Sibu is the main port and commercial centre of the Rejang basin and the jumping-off point for exploring the mighty Rejang River, Malaysia’s longest river. Located at the confluence of the Rejang and the Igan Rivers and approximately 60 km upstream from the sea, Sibu is the third largest urban settlement in Sarawak and a bustling modern town.
The town was founded by Foochow migrants from Southern China and its Chinese roots are still very apparent, with Chinese temples dotted around the town and the industrious and enterprising local Chinese highly visible in business and any commercial activity.
Sibu has a rough-and-ready, pioneer-style feel about it. It is a busy place, especially on the river where large ocean going vessels, torpedo-shaped express boats, aging barges and sampans all vie for space.
The town has a good range of hotels and is a great place to eat out, with some of the cheapest food in Sarawak. Sibu has a wide range of food stalls, restaurants and coffee shops. Seafood and fresh river fish are good value. Local delicacies include Kam Pua Mee (thin noodles served with pork), Mee Sua (rich herbal soup with noodles with chicken) and Kompia (fresh bread rolls similar to bagels).
For most visitors Sibu is a jumping off-point, a quick overnight stay before embarking on a trip upriver.