MUKAH: The old part of town here is still a unique place to behold and experience even for locals and something of a novelty and an attraction for visitors as well as foreign tourists.
Located near the mouth of Mukah River leading to the South China Sea, this old town in general is self-sufficient commercially and economically.
The wet and dry markets as well as jungle produce market (pasar tamu) are in the old part of town, and they have been an attraction to local people as well as visitors.
The ideal location of the three markets, only a few metres apart, make it easy to shop around or just go for a walkabout.
Generally, there are more people in the old town than in the new township, especially in the morning from 8am till noon.
The three markets have always been the focal point because they offer almost all the basic necessities.
Fresh sea foods including umai (sliced and marinated raw fish) are readily available at the wet market, while the dry market and pasar tamu offer varieties of goods and jungle produce.
Exotic foods such as sago worms, locally known as se’iet, are also readily available in the old town, and exotic foods lovers can drop by at the wet market or pasar tamu.
Some coffee lovers say the old town has tastier hot coffee served at the Dalat and Mukah District Council-owned premises, located next to the wet market.
Regular customers patronise the shop as early as 6am to enjoy their favourite drinks before it closes about noon.
The old town also has a unique coffee shop; perhaps the only one in this district where halal and non-halal foods are offered under one roof.
Upon entering the shop, one can find halal foods prepared on the right side while non-halal foods are cooked on the left side of the shop.
Business has been good for the proprietors of the stalls so far, while customers do not care much about the kitchen and seating arrangement.
Visitors should come to check this coffee shop out to have the benefit of a first-hand experience the solidarity, tolerance and unity in the old town.
Visitors who prefer to stay in the old town can check-in at any of the four budget hotels and inns. There are also two commercial banks located here.
The old town is also has a government community clinic that caters in case of emergencies or need of medical assistant. This clinic however does not render critical and high risk health complications.
There are a few private pharmacies in the old town should one needs to any prescriptions from the pharmacists.
For one to capture the historical essence of Mukah’s old town, one may visit the historical, 20-metre tall brick chimney–a landmark that is the remnants of a sago factory that was closed down in the early 19th century.
This chimney can be found next to Tua Pek Kong temple on the river bank.
Standing side by side, these historical landmarks have been an attraction for tourists, travellers as well as the locals.
The old town is as lively for any visitor and never overwhelming for the first time visitor. For those who do come along onto the path of Mukah, one’s itinerary would not be complete if he or she does not experience what the old town has to offer.