Backpacking South East Asia: Brunei – Walking around the streets of Bandar

After visiting the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque and before heading to the Kampong Ayer (water villages), I first went around to check out the streets of Bandar.

The Sultan's 60th Birthday Monument and buildings in downtown BSB
The Sultan’s 60th Birthday Monument and buildings in downtown BSB

From the massive open field to government offices, from clean streets golden posts and chic-looking shopping places, Bandar Seri Begawan, to me, screams of opulence.

Justice Department Building (???)
Justice Department Building (???)
Sports Field next to SOAS Mosque
Sports Field next to SOAS Mosque
Gold posts of the sports field/park
Gold(-plated???) posts of the sports field/park
The Sultan's 60th Birthday Commemorative Monument at the edge of the river separating BSB and Kampong Ayer
The Sultan’s 60th Birthday Commemorative Monument at the edge of the river separating BSB and Kampong Ayer
Yayasan Shopping Complex
Yayasan Shopping Complex
Look who I found at Yayasan!
Look who I found at Yayasan!
Royal Selangor Souvenir Shop inside Yayasan
Royal Selangor Souvenir Shop inside Yayasan

Of course, it is not entirely true for everyone in Brunei but hey, that’s what you’d notice in the surface anyway. And, even the residents of the Kampong Ayer are not necessarily poor. Yes, I think they receive some kind of subsidy from the government but really, they are living ok as well!

View of the Other Side - Kampong Ayer
View of the Other Side – Kampong Ayer

After my trip to the water villages, I headed back to the mainland aka BSB to have lunch and meet Zaza.

Lunch at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - Tomato Basil Pasta I think and some kind of tea
Lunch at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Tomato Basil Pasta I think and some kind of iced tea
Function Hall (???)
Function Hall (???)
Back Area of the Function Hall. Not only is it massive, it's elaborately designed!
Back Area of the Function Hall. Not only is it massive, it’s elaborately designed!
Pusat Belia Hostel
Pusat Belia Hostel – I think it’s 10 BND a night, the cheapest option if I weren’t CouchSurfing
Purple Bus - I think this bus heads to Yayasan. Public transport is not common as most Bruneians have cars
Purple Bus – I think this bus heads to Yayasan. Public transport is not common as most Bruneians have cars

All in all, Bandar is a very easy place to navigate. Actually, once you’re around the SOAS Mosque, everything else is easily walkable. I’d recommend starting your walkabout in the city either from the Mosque or from Yayasan.

Happy wandering!

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