• A Personal Blog with S Factor

    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    DIY Itinerary for a City Day Tour in BRUNEI

    Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
    At the back of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
     
    If I have to describe Brunei, I would probably use the old adage “SMALL BUT TERRIBLE”. It's just a tiny nation on Borneo Island, but small as it is, there's more to size than meets the eye. If I have to be honest, Brunei is never on my bucket list, but I had the chance to visit Brunei at the expense of its Tourism Department, how should I say no, right?

    I fell in love with Brunei while still on board the Royal Brunei Airlines. I arrived at midnight, and while I was still up there, I saw the beauty of the city. The lights in the streets and few moving vehicles seem dancing. I like how everywhere I look, there are trees and plants and forest areas. I was excited to know more about Brunei, and when I finally landed, I know right there and then that I will enjoy the trip.

    I was lucky because I have few acquaintances in Brunei who patiently waited for me at the airport. They provided me a car and safely brought me to my accommodation. If not for them, a commute at midnight would be challenging for me. At the wee hours, there are no buses operating in the city. There's also no grab car to hire. There are taxis available but very expensive. If you are left with no choice, the only public transportation you could ever take is a taxi, just prepare to pay the premium fare. However, buses only cost 1 BND and it will take you anywhere within the city.

    Brunei has a lot to offer to the tourists, but in this particular post, I will share my personal DIY itinerary for my one day city tour. This itinerary does not cover all the places in Brunei, but since I only have one day to tour the city, I only included the “MUST VISIT” places as far as my personal opinion is concerned. Here it is.

    7:00 – 8:00 – Preparation. Breakfast. Etc.

    8:00- 8:30- Trip to ROYAL REGALIA.

    royal regalia
    The Royal Regalia Museum

    Take any bus to go to Royal Regalia. All bus in Brunei will pass through Royal Regalia, and regardless of the distance, bus fare is only 1 Brunei Dollar. Just tell the driver you will get off at Royal Regalia Museum.

    8:30-9:30 – Explore ROYAL REGALIA

    royal regalia
    Inside the Royal Regalia Museum
    Royal Regalia is a museum built to exhibit the memorabilia related to the Silver and Golden Jubilee of Sultan. It also houses the artifacts, clothing, family memorabilia and anything related to the Sultan and the royal family.

    The museum can be explored for one hour but it's very very very very strict inside. No shoes allowed, no picture taking allowed, everybody is required to attend the tour inside. Entrance fee is FREE.

    9:30-10:00- Go to SULTAN OMAR ALI SAIFUDDIEN MOSQUE

    Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
    Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
    You will have thirty minutes to walk to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. There's no grab in Brunei, Taxi is very expensive, so I advise to just walk from museum to mosque since it's just within the area. 30 minutes is too much time, but this may require you to ask a local for the direction of the mosque.

    10:00-11:30- Explore SULTAN OMAR ALI SAIFUDDIEN MOSQUE.

    Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
    Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
    Take your time, because every aspect of this mosque is interesting, from the inside to the outside. Aside from it being one of the famous attraction in the city of Bandar Seri Begawan, it's also sacred because Muslim Community go to this place to worship. This is considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific.

    11:30-12:30- YAYANGSAN COMPLEX




    Lunch and explore Yayangsan Complex which is just beside the mosque. You can check out local food (but you can save this activity later today) or just dine in at fast food in the area,i.e KFC, etc.

    Aside from food, Yayasan Complex is also a perfect place for shopaholics. You can also leisurely walk around the complex because it has breathtaking building designs and iconic architecture.

    12:30-1:00 – Go to KAMPONG AYER

    kampong ayer

    Take Bus number 55 or Number 58 (taking a bus in this area maybe a challenge), or for easier and free option, you can just walk towards the dock where you can hire a boat to go to water village(Kampong Ayer)

    1:00-2:30-EXPLORE KAMPONG AYER

    Kampong Ayer
     Tour Kampong Ayer (water village) via water taxi. One hour rent is 30 BND, boat can accomodate up to 2 people. If you come in a group, you can make a deal with the "water taxi driver".

    Dubbed as the Venice of the East, the Kampong Ayer is one of the most interesting places in the city because aside from it being one of the oldest settlements in Brunei, it is situated in the Brunei river. Kampong Ayer literally means “Water Village”, and just like any other villages, aside from tradiitonal houses in Brunei, you can also see schools, police office and other kind of establishments.

    2:30-3:00- Travel to Jame' Asr Hassanal Bolkia Mosque. 

    Jame' asr hassanal bolkiah mosque
     You can take bus numbers 20, 22 or 1 from the bus terminal which is in the area of the water village. Ask around about the location of bus terminal. Bus fare is only 1 BND.

    3:00 to 4:00- Explore Jame' Asr Hassanal Bolkia Mosque

    Jame' asr hassanal bolkiah mosque
    Jame' asr hassanal bolkiah mosque

    Probably one of the most beautiful mosques in Brunei, you will never get tired exploring this tourist destination. It's like a paradise in the middle of the city because aside from the very unqiue and attractive architectural design of the mosque, it also boasts its garden and its surrounding. No wonder this is considered to be one of the two national mosques of Brunei.

    4:00 to 5:00 - One hour travel to Empire Hotel and Country Club

    Empire Hotel and Country Club

    The fare to the Empire Hotel may be expensive because only Bus number 45 is available. The bus is in schedule and only operate up to 4 pm. You may need to hire a taxi which will cost you around 25 BND to go to empire hotel. The hotel is also far from the city.

    5:00 to 7:00- Sunset viewing by the beach. explore Empire Hotel... etc..

    Empire Hotel and Country Club


    I have nothing to say about Empire Hotel, it's simple awesome and I stand in awe of its beauty and grandeur. I think everywhere you look is worth its instagram moment. The Hotel is situated on a beach front, so it's a good spot to view the sunset or even sunrise. The pool area and the restaurants are the gems of the hotels. And oh by the way, you don't need to book a room (because it's very expensive) to enjoy the good view of the hotel. You just can't use the amenities if you're not booked, but it's good enough to just explore the area.

    7:00 to 8:00 - Hire a taxi to go to Gadong Night Market.

    Gadong Night Market

    This may be a challenge for DIY-ers, but the trick is, you may want to get the number of taxi driver that brought you there and you can just contact them later on if you need a ride to go back to the city.

    8:00 to 9:00- Food trip at Gadong Night Market.

     
    Food trip at Gadong Night Market
     At Gadong Night Market, you can try the different local food in their food court. From street food like Tofu Cheese to Nasi Katok for as low as 1 BND. In this place, you'll see different foods coming from different district of Brunei. A perfect place for the gastronomes. You can also shop to the nearby Gadong Mall.

    9:00- Hire a taxi to go home because no more buses are operating at this hour.

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