Sunday, June 16, 2013

Brunei: A Kingdom of unexpected treasure Day 3

If you remember my previous post, the day before at Ulu ulu Temburong National Park was really exciting with activities such as River Tubing and Night jungle walk! I ended the post mentioning we had a simple supper and we lost track of time because we had so many things to share with one another. I fell asleep almost immediately on my huge bed in my Verandah suite. Our next obstacle would be to wake up at 4.30am, which leaves us with about only 5 hours to sleep...

Before we left for our room, Tom (our guide) told us he would knock on our doors at 4.30am to make sure we are awake. Soon, subconsciously i heard knocking on my door and someone saying "Good Morning, Good Morning" like a million times but in my head i was like, "Nah. It can't be happening, i must be dreaming. Go back to sleep." The knocking stopped.

Suddenly, i opened my eyes. (Very drama i know, LOL) I realised i'm in Brunei and needed to wake up now to prepare for our canopy walk and watch the sunrise as planned! I bolted out of my bed to the toilet and started preparing. LOL
Although in my mind i was thinking whether i'm the last to prepare, i still had to take a morning self shot, LOL
Each of us were loaned a pretty powerful torch and we started on our journey to the canopy walk. It took quite awhile and all i remembered was we were walking up an endless flight of steps in the dark. Everyone was perspiring from the walk (must be too long never exercise right! LOL) but we still continued walking until we came to this structure...
Our final obstacle before we are at the canopy top would be climb up this metal structure!
The skies were starting to brighten up, meaning the sun is rising! We climbed and climbed and climbed.

Basically this is how it looks like inside. It's like cage with lots and lots of steps. I just did a quick search online and i read that the whole trekking journey to this metal structure is about 1300 steps, and climbing up this structure is about 610 steps, which is 42 meters high, or 21 floors. Didn't know it until now! WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. AHAHAHA
That's me and Malcolm climbing our way to the top. As you can see, the skies are starting to bright up!
Tiffany is on top of the world!!!! As you can see from the photo, the top of the canopy walk is really high!

"Life's a climb, but the view is great." I get it, Miley Cyrus.

I was asking if those are clouds or the early morning mist, and the answer i got was - they are clouds O.O

One of my favourite photo for this trip! The feeling when you are at the top is really indescribable. It makes you feel that all the steps that you took just to reach the top is all worth it. The view is incredible and it feels so peaceful watching the sun rises and the clouds passing by. Just stand (or maybe sit on that small platform) and feel the

Not forgetting to camwhore a few shots of yourself before making your way down the 610 steps!

Group photo to commemorate our conquer of the Ulu ulu canopy walk!

As we walk back, Tom would try and identify a few plants and leaves, explaining what they are used for.

Random macro shot of a grasshopper that i spotted. My camera + photoshop not bad hor?

You can see the terrain that we had to track on in the initial part, but 3/4 of the journey were on boardwalks though.

I think i not did not mention this earlier but we had to take a long boat to our starting point of the journey...

Another one of those im-camwhoring-but-it-doesnt-look-like-it kind of shot. LOL

Went back to the resort to bathe, change to a new set of clothes, packed our bags because we are leaving Ulu ulu back to mainland for the rest of our itinerary! I would definitely remember this place as Ulu ulu gave me to chance to experience river tubing for the first time, and catching the sun rise with such a magnificent view. Thank you Ulu ulu!

Remember how we came to Ulu ulu? Now it's the reverse. Had our breakfast packed and consumed on the long boat as we wanted to meet our schedules. 20 mins to the jetty, a bus ride to Bangar Town then a 45 mins speedboat back.

Upon reaching back to mainland Brunei, our next stop would be Kampong Ayer, Brunei's water village.

Took one of their river boat over to the Water Village. I was told by Tom whenever residents of Kampong Ayer wants to head over to mainland, all they have to do is gather at the predesignated jetty and waved to catch the attention of the water taxis who will then fetched them across the river at a rate of $0.50/pax, which i think is quite reasonable (:

Visited the Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery where we learnt more about the village.

New housing are built at Kampong Ayer to preserve the culture of the water village as well as cater to the Bruneians population. Was told these houses cost about $400,000 each to build but after government subsidy, residents only have to pay about $90,000. Not only that, education in Brunei is also sponsored by the government up to high school level.

Was brought to one of the "show rooms" where tourists would be brought to get an idea of how the houses at Kampong Ayer are like. In fact, there's not much difference for the interior. They have basically everything they need/ want.

Was treated to a simple tea in the house. Love letters, Pineapple tarts, and steamed cakes

They have this room where it's decorated specially for weddings and we took the opportunity to take photos!

The girls tried on the Tudong, which is worn by females in accordance to Islam's hijab.

Secretly felt that Kampong Ayer is a really good place for a photo shoot if you are looking for places with a vintage-y rustic feel setting. I bet the photos will turn out really great, especially after editing the contrast and such! LOL

Malcolm saw the little pineapples and immediately shouted out to me. That's the pineapple bag which i bought from H&M just before the trip! Super useful in this Brunei trip and because i'm overseas, i don't care if anyone judge me, HAHAHA

Royal Regalia Museum 
The museum is open to the general public and entrance is free.

Visiting hours:
Saturday to Thursday: 8:30am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 11:30am & 2:30pm - 5pm

The Royal Regalia Museum is devoted to the sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and is built to to commemorate the 1992 Silver Jubilee of His Majesty's accession to the throne. "The main gallery displays the coronation and Silver Jubilee Chariots, gold and silver ceremonial armory and traditional jewellery encrusted coronation crowns. A collection of documents that chronicles the sultan's life up to the coronation together with the constitutional history gallery is also housed in the same building." Source from Wikipedia. It was quite an eye opener looking at all these weapons and such (:

Even though it felt like a whole day has passed, it's only lunch time and we were brought to Tarindak Restaurant.

A buffet style restaurant that has a view which overlooks Kampong Ayer. There was a huge variety of food as well as local snacks and delicacies (not forgetting desserts!) for you to try but what really caught our attention was...

The preparation of Ambuyat.

Ambuyat is a local delicacy in Brunei and the dish is derived from the interior trunk of the sago palm.

This dish is eaten with a bamboo fork called a Chandas, it's something like our chopsticks but the ends are still attached together. To eat the Ambuyat, you roll the starch around the prongs and dip it into different kinds of sauces.

Last but not least desserts!

Obviously i'm not done with Day 3 yet as i only covered up to lunch time! But if i were to continue, this Day 3 post will go on and on so i shall continue my Day 3 on the next post where we will go out to sea for snorkeling and after which check in one of the most amazing hotel i have ever been to - The Empire Hotel and Country Club! Stay tuned :D

Come experience Brunei yourself!

This sponsored trip to Brunei is made possible by Royal Brunei Airlines and Brunei Tourism.

Brunei Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3-1 | Day 3-2 | Day 4