About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Miri Resort City or is it Miri City, the last resort?

Working in Miri is quite a change in pace of life, a proper work life balance. You are not spending most of your time at work or in traffic jams as you would working in cities like Kuala Lumpur. Miri has hardly any traffic congestion, many people go back home for lunch especially the family people.

Miri became a city about 2 or 3 years ago, I do not have actual facts on this but that is what someone told me or something I read somewhere when I joined the oil and gas industry in Miri.

Miri also changed its moniker from Miri Oil Town to Miri Resort City. All of these have changed in many sign boards.

However, for me Miri is far from a proper city more so a resort city. It has one international resort which is Miri Marriot Resort and Spa which has a sea front but no beach.

Other top hotels in Miri are Park Everly, Grand Palace, Imperial, Mega and Dynasty (not the chain) - never heard of these hotels? Well, you're not alone, neither did I before I came here.

In terms of things that people from KL or other cities may recognize, Miri has 1 McDonald's (not that I go there), 2 KFC's, 2 Coffee Bean (one in Shell premises), 1 San Francisco coffee, 1 Parkson, 1 Giant, 1 Dave's deli, 1 Guardian pharmacy, 1 Popular bookstore and 1 Pizza Hut. I may have missed out some things but there are many other places in Miri which are totally unknown to the outside world like Boulevard, Rex Box karaoke, Belle's bookstore and many many others.

The city has at least 20 dangdut pubs if not more of which I have been to 4 before. Dangdut karaoke pubs are filled with scantily clad women from our wonderful neighbours. These girls will dance, sit with you and be GRO's at most, they are not prostitutes (although there are many of those here as well and some quite openly trading on street corners and such). It has at least 20 "health spas" which will offer you a whole range of massages (especially catering for men) and a few "hair saloons" also mainly for male clientele.

The city has 1 bowling alley, 1 cineplex which is crawling with creepy crawlies and 1 archery place.

The activities that a person who is decent and nice like me would do in Miri is mostly physical activities like hiking, biking, playing Ultimate Frisbee with friends, swimming, volleyball, soccer, dancing ... well you get the gist, mainly physical sports activities.

Although the city has a sea front, it has very few beaches for public access, maybe 3 small ones at the most and this includes the beach front in front of my temporary accommodation.

Recently, a Mr Ho's fine food restaurant (a chain from KL) opened here and there was a big buzz and the place was crowded for days.

Also, recently the Marina Bay opened it's doors with it's new UluMulu restaurant and a big buzz was created by that. It is ridiculously expensive and service is horrendous, at least the time that I went there with few other people.

There are 2 golf courses in Miri, one is Miri Golf club started by Shell and now a public course. The other one is situated away from town area on the bypass road called Eastwood Valley.

I like some things in Miri and life here is easygoing, but calling Miri a resort city just is ridiculously funny, as such, my new moniker for Miri city, The last resort.

Miri can still maintain its small town charms and become a resort city, it does not have to follow KL or Singapore examples. It can instead follow example of Kota Kinabalu, Melaka, Kuching even or going international, how about Vienna, Sorrento, Monaco, Provence, Dunedin, Christchurch.

For those who read this post and are discouraged to come to Miri, please do not be. Miri is a gateway to Mulu caves, Niah caves, Lambir Hills, Loagan Bunut, Bario and even just minutes away from Brunei. But please don't come here if you are hoping to find a resort city, remember, it's the last resort.

I love Miri for what it is but I hope for it to become more. It is capable to be a lot more. I personally would not be able to make Miri my home, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching I would have considered.

Take care and be well.


macK said...

you make it sound soooooo bad.

it has more than that.

especially good people.

despite it's flaw, i'm glad i'm here. i'm not complaining about the cinemas, the malls, the unknown places (doesn't have to follow 'the cities', no?) anymore.

i see good.

Nil said...

Mack, thanks for your comment. In my earlier posting, I did mention that people have a heart of gold over here, and in general in East Malaysia. Nevertheless, I hope more effort can be made to make Miri a resort city or not call it as such. As a resort city, I just think of the many resort cities and towns around the world, some smaller some larger, but all have a resort like ambience that Miri does not. Miri is a nice place and people are great and have a good heart. But resort city it ain't.