Aug 10, 2015

Miri, Malaysia

07 (Fri) - 10 (Mon) Aug 2015

Lodging: May's house

It's my first time traveling to East Malaysia, stepping onto the land of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. It's always been great when you're traveling with a friend who's a local there - save money on accommodation and time on planning itinerary. :)

The best part is the day trip to Brunei, a visit to a new country!

The Grand Old Lady
We're traveling with a new Japanese friend, his name is Taichi.

As time zone is still GMT+8, you may expect earlier sunrise and sunset due to it's relatively eastward location.

Our flight details
07 Aug 2015 (Fri)
Changi Airport Terminal 1 - Miri Airport
Flight No: AK762
12:25PM ­- 2:30PM

10 Aug 2015 (Mon)
Miri Airport - Changi Airport Terminal 1
Flight No: AK763
10:00AM ­- 11:55AM

Fare: S$362.72

Day 1

Miri Airport is a pretty simple one, considering its annual passenger movements of 2.4 million last year. Despite that, what one is looking forward to at the airport is nothing but the reminiscence with family - May was back to her hometown and her dad was at the airport picking us up.

Her dad brought us to Sin Wan Rojak & Delight Cold Drink Centre at Jalan Bintang Jaya 2 for an afternoon snack, before May going for her dental appointment.

The irony, I don't usually eat ais kacang or rojak, or rather, in the past 15 years, I've never ordered rojak myself. But of course when I'm traveling, my appetite is more open to variety of food.

We ordered this so called "Special Ais Kacang" @ RM3.80. It was delicious.

Having scheduled a dental appointment in the afternoon, Taichi and I were left alone at home. :(
That's alright, we needed to unload and unpack our luggage at her house.

The two dogs at her house are always so excited when the gate someone's back home, warm greetings much appreciated, but they really need to learn how to give way to the car. Haha...

The Grand Old Lady
After her dental appointment, May brought us to our first Miri attraction - The Grand Old Lady.

Miri is known for its oil field and oil exploration, and owing to the fact, development of the city and establishment of the petroleum industry came into place, pretty much how Miri prospers over the years. Coincidentally three of us are currently employed in this industry, or at least related.

Located on top of Canada Hill, seated next to the Petroleum Museum, The Grand Old Lady is the first oil well in Miri, discovered in 1910 by Shell. If you're wondering why an oil well has such a sissy name like I was, let me tell you why, according to, it symbolizes a 'mother' who milked a poor country to a prosperous nation. Now that instantaneously makes it sound meaningful.

Petroleum Museum

On the other side of the hill, standing alongside with the Ixora plants, you may enjoy a panoramic view of the city. If clouds weren't as dense in Malaysia, I believe standing from right where we were, beautiful sunset will take place right across the city.

At night, we had dinner with May's parents and local friends at Dynasty Restaurant. Very sumptuous and mouth-watering but at the same time, sinful...

There goes our first day in East Malaysia. The next day shall be the one I'm most looking forward to.

Day 2

We had breakfast at Chang Man near Krokop before departing for another country - Brunei.

I'm feeling hungry just by looking at this photo...

Please read my blog entry Brunei for more.

Day 3

Breakfast @ Mdm Wee Food Cafe, Lot 2041, Block 5, Krokop

As I said, I tried out food that I don't usually eat. It's a tasty bowl of laksa with bearable spiciness.

Sungai Baong
And May had some medical consultation again.
This time with her mum, at a TCM in the Waterfront Commercial Centre vicinity.

We took a stroll along the bay, alongside with the Ixora again, there were hibiscuses.
Two days ago Taichi was asking us about the national flower of Malaysia. Though answer was given on that day, but without missing the coincidence, I pointed to one of the hibiscuses implying that's the answer.

We're going to visit May's Iban relatives at a village located at the outskirt.

We also visited the orchard there and collected some crops for cooking.

The experience was certainly extraordinary when it comes to visiting rural or less developed area, not saying that I prefer the life there, but some spoilt kids just won't understand, to me, I'm exposed to a rather down-to-earth realm, which subsequently struck that we are to count our blessings for what we're given.
Despite that, I still wanna say something - I hate mosquitoes.

Oh cute little pig, don't worry... You'll be dinner soon... LOLL!

Rambutans before ripening

And we're home for home-cooked dinner... The essence or healthiness and warmth...

Healthy brown rice that I haven't been eating for a while

Day 4

Beef Noodles @ 回味小馆
We had an early flight at 10am, had to rush for breakfast before departure. So there's basically nothing on day 4.

Had a delicious bowl of beef noodles at The Cafe 回味小馆 @ Bintang Commercial Centre.

Though there are activities which we could have done (archery, karaoke, visiting Niah Cave etc.) but we never due to all kind of constraints, I am grateful of the hospitality offered by May and her family, with her mom making sure that we have our bottles filled (she actually even prepared towel and new toothbrush for us, in case we didn't bring any of those) and her dad driving us throughout the trip.

Frankly speaking, Miri is so much of a touristy spot, it's rather home for some residents. And it's inspirational to visit other's home, away from home. The takeaway can be as distinctive in its own way - it's somewhere you might have not thought somebody else or yourself visiting.

Thanks May! Promise to bring you around Penang for more food and sightseeing when you ever have chance visiting Penang again. :)

For more photos, please check out my photo album Miri, Malaysia on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

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