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Lost in Borneo

Yesterday started with the guesthouse staff in Bangkok trying to break my door down to waken me up as I'd slept through two alarms and the minibus to the airport was outside waiting for me. Having no idea how that could have happened after only being asleep for three hours, I pulled on some clothes, grabbed my bag, and ran out.

After a few hours of trying to sleep on the plane, we arrived in Brunei, and it wasn't at all how I expected it to be. I had hopes that it was going to be a bit like Singapore, and having heard so much about the Sultan being one of the richest men in the world, I was looking forward to a slick, modern, Asian city. Instead, it's much more like a small, backwater Malaysian town, lacking the high tech feel of Asian tiger economy countries, and the warmth of travelling in Buddhist lands.

The city is an architectural wasteground, and obviously not much money is being spent on it's infrastructure. The pavements are crumbling and the police are driving around in Protons. I took a trip out to the amusement park last night, which is out of town. It's was built by the Sultan for the people, and up until recently was free to enter. It was like a ghost town and there were only about seven other people in the entire comlex, but it was huge and beautifully built. Obviously, it would have made much more sense to spend the money on the country rather than waste it all on a figurehead amusement park that no-one goes to.

Thankfully, I catch my flight to London in three hours. Brunei is a hard place to spend more than 24 hours in.

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