Thursday, October 30, 2008

Relax in Brunei (2)

The public transportation in Brunei is lousy, for everybody owns car here (just like US…). The government bus is cheap (normally B$1 per trip within the Bandar Seri Begawan area), but the frequency is 30-45 min (the rule is 15-20 min, but, you know, it’s just the rule…), so most of the time you could only take taxi, if you don’t have a tour package. And the taxi fee is quite high, 10 min’s drive can easily cost you B$15 to B$20, almost same price as in Europe and Japan.

Our hotel (Orchid Garden Hotel) is a 4-star one, with a small swimming pool, gym, spa (they have the biggest Jacuzzi in Brunei, but the spa is only opened to male and female customers during separated time slots), etc. My favorite point about this hotel is the big, big guestroom, haven’t seen such a big room for quite a long time… The Chinese restaurant called “Vanda” here is quite nice, from a Chinese’ point of view, and it’s really value for cash, due to the 0-GST in Brunei.
See who has been here?

The royal palace (Istana, as in Melayu) is only open to public during the 3-day celebration of Hari Raya, so we could just take several photos outside the main gate. Cannot see much from here actually…

But the taxi driver we met was really nice: she drove us from the hotel to the Istana, then to the town centre (Bandar), only charged us $20 (normally at least $30), and she even waited till we finish the photo shooting at Istana! Actually Bruneians are quite nice people, who lead a relaxed and cozy lifestyle. We were always given way by the vehicles in the road, not like in most other countries where you need to “fight” for the road. And they are very glad to help you, in one way or another. When we visited the museum the other day, we originally had to wait for 30 min or even longer for the bus back to town centre, but the staff at the museum volunteered to ask the favor from a delivery driver to allow us to take a ride in her MPV. Lots of such things, maybe because Beuneians are just too free of time?

Melayu course #1:
1.Melayu follows a “reversed” order for adjectives and nouns. E.g. “Istana Negara” means “National Palace”, where “Istana” means “Palace” while “Negara” means “Nation”.
2.“Bandar” means “Port”. “Seri Begawan” is the royal title of the sultan who established this city as the capital.

No comments: