Sunday, March 7, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: One Saturday Afternoon in Bandar

Last Saturday, Cecil and I went to Bandar Seri Begawan to experience a boat tour at Kampong Ayer and a visit at Omar Ali Saiffuden Mosque.

We reached Kampong Ayer at around 4:15 PM. Upon reaching we hurriedly went to the boat and rode. We paid BND15 per head.

despite the heat from the dancing sun and the brownish water, a tour in Kampong Ayer was just refreshing. I felt I was not working in Brunei. I was a tourist for a day.

Kampong Ayer is indeed a rich water village which represents the compact bond of Brunei's culture and values. Since it is a village, it has a complete set of establishments to cater to the people's needs. There are a lot of schools. There's a Bomba Station (Fire Station). Name it, they have it.

Unfortunately, during our boat tour, we weren't able to visit the Kampong Ayer gallery which features everything about the thriving community. The gallery is until 4:30 only! On one hand, the sight was enough for us to see Brunei on its rural landscape.

After our invigorating tour at Kampong Ayer, we went to the Omar Ali Saiffuden Mosque. Fortunately, the Mosque was open for guest visit. And so we went inside.

It was my first time to go inside the Mosque. Before Cecil and I came in, we were asked to wear the "Juba." It was a dark robe which every guest is required to wear. It's made of thin and light cloth.

Frankly, the interior of Omar Ali Saiffuden Mosque was just jaw dropping. The ceiling was designed with Jawi texts and some of it are made in gold. The ceiling had also some coloured glasses which let the sunlight passes through. On top of that, the whole place was air conditioned.

Big pillars accentuated the Mosque's interior. The whole floor was carpeted.

In the front most area, small pulpit can be found. I suppose that's where the leader or their priest speak on special occasions or ceremonies.

Various books were shelved on a wooden shelf. Then on the wall, a set of clock was hanging to show the time difference on other countries.

To my surprise, there was an escalator inside leading to one secluded or private area. Cool!

After we observed the interior of the Mosque, we went out. Then the guy asked Cecil if Cecil wanted to try the tudong to pair the Juba. Cecil took the opportunity and so we had a photo session.

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