Welcome to the Visit Brunei Blog
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 19, 2007
Originally posted here by: Jay AKA SugarDaddy
Today we left the rather splendid country of Brunei after spending two nights in this oil rich habitat of the world.
Having left Kuching, located to the west of Borneo, we headed north first by plane then by taxi over the border completely hassle free; in fact we did not even have to get out of the car at border control as they gave us our visas without even looking at us at all!
Although not as kind on the wallets as the rest of South East Asia, the British Pound still goes a long against the Brunei Dollar.
So, other than having a vast amount of oil and having one of the richest men in the world as their King, what else is their to know about the small country that lies east of mainland Malaysia and south of the Philippines?
Well, firstly petrol is available at the local Shell garages at only 18p (yes 18p!!) a litre, the King (or His Majesty or Sultan as he is known locally) has been in reign since the age of 21 - his coronation was way back in 1961 - and his full title is His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah and alcohol, be it beer, lager, wine or spirits, is illegal in the country.
Complete with two wives, the Sultan is idolised by the whole of Brunei whose people are very proud of the man with five sons and six daughters.
During our visit to one of the cleanest and most civilised countries you are ever likely to experience, we went to the national museum, the local water village for afternoon tea, saw the Royal Palace (which, incidentally, was open for three days prior to our visit allowing the public to walk inside the grounds and the palace - sadly we were 24 hours late!) as well as the rather impressive national sports stadium and complex and the equally splendid 7 star Empire Hotel that comes complete with an 18 hole and 9 golf course and drive range, bowling alley, cinema, gym, badminton and basketball courts galore, its own beach, a fantastic outdoor pool and probably another selection of highlights I have forgotten!
Although it turned out to be a busy couple of days the warmth shown by the Brunei people as well as the clean streets, splendid sites, good food and calm surroundings certainly left a tear in our eyes as we left to board our bus and boat combination to Kota Kinabalu, north west of Borneo in Malaysia.
Brunei may be somewhere we all visit for our next holiday, that is for sure!
Anyway, that brings you up-to-date as I sit by the computer at the Borneo Hostel in Kota Kinabalu, the home of South East Asia’s biggest mountain.