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Spaoh town was established by the Hakka Chinese in 1946. Back then, there were four blocks of shops, with eight shops in each block. These four blocks of shops encircled Spaoh Wharf. Presently, the Spaoh town still consists of these four block of shops.
The town throve in the 1960s following the boom in rubber prices. Rubber products were shipped out from Spaoh to Kuching via the small settlement of Pusa. By the 1970s, the town's economy started to decline due to competition from other towns and settlements.
The total population of Spaoh sub-district is around 17,000: Ibans (5,950), Malay (Orang Laut) (11,050) and Chinese (850). Although Ibans are only the second-largest group in Spaoh, most people in Spaoh interact in the Iban dialect which is understood by both Chinese and Malays. English and Malay are widely spoken too.
The main attractions of this district include the Bukit Saban resort & the production of the salted pufferfish known as Ikan Masin Buntal, which is a local delicacy, in the Malay villages around Spaoh. The pufferfish, known to locals as buntal, is also the mascot of Spaoh.
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