Thursday, 26 April 2007

Random Pictures shot from Kuala Belait.

Here Some random picture shots from  tourist attractions in Kuala Belait Brunei Darussalam

An Istana in Kuala Belait
An Istana in Kuala Belait
 Seriously I never knew that an istana existed in Kuala Belait, until when I studied for my Malay Exam (Ujian Bahasa Melayu) for obtaining citizenship, and have been wondering where is this Istana Kota Mangalela Brunei Darussalam. Glad that I found it!!! Another place of mystery to me is the Rumah Tengkorak (House of Skulls) so I want to share to you.

brunei water taxis

View of Belait River
 View of Belait River 
 Largest mosque in Kuala Belait town
 Largest mosque in Kuala Belait town

Gerai Tudung Saji in Kuala Belait
 Gerai Tudung Saji in Kuala Belait
Tamu, I guess is something uniquely Bruneian. It is a dry market, selling mostly perishable groceries, like onions, fruits, vegetables and such, which opens weekly. Yet at the end, there are people selling fishes, prawns and such. Many people buy their stuffs and supplies from the tamu. Apart from a trading place, it is also a meeting place for many people and friends alike.
A busy week ahead. Sianz, quite a number of important deadlines to meet... Wish everyone has a happy week ahead!
View of another part of Kuala Belait town from the old market place
 View of another part of KB town from the old marketplace

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Sunday, 15 April 2007

Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei Darussalam

Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei

Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei
Constituting over 15% of Brunei's total population, the Chinese community Living in Brunei Darussalam is indeed living peacefully in the Abode of Peace, Brunei. Many Chinese locals and foreigners have contributed significantly in the country's economic development and many of them work in the country's private sector.

Chinese New Year in Brunei, which was recently celebrated is one of the country's public holiday and when it comes to wedding, its celebrated together with relatives and friends, regardless of their religion. Nowadays, wedding banquets are held in "halal" restaurants, where Muslim friends and relatives can join in the celebration. Here are some of the wedding invitations which maybe given by the restaurants once it is booked for a wedding reception.Wedding invitation (top and bottom) from RBC - either Dynasty Restaurant, Emperor's Court or Gadong Centrepoint ballroom

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Chinese Wedding Invitation in BruneiWedding invitation card issued by ORchid Garden Hotel, Berakas
Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei
Wedding invitation card from Seri Kamayan Restaurant, Utama Bowling Centre

Sometimes couples who feel that the invitation card given by the Restaurant is not "pretty" or they have their own design, they would fork out the $$ to make their own card design at a printing shop...
Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei
About Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei Darussalam, the card below and above were issed by couples who had their reception at Centrepoint ballroom, Gadong (long before the Hua Ho Mall opens)
Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei
Below is a sample of an engagement announcement, on the left which was designed and printed by the couple, while on the right is a standard engagement card, given together with cakes or pasteries to relatives and friends.
Chinese Wedding Invitation in Brunei

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Immigration/Customs Checkpoint of Brunei Labu

Above the hill will be Brunei's border
Immigration to Brunei, Supposedly "Temporary" but the Malaysian on the other side of the road is in the process of building a new CIQ building, possibly smaller than the one they are building at Kuala Lurah border....I guess the "temporary" would be permanent boarder....
                                                   Above the hill will be Brunei's border
Immigration/Customs Checkpoint of Brunei LabuHey, we reach Brunei in 3 hours from KK (with stops at Beaufort for pee), hehehe

brunei Malaysia ferry
Immigration/Customs Checkpoint of Brunei Labu
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Friday, 13 April 2007

Scene of Limbang Town in Brunei

The only time Brunei and Malaysian flag can stand together? at their international waters... at Kg Ujung Jalan, Puni, Temburong.
Before you leave Limbang, dont forget to get your passport chopped at the Immigration post here before going to Kuala Lurah.... Technically, your passport will be chopped for at least 8 times on the way to KK and back again - so 16 chops... I'm getting my passport renewed...
tourist attractions in brunei, The Limbang Museum - 1897 - do this house is roughly 110 years old and still looking good... The oldest building in Brunei is probably Bumbungan Dua Belas, the former British Resident home, which overlooks Kampong Ayer in Bandar SEri Begawan.

An interesting read on how Brunei lost the Lawas District to the Brooke family, 1905
Limbang Brunei,
Limbang Brunei,
Limbang Brunei,                                                   Scene of Limbang Town
 Limbang Tamu (market)                                                       Limbang Tamu (market)

Limbang BruneiThe new airport in Limbang.... its runaway looks longer than the one we have in Brunei!
The new airport in Limbang.The Limbang Museum
The Limbang Museum
An interesting read on how Brunei lost the Lawas District to the Brooke family, 1905

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Thursday, 12 April 2007

The Menu of Chinese Wedding in Brunei

menu of Chinese Wedding in brunei,
About Menu of The Chinese Wedding in Brunei Darussalam, What to expect during the dinner... the menu will be on the table...
How much people give for the "ang pow" not only depends on how well the giver knows the married couple but also the venue of the wedding reception....Really, no kidding....
If its kampong style wedding - eg. malay wedding, in the afternoon at home with camps, then $10 would be enough (though I have heard of people of just giving $1 or $2, yet bring the whole family for the event!!!).... but for Chinese wedding, possibly $35 - $45 per head is reasonable, from a posh hotel to a minor restaurant with reputation...

Usually the tables are arranged in a seats of 10, so restaurants calcuate by the number of tables the married couple booked. So, per head meal is $35, then for a table of 10, it would be a $350, and if you have 50 tables for the event $350X50=$17,500 for a wedding dinner.
If you have two reception, one for the groom family and friends and the other celebrated by the bride's family for their family as well as her friends, the both reception could cost B$25,000... and thats for the dinner only....

menu of Chinese Wedding in brunei,
ok, we were that hungry so we attacked the chicken before i realized that i havent taken the picture of the chicken...
menu of Chinese Wedding in brunei,
Fried tau-sa - fattening la....
Chinese Wedding in brunei,
Hey, nice light.... The ballons are not included in the reception package.
This you usually have to ask outsiders to do for you, at a price....
In Chinese wedding reception, most of the time, it would be a 8 or 9-course dinner. Its not buffett but a real 9-course dinner. It's significantly cheaper than Malay lunch dinner which can cost about $10 but for Chinese wedding dinner it could cost $30 and above. Most of the time, the food served inclues, steam fish, prawns, chicken (since many Chinese dont eat beef because of religious beliefs), rice or noodle, vegetables, shark-fin soup, cold dish starter and the final one usually "sweet" dish which is sago or longan cold drink as well as a Chinese "biscuit".

Hence it is very important to guests to RSVP to say if they are coming or not so that the newly wedded couple would not waste $$ on their reception for people who dont turn up.

The Menu of Chinese Wedding in bruneiThe Menu of Chinese Wedding in bruneiThe Menu of Chinese Wedding in bruneiThe Menu of Chinese Wedding in brunei

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Qing Ming Day in Brunei....

chinese temple in brunei
Information About  Chinese in Brunei, Qing Ming is the day that the Chinese people remembers their ancestors hence they would go to the grave usually a week before or after the "real date" which falls on the 5th April 2007 this year.

Ethnic Chinese who live overseas would go back home (i.e. Malaysia, Singapore, or in Brunei, go to the Kuala Belait, Tutong, Berakas, Tesek, Muara, Pulau Baru-Baru, Pulau Berangan? or family own private land) just for the event and usually members of extended family would come and offer prayers as well and "money" for the departed family members.
                                       The Chinese Cemetary in Berakas Brunei
chinese cemetery in brunei                                         The view of the Chinese Graveyard
The view of the Chinese Graveyard in brunei                                           Some items which were offered...
chinese cemetery in brunei
After completing the cleaning of the grave, family members would put coloured papers on the top of the grave....
Qing Ming is a serious event... so much so that the Malaysian newspaper, the Star reported that people who went early to the graveyard should use less jewellery, for fear of being robbed. Below is the story, from the Star newspaper today...

The view of the Chinese Graveyard in brunei
Personal items such as shoes, shirts, dress, passport, money, houses or even paper cars were burnt during such event... STuffing the whole item bought by several members of the family took a while to burn...
The view of the Chinese Graveyard in bruneiThe view of the Chinese Graveyard in brunei
This is much easier to burn...
The view of the Chinese Graveyard in brunei
Offer to the deity who protects the tomb as well as the afterlife...

The Star newspaper news:
DO not wear expensive jewellery when you go to the cemetery for Qing Ming – this is the advice from Federal CID director Comm Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee. He said this was to prevent any untoward incident from happening.

China Press reported that many people had voiced concerns as they would be going to cemeteries before dawn to avoid traffic jams and the heat. Comm Wan said policemen would be assigned to patrol cemeteries if graveyard managements make such requests.

“The cemetery management will arrange security or for Rela members to be present to ensure the safety of the people there,” he added. Qing Ming falls on April 5 but most people will be visiting the tombs of their loved ones this weekend.

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Monday, 2 April 2007

Brunei Darussalam is The Wealthy Nation

 brunei map
Just Share, The very interesting video links by TVB (hosted by Eric Tsang, Zeng Zhi Wei) about The country of Brunei Darussalam... He was marvelling at the exuberant wealth flaunted in the video...

I thus took a look at the TVB production - 向世界出发 (literally translation: Advance Into The World), and it was an eye-opener as some scenes in the Royal Palace I have never seen before!!!

It also featured our highly-reputed 5 star hotels in Brunei: Brunei Darussalam Empire Hotel. There are 6 parts in all, and I have only completed 2.5 parts so far, with each part about 20 minutes. Hence I have no idea what other parts are about....
I think this is a subject of poignant interest, tourist attractions in Brunei, so let the pictures do the talking.....
 Brunei's Royal Palace Istana Nurul Iman
 An aerial view of Brunei's Royal Palace, Istana Nurul Iman, one of the largest inhabited royal residences in the world - with 1,788 rooms and 257 bathrooms.
 His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajjah Saleha
 His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajjah Saleha during celebration of His Majesty's 60th Birthday
 The huge main entrance of the brunei palace
 The huge main entrance of the palace into the main lobby where celebrations will be held
 Crystal chandeliers in the brunei palace
 Crystal chandeliers in the palace, each weighing about a tonne, with estimated costs of HKD2 million each. There are about 12 of them in this main foyer, hence some HKD 24 million worth of chandeliers are dangling above...
 The glittering crystal shoes worn by brunei Her Majesty
It is noted in the production that the royal family's feet was placed on a cushion and not on the ground when seated. The glittering crystal shoes worn by Her Majesty is estimated to be around half a million dollars.

rumah kayu brunei
The wooden building behind Eric Tsang serves as the previous royal palace of Brunei, until Istana Nurul Iman was built in 1984. This was the very humble beginnings of the nation, at a time when the nation was still very poor, until the discovery of oil and gas in 1929 made Brunei a prosperous nation it is today.
jamee ashr hassanal bolkiah mosque
 A beautiful view Tourist Attractions in Brunei, of Masjid Jamek located in Bandar Seri Begawan. It was built by His Majesty as a gift to the His subjects during his 48th birthday. The dome is estimated to be weighing 2.4 tonnes and is made of 24k GOLD. Though the humble government of His Majesty did not disclose the costs, experts estimate it to be greater than HKD 300 million.
(Picture courtesy of Brunei Tourism Website)
jamee ashr hassanal bolkiah mosque
Another view of Masjid Jamek
Empire Hotel in Brunei
 Where to stay in Brunei. Choose The 5 star Empire Hotels in Brunei, Best Hotel In Brunei. Located along the scenic Brunei coastline, seaview hotel Brunei. Built in 1995, and is divided into 5 prime areas 
gold in Empire Hotel Brunei
Best Brunei accommodation, From the pillars of the main lobby in Brunei Empire Hotel, best hotel in Brunei. Been in the hotel once, and all the gold-like patterns seen in the pictures, are actually REAL gold (21K). From the main lobby, you can get a panoramic view of the blue South China Sea.
brunei empire hotel swimming pools
An beautifully-engineered landscape with an artificial beach, seaview hotel Brunei. There are altogether 4 of such artificial beaches although the coastline is only a stone throw's away. 
The swimming pools are designed to look as if they are joined to the South China Sea.
The golf course in Brunei Empire Hotel
 The golf course in Brunei Empire Hotel, best hotel in Brunei
Golden tap in the washroom in the Queen's suite in the Brunei Empire Hotel
 Brunei hotels 5 star. Golden tap in the washroom in the Queen's suite in the Brunei Empire Hotel. If I didn't remember wrongly, it is approximately some $70k per night in the Queen's suite. The green rings I think are made of jade.
An indoor swimming pool in the Emperor's suite brunei empire hotel
 An indoor swimming pool in the Emperor's suite. Right beside it is a jacuzzi. It takes about 10 minutes' walk from the main entrance to reach this pool. There are attendants here serving drinks. A night at the Emperor's suite will cost around $130,000 and it is reputed that even the rich have to queue for this suite.
 A bathtub in the Emperor's suite. One can take a bath here and at the same time enjoy the breathtaking view of South China Sea. Bill Clinton is reputed to have been here.
The bowling alley in brunei Empire Hotel
 The bowling alley in Empire Hotels in Brunei City. Nice seats...
(Picture courtesy of Brunei Tourism website)
 Cinema lobby in Empire Hotels in Brunei City. Went here to catch some movies a few times.
(Pictures courtesy of Brunei Tourism website)

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 The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Brunei's one and only beach resort, The Empire Hotel and Country Club

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