About Miri


Miri is the gateway to Sarawak’s fascinating northeast region, located close to the Brunei border. In recent years Miri has become an important tourism gateway as the jumping-off point for some of Sarawak’s world famous National Parks, including Niah Caves, Gunung Mulu and Lambir Hills, as well as the remote Bario Highlands, with its community of Kelabit villages lying at an altitude of 1000m above sea level and a place of beauty and serenity.

Miri’s population of 300,000 reflects Sarawak’s diverse ethnic make-up. Chinese, Ibans, Malays, Melanaus, Bisayas, orang Ulus (mostly Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit and Lun Bawang), Bidayuhs, Indians and Eurasians all make their home here, along with West Malaysians and a sizeable expatriate community.

A rapidly expanding business and commercial centre and the home of Sarawak’s oil industry, Miri is fast becoming an important tourism destination in its own right, with an excellent range of hotels to suit every budget, a wide selection of seafood restaurants, bustling native markets and a newly developed Marina Bay area.

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Getting to Miri

Miri airport receives flights from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru and Labuan, and interstate flights from Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and other smaller airports in and around Miri.
Travel agents and hotels usually pick up their guests from the airport. Taxis into town are readily available, paid for by a ‘taxi coupon’ purchased at the airport.
Non-Malaysians need a valid passport, with a minimum of six months validity from their arrival date. Sarawak has its own immigration control; arrivals from Sabah or Peninsular Malaysia still need to undergo immigration clearance. Visitors to Brunei may need to apply for a Brunei visa. For peninsular Malaysians and Sabahans, Mykad may be used for immigration clearance and those intending to stay beyond six months, passport is required.
Miri, like the rest of Sarawak and Malaysia, is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard time.
Bahasa Malaysia, or Malay, is the national language. However, English is widely spoken. Other languages used in Miri include Iban, Bidayuh, Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Lun Bawang, Mandarin and several Chinese dialects.
The official religion practiced in Malaysia is Islam, but freedom of worship is guaranteed by the constitution. There are Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and followers of other faiths living here.

Electric voltage is 220-240 (50 cycles).

The type of power plugs used is the three-square pin variety. Major hotels will be able to supply adapters. There is electricity in all towns and national parks.

The Malaysian ringgit (RM) is the local currency. The lowest denomination is 1 sen or RM0.01 and the highest denomination is 100 ringgit or RM100.
Credit cards such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club are accepted in most hotels and in the bigger restaurants and shops in Miri and other towns. Elsewhere, cash is preferred.
A ten percent service charge and six percent government tax is levied in all hotels and big restaurants. Tipping is not customary, but at the guest’s discretion.

Sarawak is comparatively free from the more dangerous tropical diseases. Travelers do not need malaria prophylactics unless they intend to travel into the far interior near the Indonesian border.

Miri is the medical service center for Northern Sarawak. It has a general hospital, a polyclinic, two private hospitals and 30 private medical and dental clinics. A Dialysis Center is run by the Miri Red Crescent Society. Outside Miri, there are government clinics or hospitals in even the most remote locations. Hotels have doctors on call in case of emergencies.

Miri pharmacies are open seven days a week, usually from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. The resident pharmacist is qualified to fill prescriptions. In smaller towns, patent medicines are available in general stores.

Miri has a comprehensive domestic and international telecommunications system, allowing direct phone calls to all parts of the world.

The international dialing code for Malaysia is 60; to call Miri from overseas dial 6085 followed by the number. To call overseas from Miri, dial 00, followed by the country code, area code and number.

Stamps are on sale at post offices and most hotels. A postcard costs 50 cents to any country outside Malaysia. Poslaju (Express post) and courier services are available for faster delivery.