In strange cities I haven’t been to, all I want to do is to walk and let my eyes workout. It feels so liberating to gaze at any direction with a view far different from my hometown Manila.
Uncle Doc, my favorite uncle, was so generous with his time by being our Brunei city tour guide. After feeling the royalty atmosphere in our hotel, he drove us around the city Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei.
I jumped out of the van, eager to walk and walk around. My intentions of being an explorer didn’t last long until I felt the rays of sun hitting me harshly. Man it was so hot! Hotter than Manila! I wasn’t prepared to get my skin burned out there. Yayks! 🙂

Kampong Ayer

Our first tourist stop is also known as the water village, similar to what I’ve seen in Cambodia. Compared to Cambodia, researchers said Brunei’s Kampong Ayer is the largest water village in the world, which is why some people call it as the “Venice of the East.”
Since we were all unprepared of interacting with the sun, we stayed comfortably under the roof, still by Kampong Ayer’s side.
Jilliver at Kampong Ayer
As O and I leaned on the rails, we watched over the water taxis and talked about how risky their jobs are. Observing and learning new cultures remind me of how blessed I am as a Filipino. It may not be the best race for many people’s eyes, but for me, God allowed me to live in a body of a Filipino to embrace it and be a good steward of it. #ProudPinay

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

From Kampong Ayer, it was a short journey walking towards Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the tallest building in central Bandar Seri Begawan. Built in 1958, the house of worship maintained its elegance with its Italian marble flooring, stained-glass windows and luxurious mosaic inside the dome.
We didn’t have a hard time positioning ourselves in spots with less people. In Brunei, you’ll be surprised a huge crowd swarming the city. Brunei made taking photos more convenient for us, tourists. Completely the opposite of how congested Manila is.
I expected the streets to be busy on weekends. It was supposed to be crowded on a Saturday afternoon. But hey, that’s Brunei. Tranquil and oh so spacious!
Dad, who always tries to be ‘artistic’, made me stop walking and pose. I asked why. Then, he showed me the photo of myself wearing a golden hat. Hahaha! Okay, my dad really tries! :))

Cheng Wah Restaurant

Let’s fast forward to dinner after a long day of touring activities. Uncle Doc and his priest friend Father Robert treated us to a Chinese restaurant in Seria named Cheng Wah Restaurant.
Our fried rice came in first, proportioned evenly.
In Seria, Cheng Wah is known for their big serving portions and reasonable prices.

Salted Egg Prawn ($ 15.00)
Rate: 5/5
Among the main dishes served on top of lady susan, this Salted Egg Prawns was my pick. I don’t think I’ll get tired of ordering ‘salted egg’ based recipes. Cheng Wah cooked the prawns right, still crystal and juicy that made me consume more rice.

Sliced Beef with Ginger & Onion on Sizzling Plate ($ 12)
Rate: 4/5
In the middle of Cheng Wah’s tranquil room, we were all surprised with the arrival of the sizzling plate. Literally in heat, we watched the fire slowly subside until the beef is ready to eat. All I could taste in one chomp, ginger and onion marinated on the beef slices.

Broccoli with Crab Meat ($ 8)
Rate: 4/5
Switched to this guilt-free Broccoli with Crab Meat from time to time during the hour. When O and I feel the urge to reduce fat and salt in our bodies, we go to his Chinese restaurant for a similar plate of steamed Broccoli. Slightly pricey for an everyday veggie but I always feel detoxified with my favorite vegetable.
The best sugary dessert will always be a fruit platter. This came in free after we finished our main course.
Wherever I am in the world, the clouds never fail to add its magical effect to every place. Seeing beautiful things all over gives me a picture of how 10x more incredible heaven will be.
Whoever you are, this is my wish and prayer for you. “May your year be filled with beauty, peace and love!” 🙂
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout