What should I do upon arrival?

It is advisable to have some Malaysian currency before arrival in Miri. There is a Bureau de Change in Kuala Lumpur International Airport and you can use a cashpoint machine to withdraw malaysian currency with Cirrus or Mastercard.

On arrival in Miri, collect your luggage and pass through Immigration. If you have chosen to be met by a representative from the relocation company, you will be met at the airport and taken to your temporary accommodation which is usually a hotel or apartment.

Alternatively you may have chosen to make your own way to your accommodation, in which case you will find a taxi kiosk with the foyer of the airport.  There you should purchase a voucher for one or more taxis. To contact the logistic duty personnel, ask for the telephone number of the Duty Supervisor, Materials/Custom/Liaison/ Transport (SSB central: 45 45 45).

A pool car will be made available to you for two weeks.  After this period, a car can be rented locally at your own cost (for about RM1,000 per month), if you have been unable to purchase one.

Do I need to bring a lot of cash with me?

The most expensive item you will probably purchase is a car which you will need when the two-week car loan period from SSB has expired. SSB does not arrange car loans, but car dealers do and SSB staff usually have no problems in obtaining one. Bank wire transfers take from one to two weeks.

Credit cards are widely accepted and cash can be obtained from ATM machines with the most used credit cards.

If you have HSBC branch, they can help you to open your bank account in Malaysia from where you are. Please go to their branch or their website for further information.

Can you put me in touch with someone of the same nationality?

Certainly. If you need information to help you in your move, first contact Outpost Miri and then we will try to put you in contact with a person of the same nationality or with similar family circumstances.

What should I bring in the air freight?

Usually, you can opt to stay in the hotel or in a transit flat while awaiting permanent housing (Taman Bayshore or Prima Villa). Either way, bring in your airfreight the things which will make your stay more comfortable. What you include in your air freight will depend on your own family's needs.The rental accomodation is equipped with fridge, fridge, cooker ovens and cabinetries/wardrobes, television, microwave, washing machine, bedding (1 set per person only!), and basic kitchen ware.

We suggest you take the following items in your airfreight: extra kitchen ware as the loan set is very basic (only one set of plate/cutlery is provided per person); bathroom mats, extra bedding and especially towels/kitchen towels, CD's and favorite music/video tapes, sport gears (if you are sporty) and non-English books. Most people bring also their personal computers and FAX machines (surge protectors are available locally). For those who are coming with children, toys and children's bicycles should be on the airfreight list as well.

If you want your airfreight to be cleared through customs before your arrival, staff should check with the Transfer Desk who will be able to provide a contact about requirements. The shipping agent for SSB will organise for the shipment to clear customs and any taxes due will be paid by SSB.

When will I get my sea freight and what should I bring?

Your sea freight should arrive within four to twelve weeks.( The shipping agent will take your shipment through customs and any taxes due will be paid by SSB.) In the event of the container arriving before you are able to move to your permanent house, the shipping agent would keep it for storage.

You can buy most things for the house and the kitchen here in Miri but most people bring as much as they can in their sea freight. Below are some items that you may wish to consider including in your sea freight because they are not readily available here or are of limited choice.

Furniture and Furnishings

Transit houses will have basic furniture but they all vary depending on the landlords. There is no any furniture subsidy.

There are a few furniture shops with reasonable tables, chairs and sofas and you usually have to place an order which can take up to a four to six weeks. Some carpentry shops are quite skilled at copying and making furniture from a photograph or drawing. Curtain material can be purchased and curtains/blinds made to measure locally, though plain fabrics may be difficult to find.

Local beds are only 6 feet long so you may want to bring your own or have them made here. There is a large choice of mattresses, even orthopedic ones, and you can even order them to size. Miri does not have many choices for children beds and the furniture for their bedroom, you may also want to bring your own. The closest IKEA is in Kuala Lumpur.

Houses have either hardwood floors or tiled floors. Area rugs are a good thing to bring although some stores in Miri do sell factory-made rugs. Taman Bayshore is also frequently visited by a carpet salesman who goes door-to-door with his trunk full of Oriental handmade carpets.

It is not advisable to bring wooden antiques because of the risk of termites. For local import restrictions, see the Inside Guide.

Electrical Appliances

Sarawak uses 3-pin British type plugs and the power supply is 50 Hz/240 volts. Adaptors are widely available. Surge protectors are recommended for computer, television, fax machine and modems.

Satellite TV is available with around 20 or more channels, depending on your subscription. Televisions from Europe (except from the UK) can be used in Malaysia but not those from America because of the difference in formats. Most electrical goods, including computers and fax machines, are sold here; the quality is good and the price reasonable.

Houses in for eg. Taman Bayshore or Prima Villa are equipped with a fairly large refrigerator with a separate small freezer compartment. Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers are available in Miri but they are quite expensive and the choice of brands is limited (Electrolux, Elba, other lesser-known European makes). There are several small repair centres, including one for Philips. Remember, though, that if you do bring your own appliances, service centres may not exist in Miri so spare parts may be hard to get hold of and will have to be sent for.


Most clothes, shoes and socks are made to fit Asian sizes. Generally, it is not easy to find clothes in larger size in Malaysia. Leather shoes/sandals for men are easier to find than those for women. You can have clothes (casual and formal wear) made to order as there are plenty of good and inexpensive dressmakers. There is a good choice of fabric, but 100% cotton or linen are not always available.

The dress code in Miri is casual, with occasional formal events (like St. Andrew's Night) where a cocktail dress or black tie are worn.

Children Shoes

Children mainly have activities outside or near the beach. Open shoes are the best for the hot weather in Miri. They hardly need socks (only if they go to birthday party or formal events). Shoes-sandals like CROCS is suitable for playing on the beach because it is very easy to be cleaned.

Sports Equipment

Bring your own bicycle if you are exceptionally tall, although you can probably order your size from the many bike shops in Miri or Kuala Lumpur. Mountain bikes (for men and women) and racing bikes are available locally. There is a mountain biking club that meets every weekend.

Sports equipment for tennis, squash, golf and diving are sold locally and there are many sports clubs that you can join.

Books and Magazines

Miri has a number of book stores but they only carry titles in English, Bahasa Malaysia or Chinese. Foreign newspapers are difficult to find and may be a few days old. There are two local English dailies (The Sarawak Tribune and The Borneo Post) and a national newspaper (The New Straits Times); they can all be delivered to your house. Foreign subscriptions and books ordered through the Internet are delivered fairly reliably through the Malaysian postal system.

Health Products

The pharmacies in Miri are well-stocked with prescription and non-prescription drugs; many prescription-only drugs can be bought over the counter. Homeopathic drugs are difficult to find so it is best to bring some with you.

There are several dentists in Miri and one who is also a qualified orthodontist. Orthodontic work is much cheaper than in Europe or America. Spectacles and negative contact lenses (hard, soft, disposable, tinted) are readily available and quite inexpensive. Please note, however, that positive contact lenses are not available.

Outpost Miri

Office hours: Mondays and Thursdays 8.30 - 10.00am
Languages: English, Dutch, Norwegian
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