BLOG: Amusement, courtesy of his majesty
Bandar Seri Begawan Travel Blog› entry 9 of 12 › view all entries
From Bario we flew back to Miri (with a brief stop in Marudi) and shared a cab to Brunei ... my first visit to this particular neighbour.
Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital) is quite pretty and we visited the Royal Regalia Museum and two grand mosques. In a way the Sultan's extravagance will leave something for future generations to admire! Where would we be if the pharoahs didn't force a few million slaves to build some pyramids for us today? Would we be richer as a human race?
We also went to Jerudong Park. This an amusement park supposedly bigger than Disney. It was built by the Sultan for his subjects on one of his birthdays (about 8 years ago). It used to be free but now they charge 6USD for unlimited rides. With a population of 300K the customers dwindled even when it was free.
It has supposedly gone downhill and some rides are now closed. But the good screaming ones (including a rollercoaster pulling 8 Gs, and a vertical drop machine) are still open with other good ones. Still beautifully kept despite the low customer numbers ... there were no other people in sight at many times during our visit and it was quite eeeeeerieeee! Expected about 50 people that night!
There was also a water-fountain synchronised with music and lights (like Rotorua & Kuching). But this was huge and very well presented with Malay songs (common thru Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia) and Michael Jackson (who performed free for the subjects of the Sultan as his gift to the people on his 25th anniversary). The music is changed nightly! What a job doing computer programming.
In Bandar Seri Begawan, we stayed at the Pusat Belia or Youth Centre. It was basic but the swimming pool was good. All was fine until the aircon packed up at night. It could have been a lot worse ... Kim spotted a Dutch fellow-hosteller walking into building with a durian, but managed to convince him to leave it outside ... of all places, in a locker!