When I first told my friends that I was going Brunei, most of them looked at me with raised eyebrows and ask me why I would want to go there. They said that of all the many places I’ve travelled and visited, why would I be filled with such excitement to go to a 鸟不生蛋 niǎo bù shēng dàn (meaning deserted and literally translated into “bird don’t lay egg”) place. This is actually quite ironic because Brunei is actually home to an abundance of migratory and native birds. Lol.
Personally, I’m curious as to why anyone wouldn’t want to go because I’ve had Brunei on my sights for quite sometime already. I love how the country has maintain its integrity of preserving its natural and cultural assets. It hasn’t sold out to tourism by packaging itself as a party destination or letting tourism eat into their way of life.
Instead, it is a wholesome place with an unhurried pace of life, evergreen surroundings, unique architecture, beautiful coral reefs and a wild sense of adventure. It’s really perfect for me actually because I love my getaways to take me as far away from the fast paced Singapore lifestyle so I can refresh and find my inner balance.
Even though I’ve not seen Brunei for myself yet, I can think of many reasons why I’m can’t wait to explore Brunei and here are just a couple on my list.
1. It will be my first time taking the Royal Brunei Airlines.
2. Brunei has one of the world’s highest percentages of tropical rainforest coverage of its total landmass. A cool 78% of Brunei is covered by greenery.
3. I’ll be visiting the 2nd smallest country in the world which is not an island in itself, or a micro-state. If you are wondering who is the smallest, that title goes to Luxembourg.
4. Brunei is home to the world’s longest unbroken reigning dynasty, with 29 Sultans of the same dynasty, ruling Brunei since 1362AD.
5. If you are a nature buff, Brunei has the most easily accessible pristine rainforest in the region. You can count on it that I’ll be doing some trekking into some of these for sure.
6. Brunei is known as a rich country as they are blessed with a rich source of oil and gas. Thus, it’s only natural that they also have one of the most unique and fabulous hotel properties in the region. I’ll be staying at the incredible Empire Hotel and Country Club to experience Brunei’s finest!
7. I want to visit Brunei while there are less tourists around before it gets too popular and loses some of its magic to commercialization (think Phuket or Bali).
8. I seriously can’t wait to check out world famous Ulu Temburong National Park as I’m a huge fan of ecotourism.
9. I heard from a girlfriend, Jolene, who went Brunei last year that the food there is delicious and my inner foodie swoons at the thought. I hope I’ll be able to try Ambuyat which is the national dish of Brunei.
10. I’ll be able to spend time frolicking on the beaches and islands in the South China Sea and even try going wreck and reef diving.
11. Since I’ll get a chance to stay at the Empire Hotel and Country Club, it’ll mean that I’ll get to see the Jack Nicklaus designed 18-hole floodlit championship golf course and maybe practise horse riding on the grounds of this luxurious jewel in the crown of Brunei’s man made attractions.
12. Since Brunei is one of the only 3 Monarchies in the world to be ruled by a dynasty claiming descent from Prophet Muhammad, I’m looking forward to see their iconic and beautiful mosques and islamic influenced architecture.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I worry that I won’t have enough time to soak in all that Brunei has to offer. I’ll share more about my trip when I get back! But if you want to catch me in action, follow me on my instagram/twitter at @renzze or track the updates I post on my Facebook Page.
This time tomorrow, I’ll be up in the air and settling into a comfy ride with Royal Brunei’s cabin crew welcoming me into Brunei, The Green Heart of Borneo.
PS- I’ll still be scheduling post and updating my blog even though I’m away!