It has been awhile since I last travel outside Kuching. Been thinking of traveling to somewhere further other than Kuching area by car. The only thing that troubles me is that I dont want to travel alone. Of course, by all means, I want to bring my whole family too or otherwise the journey is not worth going.
Am thinking of traveling from Kuching straight to Merapok - the most northern village of Sarawak few metres from Sarawak - Sabah's border. Merapok is my mom's home town or village and it has been on my wish list to travel by my own car and park it under my grandmom's house. All these while, I only travel by plane or by boat from Limbang. Am not sure how far is Merapok from Kuching. But from Kuching to Miri alone, it takes more than 1000km.
From Kuching to Sarikei is about 350km. From Sarikei to Sibu is about 100km. From Sibu to Bintulu is about 200 plus km. from Bintulu to Miri is nearly 400km. Now you guys can do the math. But that just Kuching to Miri. Still we have Miri to Brunei, Brunei to Limbang, Limbang to Brunei and Brunei to Lawas. Then only after Lawas we have about 60km to go to Merapok.
I know! You guys must be thinking that I am crazy! But hey, thats the whole fun of it. JOURNEY! Time to see Sarawak from land view. I dont know why, I just love to travel by car. If I can go to KL by car, I would do it definitely.
The longest journey Ive done using my current car is from Kuching to Miri in one shot. I only stop for pee and refueling. I took off from Kuching at 9am arrived at about 6.30pm in Miri (9 hour and 30 minutes of journey). For record, Sarawak does not have highway like in Semenanjung. Imagine old Rawang road all the way from Kuching to Miri! Imagine no rest station. 80℅ of the journey is jungle and a bit here and there, a sight of rumah panjang.
The rules of rest while balik kampung journey like in TV ads does not actually applies to Sarawak due to the fact that there are no proper rest station except non-halal kedai makan or just merely petrol station. As for journey from Kuching to Miri, its always the best to fuel-up the tank to full from Kuching, refuel either in Sarikei or Sibu then lastly in Tatau, small town 80km from Bintulu. Dont think about looking for petrol station from Bintulu to Miri as for the next 250km, there is none!
Sound interesting and adventurous ek! When I was in KL, 4 hours driving is considered as hardcore. Here in Sarawak, most drivers are capable of high endurance and long journey. Long means they can cope with more than 5 hours driving without rest. To be honest, driving from KL to JB is just merely uses 10℅ of my endurance capabilities. The road condition over in peninsular is 10 times better than here. I guess, 60 laps on F1 Grand Prix is just a joke. Though I will come last, but I believe I can make it under 2 hours without a single rest at all.
The old saying "slowly but surely" is also does not apply if driving from Kuching straight to Miri. The slower you drive, it will definitely taxing. You dont want to drive in rural road when night comes as it will expose you to night chase robbery or something to the same scenario. Furthermore, the longer it takes you to drive, the more tired you become. So, the best motto is "drive faster but be more extra carefull" as you do not want to hit people who lives in the rural area while they crossing the road out from nowhere.
The best speed for this journey is somewhere from 90kmph to 130kmph. Anything more than that, you will be dead as the curves, bumps, holes, the road conditions and the trafic is all in mess. Anything slower than that you will end up covers only about half of the journey for the whole day effort. The journey really sound harsh and taxing. But for me, this is what I called true adventures.
So, traveling by car from Kuching to the most southern place in Sarawak does not only requires money for fuel, but also needs high endurance capabilities, determination, strategies and of course little bit of courage.