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A Saturday morning at Bakun wharf cum trading post

If you are one of those impulsive, adventurous travellers seeking for a new place for a random tour, here is a KajoMag-worthy suggestion.

Why not make a quick trip to Bakun wharf on a Saturday morning?

Bakun wharf is located at Bakun dam’s reservoir lake, about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Bintulu town.

It is actually not a public jetty but belongs to Sarawak Energy (SEB) which is within the security area of the power station.

Bakun wharf turns into a trading post every Wednesday and Saturday morning.

Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, however, the wharf turns into a trading post attracting buyers from Bintulu, Sibu, Miri and even Kuching.

Here you can find various types of freshwater fish including Mengalan, Semah, Tengadak, Baung, Labang and even the famous Empurau.

Mengalan fish.
Baong fish, which is a type of cat fish.

While most of the fish buyers are restaurant owners and middlemen, a number of visitors also buy these fish for personal consumption.

Prices usually range from RM15 onwards per kg.

A market with a beautiful lake in the background.

According to some of the traders, the bigger the fish, the tastier its meat.

And if you were to pick a size, choose one which weighs at least 1kg.

 

A trader carrying meat to trade.

There are also other traders selling their jungle produce such as paku (a type of local fern) and rebung (bamboo sprouts).

In the midst of hustle and bustle of the market, take in the beauty of Bakun lake. Do you know the man-made lake is about the same size as Singapore?

A view of Bakun lake which is about the same size as Singapore.

Where to go after Bakun wharf?

Bakun wharf.

After a visit to the wharf, you can go to nearby Bakun restaurant about 10 minutes’ drive away and let the professionals do their magic on these fishes.

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They can cook the fish according to your preference and usually charge the price by weight.

Since the fish are so fresh, the best way to enjoy them is to steam them. Then you can taste the tenderness of the meat minus the fishy smell.

There are other ways to cook them too such as asam pedas (Malay-style sour and spicy dish) or the Teochew style of steaming with Chinese salted vegetables.

Spending a morning on the wharf and having a scrumptious lunch at a restaurant later… isn’t this is one of most authentic ways to spend your Saturday in Sarawak?

Longboats are the best vessels to traverse Sarawak’s winding rivers which can be both shallow and deep in some places.
A stray dog watches the buyers and sellers closely, waiting for some food scraps.
Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.

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