Friday 30 January 2009

Bandar Seri Begawan and surrounds

I had a  three day stop over in Brunei , which started badly in that I got food poisoning from the airplane food. Unforutnately this event saw the first day spent in bed.

Brunei is a lovely country. The water village is a highlight, as this is how Brunei actually started, and makes Venice look a bit bland really. On my tour of the city I saw the amazing mosques, and that night did another tour of different things as well as seeing the same sites at night.  There were two main mosques, the one right down town and the sultans mosque which is constructed using material from all over the globe. They are also very tolerant of other religions there, as there was a very nice Buddhist temple near my hotel. One of the must do things in this area is the night market. The smells are incredible and reminded me of my childhood in Indonesia.

On my final day there, in the morning I went on the Proboscis monkeys, actually saw qutie a few and a male, which was probably bigger than me with much longer arms. Also saw a croc, and a monta ray lizard. The only way to see these things is to do a tour or hire a boat to take up  the river and into the mangrove jungle. Going up river was amazing as the Mangrove forest is very interesting. Then in the afternoon I caught up with friends from New Plymouth (who I used to swim with) Rachael and Simon. They were awesome and we went to one of the mosques together (I was surprised we were allowed in without our hair covered, although we did have to wear a robe thing). And they were even nicer and shouted me another water boat tour this time of a different part of the water village. Was great fun catching up with them.

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