' Seri Muhammad Leo Toyad Abdulah, P213, Mukah
Right: Mr. Francis Buncol, the head of our media group 

We had bbq fish, crabs, midin, satays, tomyam fish soup and of course UMAI! Even YB himself told us to not have chickens in Mukah, but fish instead not that there's something wrong with their chickens (yeah that sounds kinda wrong HEH) but because their fish are FRESH, like real fresh! Important tip #2. Eat fish in Mukah!

We even had lucky draw and karaoke sesh after the dinner, but I guess I'm not lucky enough that night, well I was never lucky to win a lucky draw, #badluckBrian.jpg. 

A bag of local snacks for us media as souvenirs, how thoughtful. Thank you lovely people of Mukah (: 

Our group shot! :D
Photo courtesy of Wee Hui Zheng.

The dinner ended around 10-ish and we headed back to our hotel for a good night rest before a long and tiring Day 2. 
I guess that's the end of my Day 1 post. There will be more separate posts after this on Day 2 and Day 3 cause they are just so much to share! So stick around for more goodness of Mukah (;



~Joeanney~ said...

Wah, the bus damn epic wey!! HAHA!

Xue Ren said...

the hotel room seems really big and spacious lehh! =P

Small Kucing said...

hotel room looked very clean. good :)

Fluffy FurFer said...

the toilet is awesome! LOL

Nate @ House of Annie said...

The hotel looks pretty modern.

The town doesn't look bad, and good to hear that the road has been fixed up.

bendan said...

I don't know... but the food grabs my attention!!! I feels like trying the Sarawak food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emily said...

good trip! I like the hotel, looks clean and modern!

FiSh. ohFISHiee said...

wow. the place looks rural, but very eye-opening for me :)

Latest: Moroccan Buffet

george lim said...

Any places in particular in Muka that you can recommend for a photo shoot trip?