(Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque)
What to do in Brunei? That’s always a first timer in Brunei would ask and I will tell you what I did during my stay there. I stayed 2 days and 2 nights in Brunei and there is nothing much to do there like the tropical islands I have been to, I would not accept the fact that I would not see or experience Brunei at all.
Brunei is a muslim country, a very rich one that you would not see much poverty like we have in the Philippines. In their country, it is simple living for those you will see that are living on a slum like area (but they are not squatters, mind you). What to do in Brunei? Here are the 5 things I did when I was there.
5 Things to Do in Brunei
Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. Visit the Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque located at the heart of the city that glows beautifully at night. I suggest that women should dress properly in this country wherever you go to avoid feeling out of place like I did on the first day, when I noticed no one was wearing sleeveless shirt and shorts like me (good thing I have my scarf to cover myself a little). Non-muslims are not allowed to go inside the mosque but can take photos around the area if dressed properly.
(The guards of the largest palace in the world, thats all you’ll see along with the gates)
Istana Nurul Iman. The largest royal residential palace in the world, but be warned that you will only get to see the gates and just to let you know that we walked hours to see those gates, Jamie was not impressed. Unless you know when the gates are open for public to join the royals for some feasts, I read somewhere that they have certain days and time when everyone are welcome to come in and eat free meals and before going home they would give you a small cake, a gift from the sultan of Brunei. I just could not find the source anymore to link it (*sigh*).
Kampong Ayer- Water Village. Kampong Ayer is one of the largest water village I have seen, complete with school, clinic, and gas station. The houses are well ventilated and I noticed that they all have satellite dishes for their cable TV’s, air-conditioned and all (wow!). The wooden foot path was cool as we went and explore a bit of the village. The people were so nice and friendly, they all says ‘Hi’ and ‘Hello’. You will have to take a boat to get here obviously and we paid 10 B$ (Php 350) for the ride and I split it with Jamie.
(Obviously, you know what it is now)
Proboscis Monkey. This was I thought would be my favorite, to see a little of a jungle in a rich city of Brunei. The boat trip was nice, I enjoyed the Amazon-like view but when we get to the spot where Proboscis Monkey are, I was disappointed to see that there were modern houses at the back. All good, we get to see the vegetarian monkeys playing and eating. It took time to get at least a slightly decent shot of these creatures. In this boat trip, we paid B$25 (PHP875).
(Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, the mosque I missed to see)
Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. I personally did not get to see this mosque, although I tried. We keep getting to a wrong path as the locals keep giving us the wrong directions, Jamie found it the next day though. I was heading back to Kota Kinabalu that day. Thanks for the photo Jamie as you promised, and as I did too it will be credited.
In stayed in Brunei, here are my expenses:
- 2 Nights in Pusat Belia – B$ 20 (PHP 750)
- Lunch (Nasi Ayam) – B$1 (PHP 35)
- Dinner (Big Noodle Soup) – B$3 (PHP105)
- Bottle of Water – B$.65 (PHP 22.75)
- Brunch (Nasi Ayam) – B$1 (PHP 35)
- Coffee – B$1 (PHP 35)
- Water Village Trip – B$ 5 (PHP 175)
- Bottle of Water – B$.65 (PHP 22.75)
- Fresh Sliced Watermelons – B$1 (PHP 35)
- Proboscis Monkey Tour – B$12.5 (PHP 437.5)
- Curry Chicken Filled Bread – B$.60 (PHP 21)
- Dinner (2 Nasi Ayams) – B$ 2 (Php 70)
- Canned Drink – B$1 (PHP 35)
- Bus Ticket to the Ferry Terminal – B$1 (PHP 35)
- Ferry Ticket to Labuan – B$17 (PHP595)
- Ferry Ticket from Labuan to KK – 34RM(PHP510)
- B$- 87.4 (PHP 3059)
- RM- 34 (PHP510)
Overall Total: PHP3569 (83USD)