Our journey Brunei
Bugdet BN$ 56
Duration: 3 days
Distance: 253 km
There we are – dropped off right in front of the border to Brunei Darussalam. A country, where hitchhiking was impossible and it was actually not even worth a vist! Our experience was exactly the opposite. We hitchhiked all the way and stayed longer than planned, because we really enjoyed our stay with our awesome host Midz in Bander Seri Begawan (BSB). Hitchhiking wasn’t difficult at all, we had to change 2 times and never waited longer than 15 minutes. We left Miri around 11am and arrived in BSB at 1.30pm, so it took us only 30minutes longer than driving through directly.
3 cars and 140km later...
…we looked for a place with wifi to contact our host. Burger King was next to the Bus Terminal, where our last lift dropped us. As we were way to early, we just organized our upcoming Malaysia trip at a nearby library until Midz finished working and picked us up.
We arrived at her beautiful apartment, unpacked and had a rest until we left to watch the sunset at Midz’ favourite sunset spot at the ocean. Okaaaz we were late, but it was still an amazing view. After all we went to the night markets buying some dinner. We called Brunei also “the One-Dollar-Country” , as everything was only $1.
next day in Bandar Seri Begawan
The next day we explored Bandar Seri Begawan and it’s surroundings. First off all we went with our host to Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. It’s very beautiful and definitly worth a visit. Non muslims are allowed to visit the mosque at non prayer times for free. It was Sunday, which meant for the city centre “Car-Free-Day”. We were surprised and thought it was funny to have a weekly car free day, as we have car free streets in many city centres in Europe. There is a market and people are motivated to do activities, such as biking or Zumba.
Next stop was the sultan’s palace “Istana Nurul Iman”, unfortunately we couldn’t enter the property and had just a look outside fences. And we visited “Kampong Ayer” the water village in Bandar Seri Begawan. Before we went to Asia we only knew about Venice an Italian city built on the water, it was very interesting to see there were more places like Venice, you can’t really compare the architecture as the houses in BSB are small and traditionally built, but definitely worth a visit.
Next stop was the sultan’s palace “Istana Nurul Iman”, unfortunately we couldn’t entre the property and had just a look outside fences. Midz also brought us to a beautiful area around the tomb of Sultan Bolkiah, 5th Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, and a waterfall nearby.
Lunchtime!!! Oh gosh… that was special. We got the chance to try a traditional Bruneian dish. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet with mainly non-vegetarian sides, there was only one veggie dish, sad for me, but it was actually not about the sides. It was all about AMBUYAT. We never tried something like that before.
The flavor was tasteless, so not really special, but the texture… hm very different. It is sticky, jellylike and not really to chew, just to swallow, maybe a bit similar to mussels… and still not the same. And then you dip it in a sauce, you mix yourself, how you like it. It should be a mix of salty and sour.
all in all it was not too bad. But as we said before Brunei was the B$1 country, the buffet was B$8 and quite expensive compared to other much better dishes we tried before. But if we didn’t try, we wouldn’t know, and as you can try this dish only in Brunei you definitely should!
Our favourite dish, which was a dessert, was Apam Balik. It is a kind of pancake with peanuts, chocolate, condense milk and cheese, sounds like weird combination, but it’s delicious!!
The last day we just went for a morning swim in the pool, and started early in the morning to hitchhike to Malaysia. We had to cross the borders twice, so one page of our valuable passport was covered in Brunei and Malaysia stamps.