Info for visitors - Curtin Malaysia
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Info for visitors

City on the move

Miri is well on its way to fulfilling its objective of becoming Sarawak’s location of choice to live, work, visit, invest and, of course, study. Big things are happening in Miri and now is the time to make the most of everything this growing city has to offer. Enjoy balmy weather all year round, experience the city’s vibrant and stimulating living environment, indulge in the local culture and incredible food, and of course, discover the area’s natural wonders.

Sarawak’s most cosmopolitan city

Miri is regarded as Sarawak’s most cosmopolitan city with a population of about 350,000 comprising almost the entire spectrum of the state’s many ethnic groups, as well as a significant number of expatriate workers from around the globe.

It is known as the northern tourism gateway to Sarawak and attracts numerous foreign tourists as well as weekend shoppers from neighbouring Brunei. It is also the administrative headquarters of Miri Division, the largest of Sarawak’s 11 administrative divisions.

Oftentimes, it is referred to as the ‘Oil Town of Malaysia’ as it is home to the country’s more than 100-year-old petroleum industry. Another favourite nickname is Sarawak’s ‘Resort City’ given its scenic seaside location and being the gateway city to the area’s world-renowned tourist attractions.

Miri’s history, progress and economy have always been tied to oil. Only a humble fishing village about a century ago, it has grown in leaps and bounds since oil was discovered in the area in 1910. The oil and gas industry remains the largest contributor to the economy of Miri and Sarawak but other industries such as forestry and agriculture burgeoned in the years following Sarawak’s independence through the formation of Malaysia in 1963. In recent years, the construction, shipbuilding, retail, financial services, tourism, education and manufacturing sectors have also contributed greatly to the city’s rapid economic growth.

As a city on the move, new infrastructure and development projects are planned or underway, They include the Marina Bay development incorporating Miri’s new City Hall, financial institutions, hotels, luxury condominiums, commercial properties, sports amenities and government offices; as well as new roads, public amenities and commercial properties in both inner city and suburban areas.

Today, Miri boasts a splendid waterfront, marina, shopping malls, luxury condominiums, two 18-hole golf courses, 4- and 5-star hotels and a modern airport and port. It has also become an educational and training hub with the presence of Curtin Sarawak and other private and public institutions of higher learning, as well as a key tourism hub for eco-activities, diving and adventure holidays.

Weather in Miri

Due to its proximity to the equator, Miri enjoys a wonderful tropical climate. You can expect hot and humid conditions during your time here. Temperatures are generally fairly constant, averaging between 32 °C by day and 22 °C by night (72-93°F) all year round. Humidity levels are generally close to 80%. Basically, it’s summer all year long!

There is usually a pleasant onshore breeze along the coast during the afternoon. But, due to the tropical climate, mosquitoes and sandflies are common. You can get repellant and sunscreen here but you may want to pack some good UV-protecting sunglasses for those lazy days at the beach.

Be prepared for thunderstorms that can be frequent and heavy, especially during the monsoon season. The Northeast Monsoon in Malaysia is characterized by steady northeast wind, usually occurring from about mid-November until March. During this period coastal areas of Sarawak, including Miri, will experience widespread heavy spells of rain, lasting 2 to 3 days. About 4 or 5, such spells are expected each monsoon season but fair weather is expected otherwise. Even when there are torrential downpours and spectacular thunderstorms, these quickly give way to muggy but dry sunshine. Miri’s infrastructure copes well with the rains and they should not impact your stay overly much.

Check out the latest weather update at the METMalaysia website

Local natural attractions


The state of Sarawak stretches for some 750 km along the north east coastline of Borneo, with habitats ranging from high hills and mountainous forest to Lowland, Kerangas & Peat swamp forest, from rice fields, to wetland and coastal regions, each with its own specialized birds. Throughout this majestic landscape, BirdLife International has designated 22 Important Bird Areas (IBAs), the highest number for any state in Malaysia. Incredibly, Sarawak hosts more than 47 endemic species and most of these are fairly common in the mountains and lowlands. Rare and elusive endemic species are also regularly sighted and photographed by nature enthusiasts, making the state a tremendously exciting experience for the dedicated birdwatcher. All birding destinations are easily accessible with good transportation network and accommodation facilities are available in the national parks.

Canada Hill

Canada Hill is a limestone ridge overlooking the town and offering excellent views of Miri and the surrounding area. The historical Oil Well No. 1, known as the “Grand Old Lady”, is situated on top of Canada Hill. It was here that oil was first struck by Sarawak Shell in 1910. Nowadays the site also houses a very well designed and interesting Petroleum Museum, which traces the history and technological development of the oil and gas industries in Malaysia.

Miri Crocodile Farm

Come face to face with more than 1,000 Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus) and Malayan Gharial (Tomistoma Schlegelii) in a 22 acre landscaped setting with natural breeding enclosures and man-made sanctuary ponds. The crocodile farm is also home to other exotic animals from tropical countries including Southern Cassowary, Python, Binturong, Sun Bears, Gibbon, Porcupines and a band of cheerful monkeys. Miri Crocodile Farm is the first and largest Crocodile Farm in the northern region of Sarawak, and is registered with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, Registration No. A-MY-509).

Miri City Fan

Miri City Fan (Jln Merpati/Jln Kipas) is an award-winning urban park complex comprising a variety of theme gardens, including a Botanical Garden and an Islamic Garden. It is also home to Miri City Library, a Public Swimming Pool, and a large Amphitheatre where concerts are frequently held. The City Fan is popular with locals for strolling, jogging or just chilling out.

Taman Awam Miri

Located 3km from City Centre, Taman Awam Miri (Miri Public Park) is a huge family park with children’s playground, botanical garden, soft adventure activities and jogging trails. The park is dotted with stone carvings and sculpture, overlooked by a towering wooden walkway leading to an observation platform.

Markets, arts, culture and shopping

Miri Handicraft Centre

The Miri Handicraft Centre on Jln Brooke is a fascinating showcase of the ethnic arts and crafts of northern Sarawak. Stalls are run by the individual producers, and craftspeople can often be viewed at work here. Items on sale include Penan mats and basketry, Orang Ulu beadwork and woodcarvings, and a variety of textiles from around the state. Cultural performances are occasionally held at weekends. Open 9am – 6pm daily.

Tamu Muhibbah

Tamu Muhibbah, opposite the central bus station, is a colourful native market where you’ll find a range of exotic fruits and vegetables, handicrafts and produce from upriver areas, including fragrant Bario rice. Good photo opportunities.

Bawah Payung Market

The informal Bawah Payung Market (Under the Umbrella Makeshift market) sets up at weekends outside the shophouses across the road, selling all manner of cheap goods.

Sikh Temple

The Sikh Temple on Jln Kubu (10 mins walk from city centre) is one of three in Sarawak. It is attractively located in the shade of a 100-year-old angsana tree.

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Tua Pek Kong Temple is a dedicated to the deity most beloved by overseas Chinese. According to local legend, work started in the temple in 1913, in order to give thanks to the deity for helping to end a mysterious epidemic. The temple is situated right next to the Miri Fish Market, where the local catch is landed early every morning. An enormous variety of fresh fish and seafood is sold here.

San Ching Tian Temple

The San Ching Tian temple is the largest Taoist temple in Southeast Asia. The superb red roof, elegant lotus design motif and the delightful wind chimes make this a very impressive and atmospheric place to visit.


Eating out is the Malaysian national pastime, and the good folk of Miri are no exception. The choices on offer are unlimited and food outlets range from fine dining, exotic foreign restaurants and bistros to roadside food stalls. The multicultural nature of the city brings together a world of flavours. Check out TripAdvisor for reviews and details of all the restaurant options in Miri.

Feeling adventurous? Explore more