Theme Week Brunei – Bandar Seri Begawan

29 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque © Daniel Weiss/cc-by-sa-3.0

Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque © Daniel Weiss/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bandar Seri Begawan (formerly known as Brunei Town) is the capital and largest city of Brunei. It is officially governed as a municipality (Malay: bandaran). Bandar Seri Begawan has an estimated population of 100,700, and including the whole Brunei-Muara District, the metro area has an estimated population of 279,924, over half the population of the country.   read more…

Theme Week Brunei – Ulu Temburong National Park

28 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Visitor registration © Bruneimaju/cc-by-sa-3.0

Visitor registration © Bruneimaju/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ulu Temburong National Park is the first national park to be established in Brunei, protected since 1991. The park is in Temburong District in eastern Brunei, and covers about 40% of the district in the south at 550 square kilometres (210 sq mi). It is within the Batu Apoi Forest Reserve. The park contains unspoiled jungle and is known as the “Green Jewel of Brunei”, described as “the finest example of the sultanate’s successful forest protection policy”. The principal rivers are the Temburong and Belalong Rivers. It is an important ecotourism centre in Brunei and hosts the Ulu Ulu Resort. The Peradayan Forest Reserve is also located in the district.   read more…

Theme Week Brunei – Kuala Belait

27 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© flickr.com - IQRemix/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – IQRemix/cc-by-sa-2.0

Kuala Belait, officially known in Malay as Pekan Kuala Belait (literally ‘Kuala Belait Town’), is a town located in the westernmost part of Brunei, in Belait District. It is the second largest settlement in the country after Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, and functions as the capital for the district. Kuala Belait is officially a municipality (Malay: bandaran), as well as a village-level subdivision under the mukim or subdistrict of the same name. Kuala Belait literally means “the mouth of the Belait River” in the Malay language. Its name comes from kuala meaning either confluence of two rivers or the mouth of a river, and Belait, the name of the river and district. It is also known locally as “Belait”. When needed to distinguish it from the district of the same name, it is known locally as “KB town” in English or “Pekan Belait” in Malay.   read more…

Theme Week Brunei – Muara

26 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Muara Port © Balou46/cc-by-sa-3.0

Muara Port © Balou46/cc-by-sa-3.0

Muara is a town in the north-easternmost part of Brunei-Muara District, Brunei. It is officially known in Malay as Pekan Muara (literally ‘Muara Town’) but is administered as a village-level subdivision under the mukim or subdistrict of Serasa. Muara has no municipal body. It is home to Muara Port, the main and only deep-water port of the country. The postcode for Muara is BT1128.   read more…

Theme Week Brunei – Brunei Bay

25 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  3 minutes

Panorama of Bandar Seri Begawan, 2018 © Zulfadli51/cc-by-sa-4.0

Panorama of Bandar Seri Begawan, 2018 © Zulfadli51/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brunei Bay is on the northwestern coast of Borneo island, in Brunei and Malaysia. Brunei Bay is located east of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.   read more…

Theme Week Brunei

24 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  12 minutes

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque © flickr.com - sam garza/cc-by-2.0

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque © flickr.com – sam garza/cc-by-2.0

Brunei, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island’s territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei’s population was 428,963 in 2018. The government is an absolute monarchy under the sovereign rule of Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan, which implements a combination of English common law and sharia law, as well as direct general Islamic practices. The population is at 460,000.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Vientiane

26 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Patuxai © Gorgo

Patuxai © Gorgo

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1573 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was later looted then razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese (Thai). Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos. The city had a population of 820,000 as at the 2015 Census.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Luang Prabang

25 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Night Market © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-4.0

Night Market © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-4.0

Luang Phabang, commonly transliterated into Western languages from the pre-1975 Lao spelling as Luang Prabang, literally meaning “Royal Buddha Image“, is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. It was listed in 1995 for unique and “remarkably” well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. It had also been known by the ancient name of Xieng Thong. It was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, until the Pathet Lao takeover in 1975. The city is part of Luang Prabang District of Luang Prabang Province and is the capital and administrative centre of the province. It lies approximately 300 km (190 mi) north of the capital Vientiane. Currently, the population of the city as a whole is roughly 56,000 inhabitants with the UNESCO protected site being inhabited by around 24,000.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Pakse

24 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses and leaning Arecaceae at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses and leaning Arecaceae at golden hour from Don Det
© Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pakse is the capital and most populous city of the southern Laotian province of Champasak, making it the second most populous city in Laos. At the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers, it has a population of about 88,000. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Champasak until it was unified with the rest of Laos in 1946.   read more…

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