If you are traveling to Miri, Sarawak, one of the top recommendations is to catch the spectacular views from the open field of Canada Hill. This is where you can discover one of the best vantage points overlooking not just the Miri town, but also the Miri-Brunei border, the offshore oil rigs, and nearby refineries in Lutong town.

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    Canada Hill in Miri, Sarawak

    Canada Hill History & Background

    Canada Hill is a limestone ridge overlooking the Miri town. It stands gloriously between the sea in the west and inland areas of Miri in the east. This place is originally called ‘Bukit Telaga Minyak’ by the locals. The name Canada Hill is nicknamed after a Canadian driller by the name of Charles McAlpine after he drilled the first well here in 1910. He was also responsible for the recruitment of both locals and foreigners to work on the oilfields.

    Back in the early 11th century, the locals in Miri started to extract oil from hand dug wells. These activities have attracted the attention of several foreign governors who were on duty at that time. It was reported that in 1882, a man by the name of Claude Champion or C. C. de Crespigny proposed the idea of an oil exploration development to the Brooke government. However, the proposal was later turned down due to poor logistic considerations.

    Canada Hill in Miri, Sarawak
    Canada Hill in Miri, Sarawak


    Top Attractions at Canada Hill, Miri

    After nearly three decades, the idea of oil exploration in Miri resurfaced when several oilfields were mapped out from August 1909 until July 1910 at Canada Hill. During this period, anticlines that were suitable for oil drilling were found and identified at the site. It eventually became the only onshore oilfield in Sarawak with its historical Miri Oil Well No. 1, also known as the Grand Old Lady which is situated on top of Canada Hill.

    Grand Old Lady - Miri Oil Well No.1

    Towering above Canada Hill, the iconic 30-metres high derrick structure of the Grand Old Lady is still well intact today. It is part of the Petroleum Museum managed by the Sarawak State Government. This museum is financed by Petroleum Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) and Shell Malaysia and it was officially opened to the public on May 20 in 2005. This important date also marked the day Miri was given a city status which made it Malaysia’s tenth city. To commemorate the occasion, a time capsule containing news articles and souvenir books were buried at the site. The content of the capsule is scheduled to be revealed 100 years later on May 20 in 2105.

    Today, the locals in Miri continue to celebrate the Miri City Day annually on May 20.

    Grand Old Lady
    Grand Old Lady - Miri Oil Well No.1
    Petroleum Museum at Miri, Sarawak
    Petroleum Museum at Miri, Sarawak


    Petroleum Museum Sarawak

    At the Petroleum Museum, visitors have the opportunity to take a closer look at the original structure of the derrick along with the Nodding Donkey - a pumpjack used to erect crude oil. This allows visitors to easily visualise the structural movements when the oil drilling operations that were formerly performed.

    A visit to this museum is both beneficial and informative, especially for geologists and practitioners in the oil and gas sector. For the general public, exhibits found at the museum are still a great deal. One of the most popular attractions here is the interactive Earthquake Simulator. It allows visitors to experience a realistic earthquake when they are seated inside a Perodua car, which gets jolted and shaken up.

    Canada Hill Hiking Trail

    As one of Miri’s top destinations, the surrounding area of Canada Hill is well maintained. Visitors are invited to immerse in the tranquil nature scenery while hiking uphill. It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk from the town centre following Jalan Oil Well No. 1 to arrive at the top of Canada Hill. If you have time on hand, you can take an interesting detour to visit Kampung Haji Wahed. It is a local village inhabited by the Kedayan people of Sarawak. This village showcases old traditional wooden houses with a touch of modern designs. A left turn at the intersection on top of Canada Hill leads the way to this quaint village.

    Canada Hill Hiking Trail
    Canada Hill Hiking Trail
    best sunset in miri
    Canada Hill is a vantage point for the best sunset in Miri, Sarawak


    Sunset & Sunrise Time at Canada Hill, Miri

    For those looking to catch the breathtaking sunset in Miri, be sure to arrive at Canada Hill before the sun sets at 6pm. For early birds, the sunrise can be observed from The Grand Old Lady at Canada Hill, Miri at 6.20am.

    How to Get to Canada Hill

    Feeling adventurous? You can walk to Canada Hill from the town centre following Jalan Oil Well No. 1. The 2-kilometer journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Alternatively, hop onto a taxi from Jalan Setia Raja which is located only 5 minutes away.

    Canada Hill in Miri, Sarawak

    Address: Jabatan Muzium Sarawak, Jalan Oil Well No. 1, Canada Hill, 98000 Miri, Sarawak.
    Telephone: +608-2244232
    Opening hours: 24 hours