During a brief slice of time within our Malaysian adventure, my college roommate, Chelsea, and I were able to pop into Brunei for a day, a tiny enclave country nestled in a distinct corner of Borneo. Here are a few fun facts about Brunei you may not know:
1. It’s a dry country. You cannot purchase, order, or bring alcohol into the country.
2. There’s a Sultan. If you can imagine Aladdin being real, I’d think Jasmine’s palace would be the one situated in the center of Brunei.
3. There is a village on stilts – an actual town elevated above the river. There’s even a firehouse on stilts, which I found quite comical. In order to get around town, you have to ride in these boats called, “Flying Coffins.” They’re basically fast, little water taxis.
Chelsea and I were in Brunei for only a day, but it happened to be the day after we climbed Mt. Kinabalu. Thus, we were incapable of walking like normal humans in society. We were stumbling off of curbs, hobbling around like old ladies, and avoiding going down any stairs at all cost. It was absolutely hysterical.
When we went to the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque (Jasmine’s palace), the Imam of the Mosque invited us to see the interior. He gave us traditional burqas and gave us a tour of the most beautiful house of worship I’ve ever stepped inside. It was spectacular.
We took a walk to the back of the mosque where there was an enchanting pagoda over a body of water that had actual komodo dragons swimming around. DRAGONS. You know, the ones from movies? Yeah, we were 50% petrified/50% sure one of the dragons would’ve easily eaten us in two bites if we got close enough. We kept our distance, got a photo and made our way back to the bus station to head back across the border to Malaysia. Definitely a cool way to spend a day.