Friday, August 31, 2012

BOUNTY OF BRUNEI (SECOND AND LAST DAY)

 Apart from visiting Mosques in Brunei, a tourist can also enjoy a walk through in museums, food tripping in a night market, and engaging with the local culture through interaction with the people. On our second and last day of tour in Brunei Darussalam, we visited the Royal Regalia Museum, had fun grabbing cheap and yummy finds in Brunei’s popular night market, and went on more delectable food craze ranging from dining in at restaurants and attending a gathering.

Wanna know more about our adventures? Read on!
The Royal Regalia Museum in Bandar Seri Begawan was our first stop on our second day tour. Established in 1992, the museum showcases the collection of royal artifacts and gifts from all over the world.

Unfortunately, we we’re not allowed to bring our bags, mobile phones or cameras inside the galleries. On one hand, we were able to wore slippers as walked inside. The last time I was in the museum, we had to deposit our shoes and slippers outside the museum and walked barefoot. Just recently, the white (hotel-ish) slippers were helpful as we were saved from coldness.

The Royal Regalia Building!

April and Mark

After an hour or two, we finished the tour. It was only in the lobby that we had snapshots.




We finished at almost 1 in the afternoon. Since I wanted my guest to eat by the river area, I tagged them along at Mangrove Paradise Resort. Setting aside the traffic jam in the gasoline station, we reached the place in less than 15 minutes.


Surprisingly, the resort’s restaurant was closed. Instead of ranting (considering that I should have thought of a reservation or an inquiry), we just droved back to Bandar and decided to dine in at RMS Portview.


 As soon as we finished our lunch, we went to Jerudong Park. First opened in 1994, Jerudong Park is an amusement park funded by the Bruneian government. It’s popular for its ampitheatre, which was once held concerts by King of Pop Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and many more. Meanwhile, my guests and I also visited the Royal family’s ranches.



For more photos of Jerudong Park ----CLICK
 
At night, April, Mark, my dad and I opted to go to Pasar Malam in Gadong. Pasar Malam is a Malay word that means “night market.” It has a bazaar atmosphere packed with cheap and local finds.

At Pasar Malam, we bought potato spring rolls, begedil (fried potato dumplings), fried noodles, meehon, nasi campur (mixed rice), grilled mackarel, and small kuih (cake).
Foooood Festival!

After shopping for food, we went to our staff house and enjoyed the variety of mouthwatering dish and desserts.

By 9 pm, I sent back April and Mark in Kiulap Hotel. But prior to sending them back, we dropped by the nearest gasoline station to load petrol. Guess what. We challenged Mark to say to the gasoline boy "Hijau Sepulo. Minta Resit," which means "BND10 for green petrol. Receipt please." Good job for Mark as he didn't fumble.  April and I kept on giggling.

Despite the heavy rains, we arrived safely to the Hotel. I was home soon and helped my dad pack up the food.

Third Day

Attending mass was the first activity that we did on the third day. It's also April and Mark's last vacation day in Brunei so we hoped to maximize the remaining hours before their flight schedule. 

Right after mass, we went to Kiulap Hotel and assisted April and Mark to check out.

The other night, April and I enquired about extending their stay at the hotel, from 12 noon until around night time before their 2:25 flight time of Cebu Pacific. Surprisingly, a BND10 per hour shall be charged. With this, I suggested to April and Mark to better opt for an early check out and  just stay with me and my Father. We just placed their bags in the car.

As soon as April and Mark checked out we headed to Airport Mall and had our lunch at Kaka Restaurant. I recommended April to try my all-time favourite Buttermilk Chicken and the simply irresistible Tea C Special. My Dad had special nasi goreng. Meanwhile, Mark had the same order of my father plus a Tom Yam Soup.
The verdict: April, Mark and my Father loved their food. In fact, April thought of preparing her own Buttermilk once she's back in the Philippines. And Mark? he enjoyed the spicy kick of the Tom Yam Soup.

After finishing our lunch and strolling around to check on shops at Airport Mall, Times Squre and Citis Square, we moved in to the newly-built Masjid Ash Shaliheen Mosque, which is designed by my friend Elna and her officemate Dina.
Bumped into my friends Michelle and Carem!

Tried Mochi!

Built with inspiration from Moroccan Islamic architecture, the creme-coloured Mosque stands out in broad daylight. Apart from it’s refreshing façade, the interiors showcase a new and strong Islamic pride as well. Notably, the Masjid Ash Shaliheen is the first mosque in Brunei to have a retractable roof, which closes upon detection of rain fall. Meanwhile, I fell in love with the rich Islamic patterns, soft carpets, refreshing plants, big lamps, and majestic doors.





retractable roof


beautiful lamps

Majestic Doors


Digital Information Board

Since we finished early in the afternoon, April and Mark followed my Dad and I in the staff house. We took a nap before heading to Michelle’s car blessing.

L-R: Carem, Matet, Papc, Michelle, April and Mark

Soon, we were enjoying grilled chicken and pork, carbonara and rice for dinner.

By 11 pm, my Dad and I sent April and Mark in the airport.

What’s more to visit in Brunei?

Since we didn’t have enough time to check on other tourist spots, I am recommending some of the places that you may wish to visit in Brunei Darussalam.

The Chinese Temple.
You can visit the Buddhist/Taoist temple in Bandar Seri Begawan. This landmark is easy to spot as it’s situated on the busy roads of Bandar.

Istana Nurul Iman
It's the official residence of His Majesty The Sultan of Negara Brunei Darussalam. This is the biggest residential place in the world and designed by Leandro V. Locsin, the National Artist for the Philippines in Architecture.

Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park.
Declared as the an ASEAN Heritage site, Tasek serves as a leisure park to locals and foreigners in Brunei. Apart from being a site for healthy buffs, this park won’t disappoint outdoor lovers, who want to enjoy a picnic session with a rich rainforest as a backdrop. Fortunately, my dad and I had two days of trekking in Tasek. He also did his Taichi (perhaps inspired) with the waterfalls as a backdrop.


Mini Trekk!

Oil and Gas Discovery Centre in Kuala Belait
The Oil and Gas Discovery Centre will help you to know more about the oil and gas industry in Brunei.

Billionth Barrel Monument
Built in 1991, the monument commemorates the billionth barrel of oil produced in Brunei. The popular “nodding donkey” pumps also surround it.

Ulu Temburong National Park.
The 500km national park is a must visit not only for nature lover but for adventure seekers as well for it boasts rich rainforest and spectacular wildlife.

Brunei Museum
I visited Brunei Museum once and I never had the chance to visit it again. I planned to visit it when April, Mark and my Dad was here. Unfortunately, time didn’t suffice.

But if you’re here in Brunei, I suggest, better take a short visit or tour in Brunei Museum. The ethnographic and natural history collection of the museum will give educate you about Brunei. Apart from immersing yourself with Brunei’s diorama of wildlife, the Islamic gallery, which displays His Majesty’s private Islamic art collection, will teach you about the fusion of a stalwart leadership and Islam in the Abode of Peace.

You can read my entry about Brunei Museum in Kota Batu ---- CLICK!


You can also check my entry "What not to miss in Brunei Darussalam" here --- CLICK

3 comments:

  1. Wish I could go to Brunei. It seems really cool.

    Question lang, is it really true na libre ang amusement park nila? The only thing I know about this country is that the architect of the palace of Brunei is Filipino (I'm not even sure if I got my sources right). Take care Earvs!

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    Replies
    1. Ms. Tricia, maganda din sa Brunei kahit ilang days. You'll get to know more about Islamic culture.

      Asnwer: Before libre po ngayon may BND2.00 na bayad. And yes, ang nagdesign ng palasyo ng Sultan ay Filipino. =)

      Dalaw na kayo! =)

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