Brunei has redeemed itself …
In my eyes.
Knowing that we (me and a friend) have to spend another full day in transit in Brunei returning to Europe, we thought we have a go at hiring a car to go outside Bandar Seri Begawan. Booked the car online for around €50/BRD 80, which we considered as generic excursion cost. Picking up the car was easy as I speak Indonesian to them when there was any confusion.
The first stop we decided to go to was the Oil & Gas Discovery Centre, which I know sounds a bit dry but it promised lots of interactivity and buttons to push, hehe. The easy-free-of-traffic drive took around 1 1/2 hour to Seria, which is almost at the other end of Brunei. When we got there, it was dead quiet, there was only a few cars, not very promising we thought. It has a very confusing signage, one that said that the museum is closed and another saying that it is not. As the door opened when we approach it, we just took our chances and went in. It turned out that it was opened and the attendee there said that the exhibition today is free. Woohoo! we like free things. The first set of exhibition (I think this was their permanent exhibition) wasn’t very inspiring. Then they have what I think was a traveling exhibition from Australia called Measure Island, which was fun. So would really recommend this.
After having Teh Tarik and an Ice Cream we thought we would go and find a beach, on the map the first one that we pass going back towards the airport was Pantai Seri Kenangan (Pantai = beach, reads= Pan – thai) . It is a very nice beach, palm trees between the road and the beach, its got facilities such as toilets and showers, very quiet, approximately 4 other people in the long stretch of beach. The road is between the beach and river with mangroves. It’s really nice. I wished we had shopped for food and drink so we can just stay there read our book and have a swim.
Moving on, we wanted to buy some water and food, as it was so hot. We came by a town that looks so run down, it reminded me of towns in remote area of Italy. We bought our water from what I think is their big shop but looked more like a corner shop. It was small, packed full of stuff, unidentifiable cashiers/till spaces, with fridges full with yogurt mixed with eggs and milk. Then we went to a bakery which looks like a bakery from my childhood in Jakarta, wooden paneling, soft sweet buns they call bread.
We then drove to another beach called Pantai Berakas, the way to the pantai is covered with trees and a tropical rain forest. The area is more built up than Pantai Seri Kenangan, but it has people in it. At the area they provided built in Barbeque spaces, with chairs and tables that you can have a party at. It is nice. I wished I had some steak and a grill with me. mmm..Although you have to go down a concrete stairs to the beach, it was more natural than the previous beach. There were a lot of washed up things and it looks like a wreck, but it is great, you can pretend that you are on a treasure hunt and to try to find things on the beach.
All and all it was one of the best transit visit I’ve had. =D Next time I would like to go to the Protected Forest.