"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharal Nehru

Monday, September 17, 2012

Song, what Song?

Batang Rejang at dusk from Kg Gelam, Song

Definitely not Oppa Gangnam style!

When I first got the posting letter, my heart did a deep dive... downwards. Song was not some place new for me. In fact, Pits and I made a pit stop there in 1999 on our way to Kapit. All I remember was a simple wharf with a row of shop houses flanking it.
Fast forward 13 years later, nothing has changed much. Its still a sleepy hollow. Where in the world is this little town where time has forgotten?

Song is located 85kms from Sibu. The only way to get here is by boat or the express ferries that frequently ply the Batang Rejang. Access by land only goes as far as Kanowit. The Song District is 3,935.2 square kilometers (thanks Wikepedia) and by the latest head count in 2010, has a population of around 20,046 (thanks once again Wikepedia). The Iban form the majority in Song, followed by the Orang Ulu, Chinese, Malay, Melanau and Bidayuh. Song is an important stopover for river traffic going up the Rajang River and if you're bound for Kapit, your ferry might just linger for a while at the Song wharf.

Ferries plying the Batang Rejang

To get an idea of how tiny Song is, a walk from end to end of town will take less than 5 minutes. If you take a leisurely stroll, 8 minutes tops.

Sleepy Song town. Mainly pre-war shophouses

If you need to fuel up your vehicle, there's even a Shell station. Beware though, the price of petrol here is expensive. RM 2.85/ liter thanks to the transport cost involved! The price of everything is over inflated here, including groceries. An egg costs RM0.50. My Nescafe Gold 3 in 1 is RM22! How to tahan? Worst of all, we don't even get COLA cause this place is considered rural, but not rural enough for hardship allowance!

Mr Chan, Soon or Hoe is making a killing here!

Life in Song basically centers around the market, especially in the morning when villagers from the different long houses make their way down the Rejang tributaries to trade or catch up on the latest gossip/ scandal! By noon, calm descends once more to Song as the villagers catch the perahu tambang back.

Song Market

The only sign of the times here in Song is the BSN ATM which apparently see a que of 50 metres or so on pay day as it is the only source for cash and the availability of STREAMYX. Thank God for the internet! 

Next post will be on the clinic. Stay tuned!


  1. Thank God for internet in Song.Will follow your blog and think of what we could dothere.

  2. Are you able to get internet on mobile networks?