Lutong Town

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Mon, 2007-12-31 11:04. :: Eyes on Miri | News & Events | Photography | Special interests

A little about Lutong.

Lutong is the small suburban town in Miri, where Shell built Malaysia's first oil refinery. A quaint little town (you could take a walk from the town center and instantly end up 'out of town' - or, as the case may be - "into the river"), Lutong's economy is generated mainly from staff of the the oil and gas companies located nearby.

As a child, I lived in Lutong for a while before moving to Miri, and have experienced the great flood of 1981 (or 82?) during my stay there. Couldn't remember much of that, though. Luckily, we lived in a house built on stilts, as are most of the oil company's houses there were built at the time. Home builders were quite smart back then.

Recently, Lutong is brought into the limelight for all the wrong reasons, like the oil spill disasters and more recent flooding from the ridiculously huge amounts of rainfalls.

Lutong town seemed like a neglected township lately, because after the intial hoo-haa about Miri becoming a city, the tiny town of Lutong was almost totally neglected from tourist maps. Not surprisingly, it has very little to attract people, but its nice rustic rural feel is kept intact that I'm sure some would actually prefer.

I went there yesterday after not having gone back for a very long time to take some pictures for the memories. It's nice to know that sometimes, things that don't change too much, and it's pretty much perfect that way.

I would recommended people who visit Miri to also go take a look at Lutong Old Town, take some pictures there, and have a quick meal at the famous roti canai or noodle stalls there. The river view is exceptionally great.

townnewshop.jpg townoldshop.jpg river-boat2.jpg
river-kampung.jpg lutongbazaar.jpg river-boats-kampung.jpg river-boat.jpg
playground-tree.jpg tree-river.jpg

Submitted by Shaipur (not verified) on Sat, 2012-12-22 10:21.

Lutong, a placed forgotten by all. I can tell you that, what Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya now, somehow came from the oil revenue from Lutong. Even, parts of the Hague is some related to Lutong oil. Lutong now is a dying small town with almost all the shop are near to closing their biz.

But in the near future, lutong will be a high class residential area. Most of the land that previously used by Shell will be taken over by the local government, hand over to the Miri tycoon and to be develope with houses and new shops lot.

A big shopping complex now near to completion just opposite the Lutong mosque, at the former catholic church.

Somehow, in the next 5 years, lutong will be relive again as a modern town.

The sad thing is.....after all these years, only now lutong going to relive its glory.

All you guys who live and play in lutong yesteryears....please visit lutong in 2018.

It will be different then. But the old part of lutong will still as what it was today...that Im sure...

Submitted by karen jackson (not verified) on Mon, 2012-07-02 17:14.

So that place is like operated by people working in the oil company and those people something to do with it. Small and looks simple yet, the place is good for new exploration of attractive natures.

petroleum engineering

Submitted by Karen Robinson (not verified) on Mon, 2012-07-02 17:03.

So that place is like operated by people working in the oil company and those people something to do with it. Small and looks simple yet, the place is good for new exploration of attractive natures.

petroleum engineering

Submitted by chino hills boot camp (not verified) on Thu, 2011-12-08 15:01.

Miri in itself is really a beautiful place. I have visited it lately in 2005 things may have changed now.

Submitted by drekweiner (not verified) on Tue, 2011-12-06 17:27.

It is maybe a small populated area, but when you can see its resources, there are huge hidden wealth you can find here.
wood doors

Submitted by Philemon John (not verified) on Wed, 2011-09-21 12:03.

Im also born in clinic shell Lutong there too in years 1977....i still remember there was a small train still active in late 80's Do anyone have the historically picture of Shell Train services that time if do,pls email it to me...coz it important for me to tell story to people there was a train services in lutong in old days....

Submitted by Small town boy (not verified) on Fri, 2011-08-05 01:11.

Hi, I just discover this great site of my hometown Miri. I lived in Lutong for one year in '74 and about a few months in '76. Lutong is such a wonderful place and it's so sad to see this little town, supposed to be the riches of all from Oil, be completely neglected. I remember the fully occupied Shell quarters in my younger days. How sad to see that it's run down and left to rot these days.
Your pictures of the town is excellent. I love the last two of the trees the best.
A beautiful and livable town doesn't need to be big to be good. The most beautiful and livable cities in the world aren't the biggest. I therefore am very proud to be from Miri and Lutong. Imagine a city right by the sea with a nice river behind it! Please add more pictures. Thanks.

Submitted by Zhatakk (not verified) on Sat, 2011-07-23 08:58.

I wish much more people would write blogs

like this that are actually enjoyable to study. With all the fluff floating around on the internet,

it is rare to read a weblog like yours instead.
Brandy Bockenstedt

Submitted by Vista College (not verified) on Tue, 2011-04-26 17:17.

Its really one of the nice place to spend time with family and friends with cool atmosphere and calm nature.I would like to visit there during this summer vacations.

Submitted by used trailers (not verified) on Mon, 2011-02-14 15:25.

Its really a good article and panoramic picture has been posted on this page.The information presented about the Lutong the town in Miri will be really helpful for the aspiring visitors of that town.Detailed information has been shared about the rivers,the history of town,places for having lunch etc. Its really a good informative post.

Submitted by rickkgoh (not verified) on Fri, 2011-01-14 11:52.

Never been to Miri, but looking at the pictures, it seems very cozy and calm place to stay.

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Sun, 2011-01-09 14:28.

Hi, this is an interesting development. If you don't mind us asking, who is this Chinese Malaysian who stayed in Lutong in the 90s?

Unfortunately, I am unavailable for this week. Miri has changed a lot since the 90s, Lutong quite a bit less. I've sent you an email, wish you all the best in your filming.

Also, do please inform us of the film when it is done so we can help promote it!

Submitted by Patrick (not verified) on Sat, 2011-01-08 18:34.

just came across your article about Lutong and the pictures you posted quite a while ago. My name is Patrick Mao Huang, a film producer based in Taipei. We are preparing a movie based on a novel written by a Chinese Malaysian in early 90s. Lutong is his hometown, so this semi-autobiographical novel does mention this place. In order to do the research for our movie, our team including me and the director and the script writer are going to Miri tomorrow, Sunday. We just like to feel the place and life there, trying to capture the essence of the novel, although we the movie is not necessarily shot in Sarawak. We will stay in Miri for a few days, walking around the city and nearby towns, and perhaps going into rain forest which is a big part of the novel, not necessarily in Mulu though.

If you are free, do you have time for us to meet, or even walk with us around Lutong or other small villages? Could you email me. My mail is

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Sun, 2010-12-26 10:00.


Will update with more pictures very soon. The river is just behind those shophouses you see in the pictures. As these pictures are now out of date I'll find the time to go and take some current pics. Thanks for your comment.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 2010-12-24 23:57.

Just get back from a conference in Miri in December. My local tour guide ( a Chinese-speaking local)brought us to the place for lunch. Unfortunately, he did not show us the beautiful river. Thanks for sharing. Please share us more about attrative picture.

Submitted by Olivia Drusilla (not verified) on Wed, 2010-08-11 16:23.

Miri has change and develop well.Those pics really shows a potential site of lovely miri..proud to be a mirian.

Submitted by klkh (not verified) on Mon, 2010-03-01 12:20.

I am so impress to see the pictures, Thanks so much for sharing. I am from far away of North America. Hopefully I 'll have a chance to come back to visit my hometown. I miss it so much.

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Sat, 2009-03-28 14:09.

Thanks for your comment. As for old lutong airport photos, you can try here.

Submitted by azmee (not verified) on Sat, 2009-03-28 12:16.

well bro development will has or have to change everything. by the way do you have the pic on lutong airport before

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Sat, 2008-12-06 11:34.

The wooden houses burnt down last month?? It's hard not to be cynical but there was a lot of talk on how they wanted to renovate them into concrete buildings just a few months ago, what an odd coincidence..:sad:

Submitted by reduan (not verified) on Sat, 2008-12-06 10:25.

when I first came to Lutong in 1976,it was a beautiful sight.I was 15 yrs old at that time. The old wooden bridge was near kpg. Pengkalan, the cinema glitters, the shell houses mushrooming, wooden shophouses with wooden belian roof, no mosque at that time... the old Lutong mosque is opposite the shell petrol station. the wooden shophouse in the picture was burnt down last month, nov2008.
i still have picture of the tree at the park taken by Ian. it was a little tree in year 1989.
Today...its sad to see Lutong , not as happening as it was in the 70's.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2008-07-30 05:22.

You guys are absoluetely correct, everyone who visit Miri should have that short drive to Lutong. I attended S.M.K.L 30 years ago and now I reside in Canada, I visited Lutong every time I went to Miri. Try taking a photo on the Lutong bridge overlooking the mosque.The noodles from the Lutong market is still the best.

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Tue, 2008-05-13 16:32.

I think you're right. Most of the shophouses in old town area Miri have been changed into concrete since the 60s - 70s.

It is unfortunate in more recent news that there is talk about renovating that shophouse into concrete. According to the shopowners there, they are totally unable to buy insurance for their shop houses, because they're made of wood.

Wood + old electrical wiring is a very risky combo. :(

Submitted by Lian (not verified) on Tue, 2008-05-13 15:58.

The double story wooden shop is the only wooden shop in Miri... worth visit there to see their design...

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Thu, 2008-02-21 09:33.


Unfortunately, that is one area I did not pass through when I went there due to time constraint.

I have a friend who regularly goes there, I'll help ask.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 2008-02-17 16:12.

Hi. Thanks for sharing the photos. I really miss miri. I havent gone back since i came to Kl for my A-levels. its been 5 years now. i just wanted to ask. When i was young, my dad used to bring me to lutong for this famous curry puff. The shop is quite small, i think its opposite the old theatre.. i wonder if its still there? do you know if its still there? i would love to go back there for those curry puffs.

Submitted by Puteri (not verified) on Sun, 2008-01-06 04:08.


Ahhh, Lutong my hometown! I think the flood was in 1981. I missed it too, coz I was away in college. Our shell house at that time was right behind the Catholic Church, which was in front of the mosque. Now nothing is left there except the mosque.

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Wed, 2008-01-02 12:00.


The airstrip runway and taxiways are still there, but the airport building has been demolished.

The area now serves as a major spot for paramotor flying and drag racing.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2008-01-02 11:34.

Is the airstrip that shot straight out to sea still there? Maybe not, as I lost touch with the town for quite a bit.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 2008-01-01 20:52.

be there, only then you know ;)

Submitted by eyeonmiri on Tue, 2008-01-01 15:16.

I'm glad you liked the pics. Those are my favorites as well. A friend of mine says that Lutong is basically a 'dead' town (other than in the mornings as Smallee has stated) and there is nothing worth taking pictures of.

I sure proved him wrong!

Sometimes small towns do provide nice environments for pictures, and even if it isn't, I'm sure some people will appreciate a photo record before sudden changes to the town occur.

I've forgotten to take a pic of the old cinema. Maybe next week.

Submitted by smallee (not verified) on Tue, 2008-01-01 14:58.

True enough.. those who visit Miri.. should stop by this little town and take a look and make sure you visit it in the morning time where you will find how busy it is there.

Thanks for sharing those pictures....

Submitted by Stefi (not verified) on Mon, 2007-12-31 17:58.

I love the 2 photos of the tree, they look very calming. :)