Indeed, a precious pearl hidden deep between the confluence of two rivers, Igan and Rajang, the longest river in Malaysia, is none other than the quiet town of Sibu. Perched on the very island of Borneo, it is uniquely distinctive compared to its neighbouring districts in Sarawak. Yes, it has been well-known for having Fuzhou’s Chinese descendants predominance. Nonetheless, it has more than meets the eye! Even back in the olden age, Sibu has always been singing melodiously about its lovely diversity of beliefs, cultures, dialects and traditions that spring up from multiple coexisting ethnic groups. With that blending harmoniously, Sibu does reverberate an immense, yet humble authenticity across its land and people. A vibrant town that you will surely fall in love with!
Built in 1994, Sibu Airport (SBW) is an old airport located 25 kilometres from the town of Sibu. This airport is interconnected to Peninsular Malaysia that caters frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru with additional stops of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Its runway has been serving planes from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Air Asia since the very beginning. As a rule of thumb, do choose your forward transportation earlier, once you have touched down. Bear in mind that there won’t be any buses to downtown Sibu except for only taxis and few buses heading to Sibu Raya.
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Demographically located as a part of South East Asia, Malaysia including Sibu itself has a tropical rainforest climate. It has uniformly and monotonously had only two climates either hot or wet. Yes, no longer the usual four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter! The temperature in Sibu can go up to 30 to 33oC and as low as 22.5 to 23oC annually. With about 4 to 5 hours of sunlight per day, Sibu is excellent for those who love to go outdoors and explore its beauty!
Well, the best time to visit Sibu depends entirely onto you. As to whether which climate and weather that you prefer, as well as how much are you willing to spend for the trip! Relatively the hot season begins in March up to October. Hence, making it the peak time for you to witness an influx of tourists around this year especially during July to September. Yes, with that, you may witness a surge of prices in accommodations and other tourists spots. Meanwhile, November to March is when Sarawak receives the most rainfall. Thus, the sporadic rainfall makes this is the time when the crowds are lesser, and everything starts to drop in its price.
The key events that happen throughout the year in Sibu are mainly according to the local religions or ethnic groups. If you are in town during the end of January to early February, then you are welcome to celebrate together the Chinese New Year celebrations. During May to June, you can experience the Gawai Dayak of the Dayak people. This is such an essential celebration to Sarawak’s indigenous culture for it ushers in a successful harvest of the year. Their great traditional music and performances are definitely worth the experience!
Furthermore, the richness of cultural heritage in Sarawak doesn’t just end here! A week-long celebration of food, music and dances called the Borneo Cultural Festival is held simply to celebrate Sibu’s diversified cultural background. Oh, do mark this on your July calendar!
1. Tua Pek Kong Temple & Goddess of Mercy Pagoda - Dated over a century back, Tua Peck Kong of Sibu is the oldest, yet the best preserved Chinese temple in Sibu. This temple has always been such a magnificent landmark of SIbu from its typical architecture inspired by Chinese Taoist temples to its beautiful 7-storey pagoda that oversees the spectacular view of Rajang and Sibu Waterfront below. Go during the sunset; you will be blown away!
2. Bawang Assan Longhouse Village - Wanting to experience and be a part of an indigenous tribe? Well, look no further! Come and visit Bawang Assan Longhouse Village located about 40 minutes from SIbu. With nine longhouses dated from the 18th century, visitors will be able to witness how much longhouses evolve throughout the centuries! An overnight stay here is just worth the shot!
3. Lau King Howe Memorial Museum - Another whole new bizarre exhibitions, Lau King Howe Memorial Museum is the only medical museum in Malaysia. This museum is home to many medical relics that dated since the 1940s along with the evolution of nurses’ uniforms. Entrance is free.