Traveling to Kampung Ayer, Bandar Seri Begawan.

My curiosity was paid off precisely when my first step down the bus in one of Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Terminal platforms. Unexpectedly, my journey around Southeast Asia took me to Hassanal Bolkiah’s land.

Unique….Terminal is on ground floor of Bumiputera Multi Storey Complex and Carpark.

A step later, I was already in “Afmal Restaurant” near bus terminal to enjoy a portion of “bakso” (Indonesian name of meatballs). Needed something fresh in my mouth to relieve tangling after an overnight stay without bathing in Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA2). Freshness of “bakso” which I ordered became more meaningful when there was a little conversation with restaurant owner who come from Purworejo, Central Java, Indonesia….It means that He is from similar province with me in Indonesia.

After being full, I rushed to get out of terminal area through “Bebatik” alley to main road (the road name is Mc Arthur Street). Right on other side of Mc Arthur Street, you will find Brunei River which is very clean. And right in the middle of Brunei River, standing a famous village throughout Brunei. It’s called Kampung Ayer.

Every direction sign is always accompanied by an Arabic script.
Precisely on edge of Brunei River.

I always observed every motorboat which splitting Brunei River wide. There was no other way to get to Kampung Ayer, I had to ride that motorboats.

Rushing toward Brunei River edge, I waited a motorboat arrival which heading to small port in front of me. After leaning, that motorboat was immediately filled with 2 other tourists. This boat was very fast in moving and never waited long for get passengers in river edge.

A thing that you need to know is every Singapore Dollar can be used as payment tool in Brunei Darussalam with similar value with Brunei Dollar. So, 1 Brunei Dollar is same with 1 Singapore Dollar in value. But in many transactions, Brunei residents only accept payments in Singapore’s paper money and refusing Singapore Dollar coins. But in several transactions also, this coin can function….I hope you are lucky in using Singapore Dollar coins there….hahaha.

With a 1 coin of Singapore Dollar, I finally arrived in Kampung Ayer Cultural And Tourism Gallery. This gallery is located in front of village. Free entrance made me so happy when filling a guest book in reception desk. Warm greeting from a Malay-speaking receptionist made me feel like I was in my home.

That is Kampung Ayer Cultural And Tourism Gallery.
I got a Free Tourism Guiding Book.

Kampung Ayer itself was the center of Brunei’s government until end of 19th century. Therefore, The Brunei Sultan established his palace here. Another role as an important port in Brunei makes Kampung Ayer as the administrative center for commercial activities in Brunei. Every signing of important government agreements with other parties is done here.

The appeal of Kampung Ayer as government centre made 50% of Brunei’s residents live there in the 1900s.

Brunei “Keris” with 9 curves as a symbol of power.

At exit door, I began to be stunned with neat ranks of houses in Kampung Ayer. I didn’t waste my time then visiting the village. Residents friendliness made me reluctant to quickly leave Kampung Ayer.

Come on !….Go into that village !
Very kindly and funny student, they were in Malay school uniforms.
How can the water very clean like that?

But soonly, I realized that I should immediately look for lodging to stay that night. Online searching for lodging that I did was never got a result. It maybe happen because Brunei Darussalam tourism isn’t been famous in Southeast Asia region.

I decided to pull over by waiting for a motorboat in boat shelter. Didn’t wait a long time until a motorboat was picked me up. Together with a man and his son who are Kampung Ayer residents, I headed to edge of river. Looked like that man had an important agenda, it could be seen from his way in a very neat and smooth dressing.

He: “Where are you come from?” He firstly greeted me with a smile.

Me: “I’m from Indonesia, sir”. I gave a smile and I shook his hand.

He: “Which part of Indonesia?”

Me : “Jakarta, Sir”.

He: “What profession are you doing here?”

Me: “Oh I don’t work in Brunei, sir. I am just traveling now”.

He: “Brunei is very quiet. Why do you visit Brunei? “

Me: “Oh, Brunei is very religious, sir. I deliberately go to Brunei because I intend to travel around Southeast Asia. Glad to be in your country “.

He: “Wow, it’s good to go around Southeast Asia. You don’t need to pay the boat. I paid for you”, He gave 3 Brunei Dollars to motorboat driver.

Me: “Thank you, sir, nice to meet you,” I felt shy, even though I was very happy to ride a free boat.

A little conversation with a local before I finally leaned in river edge.

Boat shelter near Pasar Tamu Kianggeh.

Let’s….Looking for dormitory!

Berwisata ke Kampung Ayer, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Rasa penasaran terbayar tepat saat langkah pertamaku menuruni bus di salah satu platform terminal bus Bandar Seri Begawan. Tak kuduga, petualanganku berkeliling Asia Tenggara mengantarkanku ke negeri Hassanal Bolkiah.

Unik….Terminal berada di lantai bawah Bumiputera Multi Storey Complex and Carpark.

Selangkah kemudian, Aku sudah berada di dalam Warung Makan Afmal di sisi terminal untuk menikmati seporsi bakso. Butuh sesuatu yang segar di mulut untuk menghilangkan kekusutan pasca bermalam tanpa mandi pagi di Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA2). Kesegaran bakso yang kupesan semakin bermakna ketika terjadi obrolan ringan dengan si empunya warung makan yang asli Purworejo, Jawa Tengah….Wah tetangga sendiri ternyata.

Selepas kenyang, Aku bergegas untuk keluar dari area terminal melalui  Lorong Bebatik menuju sebuah jalan besar (Jalan Mc Arthur). Tepat disisi lain Jalan Mc Arthur, Kamu akan menemukan Brunei River yang sangat bersih. Dan tepat di tengah Brunei River, berdiri sebuah perkampungan terkenal di seantero Brunei. Namanya Kampung Ayer.

Setiap petunjuk jalan selalu dilengkapi aksara Arab.
Tepat di tepi Brunei River

Aku terus mengamati lalu lalang perahu bermesin yang membelah lebarnya Brunei River. Tidak ada cara lain memang untuk menuju Kampung Ayer, Aku harus menaiki perahu-perahu kecil itu.

Bergegas menuju pinggiran Brunei River, Aku menantikan kedatangan sebuah perahu yang menuju ke tepi. Begitu bersandar, bersamaku perahu itu langsung terisi dengan 2 turis lainnya. Perahu ini sangat cepat bergerak dan tak pernah menunggu lama di tepian sungai.

Yang perlu kamu tahu bahwa setiap dolar Singapura bisa digunakan sebagai alat bayar di Brunei Darussalam dengan nilai yang sama dengan Dolar Brunei. Jadi 1 Dolar Brunei nilainya sama dengan 1 Dolar Singapura. Hanya terkadang di beberapa transaksi, warga Brunei hanya menerima pembayaran dalam bentuk uang kertas dan menolak menggunakan koin Dolar Singapura. Tetapi ada juga di beberapa transaksi, koin ini bisa berfungsi.

Dengan koin 1 Dolar Singapura, Aku akhirnya tiba di Kampung Ayer Cultural And Tourism Gallery. Galeri ini terletak di bagian paling depan perkampungan. Free entrance membuatku begitu sumringah ketika mengisi buku tamu di bagian reception. Sapaan hangat sepasang resepsionis berbahasa Melayu membuatku seakan berada di kampung sendiri….Kampung Rambutan….eeaaaa.

Itu dia Kampung Ayer Cultural And Tourism Gallery.
Mendapatkan Free Tourism Guiding Book.

Kampung Ayer sendiri pernah menjadi pusat pemerintahan Brunei hingga akhir abad ke-19. Oleh karenanya, para sultan Brunei mendirikan istananya di sini. Peran lain sebagai pelabuhan penting di Brunei menjadikan Kampung Ayer sebagai pusat administrasi atas aktivitas komersial di Brunei. Setiap penandatanganan perjanjian penting pemerintah dengan  pihak lain dilakukan disini.

Daya tarik Kampung Ayer sebagai pusat pemerintahan menjadikan 50% warga Brunei tinggal didalamnya pada tahun 1900-an.

Keris Brunei dengan 9 lekukan sebagai simbol kekuasaan

Di pintu keluar, Aku mulai tertelisik dengan rapinya jajaran rumah di perkampungan. Aku pun tak menyia-nyiakan waktu dengan memasuki bagian dalam perkampungan. Bersua dengan para penghuni membuatku enggan untuk cepat-cepat meninggalkan Kampung Ayer.

Yuk….Masuk ke dalam kampung itu !
Lucunya anak-anak sekolah itu dengan seragam Melayu.
Airnya bisa jernih begitu ya?

Tapi Aku segera tersadar bahwa Aku harus segera mencari penginapan untuk bermalam nanti. Pencarian penginapan secara online yang kulakukan tak pernah membuahkan hasil. Ini terjadi mungkin karena pariwisata Brunei Darussalam yang belum tersohor di kawasan Asia Tenggara.

Kuputuskan untuk menepi dengan menunggu perahu di boat shelter. Tak menunggu waktu lama sebuah perahu menjemputku. Bersama seorang Bapak dan anaknya yang merupakan warga Kampung Ayer, Aku menuju ke tepi. Sepertinya sang Bapak mempunyai agenda penting, terlihat dari caranya berpakaian khas Melayu yang sangat rapi dan klimis.

Dia: “Asal mana, Adek?”, Dia menyapaku pertama kali dengan senyum.

Aku: “Saya dari Indonesia, Pak”. Kubalas senyum dan kuajak berjabat tangan.

Dia: “Indonesia bagian mana?”

Aku: “Jakarta, pak”.

Dia: “Kerja apa disini?”

Aku: “Oh, Saya melawat (berwisata) Pak di Brunei”.

Dia: “Brunei kan sepi, Adek. Kok melawatnya ke Brunei?”

Aku: “Oh, Brunei religius ya Pak. Saya sengaja ke Brunei Pak karena berniat keliling Asia Tenggara. Senang bisa ke negeri Bapak”.

Dia: “Wah, bagus ya keliling Asia Tenggara. Adek, ga usah bayar ya perahunya. Ini sudah Saya bayar”, Dia memberikan 3 lembar Dolar Brunei ke pengemudi perahu.

Aku: “Terimakasih ya Pak, Senang bertemu dengan Bapak”, sambil pura-pura tersipu malu padahal senang banget naik perahu gratisan.

Sekelumit percakapan dengan warga lokal sebelum akhirnya Aku bersandar di tepi.

Boat shelter dekat Pasar Tamu Kianggeh

Yuk….Cari dormitory !.

Brunei Darussalam without Itinerary 2

10th May 2015

Back to hostel from Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque would covers 4km and took time about 1 hour.

Before I decided to walk, actually I had got a bus, when I asked to local people, it was heading towards BSB Bus Terminal. I was confidence to got into the bus in front of the mosque and sat behind the bus driver, I just more talked to him and actually he was from Surabaya, Indonesia ….OMG……. I asked to him “Is the bus true towards BSB Bus Terminal?” …..And  the answer was not. He said if I ride it, I would added away from BSB Bus Terminal and he suggested me to rode a taxi. Finally I was dropped at the shelter in front of a hospital.

I was trying to found a taxi …. but after waiting for 30 minutes, I can’t find a taxi. I asked to a man who sate in the parking lot of shopping complex. Actually he was from Brebes, Indonesia….Nice…. he said that taxis in Brunei must order by phone if time was past 17 o’clock…. ulala….I never bought a local SIM Card when travelling (I just rely to compass and a map… it’s free).

Finally I decided to walk …. got ready for stiff. I just walked to southeast. Erza actively asked to everyone who can be asked. Asked to security …. everyone on the way…. everyone were asked …. hahaha.

Streets at Brunei on 6pm were quiet but all were seemed secure …. according to the news that I heard, Sultan guaranteed security of everyone who visiting Brunei …. cool.

We got exhaustion and sat on sidewalk in front of Balai Bomba Bandar Seri Begawan (Bandar Seri Begawan’s Firefighters). Because we sat at t-juntion, so many drivers saw us strangely…. wkwkwk.

Just took a break for 15 minutes …. I continued walk. After walking for 1 hour, I was near from hostel …. at 19:30 a lot of shop have closed….but we found Mc. D that still opened. I came in there for a drink and got WiFi to sent some news to home.

Finally I reached to dormitory.

These were some photos of K. H Soon Resthouse:

KH Soon1

Erza was preparing to explore

KH Soon2

Corridor at K.H Soon Resthouse

Breakfast

I went to Pasar Tamu Kianggeh again because it was near dormitory. I think the food price will be cheap at every traditional market .

breakfast pasar tamu kianggeh

Exactly … 1.5 Brunei dollars was enough for this meal

Nurul Iman Palace

After breakfast, I went to BSB Bus Terminal to found bus no. 42 towards Nurul Iman Palace. Only paid 1 dollar Brunei and took time for 15 minutes to reached it.

Arriving at Nurul Iman Palace, I headed to guard post and dared to asked the guard. He said, we couldn’t get in and finally I asked permission to took some pictures in front of the palace gate. He politely invited.

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Failed to Tasek Lama Recreational Park

I took some photo at Nurul Iman Palace for 30 minutes, after it, I intend to went to Tasek Lama Recreational Park …. For that, I must back to BSB bus terminal.

From BSB Bus Terminal, I took bus no 36.

During the trip, I was doubtedly …. between still went to Taman Tasek Lama or directly went to Airport. Considering about waiting time of  bus in Brunei was very long.  I thought after visiting Taman Tasek Lama, I didn’t certainly get bus quickly. Instead of I missed the plane to Jakarta, better I decided to canceled to Taman Tasek Lama and directly went to airport and would killed time there. My boarding time was very close…. at 3pm I must boarding.

I told to bus driver who could speak Javanese fluently to delivered me to airport. I must say it to him, because when firstly I got into bus, I asked him to delivered me at nearest street with Taman Tasek Lama.

Finally I arrived at airport:

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Cooling down here……

masjid bandara

Dzuhur …. airport mosque is a separate building from the airport …. adjacent each other.


Towards check-in, Erza went back to dormitory because he has a day more in Brunei and would continue to Philippines.

Okay, the trip was near to the end.

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Air Asia plane was full seat … apparently many tourists from Kuala Lumpur came to Brunei for two days, Saturday and Sunday …. maybe abaout distance of them were close.

The things must you needed to knew, checking weight and size of cabin baggages at airport was very strict. Cabin Baggages should be measured and weighed one by one. If any excess or size of baggages was too large for cabin regulation, you must ready for spent more cost to brought your bag in plane’s hull.

So ….. I was flying back to Jakarta and transit at Kuala Lumpur …. tomorrow Monday  must work again ..

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.

 

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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.

KFC

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

Bus interiors … a few passengers.

bus2Small 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.
perahu

Boats to Pasar Tamu Kianggeh stopped here

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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 Agoda.com and Booking.com 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.

IMG-20150609-WA0004

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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

gadong

gadong2

gadong3

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.

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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

 

Brunei Darussalam Tanpa Itinerary (part 2)

10 Mei 2015

Perjalanan pulang dari Masjid Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah menempuh jarak 4km dan memakan waktu 1 jam.

Sebelum Gw putuskan jalan, sebetulnya Gw sempat nemuin bus, ketika Gw Tanya orang setempat, bus gratis itu menuju ke arah BSB Bus Terminal. Gw pede aja naik dari depan Masjid dan duduk di belakang sopir bus, gw ajak ngobrol aja dan ternyata dia orang Surabaya….walah…….Gw tanya apakah benar bus ini menuju BSB Bus Terminal……eh ternyata engga. Katanya kalau naik bus ini, Gw bakal tambah jauh dari terminal dan dia saranin Gw untuk naik taxi. Akhirnya gw diturunkan di halte depan sebuah rumah sakit.

Dari situ Gw berusaha cari taxi….tapi nungguin 30 menit kok ga lihat satupun taxi lewat. Gw tanya aja ke Bapak-Bapak yang duduk di parkiran komplek ruko. Lagi-lagi orang Brebes ternyata….mantabbb….katanya taxi di Brunei kalau sudah lewat jam 17 harus pesan lewat telpon….haseekkk….mana Gw ga pernah beli SIM Card negara setempat kalau jalan-jalan (lha wong ngandalin kompas sama peta…gratis).

Akhirnya Gw putuskan jalan kaki….siap-siap pegel aja nih. Gw hanya berpatokan jalan ke arah tenggara. Si Erza kelihatan aktif bertanya ke setiap orang yang bisa dia tanya. Nanya ke security….ke orang yang lewat dijalan….semua ditanya….hahaha.

Jalanan di Brunei jam 18-an memang sepi tetapi semua terlihat aman….menurut kabar berita, Sultan menjamin keamanan orang yang berkunjung ke Brunei….keren.

Kita sempat kedodoran dan duduk lesehan di trotoar depan balai bomba Bandar Seri Begawan (Pemadam kebakarannya Bandar Seri Begawan). Karena tepat di pertigaan lampu merah, jadinya banyak pengemudi mobil yang aneh ngelihatin kita….wkwkwk.

Cukup rehat 15 menit….Gw lanjut jalan. Setelah hampir 1 jam berjalan, Gw sudah deket ama hostel….jam 19:30 banyak ruko yang sudah pada tutup….tetapi terlihat ada Mc. D yang masih buka. Gw masuk buat cari minum sama manfaatin WiFi untuk berkabar ke tanah air.

Akhirmya sampai di dormitory.

Ini beberapa foto K.H Soon Resthouse :

KH Soon1

Si Erza lagi siap-siap berangkat

KH Soon2Koridor di K.H Soon Resthouse

Breakfast

Gw kembali lagi menuju Pasar Tamu Kianggeh karena memang dekat dormitory. Ya namanya pasar pasti makanannya bakalan murah.

breakfast pasar tamu kianggehTepat….1,5 dollar Brunei cukup buat makan ini

 

Istana Nurul Iman

Setelah breakfast, Gw menuju BSB Bus Terminal untuk cari bus no. 42 menuju Istana Nurul Iman. Cukup bayar 1 dollar dan memakan waktu 15 menit perjalanan.

Sesampai di Istana Nurul Iman, Gw menuju pos jaga dan beranikan diri tanya ke tentara penjaga Istana di pos jaga. Kata dia, kita ga boleh masuk dan akhirnya Gw minta izin foto-foto di depan gerbang saja. Dia mempersilahkan dengan sopan.

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Gagal ke Tasek Lama Recreational Park

30 menit ambil foto di Istana Nurul Iman, Gw bermaksud segera menuju Tasek Lama Recreational Park….Gw kembali ke BSB bus terminal.

Dari BSB Bus Terminal Gw naik bus no 36.

Selama perjalanan Gw galau….antara tetap ke Taman Tasek Lama atau langsung menuju ke Bandara saja. Dengan pertimbangan lamanya waktu tunggu bus di Brunei, Gw fikir setelah selesai dari Taman Tasek Lama belum tentu Gw dapat Bus dengan cepat. Daripada Gw ketinggalan pesawat ke Jakarta lebih baik Gw putuskan batal ke Taman Tasek Lama dan langsung menuju airport dan killing time disana saja. Waktu boarding Gw mepet banget….jam 15 harus boarding gaes.

Gw bilang ke sopir bus keturunan Pakistan yang lancar berbahasa Jawa untuk menuju ke airport saja. Gw harus bilang ke dia begitu, karena pas berangkat tadi Gw minta diturunin di jalan terdekat dengan Taman Tasek Lama.

Akhirnya tiba di bandara:

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Ngadem disini saja……

masjid bandara

Dzuhur….masjid airport adalah bangunan terpisah dari airportnya….bersebelahan

Menjelang check-in si Erza kembali ke dormitory karena dia masih sehari lagi di Brunei dan akan lanjut ke Philippines.

Okay, perjalanan mendekati titik akhir.

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Air Asianya full seat… ternyata banyak turis dari KL datang ke Brunei hanya dua hari, Sabtu dan Minggu….karena mungkin jaraknya yang dekat.

Yang perlu kamu ketahui, pengecekan berat dan ukuran tas Air Asia di bandara ini sangat ketat. Tas harus diukur dan ditimbang satu-satu. Jika berlebih atau ukuran tas terlalu besar untuk masuk bagasi kabin, siap-siap aja keluar cost untuk masukin tas di bagasi lambung pesawat.

So…..Gw terbang lagi ke Jakarta transit KL….besok senin musti gawe lagi..

Brunei Darussalam Tanpa Itinerary (part 1)

9 Mei 2015 – Prinsip utama yang Gw anut untuk menjadi seorang petualang adalah sikap pantang menyerah terhadap apapun yang menghalangi rencana Gw. Jika Gw bertemu halangan maka Gw akan mencari jalan lain untuk mencapai tujuan

Ini kejadian pertama yang hampir membuat Gw gagal berangkat. Sikap pantang menyerah mengubah rencana ini menjadi perjalanan tanpa rencana.

Trip ke Brunei Darussalam adalah trip pengganti tanpa itinerary. Terjadi karena tidak di approvenya cuti perjalanan Jakarta-Vientiane-Luang Prabang-Chiang Mai-Bangkok-Yangon-Jakarta, 8-17 Mei 2015.

Ini modifikasi tiket yang akhirnya Gw bikin:

ilustrasi tiket

 

 

Dua tiket hangus dan tiga tiket baru harus Gw issued

Keluar budget tambahan itu pasti, tapi ga masalah daripada ga jadi ngetrip sama sekali.

8-10 Mei 2015, akhirnya trip ke Brunei pun tiba. Tanpa persiapan detail ,Gw berangkat.

Kesan baru dalam flight ini adalah pertama kalinya Gw terbang diatas Laut Cina Selatan….terdengar keren aja kala itu.

Air Asia AK272 landing jam 10:05 di Brunei International Airport.

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Bandara terbilang sepi untuk ukuran bandara utama sebuah negara

Sembari menunggu bus ke tengah kota,  Gw masuk KFC….kaget ternyata pelayannya orang Pacitan. Katanya di Brunei banyak orang Jawa bekerja…..Asek, serasa di negeri sendiri.

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Ngobrol bahasa Jawa aja di KFC

Akhirnya bus datang setelah 1 jam nungguin, bus hanya berhenti sebentar, jadi Gw terpaksa lari pontang-panting ngejarin bus yang sudah pelan-pelan jalan meninggalkan bandara….seru nih. Dengan 1 Dolar Brunei sudah bisa nganterin Gw ke terminal Bandar Seri Begawan.

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Interior bus…sepi penumpang kan.

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Bus kota yang mungil di terminal Bandar Seri Begawan

Untuk menghemat waktu karena sudah jam 13:00, Gw putuskan langsung menuju venue, perkara penginapan nanti saja, karena yang Gw jalani sekarang adalah trip yang sangat pendek.

  1. Kampong Ayer

Dengan berjalan kaki, dari terminal Gw menuju Kampong Ayer. Untuk mencapai ke pusat Kampong Ayer kamu hanya perlu keluarkan 50 sen untuk bayar jasa perahu mesin.

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Pemukiman dilihat dari Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery

Venue gratis disini adalah Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery, untuk masuk Gw hanya perlu isi buku tamu di resepsionis. Kunjungan ke galeri dikombinasi dengan jalan-jalan di pemukiman Kampong Ayer sangatlah menarik.

Walaupun perairan ini dipakai untuk pemukiman, tetapi kejernihan airnya terbilang sangat terjaga…..salut…. bagaimana ya mereka memanajemen limbah rumah tangga?

  1. Pasar Tamu Kianggeh

Puas berkeliling di Kampong Ayer, Gw segera menepi. Gw mau jalan-jalan ke pasar.

Kali ini Gw merasa dimuliakan oleh seorang Bapak bersama anaknya yang seperahu dengan Gw menuju ke tepi, karena tahu gw turis, dia membayar ongkos perahu Gw. Walaupun hanya 50 sen, itu sangat menyentuh sekali.

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Perahu menuju Pasar Tamu Kianggeh berhenti disini

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeliling Pasar Tamu Kianggeh cari souvenir….kaga dapeeettt

Cukup keliling 30 menit untuk melihat bagaimana mereka berniaga….seru.

  1. K.H Soon Resthouse

Akhirnya Gw mulai mencari dormitory di sekitar pasar. Pencarian online di Agoda.com dan Booking.com sehari sebelum berangkat tidak membuahkan hasil sehingga perlu meluangkan waktu untuk mencari on the spot disana.

Dormitory yang pertama Gw sambangi tentunya Pusat Belia Youth Hostel.

IMG-20150609-WA0004Dormitory popular ini full booked karena pekan olahraga pelajar di Brunei

Gw bergegas menuju dormitory kedua -K.H. Soon Resthouse-  tidak jauh dari dormitory pertama. Yess… ada slot 3 bed tersisa.…jadi langsung aja Gw ambil tanpa fikir panjang.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADormitory milik warga Tionghoa….Gw sekamar dengan backpacker asal Amerika, Inggris dan Semarang.

Si Erza berangkat dari Pontianak selepas menyelesaikan tugasnya sebagai seorang dosen (doi ngajar di Semarang). Menurutnya, masuk Brunei lewat darat sangatlah ketat, doi musti keluarkan isi tas satu-persatu untuk di cek petugas imigrasi dan tak luput isi dompet juga di cek….hahaha….asyek juga tuh pengalamannya.

Travelmate pertama Gw yang kenal di perjalanan selama menjadi seorang backpacker nih….hingga saat ini masih saling kontak bahkan saling tuker itinerary.

  1. Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien

Tidak berlama-lama di dormitory, kita akhirnya melanjutkan penjelajahan kota Bandar Seri Begawan.

Venue terdekat adalah Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien. Sebelum masuk untuk shalat Ashar, Gw perlu mengisi buku tamu di pintu masjid.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADilarang mengambil foto didalam masjid dan disediakan gamis shalat di depan pintu masuk.

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Pemandangan di pelataran masjid

  1. The Mall Gadong

Setelah tahu bahwa Musium Kerajaan Regalia yang dekat dengan masjid tutup, Gw bergegas ke terminal bus untuk menuju The Mall Gadong.

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Bus nomor 01 mengantar kita ke The Mall Gadong cukup dengan 1 dolar

Jika dibandingkan dengan mall di Jakarta , mall ini masih berukuran kecil. Gw hanya jalan keliling di dalam mall untuk melihat aktivitas masyarakat lokal.

Saat di dalam The Mall Gadong, Gw sudah sadar diri bahwa Gw akan jalan kaki menuju dormitory saat pulang nanti, karena bus hanya beroperasi hingga pukul 17:00….enjoy saja.

  1. Gadong Night Market

Gadong Night Market berjaran 350m dari The Mall Gadong. Karena ini pasar kuliner, Gw putuskan untuk dinner disini karena harganya cukup murah. Dengan 2 dollar Brunei Gw bisa makan kenyang.

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Boleh dibilang ini adalah venue paling berkesan karena akhirnya Gw menemukan keramaian yang sejak pagi sangat langka ditemui. Pasar ini banyak dikunjungi warga yang pulang dari kerja untuk beli makan malam dan dibawa pulang.

Kalau Gw cukup duduk di aspal dan menikmati santap malam bersama travelmate dadakan Gw….hahaha. So pasti night market ini menyediakan tempat parkir yang luas untuk menampung para pengunjung yang 90% bermobil….Selama 2 hari di Brunei Gw hanya 4x menemui sepeda motor di jalanan dan itu pun semuanya motor sport ber cc besar. Kaya emang negara ini.

  1. Masjid Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah

Puas mencoba beberapa kuliner lokal, Gw akhiri perjalanan ini untuk shalat Maghrib di Masjid Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMasjid ini tergolong megah karena marmernya sangat bagus.

Setelah selesai shalat Maghrib dan mengagumi keindahan masjid terbesar di Brunei ini, Gw pulang.

Pasti sudah tahu kan kalian?….Gw musti jalan kaki sejauh 4 km selama 1 jam menuju dormitory….bagian yang selalu Gw rindu setiap nge-trip adalah jalan kaki.

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