Miri in Sarawak

12th November, 2014 | Article By Lesley Tan

Miri is now a CITY in Sarawak, Malaysia but used to be a small oil boom town.  Miri in Sarawak is situated on the island of Borneo, very close to Brunei.  Literally translated from Mandarin, Miri means beautiful!   Visitors transit here heading onwards to Mulu National Park renowned for its massive caves and breath-taking pinnacles, or the famous Niah Caves which house some of the oldest Stone Age cave paintings ever discovered.

Miri’s population consists of Chinese, Malay, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kelabit, Lun Bawang, Indian and many other ethnic groups. There is also a large ex-pat community and most people can speak some English.  Food here is delicious and cheap; generally it is cheaper to eat out than in!  Seafood is abundant and tasty.  The sunsets are absolutely stunning, so imagine sitting sipping an ice cold Tiger beer with a delicious plate of satay and watching the sun go down, out of this world!  There are numerous shopping malls and plenty of local shops too, so it is easy to buy most of what you need. Malaysia’s first oil well was drilled here, and the oil companies Sarawak Shell and Petronas Cargali still play a big part in the working lives of the expats and local community today.

There are many places to visit if you are on holiday or even if you live here.  One of the main tourist attractions in Miri is situated on top of Canada Hill, Miri’s No. 1 Oil Well, the Grand Old Lady.  Discovered by Shell in 1910, it has now been declared a national monument.  Next to this is the Petroleum Museum, which displays the history of the petroleum industry in Sarawak and throughout Malaysia.  San Ching Tian Temple is the LARGEST Taoist temple in South East Asia.  I would also recommend a wonderful place to go to enjoy the wonders of nature, take a hike in the park, chill out and take in the scenery at the popular waterfall, Lambir National Park.  Many people travel to Miri just to play golf at the Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club, which is one of Malaysia’s top ten golf courses.

I have lived in Miri for 34 years and love it very much, as do most people who were either born here or who like me, have moved here.  A beautiful city, well worth visiting!

Photos from members of Miri in Sarawak.

By Lesley Tan

Lesley Tan
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