“Pesta Benak”, tidal bore festival


Pesta Benak is the festival where by, division 2 of  Sri Aman Sarawak celebrates and gather for the weekends. The main attraction is the tidal bore, where the waves are to be the highest at that time.
Traditionally, residents or on occasion, bordering nearby township folks, would gather at the town’s waterfront or riverbanks, to see this phenomena, but each year, the crowd grew bigger until it is gazetted by the tourism board, as one of the main tourist attractions around and soon afterwards, it became an annual event. Where each year, the world seems to come down to this small town to gather at this festival.

Pesta benak Sri Aman.

about the town

living most of their lives at a quiet and slow-paced community, the town seems to get by this event very well, thanks to efforts by law enforcing agency that maintain the order of traffic and ensures a smooth flow of the masses. Access from Kuching to Sri Aman is by the 190km two lane road, and normally driving time is 2.5-3hrs, where the uneven surface and bending roads definitely contribute to slower traffic. Growing at a slow pace, it seems to be catching up to the volume and recently new township, have been developed.

Photo opportunity

Taking photos, street, and people at festivals are somewhat not very easy. Maybe it’s because of too many distraction and things going around you that isolating the scene and moment becomes frustrating, not to mention the blazing sun (average 37º C daytime ), but still, it is no excuse not to do some photography of the event. Festivals, however do have a lot to offer, there’s almost everything there is, people, things, candid moments, interaction, juxtapose, animals, arts, culture, performance landscape, street photo, portraits.

decorations, handmade crafts.
traditional basket.
football jerseys.
people come together.
pets and animals are also for sale…
barbecued big squids.
everything for sale.
Traditional clothings
kids stuff
even a quick hair makeover.
Dry market.
traditional local food.
good business time.
Kebabs. chicken or beef.

There’s a lot of variety going on but not that many action as you’d expect from a carnival. No theme park, fun fair or all that stuff, but only the colours of Sarawak coming together for a few days. There’s just so much to be seen that you simply get blinded by them all… sometimes, the best way to get some nice photos, is by standing still for a moment, let things flow around, open your eyes and “watch”.. then suddenly things unfold and you definitely would get an interesting shot sooner or later. If the blazing heat is bearable…

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