Sarawak - Brunei

Arriving in Kuala Lumpur 4.00 am in the morning, I went to James' hostel and waited for him to wake up. After breakfast and relaxing a bit, a jolly boy called Sloppyhands showed up! Fresh and ready from England he was ready for some new adventures! He had dragged along a new girl, Manchester, for the crew. We decided to spend one day in Kuala Lumpur, relaxing and getting used to each other's faces again. The next day we headed for Kuching in Sarawak on Borneo. The town was quiet and nice. We spent the first two days enjoying the town. At our hostel we had Herman the German, a 69 year old guy travelling around Asia with his big belly with a dead fetus attached to it. We then started hitting the jungles. Borneo has dozens of national parks and we were ready to burn some calories. Firs off was Kubah. Sweating up to the top of a view point, the four of us sat down and enjoyed the atmosphere. Playing some Tiger Woods on Rainman's phone made it all the better. It was a good walk and Amir fell in love with every second tree he saw on the way. The day after we took a combined taxi and boat ride to get to Bako. The legendary taxi driver George Hong was our man. At the beach a wild boar waited for us and we had a nice day trekking in the jungle. Chilling in a warm waterfall was also pretty good. After crossing the jungle we found a big beach we could have for ourselves which had moon rocks around it. There we could practice some English calligraphy together and enjoy the sun. Manchester turned from white to red this day.

Feeling Kuching had given us what it had to offer, we decided to take a 15 hour bus ride to Miri, up close to Brunei. Playing nintendo, Final Fantasy 7 and Tiger Woods made the time pass. Accompanied by shitty Asian music, Celine Dion and Bon Jovi on a broken speaker system, our journey felt pretty good. A lot of stops made sure we got our food on the way, and in the late evening we arrived in Miri. We checked in to a nice hostel and had a very good sleep in proper beds. In the morning Sloppyhands slept a bit long and I asked him if he was feeling alright. Answering "yes", I told him "chop, chop. We're leaving in ten minutes". He didn't appreciate this too much. The taxi driver waited for us and took us to Niah national park. After giving us some horrible creamy cakes as lunch, he sent us off to the park. We took a one minute boat ride over a river and entered the park. After passing some interesting caterpillars and spiders, we finally entered the highlight: a massive cave. It looked like a huge hangar with some ropes from bird nest collectors hanging around. A really impressing place to walk around in. In the evening we ate good food and went to kill off a tower of tiger beer. It was enjoyable playing pool with a Canadian, that was on his Malay girl like a leech, and the local pool hero Nigel. The British tried to mess up my sleep and I retaliated with my foghorn snoring.

The last day in Miri was spent in Lambir Hills national park. Our driver Joseph took us to the park and dropped us off with some Swiss rolls and water bottles. We went uphill Penang style and ended up on the top of a small mountain just in time to get shelter from the rain. It didn't really matter though, because we were all soaked in sweat. After a nice rest and a chat about what girls dislike, we headed for the waterfall. One of my favourite things for me so far has been to swim in all the waterfalls. It's really a good way of relaxing and regaining some strength. After our fourth park in less than a week, we headed back to town for some food and computer time. Next morning Brunei awaited us!

Early morning in Miri and a new taxi driver waited. He took the four of us with him for a four hour long ride to Brunei. I got to sit in front and answer all his questions about eskimos in Norway. It was fine, but it would have been better if he didn't stroke my thigh and moan all the time. At least it gave the geezers in the back a good laugh. In Brunei we checked into a youth hostel and started exploring Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. Everybody here is super friendly and helpful and at the tourist information center is the best we've seen so far. After eating lovely Indonesian food for one dollar we went off to see the biggest floating village in the world. James went home to swim some lengths at the hostel and Sloppyhands, Machester and I took a fast boat ride over to the village. The sultan is a nice lad and is helping his people get houses. It was fascinating to see how new two story houses are built on poles out in the water. Afterwards we walked around in town and saw two very lovely mosques. The newest has domes made of  pure 22 karat gold, no golden painting needed. The museums are all free and in some you have to take off your shoes.  The night market was lovely. Delicious food, cheap and no nagging sellers. They also had great waffles and heart shaped cupcakes. After a 40 min walk bak to the hostel, we were ready to go to bed and leave for Sabah the next morning.

We arrived at the hostel at midnight and met an excited James. He had been speaking to a local guy and we found out that the Sultan would be parading the streets the next morning. Celebrating Mohammed's little walk. He also offered us a night sightseeing to check out the palaces. Even though we were dead tired, we accepted the offer and had a drive around the outskirts of town, looking at the biggest palace in the world and the mansions that belong to the sultan's relatives. Marrying a Bruneian princess doesn't seem like such a bad idea now. We decided to stay the next morning for the sultan and leave in the afternoon instead. The next morning I put on my nice clothes from Singapore and headed out for breakfast with Rainman and Sloppyhands. Manchester overslept so we left her at the hostel. At the restaurant it was full and we had to sshare tables with others. Amir and I sat down next to two guys from Brunei and James sat down with some others. A welsh guy thought it would be a good idea to squize in between me and one of the guys from Brunei since i wasn't sweating enough from the heat and cooking. The blokes from Brunei turned out to be really cool and one had even studied in London. We ate and chatted for a while and when we got up to leave, Shariq paid for it all. Super happy after such a good start of the day, we went to see the sultan. After some songs and speeches, he went for a stroll and we were waiting for him at the very end. I stood almost alone and the sultan smiled and waved to me. I waved back happy as a kid and can now say I've bonded a bit with the royal leader of Brunei. Maybe he has a 10^7$ job for me? We left at noon with bus and ferry to get up to Saba, Malaysia. Brunei was awesome and is definitely more than just another stamp in the passport. I recommend spending a couple of days there if you ever get the chance.




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