Aug 8, 2015


Menara Cendera Kenangan, Kuala Belait
This post is a sequel of Miri, Malaysia.
Read more.

Visiting a new country never fails to be the utmost pushing factor for me having travelled.

Ever since young, when I heard the name of the country "Brunei", an image of a castle with all gold plated rooms and accessories flashes through my mind, thus leaving me an impression of a small but wealthy country, surrounded by Sarawak on the north coast.

Kuala Belait

May's dad drove us to this neighboring country. Crossing the boarder brought us to the nearest neighboring town called Kuala Belait along the coast, and there's specifically where my current roommate was born.

That's where we took some time strolling around while waiting for May's dad settling some matters at a bank there.

Despite the size of the country, it took us a while to arrive in Bandar Seri Begawan, it's quite particular to me because that's when I held my pee for very long along the way, totally an unforgettable experience...

We had chicken rice for lunch at a coffee shop which seems to be popular in Kiulap, called Thien Thien Restaurant 天天餐室.

Chicken rice @ $3.20

Royal Regalia Building
Royal Regalia Building

Though called a 'building', the Royal Regalia Building is basically a museum, devoted to the sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah (his has a very long full name).

We're supposed to keep our belongings in the locker during our visit, as well as taking off our shoes.

Though said to be displaying ceremonial armoury, traditional jewellery and chronological documents that sum up the sultan's life till his coronation, to me, it's more about the items given as presents to the sultan from government officials all over the world, including Lee Hsien Long. And it seems more like the sultan has no place to store all these in his palace and he built this building to keep his presents. LOL~~

Brunei River

Dock facing the south
We took a cruise on Brunei River at $20. There are floating villages with humble jetty stations.

Across the river you will see the famous Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque.

And don't be surprised if you found a couple of alligators in the river.

They even have their own fire station!

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

Those without long pants will have to put on the black robe hung at the entrance before entering the mosque.

Despite having a "Strictly no camera" sign, the guard was taking a photo of some other visitors in the mosque. -_-

Built on a man-made lagoon, the Islamic mosque has its dome covered in pure gold and a ceremonial barge due south, connected by a marble bridge. You can climb up to the elevated stage on the barge to take a fuller picture of the mosque, which is blocked by the pillars of the barge itself. LOL~~

The nobleness of the barge does compliment the imposing mosque crowned with gold. The barge was built to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran.

Taken right in front of the ceremonial barge

The Empire Hotel & Country Club

The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Located in Jerudong, this six-star hotel was opened since 2000 with very awe-inspiring exterior and interior.

An architectural model of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque is set at the entrance of the hotel under a palatial chandelier.

The multilevel mezzanines offer not only the grand outlook of the interior, but also a stylish and rich-looking layering design. It's simply gorgeous to have a grand piano placed at one of those mezzanines.

To compliment its indoor grandeur, outdoor vista was lovely too by having located by the beach alone.

We're just here for visiting, I don't even dare to think how much it costs a night at the hotel.

And we called it a day after having a sumptuous and mouth-watering dinner at Kaizen Sushi Japanese Restaurant located in Seria.

☑ Brunei

For more photos, please check out my photo album Brunei on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

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