Tag Archives: Brunei

Backpacking South East Asia: Brunei – Masjid Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS Mosque)

Day 4: Bandar Seri Begawan walkabout and Kampong Ayer actual exploration (Part 1)
Warning: You are about to have a Masjid overload

I had a great night with Zaza and her friends Narissa and Amal. There’s so many things I wish to share with you for my couchsurfing experience but that would have to wait a little while longer. Now, I wish to take you on a walking tour of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Negara Brunei Darussalam.  The day began by Zaza, after checking her young ones’ class attendance, taking me around the city center and showing me the places where I might want to visit. We agreed to meet after my walkabout, at around 2pm in Coffee Bean. I won’t have a way to contact her directly since I did not get a Bruneian SIM card. So, with that settled and her dropping me off at the SOAS Mosque, my six-hour walkabout began.

SOAS Mosque: First shot at first glance
Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque: First shot at first glance

Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Brunei – Masjid Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS Mosque)

Backpacking South East Asia: Onward from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei

Day 3: Kota Kinabalu-Labuan-Brunei via Ferry (the route most traveled)

Room 99 awaits!
Room 99 awaits!

After a great day and evening spent with Zuldee and Sally, I spent some more time chatting with the other guests at Sensi Backpackers. The Shanghai family is scheduled to leave the day after, just like me. We spent some more hours just chatting and me trying to convince them to come here in the Philippines. After that, my eyes and body finally gave in to the strong pull of the comfortable bed.

I woke up at about 6am and readied my stuff. I grabbed some breakfast too, and got myself some baon fruits (an apple and an orange), free! :p Before I left, I bade Sally goodbye (she told me to wake her) and promised that I’d see if I can come back to Kota Kinabalu before she returns to London (December 18). Unfortunately, I did not hold future at my hands and as much as I wanted to return and visit the Kota Kinabalu National Park, I no longer can. (If you are reading this Sally, I’m sorry! Come visit me instead! Hehe)

Anyway, if my camera time tag is correct, I am still having my bread toasted at 6:45am. The ferry that would take me from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei, passing through Labuan Federal Territory of Malaysia, is set to leave at 8am. Meaning, I should have been on my way at that time already instead of having two toasted bread with butter (more of margarine actually), strawberry jam and orange marmalade. So, I had to rely on my long legs and even longer strides to get me there before the departure time. I even made some stops actually, taking snaps here and there (I think I ended up erasing those here and there snaps when I ran out of memory somewhere in Vietnam).

One of the snaps here and there that survived the cut!
One of the snaps here and there that survived the cut!

I think it took me about 20 minutes walking from Sensi to Jesselton. It probably helped that I have been to Jesselton the day before for my Sapi Island Hopping Half-day Tour. I bought my ticket (sorry, I’ll try to juggle my memory to remember from which counter it was purchased) and paid the terminal fee. I asked for the cheapest ticket available (economy ticket), priced at RM53 + RM 3.6 for the terminal fee at Jesselton.

Off to Labuan!
Off to Labuan!

I figured, we’d all get there anyway. Besides, it’s an air-conditioned cabin whether you choose first-class or economy. Perhaps they got a better view though. Or they would be served a meal or something. I really didn’t know and I didn’t care so much. What mattered to me at that time was that I can save some bucks. :p Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Onward from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei

Backpacking South East Asia: Borneo Quick Summary

Before the Trip (excited much?!)
Just before I head out. I miss THAT skin!

Hello guys! Yes, I am back! I got darker, with some bruises, scratches and burns here and  there, and calluses on my feet worth a lot of tip for whoever’s gonna be doing a foot spa on it. But more than this, I am back with a backpack full of stories to tell and I know you are dying to know about my epic 27-day journey across South East Asia. Hehehe.

Okay, I’m probably assuming here but as everyone I know who knew about my trip have been asking about it, I’d have to say that at least more than 10 people are waiting for blog entries about it, especially since I keep telling them to read this travel blog.

Keep in mind that I have you guys in mind (hanu daw?!) while I was traveling so I’m sure the details I’ll share in the next posts will really keep you coming back and hopefully, encouraging you to go and travel too! But, before I post the more detailed “reports”, I’ll give you three quick summaries of my traveling experience–just a bit to pacify your need to know and just enough to keep you glued for more. Hehe.

I divided the trip summaries into three: 1. Borneo (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia; Negara Brunei Darussalam; and Miri, Sarawak, Mayasia); 2. Ports and Islands (Singapore; Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, Malaysia; and Phuket, Thailand); and 3. IndoChina (Bangkok, Thailand; Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam).
Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Borneo Quick Summary

Six Countries in Four Weeks

I’m supposed to sleep already but since I remembered my upcoming backpacking trip across six countries in South East Asia in four weeks, I went back to tripline.net and tried to make my “trip line”. Here’s the product. I really hope I can raise the funds for this, especially since I’m slacking off with my other work!

Anyway, since I am on WordPress.com and not on WordPress.org, I can only share here the picture/general map. If you want to know where I’m going exactly, click on the Map to be redirected to tripline’s website. Once you get there, click “Full Screen” on the lower right side and then click the play icon. This has music in the background so if you don’t wish to get you bosses’ ire, don’t open it in your office without a headset on, ok?!

There’s also a list of places to be visited plus a little information just before you play the video. So, read on if you wish.

Happy wandering!

Message to KK CouchSurfing Community for backpack trip

A letter of appeal (chos!) at CouchSurfing for the great CSers at the Kota Kinabalu group. I hope they’ll respond soon as I am really, really overwhelmed with the information I’m getting. I am dreaming about traveling for many nights now! Anyway, here goes:

Hello guys!

I’m Gera, a (super) newbie CS member (I guess I can’t own up to being a couch surfer yet) from Manila, Philippines.

As said in the message title, I would be backpacking (solo, though I might meet up with other Filipinos, whom I have also never met, traveling through my supposed route) through South East Asia come October 1 (I think) right after my current project ends (on September 30).

I haven’t booked my ticket getting out of the Phil yet but I’m going back via Ho Chi Minh on October 28. I still don’t have a fixed itinerary as I am overwhelmed with the tons of things to do, places to see and food to try in our beloved region/continent.

I am planning to start at Kota Kinabalu and on to Brunei before I head to Singapore. I think this much is definite (even though somebody advised me to drop Sabah/Borneo and fly to Jakarta instead) but what comes next, I can’t be sure yet. Continue reading Message to KK CouchSurfing Community for backpack trip