Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Relax in Brunei (5)

The trip to the Brunei Museum was full of “surprises”.

This time we decided to try the bus. A free shuttle bus took us from the hotel to Yayasan. When we were looking for the bus interchange, a local guy volunteered to take us there (it was a 10-min walk in the city blocks, not easy for a foreigner), and then just left before we could even say “Thank you”!

The bus interchange is quite worn out, same as the adjacent buildings. The buses are small purple ones which could contain around dozen of ppl. While we were waiting for the bus (No. 39), a local tour guide told us that the museum was closed for the morning because of some event. But at that time we really had no “plan B”, so still boarded the bus (after about half-hour’s waiting) and headed to the museum.

Actually there was an exhibition about the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque held in the museum, in memory of the 50th anniversary of the mosque. One of the sons of the Sultan attended (not sure if it was the Crown Prince), so there were a lot of police, VIPs, guards, etc. We only took a photo of the museum from quite a distance:
Brunei Museum
(See the black Benz’s? The plate numbers are sequential, should be for the royal members and government officials.)

We actually entered the museum before it was officially re-opened. So for about one hour’s time, we were the only visitors inside. The first hall we visited was full of extraordinary south-eastern Asian style antiques, like weapons, jewelry, home appliance, etc. But there was a soldier (not guard or police, real army man!) was “accompanying” us all the time, quite uncomfortable.

The second hall was an introduction to the oil industry in Brunei. We got to know that all the gas consumed in Brunei is locally produced. Now you know why it’s so cheap!

A series of halls show the history of Brunei, especially the chronicles of the current monarchy. Good self-study materials.

Photo-taking is not allowed inside the museum (and all other museums and mosques in Brunei). I only took a photo with the Sultan …’s picture in the lobby:
Me and the Sultan

As mentioned before, we took a ride on the MPV of a lady delivering lunch to the museum to go back to the Bandar, free of charge!

No comments: