Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Palace with 1,780 bedrooms

On our way home from Thailand we had a long layover in the State of Brunei Darussalam (see map below) and were able to go on a city tour.  We flew Royal Brunei airlines which is the countries airline that has become a huge hub for passing through international travelers (don't fly to USA) so the government has been smart enough to offer tours to tourists passing through.  The airline doesn't serve alcohol since Brunei is a Muslim country and the plane gets blessed and a prayer to Allah before each flight. 

So after arriving in Brunei we were off into the city.  Customs was super easy and I now have another stamp in my passport!  Our tour guide was super nice and she had all sorts of interesting information.  The country was absolutely beautiful.  The government pays for everything, this is because Brunei is one rich little oil country.  If you have a job, housing is paid for as well as health care.  Kids only pay $20 a year for school and then books and everything else is supplied.  They even get a weekly allowance from the government!  University is only $300 per year and they get an allowance as well! NO FAIR!!

We made our first stop by one of the government buildings.  It was stunning, made of 24k gold!  We then took a long tail boat ride around the harbor where Brunei has a huge floating housing section.  These people also get money from the government to fix up their houses and make repairs since living on the water is quite rough. 

And then we came across the palace....  it is the largest palace in the world and the largest residential place in the world..... The sultan lives here and it has 1780 bedrooms and a 110 car garage, just to name a few!  
(here is a view of it)

Since it is a Muslim country he is allowed to have 3 wives, though he only has 2. And surprisingly only 12 children.

We spent the rest of our tour looking at different Mosques which were absolutely beautiful, and even got to hear one of the prayer times.  We ended the tour at a night market with some delicious foods.  

Enjoy the photos!

 Below is a video while we were at the Mosque during prayer time.
 Brunei was a great little country, it would have been fun to stay for longer, but we have other adventures to go on!