1. Miri is the gateway city for tourists to Sarawak, Borneo.
Miri is located in Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. A fun fact for you: An oilfield was discovered in Miri in 1910, and that was when Miri was founded and developed as a city. Miri became the birthplace of Malaysia’s Petroleum Industry from then on.
Oil is one of the resources, when the oil supply depleted over the years, because of the vicinity of the city to the South China Sea, Miri started to reposition and develop itself as a resort city.
You can start diving in two hours' time once you land in Miri. Dive sites are within half an hour from each other. Plenty of food and entertainment venues in the city after the dives.
2. Miri is actually a diving destination.
Hur. So Miri used to be an oil town. Would there be oil floating in the waters? Just like our Hantu?
Fret not, the waters in Miri-Sibuti National Marine Park is clear of traces of oil. Miri has started as a dive destination about five to six years ago and is not yet populated with divers and dive centers. There are, however, dive operators that have been established since then, with stable diving operations.
3. There are Whale Sharks in Miri.
If I tell you that Whale Shark sightings are quite a common sight there, would you believe me?
I am not kidding. Miri has the chop of approval from one of the veterans of Malaysia’s scuba diving industry - Mr Clement Lee. In fact, that is how I got to know about diving in Miri, when Mr Clement Lee was giving a presentation about diving in Malaysia one or two ADEX ago.
You can have a read on his experience with the Whale Sharks on Borneo Post.
Other than Whale Sharks, there is also the Atagu Maru Wreck from World War II. Soft and hard coral species, barracudas, cuttlefish, and other tropical marine life are also abundant in the 30 or so dive sites in the marine park.
4. Rich archaeological and natural resources.
Sarawak, Borneo, is home to tropical rainforests that houses some of the native tribes, there is also an especially interesting place with great archaeological value to visit - Niah Cave, where you can find 40000-year-old human remains from Stone Age. Niah Cave covers an area of 11 hectares as large as 13 football fields, and is about 60m high and 250m wide, making it one of the world's most spectacular caves.
It makes for a fascinating mix of adventures on land apart from the underwater ones.
Trekking tours in National Parks and Nature Reserves are readily available everyday. You can do some research and read more about what are the options available, and only book while you are there.
5. Direct flights from Singapore
Let me entice you with the last detail of Miri. Being a pretty mature tourist destination, Miri is easily accessible from Singapore. Malaysia Airlines flies everyday, with a stopover at Kuching. AirAsia, on the other hand, flies direct on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.