Sunday, March 15, 2009

...the place English adventurer James Brooke landed and created history...
Sampan (Tambang)

This primordial mode of transportation is extensively used by the villagers in Kuching North to get to work in downtown Kuching South. The closest land bridge is some kilometers away, and with the traffic jams and public buses failing to appear on time, taking this 5-minute sampan ride right into the heart of the city is most efficient traffic solution.
Witness how the boatman adeptly propel the wooden boat across the river. There are two wooden oars tied in a cross-path formation which the boatman used to navigate the sampan. There is a small boat engine at the back of the sampan . For about a few minutes, the engine will propel the boat across the river, with the oars used to turn left or right, depending on the final destination. The boatman will switch off the engine at some distance away from the destination jetty and let the boat momentum carries the sampan slowly and steadily to the docking point
Kuching Waterfront epitomizes how this city has modernized without losing of its charm. Kuching is located on the Sarawak River chosen for its strategic and commercial importance and also for its enchanting natural beauty. In those days Sarawak River was the city's main highway. The river still retains its picturesque charm in today modern era. A meander on the Kuching waterfront is a walk through time; from Kuching's humble, ancient origins, to a modern city. No visit to Kuching would be complete without a stroll on the modern esplanade, or to sit, relax and experience a Sarawakian sunset. Many changes since James Brooke's time, but there are still many landmarks that are legacies from the White Raja. For the first time visitor, it would be easy to imagine the scene in 1839 when James Brooke first landed in Kuching, and started a new chapter in the annals of Sarawak's history.

Modern additions to the Waterfront include a restored Chinese pavilion, an observation tower, a tea terrace and the spectacular musical fountains, as well as a number of modern sculptures.Several buildings, originally built in the 19th and early 20th centuries to cater to Kuching's earlier development as a port and administrative center, have been restored to their former glory and are worth visiting.

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