Tag - eat

Miri, Malaysia

Miri, Malaysia
Miri, Malaysia

The city of Miri is a good place to spend a few days. Surrounded by a number of large national parks and beaches, this is a good place to use as a base while you explore the surrounding area, while the city itself offers vibrant nightlife and a whole host of good places to stay, shop and eat. Miri is a very multicultural city, with Chinese, Malay, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau, Kelabit, Lun Bawang and a number of other ethnic groups living side by side. Most people speak English and are friendly, making this a great place to spend some time and discover Malaysia’s diversity.

A good way to get a feel for Miri is to hire a bicycle and explore. Climbing to the top of Canada Hill offers stunning views of Miri and the surrounding area, and this is the perfect place from which to watch the sunset. Malaysia’s first oil well was established on this very spot several decades ago, and those who are interested in the history and culture of the area can also take the time to check out the Petroleum Museum, which can be found near the summit of the hill.

Not to be missed is the City Fan, which consists of a number of themed gardens located around the biggest open-air theatre in the whole of Malaysia. Other amenities that can be found here include an indoor stadium, a public swimming pool and the impressive San Ching Tian Temple, which has the distinction of being is the biggest Taoist temple in the whole of Southeast Asia

One of the best times to travel to Miri is in the third week of May, as this is when the city’s annual festival is held. Featuring vibrant street parades as well as plenty of singing, drinking and dancing, this is a great time to see the people of Miri at their best.

A large number of interesting attractions can also be found just outside the city, and sun worshippers will want to spend time soaking up the sun on the beautiful Hawaii Beach. Also nearby is Taman Selera Beach, which is the perfect place to relax and unwind for a while.

Traveling as a Couple: Some Tips in Thailand

arguing_coupleAnyone traveling in Thailand will likely come across the sad-but-typical backpacker sight. The young couple, traveling the world together, now barely speaking as they eat breakfast tensely at your guesthouse restaurant.

Traveling with someone can be challenging. Traveling with a partner? Even more so. Taking that partner to a country renowned for beautiful women, all-night parties, and hedonistic pleasures is a minefield for even the sanest of couples.

Below are some simple tips for keeping all parties happy on your couple trip through Thailand. After all, the steamy weather and luscious landscapes can be intensely romantic. There are simply a few things to bear in mind.    

1. Be prepared to get a little jealous
Thai women are famous for their beauty. Thai men won’t hesitate to point out a foreign woman’s sex appeal. And what about fellow travelers? Southeast Asia is a Mecca for young, toned adventurers, partying without inhibitions in skimpy beachwear.
So while lingering stares and flirtatious greetings are inevitable, your knee-jerk jealousy doesn’t have to be. The best thing to do is take a deep breath, give your partner’s hand a squeeze, and feel confident that you landed such a desirable mate. If you’re the one getting the attention, flattering as it may be, have the sense not to flirt back. Your partner feels vulnerable when you’re being lusted for so publicly. It’s important to think clearly and show your mate that you only have eyes for them.  

2. Choose your destinations wisely
While it’s hard to avoid the reality of some aspects of tourism in Thailand, some destinations are more notorious than others. Do your research. For some beach fun, hit pretty, relaxed Koh Chang instead of Pattaya. On a night out in Bangkok, choose trendy Silom over Patpong. Most guidebooks will be upfront about Thailand’s shadier destinations. All you have to do is plan. 

3. Rent a bike
Once you’re outside the big cities and their hazardous traffic, renting a motorbike is a smart travel choice. It’s a great way to explore towns and countrysides at your own pace. A bonus to motorbiking is the closeness you’ll feel when sharing a bike with your partner. It’s more private than an organized tour, and the bodily contact is an all-day reminder of your bond.
Drivers, you can’t help but feel gallant as your loved one grips onto your chest. Passengers, holding your partner for security and support is downright intimate. So grab a bike, pack some water, and don’t worry about how geeky you look in your helmet. Once on the road together, your partner won’t notice. Trust us on this!  

4. Volunteer together
There’s no shortage of volunteer organizations in Thailand. Whether it’s teaching at rural schools for a month, helping in an orphanage for a week, or even working with animal conservation groups for a few days, opportunities abound. Doing charity work in your travels is a great way to meet local people, learn more about local issues, and give back to the country from which you’ve derived so much holiday pleasure.
For couples, working together for a common purpose is a real bonding experience. Together, your eyes will be opened to Thailand’s needs and causes that you might not otherwise understand. This work can create or compound a passion that you share, whether it’s helping people or wildlife. It will be rewarding to feel that, as a team, you’ve made a contribution.  

5. Try some alone time
One of you is dying to get some shopping done. The other is itching for a Muay-Thai workshop. One of you wants to take a sunrise stroll on the beach. The other is keen to laze in bed and catch up on reading. With so many things to see and do in Thailand, it’s ambitious to think that your partner’s goals and priorities will match yours exactly.
So rather than drag your mate to a cooking class or up a steep mountain, why not agree to disagree? There’s nothing wrong with spending a few hours apart if it means doing an activity you’ll love while your partner does the same. Don’t worry if it seems distant or uncaring not to join your mate in something they want to do. Some occasional time apart is a great sign of security and confidence in the relationship, even on vacation. Also, when you reunite later for a meal or a walk, you’ll have more to talk about.   
Anne Merritt is Canadian and has an English Literature degree. She has worked as a journalist for a university newspaper. She is currently living in Ayutthaya as an ESL teacher and is sharing her experience of Thailand with KhaoSanRoad.com.