B&C's South China Sea 5 Diamond Venture travel blog

Map of our location

Port of Muara

Grand Dining Hall at The Polo Club

Outdoor tea Room and Pool at the Polo Club

One of the many paddocks where the Sultan keeps his 2000 polo...

View of the floating village

One of the many mosques

Street scene in downtown Muara

One of the many decorated roundabouts

Yes western cultures appears everywhere

After 2 days at sea, sailing from Sihanoukville Cambodia, to Muara Brunei, we disembarked to a bus tour. Admittedly not our favourite, but options were limited. The majority of the tour was drive bys or brief stops for photo ops. The one place that we did get to visit is the Polo Club. The interesting part of this country is that it is one of the last truly Sultunates (the other is Oman) where the Sultan owns and operates the country. Brunei almost joined Malaysia in the early seventies, when it discovered a massive amounts of offshore oil and natural gas and pulled out of unification talks. The essentially poor third world country transformed almost overnight with lavish palaces and, yes polo fields, the sultan's favourite sport. Hundreds of polo fields have since been transformed to soccer fields, a sport more accessible to the general population. There is also a mini Disney style theme park that the Sultan had built for his children, all 12 of them via 3 wives. The park was also free for the citizens. However, once the children were grown and longer wanted to attend the park, there was a small charge imposed and the citizens, who could not even afford the entrance fee, cease to attend and the park subsequently closed. In the interim, the sultan's grand children are now coming of age and there is a massive rehabilitation of the park underway. So much misplaced money :-(. The health care is free and the housing is heavily subsidized for all Brunei citizens. Which only include the children of male Brunien's. If your mother is from Brunei and your father happens to be from anywhere else, then you do not qualify as a citizen and you do not qualify for any of the above mentioned privileges.

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