Miri is a city in northern Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak. It serves as the government administrative centre of Miri District in Miri Division of Sarawak; the District has a population of about 300,000
Miri is the birthplace of Sarawak's and Malaysia's petroleum industry, which remains the major industry of the city. The first oil well was drilled by Shell in 1910 (the Grand Old Lady), and is now a state monument and one of Miri's tourist attractions. Shell also built Malaysia's first oil refinery in Lutong, a suburb of Miri in 1914. Recently, vast oil reserves were discovered just offshore northeast of the city. Miri
has grown phenomenally since oil was first discovered in the early 1900s,
burgeoning into the business, commercial and educational centre it is today.
The city's other major industries include processed timber, oil palm production, and tourism. The world famous Gunung Mulu National Park with the Sarawak Chamber, a half an hour flight from the city, is one of the favourite eco-tourism destinations. Miri is also the main tourist gateway for the Loagan Bunut National Park, Lambir National Park, and the Niah Caves. Miri is lately known for its exotic coral reefs as well.
Today Miri is investing a lot in tourism, and while most visitors still use the city primarily as a transport hub and base for the nearby national parks, thereís actually plenty to keep you entertained here, including parks and beaches outside town, an abundance of shops, good restaurants, several nightlife areas and friendly people.
Donít be afraid to hang around and explore here before heading off on an excursion or to spend some time and unwind when you return.
The Tua Pek Kong Temple
is located next to the Fish Market, this is the oldest Chinese Temple in Miri, built in 1913.
According to local beliefs, due to the oil boom of the early 1900s and its subsequent population explosion, an unknown epidemic struck Miri, resulting in a high death toll in what was then a small village.
The local Chinese of that time believed the tragedy was caused by evil spirits. A Chinese wise man known as Chan Chak suggested that a monk be called to appease the spirits.
Thus, a spirit-pacifying ritual was carried out near Miri River, where an altar was placed.
The Chinese residents believed the monk chased away the evil spirits and the epidemic subsided. In gratitude, they erected the temple near the river to revere Tua Pek Kong, a god commonly worshipped by Chinese immigrants
For those interested in parks and gardens, there are a total of 14 such locations around Miri locale. Miri also has their share of music festivals with its International Jazz Festival held May annually.
The other interesting place of visit is the tamu market called Tamu Muhibbah. Itís open daily and is located just a stoneís throw from the Tourist Information Centre.
There are 2 sections to the market: the wet section where local and imported vegetable and meat produce are sold and the dry section where you can get local fruits like Buah Salak, durian, lime on sale here. Hill rice from Bario and BaíKelalan is also on sale here.
The indigenous people bring their produce from the hills and jungles to sell here. However, itís certainly more noticeable that compared to a decade ago, the variety in jungle produce has reduced greatly.
The local people laments that it is not due to the weather conditions (Miri has been encountering strange weather conditions in recent years) but because there really isnít much of a jungle for them to go to.
Miri is renowned for its natural attractions and heritage and is becoming increasingly popular as an adventure / ecotourism destination. Miri enjoys warm equatorial weather with plenty of sunshine all year round. It is well serviced by road and air links and caters for regular flights to Kuching (the state capital) and Kuala Lumpur (the national capital) where travellers get connecting flights overseas.
The Rafflesia flower grows
up to a meter across and is among the strangest plants around.
it grows extremely rare in the world.
Despite having such a huge
flower the plant has no roots since it is parasitic.
It steals its
nutrients from plants to which it attaches itself.
The flower also
has a unique scent - of rotting meat. This attracts insects that
pollinate this strange bloom.
There is no way of telling when a
Rafflesia will pop up. But one of the best places to see them is the Gunung Gading National Park near Lundu, about two hours drive from
The park rangers keep careful watch on sprouting Rafflesia
and if you call the park beforehand, they will tell you the chances
of seeing one in bloom.