October 5, 2017
October 6, 2017
On the recommendation of our guide and the Lonely Planet, we went to visit the Empire Hotel, which is not only a hotel, but really more of a small city on its own. It has its own cinema complex, an amusement park, a water park, a mall, the biggest hotel pool that I have ever seen (plus many smaller pools designed to look like lagoons), a pool bar in the literal sense of the word, a few restaurants, and hundreds of rooms and suites. And it’s perfectly ok to visit it as a tourist – you don’t have to stay there to be able to go inside and roam its grounds. There are metal detectors at the entrances, but aside from that, you really feel a bit like royalty when you walk around and see the pure luxury around you.
And while we were walking around the gardens and pools of the Empire, this happened:
We had dinner at a night market close to the city center. In a big open air hall, there were dozens of stands selling home-made food, drinks and fruit. Although it was a bit difficult for us to orient ourselves and to understand what is what (especially for me being vegetarian), it was an interesting experience to see this traditional side of Brunei. I had a sort of thick crepe which was available with different toppings. I asked for cheese, expecting it would be salty. But it turned out that the “crepe” contained about a ton of sugar and ground almonds, and then I got some cheese on top of that. Oh well, you live and learn.