"Memories of Innocent Passions of Youth" Kuala Belait by cochinjew

Kuala Belait Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 104 photos

I should not have stayed away this long!

My first ever memories of the tropics were in Kuala Belait. My father used to work at the BSP Hospital here in KB.
Retracing my steps from the days of endless summer days, I recognized nothing. Everything was new except the sea and the river as they would always be there and flowing.
It is as someone you knew as a child had grown up without you knowing it and you expect to see the same thing or something similar.. I should not have stayed away this long, I should have visited KB before, just to watch the tranquil town grow gently into this prosperity

Tranquil Town, Friendly People

This is a company town, an expatriate town, a Malay town and a Kampung which has grown large and all of the above.
I was amazed to see the young foreign workers by the drove, sad neo colonialist globalization. They are accepted as foreigners and kept as foreigners as they do in the Gulf countries. But there is no obvious discrimination against foreigners.
Filipinas do all the menial jobs including manning desks, sales assistants, selling CD/DVDs. It is easy to mistake them for Malays since they are of the same race of people.
Chinese are not as aggressive as they are elsewhere in the region, and definitely they are not in the major force here as they are in Malaysia or Singapore or even Thailand or Indonesia

Reverance for the Sultan

Brunei is one of the two Sultanates in the world, the other one being Oman which maintains an embassy at the capital of Brunei. Islam is pervasive but not in an obscene fashion as it is in Malaysia.
Sultan is well respected here and it is obvious that he has the interests of the people at heart. This is truly a welfare state in which the State plays an importnat part in the welfare of the Bruneians. It has to since the non Petrol Economy is close to Zero and the Petroleum Industry employs only THREE percent of Bruneians.
Indian Food stalls abound, once again unlike Malaysia and Singapore, these Indians are not Bruneians, they are recent comers from India, who are here to work, but are not given permts to live permanently. They are almost all Moslems, mainly from Madras and pleasant.
English is not widely used in Brunei and KB in particular, more than the rudimentary where is the bathroom kind of conversation. Malay is spoken by all.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:As they say, Darulsalaam, place of Peace
  • Cons:I wonder if there is an intellectual life?
  • In a nutshell:Tranquil, not Touristy, friendly foreign workers and even friendlier locals
  • Last visit to Kuala Belait: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Feb 5, 2008
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Reviews (16)

Comments (2)

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2008 at 9:44 PM

    a good perspective of this little sleepy hollow.

  • SangAji's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    i love your perspective of kb, excellent observation of kb life supported by unpretentious commentaries with a pinch of nostalgia. name-wise, sentosa (tranquility) is more evocative than belait riviera (river),...

cochinjew

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