Courtney, John, and I decided to hire a boat taxi on our last afternoon in Brunei. Because BSB is built along an estuary, with tens of thousands of residents living on the water, there’s a large network of boat taxis that will take you wherever you want. We walked down to the shore and immediately were able to secure a ride for a couple hours. Our driver was quite knowledgeable of the area, and this ride turned out to be the highlight of our entire time in Brunei.
Our first stop was the Sultan’s palace. It’s the largest residential palace in the world, and it’s just outside the city. It’s surrounded by forest, so we only got fleeting glimpses. For a few days during Eid, the Sultan makes himself and his palace available for the public to come and say hi. If you’re looking for somewhere to crash, I’m sure he’d love to have you as his guest.
After seeing the palace, we headed up the estuary, far outside the city, to an area thick with jungle and free from palm trees. We pulled up to some mangroves and primary forest, and there they were! A troupe of at least a dozen proboscis monkeys was right in front of us, even closer than the monkeys we had seen on the Kinabatangan. These guys weren’t shy, either – they ate and played as if we weren’t even there. Later we headed to a new location and saw a second troupe, along with a couple of monitor lizards. We were enamored and could’ve stayed for hours, but the setting sun left us no choice but to retreat to the quiet capital.
Here are some of my photos from the ride:
About to jump.
The whole family is together.
Always looking up.
This monitor lizard was relaxing on a dead tree as the moon was coming up.
Mother and baby.
Staring into each others’ eyes.
Another monitor lizard joins the party.
The ride back to BSB.
Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan’s palace, is the largest private home in the world, with over 2 million square feet of floor space. It has 1788 rooms, including 257 bathrooms.
Part of the palace.
Slightly fewer birds than bathrooms.
A single egret.