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Marudi: Small town, big cultural heart

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The map of Marudi on the bank of the Baram River.

Overlooking the Baram River, Marudi may not have much entertainment or conveniences to offer in the way a big city might, but it has its small-town charms that make for a pleasant visit.

The quiet riverine town is home to at least 90,100 people, and plays a big part as a cultural and historical centre of the northern part of Sarawak.

Located 80km from Miri, there is a road connected to the town but as at the time of writing, road conditions are not really satisfactory. Let’s just say there are plenty of potholes waiting for you on your way to Marudi, but don’t let this deter you. The chance to visit this humble town and experience an authentic slice of Sarawakian life, enjoy its past and present, is worth a little bump in the road.

Here are the top five things to do if you happen to visit Marudi, this beautiful riverine town:

1.Eat Marudi’s famous Kueh Tiaw (fried noodles)

Marudi

This is the number one thing anybody should do if they are visiting Marudi for the first time.

Kueh Tiaw Marudi is unlike any other kueh tiaw you can find in Malaysia. Part of its appeal lies in the texture of its noodles, which are thicker than its other Malaysian counterparts.

You can order this in  any Chinese kopitiam in town, but I prefer those sold by the stalls on the first floor of the Marudi District Council market.

Some stalls open as early as 6.30 in the morning so you can have your kueh tiaw fix as early as possible.

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You can enjoy this dish fried or as kueh tiaw basah (literally, wet kueh tiaw) which comes soaked in broth.

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2.Let them eat bread!

Another must-try food is – surprisingly – a humble home-baked bread.

This soft bread at Jeng Seng Loong Cafe goes well with kaya (coconut spread) or butter.

There are other baked goods available at the cafe as well such as butter and kaya buns but their bread loaves are definitely the highlight of this coffeeshop.

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3.Visit Fort Hose

This is the main tourist attraction in Marudi, named after former resident Charles Hose.

It used to be an administration office during the Brooke reign, but has been converted into a museum.

Take a glimpse of the local cultures and heritage as the fort houses local textiles, beads, handicrafts and ceremonial items.

Click here  for more about Fort Hose.

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The town’s main tourist attraction.

4.Watch the oldest regatta in Sarawak

Visit Marudi at the right time and you’ll find yourself watching Baram Regatta, the oldest regatta in Sarawak.

This bi-annual event has been held since 1899 after a peace conference arranged by Charles Hose successfully ended the ongoing  tribal war in the region.

You can visit Sarawak Tourism Board website to know when the regatta will be held next year.

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A monument to commemorate the oldest regatta in Sarawak.

5.Take a walk around town

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Marudi town in the evening.

Marudi is a small town where you can spend a whole day and still fully enjoy what the town has to offer.

Skip the car and simply take a stroll around town. While you’re at it, just enjoy the peace and quiet of a small town and take your mind off of your busy daily life.

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Unique tribal paintings decorate the city,  reminding visitors of the town’s cultural roots.
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