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Asia > Southeast Asia > Malaysia > Sarawak > Miri
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Miri is a small coastal city in northern Sarawak on the Malaysian island of Borneo. Located near the border of Brunei, the city has just a population of about 300,000 which makes it the second largest city in Sarawak. Miri as known by its nickname "Oil Town", is the birthplace of the Malaysian petroleum industry as the city was founded in 1910 when the first oil well was drilled by Royal Dutch Shell and since then, petroleum has continued to drive the city's economy and development ever since.

Miri is the main tourist gateway to various national park, which makes it one of the favourite ecotourism destinations and can be anurgbly called as the "Resort City".


The Sarawak Shell Berhad and Petronas Carigali are headquartered here. 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.

Visitors stop for transit here to change planes heading onward to Gunung Mulu National Park or the famous Kelabit Highlands.

Miri boasts a diversified population, which consists of Chinese, Malay, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kelabit, Lun Bawang 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 similar to Malay but with local slang.

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 celebrated its fifth city status anniversary on 20th May 2010.

Get in

By plane

Miri International Airport (MYY), which moved to a sparkling new facility in 2005, is a significant hub for central Borneo. From Peninsular Malaysia there are frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru on Malaysia Airlines [1] and AirAsia [2]. The airport is also connected to all major destinations in Malaysian Borneo, including Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. AirAsia also operates an international flight to Singapore several times a week.

  • To/From Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines flies four times daily between Kuala Lumpur and Miri, with two stopping over at Kuching. AirAsia also flies direct non-stop three times daily.
  • To/From Johor Bahru: AirAsia flies on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
  • To/From Kuching: Malaysia Airlines flies three flights daily and AirAsia has one flight daily.
  • To/From Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia Airline and AirAsia each have two flights daily. MASWings also puts on a Fokker flight on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • To/From Singapore: AirAsia has one flight on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (Looked up 2015-08-23).

MASWings, which took over operations of the rural air service from FlyAsian Express on October 1, 2007, operates a web of flights to remote destinations in the interior, most notably Gunung Mulu National Park and Bario in the Kelabit Highlands. MASWings also links Miri with Limbang, Lawas and Labuan which will enable you to by-pass expensive Brunei. Go to their website to book flights on-line and check schedules.

By bus

  • To/From other Sarawak cities: Numerous bus companies such as Biaramas, Suria Bus Express and Borneo Highway Express link Miri with other Sarawak cities such as Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu. Most express buses depart from the Express Bus Terminal
    • From Bintulu, the bus jouney takes approximately 4 hours and cost MYR 50.
  • To/From Brunei: As of April 2010, there are two direct services between Bandar Seri Begawan and Miri. PHLS Express operates a dedicated BSB-Miri service, leaving BSB at 8:15AM, and the return service presumably early afternoon. Fare is $18 BSB to Miri. Note that this terminates at Tudan terminal, some distance north of BSB city centre, but with local bus connections. A new service, and not well patronized (3 backpackers, 0 locals on my day), so don't bet on it lasting. The other service is EVA Express, with buses from BSB to Kuching etc, which pass through Miri.

The more frequent service uses local buses in Miri and Brunei. The journey will have to include several bus changes. Miri-Belait Bus Company runs five buses between Miri and Kuala Belait in Brunei, with a change of buses at the Sungai Tujuh border checkpoint

From Kuala Belait, there are onward buses to Seria, where another change is necessary before you can get to Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB). As not all buses arrive on time for connections for the next leg of the journey, those planning to do the Miri-Bandar Seri Begawan (or vice-versa) run should start early. Effective 26th May,2009 there are only two buses leaving Miri for BSB. The 9AM is the only bus that will enable the Miri-BSB journey to be completed within one day. Those who intend to spend a night in Brunei can catch the later bus which leaves at 3.30PM. Buses arrive and depart from the Miri local bus terminal at Jalan Padang in the south of the town (not the long haul bus terminal outside of town). Having said that the whole journey takes about 5 hours.

Note that there have been reports that buses from Miri do not go all the way to the border and stop just before the Asean Bridge at Kuala Baram because of the high toll charge for using the bridge. You may have to use taxis to complete the final 5 km between the bridge and the actual border.

  • To/From Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: Bintang Jaya Express opened a new route from Miri to Kota Kinabalu (KK) and return in November 2008. The route originates from Pontianak in Indonesia to Kuching, Miri, Limbang, Lawas ending in KK Wawasan Bus Terminal. Bus departs Miri at 8.00AM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The journey takes approximately 10 hours without changing buses. From KK the bus departs at 7.30AM on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.
  • To/From Niah Caves: Bas Suria departs from the Miri Express Bus Terminal to Batu Niah town regularly. The journey takes over an hour. From Batu Niah, you can either take a speedboat or walk to the Niah National Park headquarters at Pengkalan Batu.

Get around

Go to Miri [3] to seek or share information on how to get around in this wonderful city.

Bus services are available.

24-hour taxi service is also available and can be reached at +60 85432277. Fare surcharge applies after 12AM.

Car can be hired for for a day for as low as MYR 80 + MYR 30 (delivery charges). Remember to purchase some parking tickets, which cost MYR 0.5 each.


  • 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.


  • Esplanade Beach. Local's favourite 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 Hills National Park, Some 30km of Miri. Takes 30 minutes by car to reach the park and an hour by bus. Buses enroute to Bintulu may drop you at the park entrance gate however may charge full fare MYR 25. Enjoy the wonders of nature and take a hike in the park. There're plenty impressive tall trees and some big and small picturesque waterfalls in the part so enjoy the scenery of the waterfall where you can swim as well. The park is popular with tourists, especially at weekends when more people from Miri travel there for a day visit. For longer stays, visitors can book one of several chalets. There's a restaurant at the entrace. Cost to enter park is MYR 20/person.

There are several trails for tourists to explore. These range from short and fairly flat walks to the long and sometimes steep trek to the summit of Bukit Lambir, the tallest point in the park.

  • 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.
  • Dive near Miri. Dive in the unspoiled coral gardens near Miri. CO.CO.DIVE (Miri trusted dive operator) and Red Monkey Divers (The always cheerful Steve) organizes day trips from the Miri Marina.


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, +60 85432999, fax: +60 85422999.
  • The Imperial Mall, Jalan Pos, 98000 Miri Sarawak, +60 85431133, fax: +60 85431122.
  • Bintang Plaza
  • Miri Heritage Centre, a place where you get a memorable souvenir of a local made handicrafts.


For a fabulous gastronomical experience, Miri is the place to try out all sorts of food. Depending on your budget, there is a variety of eateries around.

  • Cafenika & Catering, 437 G Jln Bendahara 98000 Miri (Located very near to Mega Hotel, next to the Dr Aziz Dental building.), +60 8-5424600. Serves local Halal Malaysian dishes, and various types of Western cuisine. Must try: Chicken Chop, Nasi Briyani, Nasi Lemak, Mee Kolok. They also provide catering services for weddings and other occasions.
  • Chinese Hawker Center - Located in the hub of the city center next to the Chinese wet market. You can get the best local food here day and night. For breakfast, the milk tea is the best, particularly at some stalls. The curry rice, fried rice noodles, dried noodles and laksa (spicy rice noodles) are dishes that you should not miss. Moreover, at night, the porridge and dried noodles with steamed chicken are the must-eat.

Chen Kee Hainan Chicken Rice- Miri famous Chinese dishes, traditional steamed Chicken rice, located at krokop 10, Tokyo Restaurant. It's delicious, Fresh, Cheap.

  • Siamese Secrets - Serves Western, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, and local cuisines. Portions are huge.
  • Double Star - Serves Chinese, Western, Local and fusion cuisines.
  • Cafe Miri - Serves Western food and is undoubtedly Miri's most famous place for quality Western food.
  • 2020 Cafe - This restaurant is always packed on Sunday mornings. Famous for their dim sum. Be sure to get there extra early to secure a seat.
  • Ming Cafe - Good Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and sea food. Serves Tiger Beer which is quite expensive at local prices but served cold in an ice cold glass. Good service. Try Laksa in Ming Cafe which is very delicious and is comparable to the Laksa in Kuching. Also highly recommended is the Roti!
  • Naga Liar - Serves a local Malaysian delicacy, Nasi Lemak together other local favourites as well
  • Halo Cafe, 751-752 Jalan Merpati (opposite imperial mall), +60 85-417417. serve eastern & western cuisine. drinks include mocktails, beers, shakes and pure Borneo Coffee (only place in town). Every night from 8.30PM will have local performers singing on stage, taking song dedication. Many functions throughout the year. rm10.00.
  • Fratini's - Serves Italian food and is located near the Boulevard Shopping Complex.
  • Pete's Deli - A cozy Australian-styled deli with authentic Western food. Their oxtail stew, lamb shank and pies are bestsellers. Located opposite SMK Chung Hua.
  • Marina Bay Seafood Restaurant - A new restaurant with intricate architecture and an amazing view of the sea. Pick your seafood fresh from the tanks. Open for lunch and dinner. Located at the Marina Bay, next to an gigantic, iconic seahorse statue.
  • Sun City - Good selection of food and drink, indoor and outdoor seating, nice furnishings and great outdoor feel but fully covered with canvas with huge fans.
  • Shiki Japanese Restaurant, Boulevard Commercial Centre (Just Opposite the Boulevard Mall), +60 84-422323. The place where you can get the most authentic Japanese Cuisine, at the most affordable price and great atmosphere. Call today for reservations.
  • Kent's Garden - A bistro area for great ambience to dine and drink. Located at Lutong Baru.


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.

  • Balcony
  • Cherry Berries
  • Siam Thai Bar
  • Island Bar & Pub
  • The Chaplin's
  • Coco's
  • Al Fresco's
  • Sun City
  • SoHo
  • Starbucks
  • The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
  • San Francisco Coffee
  • Club Infinity Miri (Club Infinity Karaoke), Lot 2463-2467, Ground Floor, Boulevard Commercial Centre, 98000 Miri Sarawak (Opposite Boulevard Mall and Institut Memandu Miri), +60 85439663. 6PM-2AM. A luxury high end karaoke cum pub in the centre of the Oil Town (
  • Passion Corner, 856,Jalan Permaisuri (opposite Jackson's Motor), +60 85-423213. nice environment, Chinese style, place for relaxing and gathering..
  • Chique.



  • Minda Guesthouse, 1st & 2nd floor, Lot 637, North Yu Seng Rd, 98000. Brand new guesthouse with free breakfast, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, rooftop garden and two lounges with flatscreen, mini library etc. Dorms RM 20/person & private from RM 50/room (twin). Friendly staff and good location. Just tell the cabby Mega Hotel then it's less than a minutes walk from there. [New ownership, new name in 2016. For 50 MYR, you can get a room with it's own bathroom elsewhere.]
  • Miri Waterfront Homestay. Perfect for families, or a backpackers lounge, as is cheap, clean, brand new and safe accommodation / hotel with new fittings and furnishings! A friendly family run business. Location: In centre of downtown Miri.(Lot 1160, Jalan Sri Dagang, Miri Waterfront Commercial Centre, 98000) (Tell the taxi driver: "Opposite Mega Hotel, behind Maybank") Price: RM55 - 88 (different sized rooms available, twin or double beds available) Amenities: Free Wi-Fi. Hot shower. Air conditioning.Late check out allowed (They are very flexible!)
  • Miri Trail Guesthouse, Sub Lot 10634, 1st Floor, Airport Commercial Centre, 98000 Miri. The best value accommodation which is ideal for travelers, especially backpackers. This is the place to meet other travelers and enjoy your trip without big expenses. If you are waiting for long hours next flight, or early morning flight, Miri Trail Guesthouse is the right place for you! Miri Trail Guesthouse is located only two minutes away from the airport and 10 minutes away from the city.
  • 1 Dillenia, Lot 846 1st floor Jalan Sida (From the airport, take bus no. 28 to Miri Bus Station. Then, hop on to bus no. 33 or 42, alight just after passing Imperial Mall at the drop-off bay on your left near the blue colour Anakku signboard. Dillenia is situated immediately behind a cafe named Sembang2 Kafe), +60 85434204, . Check-in: 1pm. Check-in time is 1PM while check-out time is 12 noon. However, late check-outs can be arranged depending on occupancy rate. Opened in August 2008, Dillenia is a family-run guesthouse with a "home away from home" atmosphere. Offers safe, clean, comfortable and air conditioned rooms, with a selection of dormitories, twin-sharing, family and honeymoon rooms. Rates range from RM30 per bed/night to RM110 per room/night. Facilities available are free internet access at lobby and free Wi-Fi at both lobby and rooms, free continental breakfast (variety of fresh fruits included), refrigerator, shower heater, laundry service, key card access, 24-hours reception, spacious common room, reading corner, mini library etc. Very friendly and helpful staff, and located right in the heart of Miri city. Big public swimming pool (1RM per person) only a few min-walk away. RM 30.


  • Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club, Lot 1379, Block 17, Jalan Miri By-Pass, +60 85-421010. Check-in: 1300 hrs, check-out: 1200 hrs. Offering an integrated resort lifestyle, the Club provides chalets with 120-room accommodation located within the golf course area. Built with natural timber, the chalets spread around a beautiful and lush landscape surrounding are complemented with a well-equipped fitness centre with wwimming pool, gymnasium, steambath, sauna and Jacuzzi. Rates from RM110.
  • Million Inn, No 6, Jln Yu Seng Selatan, P.O Box 2200, +60 85415077, fax: +60 85415085. Rates from RM50
  • Miri Hotel, No 47, Jln Brooke, P.O Box 138, +60 85421212, fax: +60 85412002. Rates from RM69
  • Pacific Orient Hotel, +60 85413333, fax: +60 85410003. No 49, Jln Brooke, 98000.
  • Park Hotel, P.O Box 241, Jln Raja, 98007, +60 85414555, fax: +60 85414488. Rates from RM69
  • Metro Inn, Lot 762. Parent Lot 529, Block 9, 1st Floor, Jln Merpati, +60 85411663, fax: +60 85424663. Rates from 58
  • Kingwood Inn Miri, Lot 826, Jln Yu Seng Selatan, +60 85415888, fax: +60 85415009. Rates From RM70
  • Cosy Inn, Lot 545 - 547, Jln Yu Seng Selatan, +60 85415522, fax: +60 85415155. Rate from RM48
  • Brooke Inn, 14 Brooke RD, 98007 Miri, Sarawak, +60 85-412881. Central location, Wi-Fi, clean, tv. double RM50.


  • Miri Marriott Resort & Spa, Lot 779 Jalan Temenggong Datuk Oyong, Phone: +60 85421121, Fax: +60 85421099, Sales: +60 85421121 ext. 7300, [4]. 5-star full-service spa resort located at the coast, 2 km from city center and 8 km from airport

Lovely gardens, nice pool, pool bar, food can be ordered from the pool and eaten at the bar. Basic but sandy beach, meals are quite expensive but good quality, although there is a nice food court just a 2-minute walk from the Marriott.

  • Imperial Hotel, +60 85431133, fax: +60 85431122. Jalan Pos. Located at the center of Miri City, adjoining the Imperial Mall

Go next

To Brunei

Busses to Bandar Seri Begawan leave from the long distance bus station at 08:15, and 16:15.

This city travel guide to Miri is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.