Travels through Miri

DURING a recent media trip to cover the Borneo Jazz Festival 2018 in Miri, Sarawak, hosts AirAsia and the Sarawak Tourism Board took the opportunity to bring the media personnel to visit various notable locales in and around the sleepy coastal resort city.

The first stop was to an Entulang (Iban longhouse). At that time, the sight of the entire longhouse being completely enveloped in election flags seemed surreal.

Unless you understand how a longhouse and the community is structured, space becomes distorted.

Each community is composed of over 20 units of houses that are connected side-to-side. Each unit is lengthened when the number of family members increases.

This means that walking into a certain house might lead you to wander endlessly in it if the family is huge.

We were also taken to Lambir Hills National Park. Our guide, Putra Drus, explained that there were four other national parks scattered around Miri – the Mulu National Park, Niah National Park, Loagan Bunut National Park, and Miri Sibuti Coral Reef National Park.

Prior to hiking through Lambir Hills to reach the Latak Waterfall, Putra explained the history and methods behind Borneo’s infamous headhunter tribes, to both the amusement and horror of the media personnel.

On another day, we were taken to Canada Hills, the site of Miri’s Petroleum Museum as well as the first oil well in East Malaysia called the Grand Old Lady.

Another stop was in the town of Tudan, close to the Brunei-Malaysia border, where we visited the E-Mart supermarket, as well as a layer cake shop and the 105-year-old Tua Pek Kong Buddhist temple.

It’s highly recommended to venture out on your own, as there is an endless list of places of interest to discover.

On a solo midnight excursion one night, I discovered a number of 24-hour restaurants that served authentic Sarawakian cuisine, such as laksa Sarawak, mee kolo and nasi lalapan.

On our last night in Miri, a group of us comprising the media and AirAsia personnel experienced the nightlife in a bar.

We saw everything one would expect on a ‘crazy’ night out, from locals and foreigners of all ages dancing on tables, to people attempting to start a fight as the entire bar shouted at them to get out!

There was little wriggle room to explore more of Miri on our short trip, but what little we saw during our trip delivered a sensory overload.

With AirAsia flying 86 times weekly to Miri from Kuala Lumpur, a second visit is just a short hop away.