9th October 2010, Saturday
Miri brings back a lot of old memories. Many, many years ago, I got to know a guy from Piasau Garden. He was having his gig in one of the watering holes in Miri. So, he decided to fly me to Miri to watch him play. Of course I declined. Flight tickets prices were really steep then. Thanks to Air Asia, we are now able to fly to Miri, paying less than RM200.
We woke up early to catch the earliest flight to Miri. The flight was pleasant, aside from moments of turbulence upon reaching Miri due to thick clouds.
Getting out from Miri airport was such a breeze. Here, you can also fly to Mulu Caves for an adventure via MASwings. Miri Airport was like a smaller version of KLIA. It has so much nicer layout and design compared to LCCT! If you are a West Malaysian using IC to get into Miri, or Sarawak for the matter, they will issue you an entry slip. You should not lose the slip lah. It’s just like an entry slip whenever you go overseas. And I thought we are all Malaysians.. sigh. If you like, you can use your passport instead – they will put a stamp on it, instead of issuing you a slip.
We were greeted by JS at the airport. She lives just 20 minutes away from the airport. There were not many cars at the airport, so traffic was smooth. The air indeed is much cleaner. I am not stereotyping, but seriously, I didn’t have the urge of digging my nostrils for the 3 days I was in Miri-Brunei. Haha!
First, we made a stop at Hopoh Canteen for its famous kueh chap. I don’t really like eating innards of any animals but this was an exception. We also tried the Zhao Cai meehoon. It came with some pork balls and the soup tasted like ham choy with vinegar. Quite an appetizing meal!
They have English name for a hakka dish as well.. Louis Cha!
The more “English” version of Lui cha – Louis Cha
Since it was raining on and off since we arrived, we couldn’t really walk anywhere. So, we drove around Miri. We passed by Piasau Camp, where Shell built homes for the expats working for them. This place reminds me of Taiping as well. The gateless semi-wooden bungalows surrounded by vast gardens.
I remember staying in one of those houses back in Taiping, where my mom’s friend was the care taker for an expat. When the expat left, she stayed on the house with her family and I was invited to stay with them for school holidays. I really looked forward to my stay in the bungalow, despite a little creepy sometimes at night, with creaking of the wooden floors as if someone was walking when everyone was already sleeping!
At the bridge connecting to Piasau Camp, we saw a sign board saying, beware of the crocodiles. It was a huge Miri River! I am sure, we couldn’t find the crocodiles unless we are very, very unlucky!
Bridge connecting Piasau Camp to town
Before we even make a trip to Miri, Datin already heard from friends of the many choices of imported goods, well stocked in supermarkets around Miri. Since Miri was a place of dwellings of the westerners back then because of oil, it’s no surprise that, even when there were no longer many expatriates around Miri, the locals had assimilate tastes for imported goods. We made a stop at Ng Sian Hap, which is just beside the bridge connecting to Piasau Camp for a look-see.
Many, many brands!
It was still raining, so we decided to make another stop at another supermarket – GK. Here, we found Pringles in many other flavors, not found here in KL! They have soft shell crabs, blueberry and hazel nuts and lemon!
Safe sex, the local way!
We laughed when we saw a local brand condom as well. Long house for long men? Haha!
After some shopping, we went to a restaurant nearby and tried their specialty – marudi kueh teow and cha chu noodles. They were awesome!
Marudi kueh teow
Stuffing our faces is the order of the day! I had to surrender because I could feel my jeans tightening, so, JS took us back to her home to rest. Mind you! Most Mirians live in bungalows or semi-detached houses and not on trees! Js kept emphasizing that, there are some ignorant people who still think Sarawak is such an ulu place. It’s not! Miri is an upcoming young city! It was nice to be meeting JS’ parents. They were very, very warm people. Speaking of which, Miri was indeed really a warm and hospitable place because the locals are never short of offering their warm smiles whenever our eyes met.
After resting, we went again for another round of makan. We had rojak at Sin Wan restaurant. I simply love the rojak sauce – it’s different from the ones in KL or Taiping. It’s so damn good that we had to re-order a second plate of fried yam, potato, cucur udang and tofu! It’s simply out of this world!
Rojak at Sin Wan
Special Ais Kacang with jagung and sago
Since JS had to attend a wedding dinner, she dropped us at Bintang shopping mall. We went to Super Save. It was a really good place to get really cheap things! We managed to buy some nail cutter at only Rm1.20. Even the pasar malam in KL is selling almost the same brand of nail cutter for Rm4 each! So, being si-lais, we stock up nail cutters, pill cutter, tongue brush, combs, landyards, etc. They even have Andy Lau endorsing their brand!
Cheapest socks advertisement
Then, we had our dinner at Sugarbun. After our bad experience in KK – the Sugarbun at Gaya Street is always running out of things, we were a little apprehensive. However, we tried the fish burger as well as their fried chicken set this time, and they were good and cheap to boot!
We visited Tg Lobang but unfortunately, the Medan Selera was closed due to development nearby. Since it was a long day, we called it a night and went home to prepare for the next day in Brunei.