Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
54Trip End Sep 19, 2011
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Where I stayed
After costoms we jumped on a bus into town, I had a chat with the driver and he told me he would stop the bus at our hotel. Who needs a taxi? As I said in the last blog we had decided to splash out and get a hotel with a pool. So after check in there was no stopping us, we swam and swam. Later, much later we wandered into the city center. The Capital of Brunei is Bandar Seri Bagawan. (BSB) I was expecting some huge Metropolis dotted with shopping malls and fancy shops. No, there was one small mall and crappy shops. The whole down town shopping area is about three square blocks
The next day we wandered back into town and got a water taxi to take us on a tour of the water village Kampong Ayer. This Village lies across the river from BSB and is said to be the largest water village in the world with between 22,000 and 35,000 people living there, seems strange they call it a village !!?? All the houses are on stilts above the river, Why?, God knows. Anyway it was great to see. Everything a community needs was there I.E. Schools on stilts, Mosques on stilts and Fire station on stilts. Where do you go for petrol when your only mode of transport is a speedboat, You guessed it a Shell petrol station on stilts !!
Then straight back to the hotel for more swimming and sunbathing. I sat out in the sun for 15 minutes and I promise if I'd stayed a minute longer I'd have had bad sun burn. NOTE TO SELF : either use sun cream or don't bother sunbathing !!!!!!!!!!
Yes it was a thrilling ride with two huge outboard motors powering this thing along the narrow twisting rivers at break neck speed. Great fun. We got to Bangar in 45 minutes and had a walk around town. It had the feel of an Amazonian frontier town, not that I've been to the Amazon. But you get the gist, Town River Jungle .......and nothing else. So we caught the next bus back to BSB Apocalypse Now style. I was cheeky and sat up the front with the driver. Then back to the hotel for more swimming.
We went to the Sultan of Brunei's (SOB) (pick the joke out of that one LOL) Regalia Museum
and saw all of the Regalia and pomp of the coronation and the gifts he was sent from Royal houses from all over the world. Ours was the crappest by the way, bloody cheap skate Britannia.
The SOB was said to have been the richest man in the world until he let his Brother Jefri become Finance Minister, bad move. This man nearly bankrupt the country in quick time. For instance he built a hotel that cost 1.2 billion Dollars. Lonely planet describe it as " a million tons of Italian marble dipped in gold and dropped in the jungle" You can stay there for £120 a night and I am already wishing I had. He also built a theme park for his Brothers Birthday at the cost of millions that now sits empty. Anyway the SOB sacked the silly S.O.B. ( ah now you get the joke ) who now lives in London,
We had a great stay in Brunei for three days, we could have done more but we were to busy swimming. We got a flight back to KK stayed the night in the trusty old Tune Hotel and left Early the next morning for our flight to Sandakan, Sabah.
But thats another story.