While Kuching's city mascot is the cat, Miri claimed the seahorse - famous for its gentle gracefulness. Despite a handful of high-rise hotels dotted around the city, Miri still retains the charm of a small town; the culturally-diverse people in Miri are very warm and friendly to visitors. Miri is the second largest city in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo. The discovery of oil 100 years ago transformed Miri from a quiet fishing village into a wealthy city of around 300,000 people. The close proximity to Brunei makes Miri extremely popular with expats working for the oil companies.
Miri acts as an excellent base for exploring the many national parks in northern Sarawak including Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak's only UNESCO site. Lambir Hills National Park is only 30 minutes from the city; Niah National Park - famous for its massive caves - is only one hour from Miri.