Miri has been a bustling economic hub since oil was discovered there in the early 20th century. Today, it is part of a regional economic explosion in Malaysia. Since being designated a city in 2005, it has invested a considerable amount in local tourism. Such efforts have paid off, and modern Miri is an excellent place to visit for travelers seeking some cosmopolitan fun.
Attractions include Esplanade Beach, a popular beach at Luak Bay, arduous jungle treks up Canada Hill (not for the faint of heart), and shopping at the Imperial Mall and/or Boulevard Shopping Complex. Reputable dive outfits will guide you to some surprisingly pristine (in light of the area’s history as an oil town) coral reefs.
Many people stop in Miri on their way to Gunung Mulu National Park, itself a worthy destination (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The park is easily the largest tourist draw for Miri and features some of the world’s most astonishing cave systems, as well as some excellent jungle and mountain trekking. Before heading off for Gunung Mulu, keep in mind that it is necessary to register at the park headquarters and pay a nominal fee per person per day. It is also necessary to obtain the services of a licensed park guide in order to enter any of the caves legally (or safely).