The Sultanate of Brunei in Borneo
Brunei, a country that most people havent even heard about, yet is quite something by itself. It is squeezed in between Malaysia from all sides, having just a tiny piece of Borneo on the North West side.
It is home to about 400 000 and ruled by the sultan/dictator Hassanal Bolkiah. It is famous for having sharia laws, with alcohol and tobaccco being forbidden and littering punished with three monts jail and a fee of 30 000$.
I reached the country by taking two boats from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, then taking a bus into the capital Bandar Seri Bagawan. All the other tourists on the boat had planned on seeing the highlights of the city the day we arrived and then heading out already the next morning, but I had two days booked and was ready to see as much as possible.
I found out that a penny board was the best way of getting around as there was no taxis in sight and the streets were as smooth as a race track. The second best is by water taxi so me and a Canadian who I met on the boat went straight to the harbour to find a water taxi to take us around. We negotiated an hour trip down to about 15usd and got to see the water village next to the city and then the mangroves where we were lucky enough to see one crocodile and around 30 probiscus monkeys. The monkeys are really funny, known for their noses sticking far out.
After that I took my board and went to explore the mosques. Then I met some locals who asked me if I wanted to join then to a border town in Malaysia where it was allowed to drink and smoke unlike Brunei. There we also ordered some delicious local food and barely made it back to Brunei before the border closed at midnight.
My last day in Brunei was spent in a rather slow pace by sleeping in, then heading to the Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque before meeting up with the others to go to the Tungkua beach and then to the night market where they sold all kinds of food. Myself, I filled my stomache with cows heart, springrolls, some sweet chocolate pastries and my new favorite fruit, “langsat”, before heading out to the airport.