5 Facts About: Brunei Darussalam

  • Jawi Script
Pondok Piza for Pizza Hut. If Pizza Hut Delivery, you will have Penghantaran Pondok Piza. Yes, I am serious.
Biji Kopi dan Daun Teh. Literal translation!

Jawi script is derived from the Arabic script but amended a bit to suit the local language. Widely used in Brunei, Malaysia and Southern Thailand, the Jawi script is one of the official scripts in Brunei. As such, shop signs will bear both the Roman alphabet and the Jawi script. However, in Brunei, some words in Jawi script are literally translated into the Malay language. For example, instead of spelling the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves in Jawi script, they are written in Jawi as “Biji Kopi dan Daun Teh”. That is unique!

Tulisan Jawi ni asalnya dari tulisan Arab, tapi diubah sikit untuk sesuaikan dengan bahasa Melayu. Sebab tu muncul huruf ‘ca’, ‘nga’, ‘nya’, dan lain-lain tu. Tulisan Jawi ni tulisan asal bahasa Melayu kat Brunei, Malaysia dan selatan Thailand. Tapi, sekarang cuma Brunei yang betul-betul martabatkan tulisan Jawi. Yang uniknya, kedai Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves bila diJawikan jadi: Biji Kopi dan Daun Teh!

  • Motorcycle
Big bikes!

When we mention Vietnam in general or Saigon in particular, our mind will remember the view of the road full with motorcycles. In fact, motorcycles may outnumbered cars over there. However, in Brunei, the situation is the opposite. There are very few motorcycles on the road. During my visit there, I only saw motorcycles once in a while. I was told that many Bruneians have superbikes but they only ride the superbikes during weekend and as a hobby. 

Bila sebut pasal Vietnam atau Saigon, mesti kita terbayang suasana jalan yang penuh dengan motorsikal kapcai. Silap-silap motorsikal lagi banyak dari kereta. Tapi, kat Brunei, terbalik pulak. Susah yang amat nak jumpa motorsikal. Sepanjang aku kat sana, ada lah sekali sekala aku jumpa motorsikal. Itu pun McD delivery punya motorsikal dengan dua-tiga lagi motorsikal biasa. Aku diberitahu, orang Brunei kalau nak beli diorang beli superbike, lepas tu tunggang masa hujung minggu sebagai hobi.

  • Starbucks & Mc Donald’s
The one and only Mc Donald’s in the whole of Brunei.

As of the time of writing, there is only one Starbucks and one Mc Donald’s in the whole Brunei. While Coffee Bean has several outlets including one at the airport, the only Starbucks in Brunei is located in Mabohai, and it was opened in February 2014. While the only Mc Donald’s is situated at Gadong opposite the The Mall. I went into the Mc Donald’s to see if there is any menu unique to the country. Sadly, the menu is the same as Malaysia’s McD and some of the new items on the menu are items which have been sold in Malaysia for the past years.

Setakat entri ni ditulis, cuma ada satu Starbucks dan satu Mc Donald’s di seluruh negara Brunei Darussalam. Walaupun Coffee Bean ada banyak cawangan termasuk kat lapangan terbang, Starbucks cuma ada satu cawangan di kawasan Mabohai dan baru je dibuka bulan Februari 2014 lepas. Satu-satunya McDonald’s kat Brunei pula terletak kat Gadong, bertentangan The Mall. Aku masuk dalam McDonald’s tu nak tengok kot-kot ada menu unik. Tapi, semua menu sama je macam kat Malaysia. Sesetengah menu yang ada tanda baru pulak, dah bertahun dijual kat Malaysia.

  • Kampung Ayer
Kampung Ayar folks’ cars.
… and more cars!

Kampung Ayer or the Water Village is the landmark of Bandar Seri Begawan. This is where the history of the Bandar people started and to see their lifestyle, living on houses built on stilts is just amazing. They use water taxi [boat] to go to the mainland vice versa. Some of the houses were built by wood, while the newer ones were made of bricks. Their life seems so simple. But actually, they have a car. Most of them owned a car. If one is driving towards the Brunei Museum, you could see a lot of cars parked by the roadside and at the dedicated parking lots. The cars belong to the people of Kampung Ayer.

Kampung Ayer ni mercu tanda Bandar Seri Begawan. Kat sinilah sejarah Bandar Seri Begawan bermula. Tengok penduduk kat sini menetap di sini, tinggal di rumah atas tiang, atas air, ke tanah besar naik bot, memang nampak menakjubkan. Nampak kehidupan diorang mudah je. Tapi, sebenarnya, hampir kesemua penduduk di sini ada kereta sendiri tau. Kalau drive ke arah Muzium Brunei, korang boleh nampak berpuluh kereta kat kiri kanan jalan, semua tu milik penduduk Kampung Ayer. Tinggal macam tu je, tak de risau apa. 

  • Petrol Station
High subsidy = less motorcycles and driving is cheap. Oh, and no toll too! [Did not manage to snap a photo of a petrol station, hence this photo. Lol]

Being a major oil producing country where most of the wealth of the country comes from oil, Bruneians are blessed in which they received a high subsidy from the government when purchasing petrol. I saw the price at the petrol station and even if the price is converted to Ringgit Malaysia, it is still considered cheap. But do you know that there is only ONE company operating petrol station in Brunei? Yes, if there are Petronas, Shell, Caltex, Petron, Esso, Mobil, BHPetrol and other companies in Malaysia, the only company that have rights to open up petrol station in Brunei is: Shell.

Sebagai negara pengeluar minyak utama, yang mana minyak jadi sumber utama kekayaan Brunei, rakyat Brunei bertuah sebab subsidi yang kerajaan diorang bagi giler-giler punya tinggi. Aku tengok harga minyak kat stesen minyak Brunei, dah convert ke Ringgit Malaysia pun masih murah lagi. Tapi, korang tau tak kat Brunei cuma ada satu jenama stesen minyak je yang beroperasi. Ya, tak ada Petronas, Shell, Caltex, Petron, Esso, Mobil, BHPetrol macam kita kat Malaysia ni. Kat sana cuma ada Shell aje.


6 thoughts on “5 Facts About: Brunei Darussalam

    1. Kannn…!! Still remembered when I was in school, agama subject were taught using Jawi writing. Now, even ustaz and ustazah use Rumi handwriting to teach agama. No wonder the younger generations can’t read or write in this script anymore :(

  1. I didn’t notice they didn’t have Starbucks during my visit and that their McDonald’s is so far away. Well, my visit to the country was more of a getting a stamp in my passport sort of trip.

    1. Haha. Well, it is a small country with less than a million citizen anyway. ;D

      Same with me, wanna get a stamp too, but decided to ask when I saw a McD only during the middle of my 2nd day there. Haha

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