Discovering 13 places in Brunei-Muara within 9 hours
Written by Liyana Love
A PUBLIC TRANSPORT CHALLANGE
Our first #DiscoverBrunei trip was on 28th May 2016 where liyanalove.com team decided to experiment the public transport system and to explore Brunei-Muara district and to visit as much places within the day.
In addition to that challenge, each of us can only spend maximum BND$30 or USD$21 for the trip including our meals!
We reached the place within 15 minutes.
1. First stop – The Royal Regalia
2. Then we walked ‘Tamu Kianggeh’ (Kianggeh Market)
Bazilah trying out local ‘Kueh Cincin’
Using Water taxi (Depart point: Kianggeh market)
3. Jong Batu
This rock somewhere near south Brunei river resemble capsized ship called ‘Jong Batu’ which tells folklore tale of Nakhoda Manis and his heartbroken mother.
4. Sighting Proboscis monkies
Our water-taxi only charged us BND$10(USD7)/person! Definitely worth it!
5. Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery
6. Lumut Lunting
7. Gasing Awang Semaun
8. Lunch – Soto Pabo restaurant
9. Yayasan Shopping Complex
10. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin (SOAS) Mosque
We actually waited for almost 2 hours here -___-
And finally………… after almost giving up
11. The Empire Hotel and Country Club
12. Gadong shopping centre
13. Pasar Malam Gadong (Gadong Night Market)
The trip ended at 6pm! and yes we managed to explore Brunei Muara District, 13 Places within 9 hours!
Aqilah: “Exploring Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) via bus is not that bad after all except for the fact that there is no information counter at the bus station regarding which bus to hop on to our destination. It would be better if there is an information counter or a digital display information system regarding the bus number and the routes ,the bus station needs a serious repairs in terms of lighting as well as ventilation.
The bus is not on time as from my understanding, the bus is quite flexible in which sometimes it does not stop on bus stop but rather stop at where the customer want to stop and it is quite flexible,it’s got nothing wrong with that though,I guess the function of the bus system has been more personalized.
We took a bus from Airport Mall to bus stop at Pusat Belia in Bandar (city centre) and we walked to Royal Regalia and spend about 30mins there bfore going to Kianggeh market. Soon after we took a boat from Kianggeh market to a mangrove tour where we enjoy the pristine mangrove forest, then we countinue our tour by visiting Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery before going to Soto Pabo restaurant for lunch.
After lunch we head to Yayasan Shopping Complex before going to SOAS (Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin) mosque, from the mosque we walked to a bus stop where we waited nearly 2 hours for the bus to The Empire Hotel & Country Club. We were told that one of the bus broke down so it would take longer then we negotiate the bus driver to drop us at our destination, which took us about 40mins to reach there, and spent about 15mins to enjoy best of the hotel and its sights. Afterwards we went to Gadong and went to The Mall, ending our journey by enjoying Pasar malam Gadong (Gadong Night Market) and bought some food.
Bazilah: “What I noticed is that the buses does follow their own designated route but they can also be flexible such that they can wait for you (our situation: The Empire Hotel & Country Club was the route's final stop, the bus driver actually waited for us for about 15 mins before continuing the reverse journey back on the purple route to Bandar Seri Begawan) and also we noticed that they can drop you at non-designated bus stops. Most importantly, the bus station needs to have a real-time information board for each bus so passengers are aware of what time the buses are expected to arrive. As for the bus stops, providing a timetable would also be beneficial for passengers that are waiting for the bus, for example, bus 01 arrives at each bus stop every 20 mins, providing the expected time for the first and last bus to arrive at each stop.
Places of interest:
[Option 1: A day in the city centre of Bandar Seri Begawan]
– Tamu Kianggeh (Kianggeh Market)
– Royal Regalia
– SOAS (Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin) mosque
– take a water taxi / bus to the Brunei museum (if you have more time, visit the Malay Technology museum and/or the Maritime museum)
– take a mangrove tour with water taxi and around kg ayer
– ask water taxi driver to drop you at Kg Ayer (water village) Tourist Centre-- if you're interested, take a stroll through the Water village
– get a water taxi to eat at Soto Pabo, and view the sunset of Kg Ayer.
[Option 2: Heritage daytrip]:
– Tasek Lama recreational park
– take a mangrove tour with water taxi and around Kg Ayer (water village)
– ask water taxi driver to drop you at Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery-- if you're interested, take a stroll through the water village
– SOAS (Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin) mosque
– Dine at Tamu Selera (Selera Market)
– Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
– The Empire Hotel & Country Club
– Pasar malam Gadong (Gadong Night Market)
The itinerary I'm suggesting is from morning till evening type of trip as public transportation (buses) are only in operation until 6pm. It would be hard for tourists to get around at night except perhaps to places nearby to their accommodation.