Just back from a day trip to the most southern end of Brunei. Now I am relaxing at the Empire Hotel making use of its free wi-fi and delicious shakes. As I type I am sucking back a coconut and mango bomb. It would be a fantastic bomb if it had a shake or two of Malibu, but I am sure my liver is liking the break in this alcohol free country.
Kuala Belait (KB) is the 2nd city in Brunei and it is right on the
border of Malaysia. My impression of it from my 2 visits there in the
last 10 days is, Shell Petroleum is the heart and the oil is its blood
pumping life into the surrounding areas. You cannot miss the Shell
presence, from the oil fields to the pipes to the storage units to the
Shell workers housing compounds and of course the petrol stations.
Although ironically we nearly ran out of petrol in the Shell hub,
thankfully we didn't have to dig in the ground to fill the tank, but we
from the main drag are the beaches and the river. The water at the
beaches is brown but apparently not from dirt, they are brown from the
silt. So you can swim all you like but do ask the locals where the
crocodiles are. There are places where they are and aren't, make sure
you are in the aren't places.
KB is a nice little city with a real local feel. What you see is what
you get, a relaxed, slow moving but perfectly functional city/town. It
also has the the benefit of being close to Miri in Malaysia, close to
shops which are cheaper and places for other forms of entertainment not
offered in Brunei, like a quiet beer at the pub, or a rowdy drink at a
I can't recommend any place in particular to go to in KB, as I was only
there for a few hours and I will have to go back and investigate, but if
you make it there, make sure you hit the back streets for a good local
vibe and feel.
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