A few years ago I saw Brunei as a stepping stone to Australia during my visits home until a recent visit where I discovered how much more the country had to offer. Brunei offers luxury hotels, halal food and Eco Tourism
Located at the Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, Borneo is a vast rugged island. It is known for its ancient culture and wonderful beaches, bio diverse rainforest which is a home to some of the world’s best natural sites.
I stayed at the plush hospitality at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, which has become synonymous with luxury and reflects the country’s majestic and cultural heritage.
It is Brunei’s most prestigious beach resort offering unsurpassed 5-star luxury in a grand scale setting with a spectacular 12 storey marble and gold lobby, set in its own private 180 hectare (445 acres) estate of manicured gardens and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
The hotel has 518 opulently appointed guest rooms, suites and villas with a view of the ocean, lagoon, gardens or golf course, with Imperial king-sized beds and over-sized marble bathrooms with walk-in shower, deep soaking tub with gold taps and luxury amenities.
But Brunei is not just about opulent hotels – it has nature that leaves you in awe. The nature I experienced at the Ulu-Ulu Temburong National Park as well as the trekking to the canopy of the hill is an unforgettable adventure.
My favourite was visiting the rainforests with a huge variety of plants, birds and mammals to Ecotourism resorts for protecting these habitats while supporting indigenous communities. Climbing over 800 steps to the canopy was a task but the panoramic views made it worthwhile.
The experiences included river rafting, jungle trekking which highlight Borneo’s superb natural assets every which way you turn and river rafting while the monsoon rain pelted down was a experience that left me feeling happy, adventurous and wanting to do more.
The waterfall was beautiful in the jungle and trying the natural fish spa at the bottom was a fun filled experience that leaves you ticklish and giggling like a teenager.
Sometimes, the best part of travel is the journey itself. There are direct flights to Brunei with Royal Brunei Airlines on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which offers high-quality in-flight experience for maximum comfort, featuring spacious noise-reduced cabins and audio plus video on demand in both classes.
There are two-class configurations with 18 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy Class. The journey to get there in style, experience what living in a palace is like, catching up with local friends and speak to them in the local language (same as Bahasa Melayu), trying the local cuisine which I love as I lived in the region for nine years makes me want to go back again.
Both flying Royal Brunei and exploring different parts of the country was a truly unforgettable experience indeed.