Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Brunei Darussalam, Full DIY Trip - Amazing Preserve Culture and Wildlife



We've been reading good articles about Brunei Darussalam that  make us wonder more about the country. Brunei has an Absolute Monarchy type of government, which is almost the same as Thailand. Some are saying that traveling to Brunei is quite expensive, considering that the public transportation has only two options: buses which operate from 6am to 6pm, and a limited number of taxis which are available 24-hrs at the airport - not a practical option though because of its high fare rate.


Brunei Airport Bus Stop


At the airport, if your arrival is between 6pm to 6am then your only option is to take a TAXI but for 6am to 6pm arrival time, you may ride on a bus at the bus stop near the departure entrance of the airport. Buses' time interval is approximately 45 mins, so if you miss the current bus, you have to wait 45 mins to get to another one.

Transportation Rates

For Bus
1 BND - Anywhere with respect to the routes provided by the Bus System within near Districts

For Taxi
3.5 BND - First 1km or 1 minute
0.2 BND - Subsequent 250m or 15 seconds
3.0 BND - To/From the Brunei Airport area surcharge
8.0 BND - From one District to another area surcharge
+50% of metered fare - 6pm to 6am period charge
2 BND - Booking on Mobile Apps Charge
2 BND - Third Luggage and the subsequent luggage
FREE - First two luggage
2 BND / Pax - For more than 4 passengers

0.5 BND - Every 60 seconds waiting time

In order to know more about the country, we opt to walk along the streets of Brunei, talk to some locals and try their native foods. People in Brunei are very accommodating and courteous, if they see someone is about to cross the road, cars tend to stop allowing the person to cross first. A lot of residence in Brunei can speak well in English, so communication is not a problem.

Gadong District
The Mall at Gadong District
Gadong Night Market

Most of the store and market attendants, and bus fare collectors are females. We believe this is already part of their culture. Brunei is a conservative country; most of the locals are quiet and will not talk to you unless you initiate the conversation. The streets are so peaceful, no hustle and bustle of cars and human activities.  Provided below are some of the highlights within Gadong District and Bandar Seri Begawan. 

Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Jubilee Park

The Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is really huge and beautiful. It is one of the most visited places of tourists. The Jubilee Park is a quiet and relaxing place that is good for family and kids to bond. Obstacle playground facilities are provided, and snacks and drinks are also available within the area.

Royal Regalia Museum 
Old Istana (Old Palace)

The Royal Regalia Museum has a lot of amazing treasures and historical artifacts that can be seen. Cameras and cellphones are not allowed while roaming around the museum, thus those are being stored in lockers; the only area in the Museum where picture taking is allowed is in the Front Hall, here you see the traditional items used by the Royals and a souvenir shop. Walking distance from the Museum is The Old Istana, this is the old King palace which is being preserved and is already one of the historical landmarks of the country. Tourists can take some pictures, and can rent a bike while roaming around the area. You can take a break here and enjoy the scenery of Brunei river with refreshing air breeze.

Tasek Lama
Tasek Lama is a natural eco park that tourists can have minor or major trek. Yes, it is a beautiful preserved eco park with all of the natural resources and wildlife. Monkeys can freely roam around the area. Facilities for fitness are being provided also.This is where most of the people are exercising.

Kampon Ayer Viewing Deck
Probocis Monkey

Kampong Ayer is the water village in Brunei; houses are built on stilts in Brunei river. The settlement has been preserved for generations to come. There are still residences who choose to live here because houses are cheaper compared to those in dry land.  Though in water settlements, it is equipped with basic infrastructures like schools, mosques, police and fire stations. Locals that are situated here are onto fishing and handicrafts making as a source of income.  It is accessible at the Jalan McArthur at Bandar.

The Probocis Monkeys is a one of kind wildlife of Brunei that can be seen when you avail the package of the Brunei river tour. These monkeys have shades of color on its hair aside of a typical gray/black. It is good to see and observe its natural forest habitat.


How to get there:

For a cheaper transportation, the bus is a good option. If you do have the Bus System Route Guide Map, think of it as a railway system of some countries so it is easy to comprehend the routes. BSB or the main bus station is more likely the central station of a railway system. If you want to go somewhere in Brunei, then go to BSB and find the route number or ask someone the route number for the place you want to go. Always look for a bus stop if you are within near Districts Such as Gadong and Bandar.

For more convenient transportation, then have a taxi. Taxi's are also available at the main bus station at Bandar.

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