Welcome to the Visit Brunei Blog

This site is created as the Brunei blogging community's contribution to help promote Brunei Darussalam as a tourist destination. We will endeavour to provide as much "informal" information to those who will be interested to visit Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures. The format of this blog will be simple and informal. The authors comprise of the members of Brunei Darussalam's blogosphere who have kindly agreed to contribute their thoughts in words and images, all in the name of promoting Brunei Darussalam as a must-go destination for tourists from all over the world! Hope you enjoy visiting this site as much as I'm certain we will enjoy contributing to it!! Cheers! AnakBrunei

Friday, January 12, 2007

A morning spent @ Gadong Wet Market

This is an excellent piece by Bruneian on the Gadong Wet Market which gives us an insight into the everyday life of a market seller in Brunei. More pictures here, here, and here.

Located near the famous Mall gadong. It is one stop shopping center for chefs and alike. Loads and loads of raw materials for them here, waiting to be processed. Anakbrunei, zadm and I went there yesterday (Sunday, Jan 8th) to do 50mm outing. It’s a perfect place for it.

The fish mongers were a little bit shy at first. We can hear them shouting “nah kana gambar tia, ada mukamu arah pelita ni” to the ones we took pictures. Translation: Your pictures will be published at Pelita Brunei (weekly local newspaper published by the government).

Everytime we took a snap, they always asked where we are from, “Dari Media permata kah?” (Are you from Media Permata?). Another local daily published malay newspaper. Anakbrunei told them “inda, dari Majalah Juran” (no, I am not, I am from Juran magazine), a magazine published by our neighboring country specializing on fishing. I just smile and chuckle every time Anakbrunei tell them that.

As we ventured out deeper into the market, things are getting more welcoming. They offered to post for us. After a while, we become friends to them. They started to waved to us and asked us to take pictures of their counterparts, stalls and fishes.

I stumbled upon familiar faces, in fact lots of them, as most of them came from Kampong Ayer. We used to go to the same school together. Some lived nearby my father's house at Kampong Ayer. It’s been ages. Good to talk to them again.

After 40 minutes or so we mingled with those friendly fish mongers, we started to move upstairs. Now, this is different sceneries. Oh, I forgot to mention that there are 2 stories. The ground floor is where all the fishes, meat, chickens and sort are sold. The first floor is where the fresh vegetables, fruits and daily consumables like eggs are sold.

I was surprised. Why is this different? I thought it should be full of people as the ground floor but it is almost empty. Not many people are venturing to the first floor. I wonder why. We could see all sort of vegetables and fruits available there but yet, the floor is almost empty.

They also enquire where we are from and hoping that we are from the local media. They would like for us to write article about how bad their businesses over there are. Some even told us that they can’t even a single dollar in a day. Now, that is really bad. We were day on Sunday, and it’s supposed to be the busiest day for them but yet, we hardly see any customer on the first floor. There are lots of them ground floor thou.

I wonder why they don’t go and venture upstairs. Perhaps they don’t like to climb up the stairs? They don’t know the existence? Or they prefer to go to Tamu Kianggeh to buy vegetables? I also realize that there are no “advertisement signage” pointing to the first floor something like “Sayur dan buah-buahan segar di tingkat atas” Trans: Fresh vegetables and fruits available upstairs. Perhaps not enough advertisement or coverage for them?

We stumbled upon something interesting. An office! Right next to the stalls at the back-end. I convinced Anakbrunei to take a picture of the office together with the stall next to it. Couldn’t get a good angle, since this is strictly a 50mm only outing. We need wider angle lens! But, promise is still promise…

The guy told us that this is the bandaran office (municipal office). Well not their main branch but this office is for administer the market. All those admin works specifically for the wet market. He told us that this is just a temporary office since their original one is taken over by the relocated fish mongers from Kianggeh floating market. I read it on the newspaper where all those floating boats at Kianggeh is now relocated to the Gadong wet market. They are not allowed to sell there anymore.

Wait a minute, a thought strike. My father still lives in Kampong Ayer and he does not have a car. He only shops at the nearby Bandar Seri Begawan. A friend of mine that has a stall on the ground floor told me that they could use the public transport, the bus. Now, that’s one thing that is alien to us. My father hates public transport. He rather walks from gadong. Simply because he does not feel safe, he told me. Well, he don’t have to. That’s what a son is for. I am just a call away from the wet market .. hehehe The market is also accessible using water taxi, which is if it’s a high tide. It was a low tide yesterday.

We end the trip by having iced milo and kasturi ping kosong. There is a restaurant on the first floor. This is where the fishmongers fill their hungry stomach after a hard morning trying to sell their stocks. Interestingly enough, some of them brought their own fresh fish there and asked the ladies to cook their favorite dish for them. Now, that’s something out of ordinary. Bring your own fish and we cook them for you.


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