Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

On Monday, I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Bandar Seri Begawan and met my favourite Kiwi for a new country adventure.

Bandar Seri Begawan, بندر سري بڬاوان, is the capital of Brunei.  The city has a population of 100.700 with the greater metro area is home to almost 280.000 people.

Until 1970 it was known as Bandar Brunei which translates to "Brunei Town."  Locals simply call it "Bandar" or BSB.

The city lies on the northern bank of the Brunei River.

The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque was built in 1958.  It is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful mosques in the world.

The mosque has an artificial lagoon with a replica of a 16th century barge.  The barge was completed in 1967.

The 1968 Coronation Arch commemorates the coronation of the sultan.  It was originally built somewhere else moved here in October 1993.

The Timepiece Stone Monument was built in 1959.  It functions as a zero-mile-clock to indicate the distance starting point from BSB and other places in the country.

The Al-Muhtadee Billah Mosque is known as the pyramid mosque.  It's huge and sits on the southern bank of the Brunei River.

The Brunei History Centre opened in 1982.  Lots of information about the history of the royal family.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for the propagation of Islam and for upholding it as the state religion.

Tamu Klanggeh is the open air market that dates back to the 1980s.  Lots of fresh local produce.

The Raja Ayang Mausoleum honours a couple who were severely punished for committing adultery.

The General Post Office was built in 1952.  Inside is the Brunei Stamp Gallery.

The Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien is a large stadium used for ceremonial events.  This is where the country proclaimed independence in 1984.

The Royal Regalia Museum is all about the sultan.  It was built in 1992 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Sultan's accession to the throne.  It documents the sultan's life and is full of display about his coronation and Silver Jubilee.  It's a shame that photography isn't allowed because the chariots used for his coronation have to be seen to be believed.

The Teng Yun Temple is the only Chinese temple in the country.

The Brunei Legislative Council was established in 1959.

The Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge opened in 2017.  It is the 2nd longest single-pylon cable-stayed bridge in the world.

Kampong Ayer is the water village built on the Brunei River.  It's been called the "Venice of the East."  It's basically stilt homes that are connected with wooden and concrete bridges and walkways.

The village was founded 1000 years ago.  It's the world's largest stilt settlement with about 2000 homes and 30.000 residents.

One of the easiest ways to get around is by water taxi.  There are jetties along the river.

We hired a chap to take us out on the river for a bit.  We had a few stops under the mangrove trees to see the endangered proboscis monkeys which are only found in Borneo.

We also got a glimpse of Istana Narul Iman which is where the sultan lives. It's the world's largest residential palace but it is not open to the public.

Chicken feet for lunch

BSB was an interesting place.  With the whole controversy about the sultan making homosexuality punishable with death by stoning, several of my mates were really shocked that I was going to visit.
Granted I was with Nat but I didn't see or hear anything about it.  What I did love is that once I showed up there was a big gay rainbow.

No comments:

Post a Comment