Friday, March 30, 2012

Brunei Darussalam's Landscapes & Greens (Ep. #2)

Continuing my previous post, I owe it to you guys to share the depths of Brunei.

The first thing I noticed about this country is the little (or almost zero) availability of public transport. You'll be surprised seeing less than a handful taxis wandering around the airport, and I haven't seen even one single bus during my four days stay there. After uncovering more facts from our lovely driver, the answer is that because almost everyone in Brunei owns a car. The exact number is one private car per 2.09 person. That makes Brunei withhold one of the highest car ownership rate in the world. The reason is attributed to the low import taxes and definitely one of the lowest fuel prices in the world, with only 0.35 $ / liter for diesel gas, and 0.53$ / liter for unleaded gas. How convenient does that sound in comparison with the current protest against subsidy cuts in fuel price in Indonesia? I suppose that can only happen in Brunei where there's only 415.000 citizens and the government really manage its resources well.

This phenomenon resulted in more and more curiosity in me. Further discovery leads me to another joy of being a Brunei citizens: rice and housing are all subsidized by the government. Added to that, healthcare is provided by government as well. Healthcare for citizens is charged at 1$B per consultation.

Ain't that lovely?

Indeed. Now what's lovelier are the pictures I'm going to show you. It's funny that when I typed in "places to go in brunei" on Google, there's only 5 places shown even on Lonely Planet website. But we were lucky to have friends who've been to places in Brunei. Some of the highlights are:

Labi with its beautiful landscape, greens, and trees. During our visit there, the water level was on the lowest, which was quite an attraction cause we get to see the living grasses that usually hidden under water. 

Kampung Ayer where you could see the indigenous people who lived practically in houses on water. They make bridges to connect from one island of houses to the other and travel to the land using boats. They even managed to set electricity with poles on the water.
Beach & Woods at Empire Hotel where we were staying. It was probably the most luxurious and complete hotel / villa complex in Brunei. I'm sorry that I couldn't reveal anymore than this as it would spoil the surprise we prepared for the couple I was photographing. In the mean time, this will do to represent.

Jerudong Park where the Sultan keep his breed of horses. I didn't take photos of them though. They fleed as I fired the flash. =p
Here is Gadong night market where street hawkers and food vendors are mashed up with the hungry night eaters (read: me!). They practically sell anything here, from clothes, bags, daily groceries, until soft lenses! Credits to Erika for the Gadong photos. It was one of the most fun dinner, we bought a bunch of foods from the traditional 1$ Nasi Katok, Roti Melaya (which is what they call martabak manis), to the finger foods such as Cheese Chili Dog, and a lot more. We brought it back to Empire, our hotel, and bash it together.

I never expect Brunei to be this flavorful. But I guess that's the beauty of travelling. With fresh eyes you see, discover, and experience new things, and hopefully it will trigger fresh thoughts, enlight your soul, and free your mind from clutter. I did. And I hope this post will spark you too.

I've got one more in store. Another food adventure in Brunei. Until then, tune in, smile on.

Will travel for food,

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Conversationalist & Photographer

Munch on my tweets @Wanderbites


  1. Almost everyone owns a car? And with the ratio 1 car : 2 persons, so it means there are only around 200.000 cars in Brunei? Whoaaaa...

  2. It's Jerudong Park. And great post. It's a great place to live and make money :)

  3. amazing photos as always, and you look so happy in the pics! :p


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