However, its our mistake that did not check Brunei Hari Raya calender. This year, Brunei Hari Raya fall one day after Malaysia Hari Raya. Unfortunately, our first day in Brunei is the first day of Brunei Hari Raya (Second day of Malaysia Hari Raya). Thus, the Istana is only open for Sultan's relative.
Since we have arrive Brunei, we decided to walk around Bandar Seri Begawan and enjoy ourselves.
Some of the scenery of Brunei Capital.
This waterfront can look out Kampong Ayer.
There are boat taxi provide service to reach Kampong Ayer.
Kompleks Bangunan Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
This is the largest shopping mall in capital.
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
This mosque is named under the name of current Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah's father. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is the 29th sultan of Brunei.
This mosque looks more beautiful after light up at night.
Lunch at Seri Mama Restaurant
Nasi Katok (B$1) and 100plus (B$1). DELICIOUS and CHEAP!!
Unfortunately, less stall open during Raya time. Only two or three stalls selling these.
Overnight at budget hotel
Take a good rest and hot bath at KH Song Resthouse.
Dinner at Mamak Stall
Roti Canai taste normal only.
Mee Goreng, ewW! Those chicken is not cut into pieces therefore making the mee taste horrible.
Why not have a taste on Brunei's teh tarik? End up taste normal. Prefer Kuching's teh c special.
Tango Apple Juice. Kind of nice to drink after a hot day walk.
Night view of Brunei Capital
Brunei street at night. Those driver at Brunei have a great heart, always allow pedestrians to pass the road although that is green light for car to go.
One of the iconic in Brunei capital and it change colour from time to time.
Day 2: Visit Istana Nurul Iman
Bus station, there are a lot buses for northern, southern, western and eastern lane.
Southern lane is the bus to Istana Nurul Iman. Anyway there is card display in front the bus showing that the bus specially go to Istana.
Bus ticket. B$1.
Front door of Istana Nurul Iman, kind of pretty.
These guys will never move except blinking their eyes until their shift is end. This picture showing that the duty of one of them is over and is taken over by another.
This is the front view of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Palace. It is one of the world's largest Palace and world's largest residential (2,152,782 square feet (200,000 m²) of floorspace.). This Sultan is the owner of 531 Mercedes-Benzes, 367 Ferraris, 362 Bentleys, 185 BMWs, 177 Jaguars, 160 Porsches, 130 Rolls-Royces and 20 Lamborghinis; Bringing the total number of his cars to 1,932 cars.
A tall Brunei flag stood in front the royal palace. Nice!
One of the nice structure at front gate.
Every year, Istana Nurul Iman is opened to the public from the 2nd to 4th day of Hari Raya. Everybody is welcomed to have their free meal in the palace and queue up to see Sultan, Permaisuri, putera and puteri. There are two sessions of meeting with sultan which are 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4pm. It's not easy to meet them. First, we have to squeeze in the crowd because nobody would queue up. After enter the palace courtyard, only everybody is queued up and waiting their turn. Guys and girls are separated up due to Brunei is a Islam country. Only guy can meet sultan and putera while only girl can meet permaisuri and puteri. Then, every visitor will receive a box and a card as a token of appreciation from the palace.
Gifts after meeting with Sultan
Guy and girl received different gift. That bigger box belong to boy while the smaller octagon box belong to girl.
Inside the box, there is a lot of delicious cookies. Yummy!!!
There are pandan and chocolate cookies. Both taste fabulous but I personally prefer chocolate cookies more.
A PROOF OF BACKPACK TRAVELING
This what we prepared for Brunei backpack traveling. For west Malaysia residences, in order to pass Brunei's kastam, you will need to show your white sheet of paper given by Sarawak's Kastam when you enter sarawak. For those who have Document Perjalan Terhad, please bring it along.
PS: If you travel to Brunei during other time than Raya, you may visit these places :
(a) Royal Regalia Museum (Bangunan Alat Kebesaran Diraja)
(b) Brunei Museum
(c) Malay Technology Museum
(d) The house of Twelve Roof