Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

I met the nice expat couple from Brunei, and they drove me into the city when our plane landed. We made it through the border in record time. Instead of getting into Bandar at about 7-9pm, I was there at about 2pm. 

I have met people from all over the world in Brunei, from Bruinei of course, but also from Spain, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Switzerland and more! Everyone here has been super nice. The main thing to see here is the Masjids. There are some museums that are all free, and quite beautiful. They are mostly focused on the history of the country.

I ate with my new found Swiss friend and my Korean room mate. We ate in the open fish market across from the Regalia Museum. It was pretty good. 

I went for a few walks through the floating villages. These seem to be very common all over Malaysia. The government provides housing for all of it’s citizens. I think they could all move onto land, into rent controlled apartments, but the houses on the water belong to them, passed down through generations.

I found an awesome little coffee shop De Royalle Cafe, just down the street from my hotel. I met a lovely lady and her daughter there. They were very kind and bought my breakfast, saying “Welcome to Brunei”.

I went for a boat ride with a lovely family from Vietnam. We went up to see the proboscis monkey’s, but we did not get to see any, because at 3pm it was still too hot and they were all sleeping. But it was nice boat ride! 

I went out to dinner at a Kaizen Sushi because the expat couple had suggested it - it is right on the waterfront downtown - can't miss it. Food was delicious and very reasonably priced. I met another expat couple there, with their kids. Most people I have met say that Brunei is a great place to live, but that it may not last that way, since it depends on an oil economy, and it is running out. 

On the last night, there was a giant moth in the hallway of my hotel. (A Lyssa Zampa, which is also known as the tropical swallowtail moth. The staff said it would just die. I scooped it up and put it outside on my windowsill. It did not want to leave my hand and kept crawling back on. In the morning the moth had flown off, and despite what the staff had told me, I think he survived.

I was going to take the ferry back to KK, but in the end, I just decided to fly. I only have two weeks in Borneo, so I might as well make the most of it. Labuan is the stop off point, were you have to go through Malaysian customs, and change ferries. Apparently, the islands not much of a tourist destination, just really a port town. The flight was great. I was easily able to take the bus to the airport for $1 Brunei.

View from the canal

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

A boy riding a bicycle around the floating village

The Mosque in the floating village

Inside the floating village Mosque

Inside the floating village

On the river tour - looking for proboscis monkeys

pretty lagoon on the river tour

A very fancy house in the floating village - we thought it was a store, but it did not appear to be?

Modern houses on the floating village.

My big moth friend

Masjid Jame' Asr

A little cat joined me for dinner in the restaurant. He was quite vocal about requesting his share. After I was done, the waitress did give him the rest out back!

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque at night