Brunei folk flock to Miri bazaars

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

MIRI: Ramadan bazaars in this northern border city are packing in the crowds from neighbouring Brunei. 

Buka puasa stalls have mushroomed, attracting visitors from the sultanate on Fridays and the weekends, when there is a visible surge in vehicles with Brunei number plates. 

This is not only because the food is much cheaper thanks to the Brunei dollar’s favourable exchange rate but also due to the uniqueness of the local fare.  

Local goodies like the durian tempoyak (durian sambal), the Japanese apam (apam with meat and spices) and the somyam (a Malay-Thai style tomyam) are in great demand.  

This city of 300,000 people offers an interesting cross-breed of cakes, food, drinks and other delicacies mainly because of the nature of its population. 

Being the most culturally diverse city in Sarawak, Miri has at least 19 major ethnic groups, a large population of resident foreigners, topped up by the Bruneians who cross the border every day. 

This time of year is a profitable time for local food traders. 

For example, in the Saberkas Commercial Centre near the city centre, hundreds of people come daily to patronise the nearly 100 stalls that have been set up for Ramadan.  

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