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-- Sarawak
 
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Kuching - Sibu
with the boats
 

"The boat ride was not too comfortable, but it was enjoyable anyway. I sat on the open top deck where they keep the luggage - sometimes you could hear a rooster coming from one of the bags. After a while I just lay down on the floor, and then it was more comfortable. The boat sails into the open sea and into the river, stopping one in Sarikei, before arriving in Sibu."


The Terminal

Kuching is located on the Sarawak River, making it an ideal starting point for tourists who come to visit Sarawak for the first time. Although there is a road all along the coast far into Sabah, the boat is often a better option because the journey is shorter. The Kuching Passenger Terminal is the gateway to take the ferry to Sarikei, Sibu or Tanjung Manis in Sarawak. Boats are faster than the bus, although you can take it. It is 13 minutes away by car from Kuching city center, to both Kuching Passenger Terminal and Passenger Terminal Express Boat Kuching.
The boat departs every morning at 8:30 AM and you must be there 30 minutes before departure. The trip to Sibu takes 4 hours and 45 minutes (depending on the tide). You can buy a ticket on the spot at the box office for RM 55. Some snacks and water are sold on board.


The boats

The average express boat currently in operation can carry more than 100 passengers and the largest so far can carry a total of 192 passengers. Nevertheless, the spacious interior and comfortable seats make the long journey feel short and not boring.
Passengers will also have the option to purchase first class tickets (ample space) or economy class (medium size).
Combined with the more powerful passenger ship engine, which is about 28 to 32 knots today compared to the 90's era, the average engine power at the time was between 25 and 28 knots. Many boats are also equipped with twin engines, which means that the long travel time is short. From Kuching to Sibu it only takes about four hours, compared to six hours 10 years ago.

You can easily get to the Kuching Passenger Terminal from Kuching city center by taxi or other car. There are no shuttle buses, which run to the terminal in Kuching, so you are required to drive 13 minutes by car to the ferry terminal from the center. If you land at Kuching International Airport by plane and want to proceed straight away, the journey takes only 20 minutes by car to Kuching Passenger Terminal.
Besides taking the bus, taking the ferry from the Kuching Passenger Terminal is another option to go to Tanjung Manis, Sarikei and Sibu in Sarawak. Express boats from this terminal provide passengers with faster travel alternatives compared to bus services, which take longer at comparable rates.


On the boats

Ferry routes from Kuching Passenger Terminal are operated by Bahagia Express (Calaqisha Enterprise). The boats from Kuching Passenger Terminal are:

1.   from Kuching Passenger Terminal to Terminal Sarikei
     
2.   from Kuching Passenger Terminal to Terminal Sibu
     
3.   from Kuching Passenger Terminal to Terminal Tanjung Manis

Kuching Passenger Terminal is a sheltered building that has the basic facilities for passengers before or after arriving at the terminal. The taxi rank is also available so that visitors can easily move around to hotel or town.
In / at the terminal are:

*   Public toilets
*   Ferry operator ticket offices
*   Parking lots
 

 

 

  Ben van Wijnen

 

 

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