Introducing Brunei…


Reflections from one small country to another…

So here we are again, floating in that strange realm of sleepless, wordless half dreams and shifting thoughts following flights, drives, boats, hikes and brilliance in lands that would not seem to exist were it not for the photos I hold in my hand.

By hand, of course, I mean iPhone.

I may no longer have to wait for chemicals to transform film to print (yes, dear readers, I am that old) but my heavy duty photo files still wait on my SLR.

My phone gives me results here and now. Or rather, there and then.

They’re not quite perfect but they do reflect what I saw. And the curious reflections that the trip gave me.

This photo below is from the “white mosque” in Brunei (it’s real name is Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque so you can see how the nickname caught on.)


Introducing Brunei

The Sultanate of Brunei delivers the steroid-induced, adrenaline-soaked, neon bolt of awakeness that only travel can. It challenges what you think you know – and dazzles with beauty while it does so.
It’s one of the smallest countries in the world. And one of the richest. Its Sultan trained at Sandhurst.* His brother was charged with embezzling over a billion pounds and the legal shenanigans that followed hold the record as the most expensive case in British history.

Its waterways are peaceful and calm.

Its houses turquoise, lemon yellow and white.

And its food markets…well, I missed those due to illness that saw me quarantined in Australia. But others have plenty of tales. (Check out Trav Monkey, LiveShareTravel, Velvet Escape and Eat Like A Girl.)

Before Brunei, I was in Australia. Driving along the Great Ocean Road. Before that, India, building schools and watching men weave flowers into scented garlands as cows sauntered past on a jasmine- filled Saturday morning.

But now, I am home. And I must take the photographs, the history, and the memories…and try to sleep.

After all, with images and experiences like these, I need some time to be still.

And to reflect.

Back soon


Disclosure – the Australia and Brunei stages of the journey were part of part of the iambassador #MelbourneTouring project in partnership with Tourism Victoria,Royal Brunei Airlines and 4BGB

* The Royal Military Academy for Officers in the British Army

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8 Responses to Introducing Brunei…

  1. Melissa December 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    I love the way that the hazy quality in all these photos makes the trip appear to have been a kind of dream. Nostalgic.

    • Abi December 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Still feeling hazy so they’re a perfect fit!

  2. Thomas Dembie December 5, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    Great post! How easy is it to get in to the country? I was in Borneo a few years back and should have found a way to get there! I’ll likely be back in the region in 2014 and would love to visit. Love the photos!

    • Abi December 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Flying in – supremely easy. Not sure about the land borders. Travelling with a UK passport, I didn’t need a visa but Australians did (although it could be bought on arrival.) Always best to double check before you go – but for our group, it was easy (much easier than India or Australia!)

  3. Niamh December 5, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Lovely photo round up!

    • Abi December 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm #


  4. Drew | The Hungry Partier February 13, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    This post is wonderful! I was actually in Brunei about 3 weeks ago and I really enjoyed this mosque and the peacefulness on the streets. Did you get a chance to visit Ulu Temburong National Park? It was incredible.

    Cheers and Happy Travels :)


    • Abi King February 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      I was supposed to make it to the park but was sick, unfortunately and arrived late in Brunei. Better luck next time as they say – Keith who writes at, Niamh from and Paul from made it there. Their pictures made it look like just the sort of place I would like!

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