It’s a little bit of Islamic Middle East nestled in the heart of Malaysia. Brunei means “a place of peace”
Under the Sultan’s rule, the people enjoy a good living – no poverty or unemployment. The country is safe, clean and pollution free.
The rain forest and river are well preserved, and there is a large park with lush tropical foliage and palms in the middle of the city. A lovely place to walk or jog for exercise and a beautiful waterfall at the end.
Brunei is not short of good restaurants, shopping and Islamic culture – 24 carat gold domes dazzle in the sunshine from Sir Saifuddin Mosque, and all the glittering carriages and uniforms of Independence Day in 1984 are on full display at the Museum.
There is plenty to see and do in Brunei – but I was in search of something very exciting and very elusive… the proboscis monkeys – you will know them – big, brown, pot bellied and long nosed, an endangered species and only found in Borneo – up the river from Brunei. We set off early in an open boat, quietly steering along the river edge through thick mangrove swamps, and overhanging palms. Quietly, quietly. Cameras ready, binoculars to hand. The only sounds were the birds and occasional buzz of a mosquito near my ears!
Suddenly a rustle in the trees, some movement in the branches and we stayed shock still – there! Over there! Oblivious to our camera clicks were a little family – 3, no 4 monkeys in the trees enjoying their breakfast. We watched in fascination, a privilege to behold, and then quietly left them in peace.
My skin still prickles at the memory. How lucky am I. Really – it’s a wonderful world.