Explore Miri, Malaysia
Explore Miri a small city in northern Sarawak on the Malaysian island of Borneo. It has a population of about 300,000.
Malaysia‘s first oil well, the Grand Old Lady on top of the Canada Hills, was drilled here in 1910, and petroleum has continued to drive the city’s economy and development ever since. As a result, Miri has a cosmopolitan whiff as it hosts expatriates from all over the world. These expats work in many of the multinational oil and gas giants that are headquartered in Miri.
Miri boasts a diversified population, which consists of Chinese, Malay, Kedayan, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kelabit, Lun Bawang, Punjabis and many other ethnic groups. International students from a foreign university campus based here and expatriates from international corporations add much spice to Miri as well.
Almost all locals speak a tiny smattering of English, along with Mandarin. The main language is the Bahasa Sarawak which is a local Sarawakian language; it is similiar to Malay but with local slang. Most locals can also understand Iban and other tribal languages.
The people are quite helpful when it comes to direction or any help needed. A visitor’s information centre located near the public bus stand is available for any further enquiries.
Miri International Airport, which moved to a sparkling new facility in 2005, is a significant hub for central Borneo.
Bus services are available from early to around 6.30pm.
What to see
- Grand Old Lady and the Petroleum Museum. On top of Canada Hill. More prosaically Miri’s No. 1 Oil Well , this was Shell’s first oil well (the company’s, that is, not just in Malaysia) and has now been declared a national monument. The museum is closed on mondays.
- Taman Selera . One of the most visited beaches in Miri. A great place to go to on a Sunday afternoon for picnics, as well as a place for families and friends to have fun.
- Tamu Muhibah. A market where fresh and exotic fruits, vegetables and local foodstuff are available.
What to do in Miri, Malaysia
- Esplanade Beach. Local’s favorite beach front located at Luak Bay. Miri’s beaches are nothing to shout about, but if you really want to go to the beach, this would be your best bet.
- San Ching Tian Temple. Largest Taoist temple in South East Asia.
- Lambir National Park, Enjoy the wonders of nature and take a hike in the park. Enjoy the scenery of the waterfall.
- Canada Hill, Go for an extreme hike on the jungle treks of Canada Hill. Every evening a group of trekkers or anyone else would go there for hike. It’s a test of endurance but yet a healthy activity since you will be burning a lot of calories for that. However, slopes can get slippery during the rainy season, so always be careful and be prepared.
What to buy
There are three major shopping malls to shop around in Miri City, During the weekends Bruneians and Sarawakians from Bintulu, Bekenu, Niah would come down for Shopping.
- Boulevard Shopping Complex, Lot 2528, Jalan Boulevard Utama, Boulevard Commercial Centre, 98000 Miri Sarawak, Malaysia.
- The Imperial Mall, Jalan Pos, 98000 Miri Sarawak, Malaysia Specially the big Parkson department store in this mall is a great shopping place for branded clothing and accessories at great prices.
- Bintang Megamall, Jalan Miri-Pujut MCLD, 98000, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. One of the shopping centres in Miri that have expanded over time, has easy access to taxi ramps, also right beside a luxury business hotel known as Meritz Hotel.
- Miri Heritage Centre, a place where you get a memorable souvenir from local made handicrafts.
What to eat
Eateries in Miri meet a variety of budgets. KFC, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are available here to suit the modern taste of the locals and large expat population. The local alternative to KFC, Sugar Bun is also available, serving unique Malaysian dishes and also the classic ‘Broasted’ chicken with savoury rice.
What to drink
Tourists are encouraged to try the Sarawakian authentic rice wine known as ‘tuak’. ‘Tuak’ is usually served during festive seasons, especially during Gawai (the Harvest Festival celebrated by the Ibans). Apart from that, if one is looking for a place for drinks and some entertainment, there are few places to go. Local places do not serve alcohol, tourist pubs and bars do.
Beer and other alcohol in retail are hard to find but there should be some bottle shops around town.