Sunday, October 13, 2013

Little adventure in charming Marudi ...

When life hands you an opportunity for an adventure, pack your bag and go with an open mind and a ready spirit. Even if you're actually there for official tasks, that is. Killing two birds with one stone what. So here I am this Sunday morning, in charming small town Marudi, encrypting my short journey via an unstable network, while it's still fresh in my mind, before my flight back to Kuching this evening.

Marudi is a quiet homely town, about 2 hours plus drive from Miri via logging roads, or about 15 minutes flight from Miri Airport via Twin Otter , or about 2 hours plus via Express Boats from Miri to Kuala Baram. Marudi used to be tourists gateway to Gunung Mulu previously, and it still is until today for those who crave more adventure.

 
 Bound for Marudi...

Every time I board the Twin Otter, my adventure senses go on overdrive. Imagine that. And it was my shortest flight ever because I remembered I was just about to warm up the seat when the pilot announced "We will be landing shortly..." Since the plane flew low the whole time, I thought he was kidding until we actually touched down. Sweet short ride!

  
Clear low view...
 
Was it scary? Well only if you think about it. Sometimes when it rains or during thunderstorms, I'd like to say it's still relatively safe. Which is why you should never leave home without praying first. =) But the view from up there is really breathtaking man! You'd be too busy snapping photos and admiring the greenery to even feel scared. The Baram river looks tiny from above and you can see the stretch from end to end.

 
 Up the Baram river...

Here's a bit first-hand info on the rural town: Marudi is located along the Baram river up north of Sarawak, and is mostly comprised of highland tribes folk, collectively called the Orang Ulu. They even speak Bahasa Malaysia a little differently, more pronounced and with a soft lilt. Same like folks in other parts of the State like Limbang, Lawas, Bekenu etc. where you can hear the uniqueness in their accent if you really listen.

I have been to other small towns in Sarawak and I can safely say Marudi is smaller than Lawas but bigger than Julau, slightly the same size as Lubok Antu. Perhaps as big as Bekenu maybe?

 Marudi airport...

Standard facilities are available, except for well ... fast food outlets such as (even) Sugarbun. But why look for fast food when there are other available awesome stuffs here? Thanks to friends hailing from Marudi who told me all about the famous Marudi Char Kue Tiaw upon noticing my FB status ... and all this while who knew such delicious fare actually exist? They also recommended the Marudi steamed bread (or was it freshly baked home-made bread? I can't be sure...) but I didn't have enough time to actually look for one.

 Managed to take a pic with the indulgent proprietors...

Anyway, I googled where we could have the best Marudi fried kue tiaw and found this small kopitiam called Lai Lai Coffee Shop, right next to Mount Mulu Hotel (along Lorong Empat, if next time you want to try it out lah). The unique thing about this dish is the noodle (kue tiaw) is home made and therefore home-cut, so the result is unlike your normal flat and white kuetiaw, but rather fat and thick and cut not accordingly (some short some long some thicker than others). I had the feeling of eating fried carrot cake + kue tiaw all in once. Goes well with a hot cup of coffee (with milk).

Arguing ... No... Savoring life's little treasure...

However, if you must know, mostly Chinese coffee shops sell this fare. I have yet to find a Halal version (we even asked around) but probably there is, we just didn't have time to explore. Perhaps next time? Or perhaps if you do find one, do let me know.

Oh by the way, if you're taking the Twin Otter from Marudi, make sure you check in an hour or so earlier than your scheduled flight back to Miri. Business is brisk and sometimes really slow over the weekend in Marudi little airport, but they're efficient as ever. So they know you by name here. =)

Hey, this just reminds me of all other visits to other small sweet rural towns of Sarawak. Hopefully I'll find the time to write about those soon. Till the NEXT adventure!
 
Note: No bird was harmed before, during or after this post.

9 comments:

  1. Never heard of Marudi, but looks like a nice place!

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  2. you traveled alot sis..must be one heck of an adventure! haha nice!

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  3. I don't like twin otter ride, but I guess 15 min should be fine :)

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  4. Nice! Never been here yet though. Hehe..

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  5. I was about to comment on the "dead" birds which you killed with the "stone" but soon stalled by your post script. Damn! you read my mind before I even read the whole post haha. Btw, how's the local Marudi Char Kuey Teow tastes?

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  6. Kueh teow tu kalau dapat yang halal. Perghh.

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  7. Marudi.. i've heard of a company by the name of Marudi Transportation and I knew there is such place.. but I haven't been there yet.. talking about twin otter.. after reading the news, I'm afraid to take one.. huhuhu..

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  8. Hayley: it's just a tiny town in the upper part of Sarawak. :-) It's a hidden treasure really

    Adi Herman: yes in the course of duty. :p Thank God for that.

    ez Vina: It feels shorter than 15mins actually. Well better than a 2hr bumpy ride via land. :)

    marg: =) maybe u will get that chance some day.

    Garner: hehe merely typing it and then felt guilty abt birds dying etc... hahaha. The local Marudi char kuey tiaw? nice like fried carrot cake + char kue tiaw. ")

    Mohd Shafid: ya kan? mungkin ada tapi tak sempat cari

    ahlost: relatively safe, but then always fly with prayers. :) Ya Marudi Transport... who knows? someday u get sent here and u can write about it ho? :p

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