This hostel has plus points and some negative points. Firstly, it's well located in the city centre and I actually walked from here to the Grand Old Lady on Canada Hill. I had a room which had a twin bunk bed and a/c and that was it - pretty spartan. The hostel has shared bathroom facilities which were clean plus a large clean and tidy communal area with comfy seating, TV, videos/DVDs, books, internet etc. However, the negative points are the rather annoying woman who seems to run the place who had major mood swings and who could win a gold medal for sarcasm if it ever became an Olympic sport. Just try and not talk to her too much and "tread on egg shells" when you have to. The only other gripe I had was how much the room with nothing but a bed cost - it was RM50 back in March 2009 which I thought was a little steep plus the 14 or 16 bed dorm cost RM25 which is a bit of a joke. Anyway, it's a great place to meet fellow travellers and in fact I went to Niah National park with a few of them.
Highlands has been in Miri for years. Some travellers give good comments while others not. The operators, Joanne, seems a good person, but character wise is somehow non-predictable. I had no problem to communciate with her as I knew this before my booking and I only engaged quick and short conversation with her.
The room and facilities are ordinary in comparsion with other backpackers. I stayed there for 1 night in single room RM50 (Apr 2009), dorm bed is RM25. The room is air-con, so is the common area. It has many travel information posting on the wall and is easy to check with otehr fellow travellers for information, or sharing a taxi to airport in the morning for flights to Mulu.
Upon my return from Mulu, I stayed in Dillenia guesthouse and the experiecne was "complewtely" difference. See other tip for Dillenia.
Both hostels can be booked through www.hostelworld.com
I wanted to be near the waterfront and not pay too much, so this hotel fit the bill nicely. I paid 40 ringgit for a private room and shared facilities. This also included free tea and coffee and use of the common room, which has a large number of books, DVDs and videos. The room is very basic but I didn't spend that much time in it so that was fine by me.
When I checked out, the manager let me keep my bags in storage. They had no qualms about that at all.
Unique Quality: The staff were great. They were able to organise wake up calls and tours and so on. They were very friendly and welcoming. The manager, Sufian, is very knowledgable about the area and gave some good advice. The shared facilities might put some people off, but if was by myself, I'd certainly stay here again.
Directions: Right on the Miri River, above Wheels Cafe.
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