The kelong package included island hopping. But due to time constraint, we visited only the lagest island nearby – Sibu Besar, a 10 min ride by speedboat.
Sibu Island is actually made up of several islands namely Sibu Besar Island, Sibu Tengah Island, Sibu Kukus Island and Sibu Hujung Island. Sibu Besar, the main island, is approximately 6 km long and 1 km wide, and for the most part covered by tropical vegetation. The area has nice white-sand beaches and clear waters.
We explored the rocky outcrop at one extreme end of the beach and discovered a small cave inhabited by hundreds of bats.
Other than standard dinner which comes with 4-5 dishes, you can actually top-up the package (need to notify the kelong one week in advance) to include steamboat or BBQ dinner.
After dinner, one group of hoildayers was preparing Kong Ming Deng (which they brought in from mainland) to be lit and set off to the sky. They invited us to join them in the fun and gave us a few Kong Ming Deng to play with.
Successful liting and setting off the Kong Ming Deng to the sky require a lot of team effort. The lanteen must be erected upright without any slack before liting the fire, otherwise its paper fabric will catch fire easily. After liting the fire, the lanteen must continue to be held upright for more than half a minute to allow the air inside the lateen to be sufficiently warm up before setting off to the sky so that enough lift can be created to overcome the lanteen’s weight.
Some of the not so successful lanteens bursted into flames in the sky while other drop into the sea to become “Sea Lanteen”. With the application of some simple physics, our lanteen was successful set off and drifted away beyond our sight.