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Religion is crucial in the Culture of Brunei - OrganicIsBeautiful

Never Miss to Visit Brunei!

To Go To Brunei or Not?

Brunei
Brunei

Visiting Asia as Brunei usually takes people to the bigger stops like Malaysia, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul. The electric sounds and blazing neon of these metropolises can blind you to a tiny treasure nestled by Malaysia and the South China Sea. The Sultanate of Brunei is a nation often untouched by tourists, despite the wonders in store for them. Brunei is a stunning country that world travelers should take their time to savor, for the richness of Brunei is just not in gas and petroleum, it’s in the culture and the natural beauty of the land.

Here are some things to consider when pondering to go or not to go to Brunei:

Public Transport in Brunei and Lack Thereof

Probably the biggest thing that most travelers fret over is how they’re going to get from Point A to B.

In Brunei you are limited to a bus or taxi. There are a few tourist horror stories about not being able to find an adequate means of transport and having to walk for hours to get to their destination. Supposedly, taxis are around the capital and the airport but nowhere in between. If you do find one, prepare your wallet for annihilation. Prices for taxis are rather hefty (a 15 minute ride might cost you around 25 BND).

The public bus looks like they drove straight from the 1960s, albeit services are fairly cheap (1-3 BND) depending on where you’re headed. However, if you’re on a tight schedule, you might find yourself ripping up your itinerary into itty-bitty bits. The public buses have no inkling as to what “timetable” means. Therefore, most Bruneians won’t use these infamous purple buses. Six bus routes in daily operation around the area of Bandar Seri Begawan, and they’re supposedly color-coated as of 2013 (but as of 2016 a lot of purple buses remain):

  1. Northern Line – Green
  2. Southern Line – Silver gray
  3. Eastern Line – Royal blue
  4. Western Line – Magenta
  5. Central Line – Brown
  6. Circle Line – Cyan

The Brunei government is really trying to expand on the public transportation sector, but as of right now, there’s yet to be any true improvements. Brunei

“Budget” Accommodations

Since Brunei isn’t exactly a tourist hotspot, you can find some pretty decent deals on hotels right in Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB). For example, with 500-600 USD, you can stay in a 3-star hotel or hostel for about 8 days. Unfortunately, these vacancies get eaten up quickly. Kampong Jerudong, another location in Brunei, as decent rates, but with the public transportation conundrum, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the extra distance for a cheap place to sleep.

One note a fellow traveler made was that if you don’t arrange your room prior to arriving in Brunei, you might be the victim of price gouging. That is, what looks decent online might be raised to an exorbitant amount in person. Be smart. Book in advance.

Where Are Those Attractions Again?

Again, Brunei is by no means a resort town. There’s not much to do—and so you don’t have to deal with crowds. Fortunately, most attractions and museums are free. The golden mosques and hotels are stunning, but that’s about it.

Brunei isn’t very modern, so don’t expect miraculous examples of architecture and flashing lights. If you are imaginative and can make your own tours just by exploring, then Brunei might be for you. Consider this: A large portion of Brunei is built on a network of over-the-water stilt villages like Kampong Ayer. Not many people get the chance to experience something like that. It’s not exactly romantic like Venice, but a walk across the docks is humbling and eye-opening. Brunei is one of the richest countries in the world thanks to oil, yet the way of life is low-key and relaxed. You might even stumble upon an open market like Tamu Kianggeh. A rainbow of boats and umbrellas line the docks as people peddle their fruits and vegetables.

For those who love being outdoors, they won’t only find a unique journey in town, they can find it in the Bruneian rainforest, Ulu Temburong National Park. Tranquil rivers, boundless skies and excursions galore. Aside from resort hotels, there’s also a sustainable living village, where you can choose to stay in tents and eat jungle food that you harvest yourself. Plus, who can say no to getting up close to wild crocodiles, lizards, exotic birds and monkeys?

Wildlife OrganicIsBeautiful
Wildlife OrganicIsBeautiful

Another attraction similar to the rainforest experience is a cruise along the Tutong River that focuses on mangrove ecology and how to conserve natural resources. Brunei is also a great scuba diving location. Several shipwrecks can be found in the waters, as well as pristine coral reefs. Rental gear is cheap—about 35-50 BND.

What Do You Mean By “Dry”?

Because Brunei is an Islamic nation (the mosques should have clued you into that), don’t expect there to be any nightlife. If you’re the kind of person who likes slinging back drinks with the locals and hearing stories, you probably won’t be very fond of Brunei’s dryness. There are no bars, no clubs and overnight businesses are rare.

Religion is crucial in the Culture of Brunei - OrganicIsBeautiful
Religion is crucial in the Culture of Brunei – OrganicIsBeautiful

You are, however, allowed to bring a small amount of alcohol with you. An alcohol permit at the border of Brunei must be obtained before entering the country. Cigarettes are also a slight challenge to find.

During the month of Ramadan, when devotees of Islam take on fasting, you’ll find restaurants open. However, this doesn’t mean you’re open to woofing down food and drink in front of those who haven’t eaten in several days or weeks. You will be expected to ask permission to dine in front of those individuals. In 2014, the government passed a law that states it’s fine for non-fasting people and visitors to Brunei to order take-out during Ramadan to mitigate the offense. It’s a unique cultural exchange, but if that makes you nervous, plan your trip around Ramadan.

never miss to visit brunei

So should you go to Brunei? The answer is up to you. Brunei doesn’t have the glitter and glam of some other SEA locations like Indonesia or Malaysia, but that doesn’t mean it should be crossed off the list. People who love outdoor activities, fresh air and relaxation will find themselves perfectly satisfied by this happy little country.

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Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful

Indonesia, 4 days to Reach the Top of the World, The Mount Rinjani !

The Mount Rinjani  located in Indonesia, is the second highest volcano in the country. With beautiful views from the summit, it is no wonder than people make the four-day trip to the top!

mount Rinjani

4 days to reach the top of the word, the mount Rinjani IndonesiaOf course, it isn’t just about the views once you get there, it is about the experience as you travel up there and, believe us, you are going to be in for a real treat! Since I lived 2 years in Kuala Lumpur, it was a short flight trip of 2 hours to lend in Lombok. 

This is an active volcano. While it is not as active as it was in the early 1990s, activity has started to ramp up in the past few years. As a result, many of the routes up the mountain are currently closed. However, if you work with a good guide, then you should have absolutely no issues traversing the area.

As with most active volcanoes, the landscape as you climb up is heavily forested and fertile. Well, at least during the lower and mid-levels of the volcano. As you start to climb the mountain, you will see that the area becomes more barren and volcanic rock peppers the landscape. It is actually a very gorgeous sight.mount Rinjani!

Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful

Along the way, you will plenty of birds taking to the skies. The main ones are cockatoos and green hanging parrots. However, it is worth noting that this isn’t the place to head if you are keen on bird spotting. As mentioned previously, the area is heavily forested which means that seeing anything is going to be notoriously difficult! The main animal to spot is the Bali Temple Monkey which can be seen up and down the slope, right the way up until you get the crater. However, if you are lucky, you may see the rare Ebony Leaf Monkey in the forest. If you do not see it, then you will certainly here it. It makes a distinctive ‘hooting’ sound which is strangely relaxing.

While the climb is on the easy side in comparison to the hike up over mountains, you are going to need to be physically fit in order to reach the top. The majority of tours that you can book that will take you up the mountain (it is not recommended that you travel alone) will take 3-4 days. They will take it at a slower pace to ensure that everybody can keep up. However, if you are not in good physical condition, then this may not necessarily be the right climb for you.mount Rinjani

You should make the climb up the mountain between April and November. During the rainy months, the trails will be closed which makes climbing impossible. It is close to freezing at the top of the mountain, so make sure you bring some cold weather clothing!

Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful
Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful

So, what can you see when you get to the top? Well, on a particularly clear day you will be able to see Bali to the west of the mountain and Sumbawa to the east. Honestly, the views that you are going to get over Indonesia will be more than worth it. If you can, get up here at sunrise and look at the crater lake. It is one of the most breath-taking views that you will ever enjoy in your life.

Would you be willing to climb up this mountain over the course of four days for those brilliant views?

Tour story in Kuala Lumpur, the Wicked City

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7 Reasons Why You Should Try Hitchhiking

1. Saving Money On Transportation

This was the reason why I first started hitchhiking, traveling on a shoestring and using public transportation don’t go well together. If I can get a flight from Portugal to Germany for 20€ I’m not paying more than that for a boring 200km, three hour bus ride to the next destination.

2. Saving More Money!

This might sound crazy to people who are concerned about the “dangers” of hitchhiking, but during some rides I have been offered food, money, drinks, accommodation and even marijuana and alcohol, usually they are just really into helping me and making sure I enjoy my adventure, some people have also driven off their paths just to drop me off exactly where I wanted them to.

Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful
Hiking Prep | OrganicIsBeautiful

Of course this situations don’t come very often, specially if you are hitchhiking with someone else. Although it feels amazing to be treated in such a nice way by a stranger you should be very grateful just by the fact that they decide to pick you up, so don’t expect anything else from the people who give you a ride.

3. Overcoming Your Fears.

When it comes to hitchhiking anyone who has never done it before tends to have enough misconceptions about it to keep themselves away from doing it unless encouraged by someone else.

The exact same thing happened to me, that’s why I want you to go out there and do it, after a few rides your opinions about hitchhiking will change drastically and once you overcome that fear you will feel more confident and even more determined to overcome other mental barriers that you may have.

Emotions are Contagious

4. Meeting Really Nice People

This is why I love hitchhiking! You will meet lots of different people and have many conversations with complete strangers. You can share your stories and at the same time discover more about the local culture or about someone else’s life, isn’t that great?

Of course not everyone is interested in hearing what you have to say or share with you their lives but countless times I’ve had really indulging conversations and learned much from this people and it also helped me overcome social insecurities.

5. Practising Your New Language

Please! Make sure you learn or at least write down some keywords or phrases from the local language. It’s easy to learn a new language and you can even practise for free with people who give you a ride by trying to introduce yourself, explaining where you want to go and even talk a bit about yourself in the local language.

If you and the person who give you a ride have any language in common it’s always funny to have a quick conversation in the local language, if that’s not the case be creative, talk with gestures or pictures, point at things, make an effort to break the language barrier.

You Are Your Own SuperHero

6. Save The World!

Every time someone picks you up the same amount of CO2 is emitted but more people are getting from point A to point B, this is what I call economizing. Can you imagine if more and more people start hitchhiking? Not only to travel on a budget but to actually do it on a daily basis. There would be less and less pollution, traffic jams and people would trust more on each other.

7. Experience True Freedom And Adventure

Hitchhiking is more than just sticking your thumb up and waiting. It’s the freedom of choosing where and when you want to go and never knowing where and when someone will take you there! It’s embracing the unknown! There are absolutely no certainties when it comes to hitchhiking, you never know what type of person or car will pick you up, how long you will have to wait or where they are going. This is what I call adventure!

When you don’t know what to expect you are living life in the present and experiencing everything in detail, you appreciate more the good things and easily ignore whatever doesn’t suit you.

the mount Rinjani
Learn about my hike in Indonesia last year on OrganicIsBeautiful

I have countless good memories from hitchhiking: getting invited for lunch in a hill by the beach, having really funny or interesting conversations, getting rides on cabs for free, pretending to be moroccan on a police checkpoint and many more that are yet to come.

Thank you Lucas for this amazing post, you can find the original article in their website.

What about you? What are your thoughts on hitchhiking? Please Share with me your adventures!

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the mount Rinjani

Indonesia, 4 days to Reach the Top of the World, the Mount Rinjani

Indonesia, 4 days to reach the top of the world, the mount Rinjani - organicisbeautiful.com
Indonesia, 4 days to reach the top of the world, the mount Rinjani – organicisbeautiful.com

Rinjani, located in Indonesia, is the second highest volcano in the country. With beautiful views from the summit, it is no wonder than people make the four-day trip to the top! Of course, it isn’t just about the views once you get there, it is about the experience as you travel up there and, believe us, you are going to be in for a real treat!

Know Yourself to Be Happy.

This is an active volcano. While it is not as active as it was in the early 1990s, activity has started to ramp up in the past few years. As a result, many of the routes up the mountain are currently closed. However, if you work with a good guide, then you should have absolutely no issues traversing the area.

As with most active volcanoes, the landscape as you climb up is heavily forested and fertile. Well, at least during the lower and mid-levels of the volcano. As you start to climb the mountain, you will see that the area becomes more barren and volcanic rock peppers the landscape. It is actually a very gorgeous sight.

Along the way, you will plenty of birds taking to the skies. The main ones are cockatoos and green hanging parrots. However, it is worth noting that this isn’t the place to head if you are keen on bird spotting. As mentioned previously, the area is heavily forested which means that seeing anything is going to be notoriously difficult! The main animal to spot is the Bali Temple Monkey which can be seen up and down the slope, right the way up until you get the crater. However, if you are lucky, you may see the rare Ebony Leaf Monkey in the forest. If you do not see it, then you will certainly here it. It makes a distinctive ‘hooting’ sound which is strangely relaxing.

o9 copia
Indonesia, 4 days to reach the top of the world, the mount Rinjani – organicisbeautiful.com

While the climb is on the easy side in comparison to the hike up over mountains, you are going to need to be physically fit in order to reach the top. The majority of tours that you can book that will take you up the mountain (it is not recommended that you travel alone) will take 3-4 days. They will take it at a slower pace to ensure that everybody can keep up. However, if you are not in good physical condition, then this may not necessarily be the right climb for you.

You should make the climb up the mountain between April and November. During the rainy months, the trails will be closed which makes climbing impossible. It is close to freezing at the top of the mountain, so make sure you bring some cold weather clothing!

Kuala Lumpur, the Wicked city.

So, what can you see when you get to the top? Well, on a particularly clear day you will be able to see Bali to the west of the mountain and Sumbawa to the east. Honestly, the views that you are going to get over Indonesia will be more than worth it. If you can, get up here at sunrise and look at the crater lake. It is one of the most breath-taking views that you will ever enjoy in your life.

Would you be willing to climb up this mountain over the course of four days for those brilliant views?

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The Resplendence of Rome

The Resplendence of Rome

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The Resplendence of Rome – Organicisbeautiful.com

However long you plan to spend in Rome, it will never be enough. Once you get a taste of la dolce vita, you will be addicted. Rome is full of history, delicious food, beautiful culture, and life-altering experiences. You will never be without something to do, and that alone is a reason why you need to get to Roma, pronto.

Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain gets mentioned first, because I think the legend behind it is both romantic and magical. If you toss a coin into the churning waters, you will someday return to Rome. But aside from legends, the history of the fountain is as impressive as the first time you see it. You will be astounded by the prestige of Oceanus (Neptune) and the other statues comprising the fountain.

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The Resplendence of Rome – Organicisbeautiful.Com

Foro Romano & Colosseo

Though these two places are not located side-by-side, they are two wondrous ruins that every first time visitor to Rome has to check out. If you value the past and the lessons we can learn from those ancient civilizations, you will be enlightened by a walk through the Roman Forum halls and a glimpse into the gladiatorial pit at the Colosseum. Both places are also more than a single site. The Roman Forum, for example, has several Roman temples to visit.

Basilica di San Pietro

St. Peter’s Basilica is the heart of Roman Catholicism. You can take daily free tours around the Vatican City, expect on Wednesday, when the pope makes appearances. Climb the 332 steps to the top of the basilica to see a majestic view of Rome’s skyline.

Santa Maria della Vittoria

If you read Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” novel, then you will probably want to check out this famous chapel. Otherwise, the fascinating baroque art display will excite an fine arts enthusiast. Because Santa Maria della Vittoria is located close to the Barberini metro stop, it is highly accessible.

Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti

Otherwise known as the Spanish Steps, which is all about the atmosphere of Rome. Here, you can sit on the steps, enjoying a gelato in the summer or roasted chestnuts in the colder months. There is a boat-shaped fountain called Barcaccia nearby, as well as the famous Trinita dei Monta church. If you are hungry, check out the Piazza di Spagna, Rome’s most fashionable shopping street, where cafes, fool stalls, and markets line the road. 

Porta Portese

If you love shopping and love haggling in Italian, then Porta Portese is for you. The vendors sell more than just clothes, though. Here, you can find books, antiques, and a flea market ambiance that cannot be beat. That said, Porta Portese is also targeting tourists nowadays—so be prepared for the crowds!

The best part about checking out all of these places? No admission fee. You will find that Rome is a very affordable trip. For those on a budget, backpacking around Rome is more than doable, it is very comfortable. Aside from the tourist attractions, sample authentic Italian cooking, and enjoy the incredible Roman life!

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The Resplendence of Rome

 

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