“Be down here at 5.30pm, we want you to see the sunset over at Canada Hill,” Cath Tipong from Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) told me the minute I arrived at Mega Hotel, Miri around 4pm.
Geared with my camera, I went to Canada Hill on a van with Cath, Nancy Nais (from Leisure Travel magazine), Rona Sultan, the ground handler (BorneoSeries) and Raymond, the local tour guide.
How did Emila got this opportunity to visit Miri?, you might ask. To cut story short, I was suggested by Malaysia Asia to replace him on this trip as he had already made other travelling plan. I happily agreed to replace him and there I was in Miri for the first time in my life. Thank you so much to Malaysia Asia and STB for the opportunity.
The trip to Canada Hill was short as it only took us about 10 minutes to reach there from the hotel. Canada Hill is a limestone ridge overlooking Miri town and it offers a great view of Miri town as well as oil rigs scattered in the South China Sea. From the hill, the view of sunset is magnificent. The sun sets as early as 6pm here.
When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Canada Hill is special because the very first oil well dubbed Oil Well No. 1 is situated here. Known also as the Grand Old Lady, the well has a very important place in Miri’s history as it was here that oil was first struck by Sarawak Shell in 1910. Using cable tool method, the drilling took place in August 10, 1910 and completed in December 22, 1910. Original depth was 452 feet with the last one being at 1096 feet in October 31, 1972. Estimated production is 660,000 barrels for the whole 62 years.
Grand Old Lady – Oil Well No. 1
Statues at the bottom of Grand Old Lady tower.
Also situated on the hill is the Petroleum Museum. Currently there is only DinoTrek2 exhibition and by next year the museum will be completed with traces and history and technological development of oil and gas industries in Malaysia.
Update: The hill was named Canada Hill to honor a Canadian by the name of McAlpine who was assigned to erect the well. McAlpine completed the 87-meter high wooden tower in August 10, 1910.