Brunei Darussalam without Itinerary (Part 1)

May 9, 2015 – The main principle that I hold to be a continuos traveler is never give up to everything that hinder my plan. If I meet obstacles then I will find another way to achieve the goal.

This was the first incident that almost made me failed to depart. Never give up attitude has changed my planned trip into a trip without a plan.

Trip to Brunei Darussalam was a replacement trip without an itinerary. It was occurred due to unapproved my travel leave ” Jakarta-Vientiane-Luang Prabang-Chiang Mai-Bangkok-Yangon-Jakarta, 8-17 May 2015″.

These were ticket modifications that I made:

ilustrasi tiket

Two useless tickets and three new tickets have to be issued

spending extra budget was sure, but no problem than I canceled my trip.

8-10 May 2015, Brunei Darussalam trip came finally. Without detailed preparation, I went.

The new impression in this flight was It became my first time for flying over the South China Sea …. it sounds pretty good.

Air Asia AK272 landing at 10:05 pm at Brunei International Airport.


As main airport of a country…..I could say that it was quiet Airport. 

While waiting for bus to downtown, I went to KFC …. shocked when I knew that the waiter came from Pacitan, Center Java, Indonesia. He said that many Javanese worked at Brunei Darussalam …… Interesting, I would feel like in my country.

So….I spoke Javanese at KFC

The bus finally came after 1 hour waiting, the bus just stopped a moment, so I must run to catched the bus that slowly left the airport …. BND 1 could deliver me to BSB (Bandar Seri Begawan) Bus Terminal.

Bus interiors … a few passengers.


Small city buses at BSB Bus Terminal

To saved my time, because it was 13:00, I decided for directly went to venues. I skipped about hostel firstly, because I was doing a very short trip now.

1. Kampong Ayer

By walk, I moved from BSB Bus Terminal to Kampong Ayer. To reached the center of Kampong Ayer, you only needed to spend BND 50 cents for payed the boat.
kampong ayer
The settlement is viewed from Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery

The Free Venue at this area was Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery, to got in it, you just needed to fill in guest book at reception. Visitation to the gallery was combined by sightseeing Kampong Ayer settlement was very interesting.
Although these waters were used for settlements, but the cleanness of the water was very well preserved … ..salute …. how did they manage household waste?

2. Pasar Tamu Kianggeh
Satisfy walked around in Kampong Ayer, I immediately pulled over. I wanted to go to the main traditional market at Brunei Darussalam.

This time I was glorified by a father with his son on a boat with me when went to the edge, because He knew that I was tourist, he paid my boat coast. Although only BND 50 cents, it is very touching.

Boats to Pasar Tamu Kianggeh stopped here


Got around Pasar Tamu Kianggeh for souvenirs ….. I didn’t find

Just got around for 30 minutes to saw how their trading.

3. K.H Soon Resthouse

Finally I started to looking for dormitory around the market. Online searching on and someday before departing hasn’t worked, so it needed to spent the time to searched hostel on the spot.

The first Dormitory that I checked was Pusat Belia Youth Hostel. Off course, This was the most popular dormitory at Bandar Seri Begawan.


This popular dormitory fully booked due to the students’ sports week in Brunei

I rushed to the second dormitory -K.H. Soon Resthouse- that no far from the first dormitory. Yess … there were 3 bed slots left …. so I immediately taked it and didn’t need long thinking.


Dormitory belongs to Brunei Chinese…..My roommate were from USA, England and Semarang.

My roommate-Erza- departed from Pontianak after completing his duties as a lecturer (he teached at Semarang). According to him, got in Brunei by land is very tight, he must showing all contents of his bag one by one to checking by immigration officer included his wallet…..hahaha … .nice experience.

He was my first travelmate who I found when backpacking …. and we were still on contact each other or sharing an itinerary sometimes.

4. Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

No long sitting in dormitory, we finally continued Bandar Seri Begawan exploration.

The nearest mosque from dormitory is Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. Before entering for the Asr prayer, I needed to filled in the guest book in front of mosque main door.


Prohibited for taking photos inside and provided prayer clothes in front of the entrance


View of mosque courtyard

5. The Mall Gadong

After knew that Regalia Royal Museum near the mosque closed, I rushed to BSB Bus Terminal for The Mall Gadong.


Bus no. 01 taked us to The Mall Gadong for BND 1

If I compare with common mall in Jakarta, this mall is still small. I just walked around in the mall to see local people activities.

While The Mall Gadong inside, I was self-conscious that I would walk to dormitory when I backed, because the bus only operated until 17:00 ….. just enjoyed it.

6. Gadong Night Market

Gadong Night Market is about 350m from The Mall Gadong. Because of a culinary market, I decided to got dinner here because all prices were cheap. I could eat for BND 2 here.


Arguably this was the most memorable venue because finally I found a crowd that rarely met since morning. This market was much visited by citizens who backed to home from work to bought take away dinner.

I just sit on the asphalt and enjoyed dinner with my travelmate …..hahaha. So surely this night market provided a large parking lot to accommodated the visitors who 90% drove a car …. For 2 days in Brunei I only saw motorcycles 4 times on the streets and those were big cc motor sport. I thought Brunei was rich country.

7. Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Satisfy tried some local culinary, I fininshed my trip for Maghrib prayer at Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque.


This mosque is classified as magnificent because it’s marble is very good.

After Maghrib prayer and admired the beauty of this largest mosque in Brunei, I went to hostel.

Surely, you already knew, guys …. I must walk 4 km for 1 hour to dormitory …. This was a part which I always miss every trip….i.e walking.

Continue to part 2

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