SIBU: The yearly exodus for the Gawai Dayak, annual festival celebrated by the Dayaks in Sarawak, Malaysia and Kalimantan, Indonesia, has begun with several thousands of passengers passing through the Sibu Express Boat Terminal here on Tuesday and Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) tightening its enforcement.

Huge crowds gathered at the boat terminal here as they waited for their boats to head home to Song, Kapit and other destinations along the Rajang River.

Holiday makers were also taking advantage of the long weekend holidays to travel.

Workers carrying passengers’ belongings to an express boat.

The situation was orderly with the SRB personnel busy carrying out inspections.

SRB on May 24 launched a two-phase safety enforcement operation in conjunction with the Gawai Dayak festival, Hari Raya and school holiday.

The first phase was from May 24 to May 31 while the second will be held from June to June 9.

At the Sarikei boat wharf, celebrants for both festivals return to their hometowns.