Sunday, July 13, 2014

Brunei, A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasure Day 2

During our second day in Brunei, we had our complimentary hotel breakfast and then we joined the free city tour provided by the hotel.  Our expected highlight for the day is another grand mosque and a 6 Star Resort Hotel.

First stop is the river side to see the other parts of Kampung Ayer - 

Then a short stop at Oldest Mosque Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque, which we already saw yesterday, but it is still worthy of another photo shot, this time morning view.

Then, we were brought to the biggest mosque in Brunei.  We decided to leave the group and spent a little more time here at Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque  –

Built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan's reign, Brunei's largest mosque and its four terrazzo-tiled minarets dominate the 'suburbs' of BSB. 

It's certainly a noticeable building; because the Sultan is his dynasty's 29th ruler, the complex is adorned with 29 golden domes.


The interior is best described as jaw-droppingly over-the-top. The sheer volume in itself is amazing, not to mention the myriad woven rugs scattered across the men's prayer hall.

We hired a private car to visit the Empire Hotel and Country Club, this is my first time be inside a 6 star hotel.  The roundtrip ride costs us 15BND.

The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei Darussalam typically caters to royalty and heads of state. 

To say they're prepared to provide a truly luxurious stay is an understatement.  Published rate: 300 USD per night accommodations at the lush, tropical estate overlook the ocean, lagoon, gardens, or golf course.


The hotel features 532 spacious rooms including two-bedroom garden villas and suites; all with balconies and breathtaking views, providing every visitor with their own empire including large marble bathrooms.

The estate is fully-prepared to entertain you with a movie theater featuring the latest releases, a lagoon beach, the Empire Spa and a world-renowned Country Club with an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.

After our eyes were overwhelmed by the extravagant places in Brunei.  We then went back to the city for a lunch stop at Ayamku chicken house.

This is Brunei’s answer to KFC, it is one of the cheapest places in town to get a meal. You can get a big piece of fried chicken, some rice and a drink for about B$3. And the chicken is surprisingly good, kampung chicken or spring chicken are available.

Our last stop before heading back to hotel, is the Royal Regalia museum (free entrance) - 

One can glimpse the Sultan’s full royal regalia, including the crown and royal chariot, along with a vast collection of opulent treasures. 

From the outside, Brunei appears to be an immensely wealthy country with few socio economic problems: all local education and medical treatment is free, there is no income tax, and government provide cash for home loans.  But the sources of Sultanate's wealth  - oil and natural gas - are predicted to run out in the next few decades, and when this happens it will have an immense impact on how the next generation of Bruneians live and work.  Hence, the government is now promoting their tourism industry, and expanding the airport.  So for those travel enthusiasts, if you still want to visit this place before it become crowded and too commercialize for tourists, this is the perfect time for you to fly in this Kingdom. 

No comments:

Top 3 Posts