Monday, August 18, 2008

Brunei and Hong Kong - Bits of Day 1&2

We took off from Wellington in a gale..Arriving at the airport we saw the departures list carrying numerous cancelations all around our destination of Auckland ... But our flight stayed open for us and we were quickly boarded and took off.. The Holiday had started....


 


It was the worst take off I had ever endured .. as soon as we climbed above the surrounding hills of Wellington harbour we hit 3 successive air pockets. Bang bang bang...the woman across the aisle from me  had adopted the 'brace position" they tell you to get into if the plane is to crash .... McD had my hand in a vice like grip that would have made a hardened kiwi farmer handshake pale into insignificance .... 


But we made it to Auckland safe and sound though shaken .... 


 McD had booked us into a motel to rest up and eat a nice evening meal before the main flight to Brunei at 3am the following morning ...


 


12 midnight and we were at the airport all booked in and through customs ... No Alcohol on Brunei Airlines flights ..Nor in the country as they are Muslim..


 


A 10 hour flight to suffer through. While the seats were uncomfortable the airline staff were great and each seat had it's own entertainment centre for your movie and TV choice... 


 


And then we landed in Brunei and the 30+C heat ... Collected our bags and passed through customs ..


"got anything to declare  drugs ??"  Said the customs man 


 


"no" Said we ... 


"do you have any Alchohol??"


"no" Said we ... 


"Off you go then " he says with half a smile 


and that was it !!  


 


We were met outside by our pre-hired guide for our stay, a young Chinese girl who drove us straight to the hotel talking non-stop the whole way to McD ..I was to get to learn quickly that in Brunei the women do not talk to the men ....................... 


 


What Can I say - The hotel was magnificent and comfortable and for a few hours we slept like babies before the first trip out ....  



 


 


 


 



 


 The sequencing went a little astray as far as the pictures here .. .We went out to visit the water villiage (houses on stilts over the river) and boated up the river into the borneo jungle to see the probiscus monkeys and then ate beside the river sampling Brunei delecacies before seeing the lights and the mosques at night .... All on our first day of landing ... Pictures to follow over the next few entries


 


But here ..........


 


 We also took a walk through a park - Just to keep the old man happy :O)  Who ever he was :O)   



 


 (Blurry) Picture below shows our guide and McD getting a foot massage on upright pebbles



 


A Blurry McD Laughs through the pain !!!



 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 



 


That night we drove round to see the lights they still had showing from from a festival to celebrate the Sultans Birthday.


 


A mosque looked fantastic lit up and golden ..>Can you believe I took this picture without a tripod !!



 


 


 


 



 


The lights below were chandeliers but the locals called them the angels 


 



 


 


 


 



 


 The lights outside the Sultans Palace fell like rain ...Impossible to capture but an amazing spectacle



 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 



 


We then visited another Mosque. Prayers were underway with the haunting prayers (I think but maybe from the Koran) being recited from the top of a spinaret across the city... We were to re-vist the mosque in daylight the next day ....



 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 



 


 The gold on the gate and the fence around the Mosque was gold inlay ...  



 


 


 


 



 


Were were very tired by this point but stunned  by the beauty of the place.  


 



 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 



 


 More pictures to follow - Sorry the quality isn't too good ...Throughout this holiday I was plagued by low/no light and rain and visciously vibrating boats .... My Camera  helped where it could ...My stupidity in not carrying my tripod around with me shows in the picture quality .... 


But as McD kept reminding me ...I can't spend the whole holiday viewing it from a camera lens ....................:O)



3 comments:

McDinzie said...

oh the heat, the golden glow, it was all so very different from NZ...and I loved every minute. those mosques were unbelievable...the towers were high...you should have walked it wiht me :)

can we go back now?????

dinzie said...

McD - Lets Goooo !!!!! :O)

keewee said...

What a fabulous place. I would love to visit sometime. I better go buy a lotto ticket.