Posts Tagged ‘Brunei’


Monday, December 29th, 2008

Brunei, a tiny oil-rich country not known by many people, sandwiched by the Malaysian state of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.

I have not been to Brunei before this, but i always have the thinking that Brunei is very rich, and i expect that everything in the city are mostly covered with gold or something of the same scale of extravaganza. But to my surprise it is not!

So finally i have my chance…an opportunity to step foot on this over-the-top country.

Once step down from the Royal Brunei Airline into the nation’s main airport, i was a little confused…. it is a very small international airport and it does sort of look like airports of the early 90’s.

In the taxi while on the way to the hotel…. everything looks pretty peaceful and serene. No traffic jams, low rise shops and buildings, though there were some awesome looking bungalows….

We stay in a supposely 5 star hotel…. but the room wasnt very spacious, and there are no fancy breakfast..just a simple buffet. But i must say that the service is good… very friendly, very courteous, very nice.

We had japanese food for dinner on the first night in a very popular restaurant… it is cheap, good and super crowded and being Malaysian, we never make advanced appointment. But after much pestering we were allowed 1hr 15mins to occupy one of the booked table and were told that we have to finish by then. What a rush for dinner.

The city look like a typical Malaysian town…in the early 90’s….. with the exception that all signboards have to be in bi-language, English+Arabian(Jawi), Malay+Arabian(Jawi)…..

I took a few hours from my work to explore the city with my colleagues, we went to the national mosque…a huge complex with a golden dome… surrounded by man-made lake.. a nice place…
then we went to “look” at the water village, where people lives in houses built on stilt on the river…. is by no mean a small village as there are 10 of thousands of people staying on the floating village completed with schools, mosques, halls, and etc.

We also took a scenic drive to pass-by the world’s largest residential palace belongs to the Sultan of Brunei… it is said that this palace has more than 1780 rooms in total… a really huge gigantic complex i would say…

then we ended our half day tour with a traditional dish of Brunei… AMBUYAT… ‘Ambuyat’ is Brunei’s ‘native’ food. Ambuyat is also known as ‘edible glue’. It is a sago ‘glue’ served with a piquant hot sauce which one has to twirl around a pair of conjoined bamboo sticks, dip in the sauce and swallow. The ‘trick’ to eating ‘ambuyat’ is not to chew but to allow the gob to slide down the throat. ‘Ambuyat’ eating requires practice and is only for those who dare to try new things when in a new country. The dish is an acquired taste and those who have tried it usually comeback for more.

People in the city are friendly and again very courteous, very polite and very civic minded!

Crime are relatively low or none… and i believe this is the place… the place where people lives happily ever after.