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SWEET HOME ALA…BRUNEI?

giffgaff have asked a bunch of bloggers to talk about their hometowns, to put together a nice little worldy travel guide! In my About Me section, I briefly mention about growing up in Borneo- Brunei to be precise. I feel like to get to know more about this little Far Eastern country, you need to crank up Sweet Home Alabama, throw open the windows, and let me describe how this sleepy tropical country will forever be my home town. One of the most common reactions when I tell people where I grew up is “Oh, Brunei- that’s in the Middle East right?” Zero points for Griffindor. You can find Brunei on the big old island of Borneo- I literally grew up in the jungle. Sort of. My backyard overlooked lush rainforest. And yup…that is me up there in my former red headed glory, burnt to a nice shade of pink.

temburong-trek

I guess the story of how I came to grow up in such a far flung exotic place is my parent’s love story- my dad was in the RAF, he met my mum when stationed in Singapore, and eventually they settled in Brunei where my Dad got to tinker with aeroplanes.

market
temburong-river-boat
empire
waterfall
empire-pool

 

Most of my childhood was spent running around outside- Brunei wasn’t exactly a metropolis of skyscrapers and to have an active social life meant spending time in the great outdoors. Lots of swimming, biking, skating and the expat standard- hashing! Hashing is usually a hike or run through the jungle, following a paper trail, and celebrating at the end with drinks, games and laughter. I think Brunei holds the record for the the oldest Hash run- 50 years I think?

As a visitor, what is there to do in Brunei? To be honest, it’s not going to be the nightlife. But if you’re after BEAUTIFUL beaches and sunsets, swimming until your wrinkles have wrinkled, hiking until you can’t feel your legs, eating amazing food and turning life’s speed dial down a few notches, this is the place to be. It’s location also means it’s only a short plane ride away from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand…you’d be spoilt for choice to explore the Far East.

My top 3 things to do in Brunei:

1) Visit Temburong National Park– take a boat ride through the rainforest, through some rapids, cross swing bridges and climb up into the tree canopy for amazing views of the forest. Stop at a waterfall before breaking for lunch!

2) My favourite beach was the nearest one to our house- Crocodile Beach. You’ll find most of the beaches in Brunei empty. It’s a great spot to watch the sun set-Brunei sunsets are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. It’s a colour explosion!

3) Go diving. Brunei has a lot of pretty diving spots- reefs and wrecks aplenty! Oceanic Quest offer a lot of dive packages.

Tell me about your hometown!

Brunei sunset

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/apion/

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  • Sophie

    So perrrdy. I’m your new follower 🙂

    Sophie x

    http://www.yourgirlislovely.com

  • Brunei sounds amazing Angela! My home town is Avignon in the South of France and it’s just the right size, big enough that there’s always a restaurant or event to go to and small enough that you recognize people in the streets. There’s a huge ancient wall around it, a beautiful University and a palace from when the Pope used to live there (trivia hour). Most importantly perhaps, we have a beloved Theatre and Live Arts festival every summer for 3 weeks when Europe flocks down to Avignon, Parisians wish they lived South, artists show what’s brewing in their hearts in every garage, alley and backyard they can find and major theaters and venue in France book shows for the year ahead. As you can tell, I <3 my home town!

    • Brunei was similar in that you recognised everyone in the streets! Avignon sounds beautiful- one of my friends is from there too, funnily enough!

  • Beth Wilkins

    An itty bitty town in the middle of Missouri–definitely not as cool as Brunei, but I still kinda liked it 🙂

    • Hi Beth! Brunei was sooo not cool- but it was home! 😉

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