Welcome to the very first of ‘WHAT’S IN SOUTHEAST ASIA?‘ blog series.
Last week I posted an intro and thinking to give you a quick tour about Southeast Asia.
Well now, I’m gonna show you a very first country to see in Southeast Asia, which is Brunei!
According to WIKIPEDIA,
Brunei is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang.
Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island’s territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Brunei’s population was 408,786 in July 2012.
Brunei’s official language is Standard Malay and sometimes the local used it with a dialect which is Melayu Brunei.
While english language is widely used as a business and official language and it is spoken by a majority of the population in Brunei.
As one of the majority religion (Islam), arabic language is taught in schools and it is important to learn for them, even they’re not using the language as much as Malay.
What can you do in Brunei?
Being in a tropical country, is given you a benefit of variants fruits, animals, and anything that you can’t experience it in Europe or America and Canada.
In this Brunei’s tourst’s spot, mostly I’m gonna show you the famous city’s landmark, which is no nature tourism.
It’s not a discrimination, but you could see any nature tourism in different countries as well in Southeast Asia, and Brunei is mostly known by it’s city landmark.
Here they are!
NB: Brunei using BND (Brunei Dollar) as their currency.
1. Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien
It’s a huge mosque, with a top of golden roof and white pillars. Everything is delicate, beauty and eye catching. Even though you aren’t going there to pray (as a tourist), when you enter the hall or going inside, you’ll get a cloth to cover parts that have to be closed (according to muslim’s tradition).
What makes it more beautiful are, the building were surrounded by an artificial lagoon that serves as a reflecting pool. It’s like a waterfront, but a mosque where people come to pray and tourist come to explore.
2. Istana Nurul Iman (Sultan’s Palace)
Since Brunei ruled by a king (King in muslim called as Sultan), it has a very strict rules to get inside the palace. You can’t go there (just like any other palaces in the world), which you can see it from outside and it’s bounded by trees and river (It’s like a cross the river).
The palace only open once a year, during Idul Fitri (Eid Mubarak) for about 10 days, where you can going inside and meet the king (Sultan).
3. Kampong Ayer (Water Village)
Do you know Pokemon?
Well, I assume yes you know since Pokemon Go become a thing last summer. So, you might be familiar with Pokemon (tv serials and movies). To get a picture of Kampong Ayer, it’s like Pokemon The Movie: Heroes, where Latias and Latios become a legend and wondering around the city. Or you could just picture it as Brunei’s Venice.
The village is built on water for decades. Their one and only public transportation is boat or traditional boat. Schools, public spaces, government’s building are really on top of water. It’s kind of unique in their way, which is you could actually explore the whole village within hour.
One thing about public transportation here or water taxi, ‘white tax’ always happen. Which is you could bargain for it and try to be smart to get a cheaper bills. Or, if you have friends with the local, let the local do the bargain cause it will much cheaper than foreigner.
4. Royal Regalia Museum
Just like another museum, everything in there mostly about Sultan’s stuff with gold made of. Entrance to the museum is, quite enticingly free of charge. Inside, all belongings, including cameras must be left at the counter in order to enter and enjoy the chronology of the Sultan’s life.
Just like any other tourist spot, every exit door always happen to be a souvenir shop and you’ll know what to do after that. Since I’m not a museum lovers I don’t like going there and not recommend it. But every travel list is your choice.
5. Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien
A huge open park, where you can running around or playing baseball with your friends. Mostly just like Central Park (New York) or Hyde Park (London), except less tree and no lake. Just an open landmark with a lot of grass where you can just laying down there and sun bathing (which is not recommended to do that)
There are five things you could do in Brunei even there’s a lot of things you could explore and much more than the list I made. But, I just take the big five that I think it’s very nice to do in the city for 1 or 2 days traveling, when you need to go to other Southeast Asia.
It just a thing when you’re a perk of being a Southeast Asian, you have a lot of similarity but there’s something different in that. Which is our uniqueness and foreign like to come.
That’s it for Brunei!
So, I’m gonna see you with another country which is Cambodia!
There’s a lot of thing that you could see in there and see you next week with ‘WHAT’S IN SOUTHEAST ASIA; CAMBODIA!’