Souvenir stand in a Brunei Shopping Mall
I’d always wanted to visit The Sultanate of Brunei but somehow it had never happened – until circumstances brought me to the Brunei capital Bendar Seri Begawan on a great value Royal Brunei Airlines flight from Bangkok to London ‘via’ Brunei.
Of course it’s hardly on the way, in fact it’s just over two hours in the wrong direction, but I wasn’t going to argue with a free day trip to Brunei and a unique chance to explore this fascinating nation.
The flight change includes a full day and evening on the ground – which is enough to get a good sense of the country’s pocket-sized city, and that included some amazing photo opportunities…
Shoes outside the Jame’Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
The Sultan’s own private entrance to the Jame’Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque, the largest Mosque in Brunei
Colourful wooden houses at Kampong Ayer water village
The shoe rack that accommodates up to 5,000 pairs of shoes for Friday prayers
View of a mosque rising behind Kampong Ayer water village
Food stall at Brunei’s night market
Standing guard at the Royal Palace gates
Downtown Brunei at sundown
Life at Kampong Ayer, Brunei’s famous water village
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque by day
A Brunei worker comes up with an ingenious use for a cardboard box
Entrance to the Royal Palace, we can’t see any of its 1700 rooms, alas
Jame’Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque at night
Fellow tourists enjoying the evening portion of their day trip to Brunei
Toyota advert at Kampong Ayer water village
A classic Brunei image of the Jame’Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
Umbrellas used to shade the Sultan during his Jubilee ceremony, displayed at the Brunei Museum
A fishermen works on his nets at the water village
The Brunei flag is proudly displayed everywhere
Water taxis at Kampong Ayer
Fishing at Kampong Ayer
The Sultan Omar Ali Saiffudien mosque looks even more amazing at night
Ceremonial Royal spears and shields
The transit tours are provided by Sunshine Tours Borneo, and SavoirThere just rocked up at the desk on arrival like any other customer and arranged and paid for her day tour on the spot – and they couldn’t have been nicer to deal with. When they saw how many notes she was taking and what a genuinely nosey journo type she was they kindly invited her on the evening tour as their guest.
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