KAPIT: Australian tourists Ian Ward and Suzy Richter have suggested tour agencies further promote Kapit Division to tourists overseas.
The couple, both freelance journalists from the Gold Coast in Queensland, were here recently as part of their three-week tour of East Malaysia.
Richter said they would not have learnt about Kapit if their friends in Kuching had not pointed out that there are many longhouses here.
“Perhaps if you have a proper set-up of tour agencies, more tourists from overseas will visit Kapit because you can promote your beauty,” she suggested.
Upon arriving here, the couple walked extensively around the town and visited a Malay village.
“Kapit is beautiful. It’s amazing to see a town surrounded by jungle. We were told that the only way to come to Kapit was by boat because there’s no road,” said Ward.
“Someone told us Kapit is at the heart of Borneo, so we came for a look. Very nice small town, friendly people, fresh air and peaceful. We went to the market place and there were many different types of vegetables.”
Both Ward and Richter were also intrigued by traditional tattoo patterns.
“In Borneo, tattoo comes in many different patterns. In Australia we also have tattoo. Also great varieties of handicrafts from wood carvings and beadwork to traditional wooden souvenirs. These are art,” said Richter.
Prior to Kapit, the couple were in Kuching.
“Kuching is one of the beautiful cities in Malaysia. Very clean, friendly atmosphere all around. We spent time strolling along the river front and there’s plenty of Asian food that we tried,” said Ward.
“Kuching has quite a number of attractions – Sarawak Museum, temples, old buildings and shops plus the many different people around. While in Kuching we tasted Asian cooking – Malay style of satay, fried chicken wings etc. Food in Asia is no problem for us because back home we also eat rice occasionally,” added Richter.
The couple left home last month for a three-month holiday in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
“We travelled all over Sri Lanka including the Jaffna Peninsula in the northern part. The capital Colombo is big, jammed and disorganised. It’s a mess and everywhere there’s a crowd,” said Richter.
After spending a month in Sri Lanka, they flew to Kuala Lumpur for four days and then headed to Kuching, where they took an express boat to Sibu and then continued their journey up river to Kapit.
After Kapit they headed to Belaga, where they travelled by van to Bintulu before heading to Niah and Miri by bus.
From Miri, they will fly to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, before completing their trip in Kuala Lumpur and then flying home.