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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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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!

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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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