The Glass Tower - Yu Lan Plaza

Yu Lan Plaza is the first all-glass high rise building in Miri. It is located in the midst of the old Miri town area, located next to the Miri Old Open Air Market. From far, Yu Lan Plaza is an easily recognizable landmark in the city both at night and day, thus the building provides an easy and quick way to regain your bearings of where you are in the city easily.

"Glass Tower"

This building was built in the late 1990s, the blue / turquoise colored all-glass surfaced high-rise building is built over the location of an old petrol station and cinema, and has its own underground parking facilities, which are for use only for the tenants. There is a nearby pedestrian bridge, and a next to it is a garden with palm trees along the road. Just a short walk away in all directions, is the old town area, the local market, the Unity Food Stall, and several hotels.

Sometimes known as the "Glass Tower," it has been empty for some time, housing a bank and some offices, the building only recently houses the Companies of Commissions in Malaysia (SSM) (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia) and the Government Immigration offices - it is now well-known as the place where all Mirians go to have their passports made or renewed. The building also houses several offices on its higher floors.

Oil Well no.1 - Also known as the 'Grand Old Lady'

Canada Hill is a limestone ridge overlooking Miri City and offering excellent views of Miri and its surrounding. Situated on top of Canada Hill, the Grand Old Lady is the first oil well in Malaysia. It represents the petroleum history of Miri which is almost a century old. This oil well is no longer production and it has been declared a protected historical site by the Sarawak Government. There is an observatory platform where visitors can have an excellent view of Miri City. Next to this oil well is the newly completed Petroleum Science Museum.

Miraculously, the oil well was spared from the bombings and other attacks of World War II.

The 'Grand Old Lady' of Miri had had a remarkable record over her 62 years of life. She had operated almost non-stop from that day in December 1910, when she had first brought into production, until she was closed in 1941 due to war action. In that time, she had produced 563,484 barrels and was still producing 10 barrles per day. In three and a half years of occupation, Well No.1 wored for only 12 months during which she produced 4,371 barrels. At close, she was still managing to produce 3 barrels of oil a day and when finally stopped, had produced over 650,000 barrels of oil.

In the last months of operation, one of the wells still creaking slowly up and down was that same well that began the saga of Miri Well Number One.

On Monday, October 1st, 1973, in a simple ceremony on top of Canada Hill, Miri, Sarawak Shell Berhad handed Malaysia's first oil well over to the State Government, to be henceforth an official monument. This became the historic Well Number One. It had then been in existence for 63 years.

Nearly a Tragic Ending
As if in protest against her enforced retirement, Miri No.1's derrick involved herself in a bush fire four months later. Fortunately this was extinguished in good time. She was to be restored to her old self again and on 1st October, 1973, after one year in retirement, she was handed over to the Sarawak Government to be kept in perpetuity as a historical monument.

The Grand Old Lady today

Nowadays there is an observatary platform where visitors can have an excellent view of the city, and the Petroleum Science Museum has been built next to the site.

Click to enlarge the panorama.

The Petroleum Museum (open daily, 9am - 5pm, needs admission fee) traces the history and technological development of the oil & gas industries in Malaysia. You will need a taxi, taxi fare is about RM7.

Right next to the Petroleum Museum, there is currently a Bistro known as Hazard, which offers food and beverages overlooking the night time cityscape.

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