Siniawan Old Town 新堯灣簡介

Siniawan, a small town in the Bau district, about 20km away from Kuching, the Capital of Sarawak State. There are about 3,600 populations, with majority of Bidayuh (750 families) and Chinese (700 families), followed by Malay (100 families).

The Chinese are mostly originated from Guangdong Province of China, and the common dialect spoken is Hopoh Hakka.

新堯灣(Siniawan)位於東馬砂拉越(Sarawak),距離首府古晉(Kuching)約20公里,須30分鐘路程的百年老鎮。人口約有3600人,其中約700戶華人、750戶比達友人(Bidayuh)、100戶馬來人。

華人居民來自中國廣東東部各縣,所操日常用語為河婆客家(Hopoh Hakka)。

新堯灣有座逾百年古廟,名為新堯灣水月宫,主祀觀音菩薩,當地稱為慈悲娘娘,向來信徒眾多,香火鼎盛。

The History of Siniawan 新堯灣歷史

Once forgotten and more than a century old town, Siniawan is a street made up of two rows of antique wooden shop with rich historical and cultural heritage values.

Hundred years back, there was a bungalow owned by the first White Rajah – Sir James Brooke, built on the Serembu Mountain, at the back of the Siniawan old town.

On December 1851, Sir James Brooke’s Secretary – Sir Spencer St. John, led a team of guests in a long boat paddled along the Sarawak River, to visit the White Rajah’s bungalow on the Serembu Mountain.  They stopped at Siniawan and were indeed impressed with the Siniawan market which back then already had about 300 Chinese shopkeepers and farmers selling all sorts of food, vegetables and daily necessities. There were mix-raced marriage and great interaction between the different ethnic groups in terms of culture, traditions and language.

Siniawan town later saw further upheavals. It went through the rebellion against the White Rajah, Japanese occupation and other historical events.

It was once a bustling town but constant flooding forced most of its residents to move to higher areas. After the Kuching-Bau bypass was built, Siniawan was almost been forgotten.

However, in recent years, efforts had been made to revive the old town. With the dedication and hard work of the community leaders and the locals, Siniawan town today has become a famous tourist attraction.

擁有超過百年曆史的老鎮,曾經一度被時代所遺忘。這座保留著兩排古色古香板店的老鎮,具有豐富的歷史與文化遺產價值。

百年前,新堯灣鎮背面的瑟冷布(Serembu)山,曾是砂拉越白人拉者布洛克的別墅之處。

1851年12月,布洛克王朝的秘書史賓瑟.聖約翰(Spencer St. John)領著賓客在新天地尋幽探勝,他們僱船溯砂拉越河西進,上岸並準備登上瑟冷布山的別墅之前,在此留下了美麗的印象,此時新堯灣已是熱鬧的市集,華人在此販賣達亞人種植的蔬果,應該也不乏來自遠方的各式生活用品雜貨,大概有三百人口,跨種族婚姻已經出現,延續了世代傳承,血統、語文及文化的交流與融合。

此後,新堯灣經歷了漫長的動盪時代,這包括了起義事件、日軍佔領以及各個歷史事件,隨後也曾發生大水災,加上古晉與石隆門新路闢建,新堯灣逐漸被邊緣化,人口外移、經濟蕭條。

隨著社區領袖與居民的努力,近年來不僅積極推動各項傳統與文化活動,更發起新堯灣老街夜市,讓新堯灣繁華再現。