The Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience 2018

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, automative, lifestyle, Social News

 


The Brunei representatives including the 10 lucky winners from Jati Transport Sdn Bhd during the Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience 2018 in Kuala Lumpur recently
 


Posing with the GLC AMG 63
 

One of the lucky customers of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd was very grateful that the company hosted such event outside of Brunei Darussalam for their customers. Not just one or two customers but 10 lucky customers had the privilege to test drive different ranges of the Mercedes-Benz models on the famous Sepang International Circuit, Selangor, Malaysia recently.

This was also made possible by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia as the winners were able to participate in the Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.

Our Brunei representatives was grouped with the Philippines, Singapore and Bangladesh. All of us were treated to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and it truly fitted the occasion hosted by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.

We were treated to a great hospitality team by MBM at the Paddock Club 1, maybe the best I’ve experience at Sepang International Circuit and we were given awesome Mercedes goodies. Let’s not forget the free flow of food and beverage during the whole day session.

Before experiencing the different rides on the different Mercedes-Benz models, the participants were greeted by Peter Hackett, MBM AMG Representative/Chief Driving Instructor/Australian Endurance Championship GT Race Driver and he gave a run down of the program and also a briefing on certain skills such as braking, wheels and most of important, safety in dangerous situations.

So which models did we drive? The C300, The A250, The CLS 450 and lastly, my favourite, The AMG C 43. Most of us were able to also drive the GLCs. The instructors were very accommodating and helped the participants to go through the activities – the Slalom course, the Race Start Simulation and the Drifting Session.

I actually enjoyed all the activities and especially the lapping sessions which took place after lunch. This meant we were able to drive the whole track of the Sepang International Circuit and we took turns to drive all the models prepared by MBM.

I didn’t try the Taxi Ride session where the instructors did a hot lap session so the participant got to experience how professional racers drive on the track.

The Brunei participants didn’t go empty handed as we walked with goodie bags and also certificate of participation. One Bruneian, Reuben Fang, was awarded the Best Male Driver by the organiser. Awesome, huh? Congratulations, buddy!!

I could tell that the Brunei group had fun during the one day event. They also took the opportunity to take photos with the newly launched AMG G 63 and also the AMG GLC 63 which were being displayed at the Sepang International Circuit.

Let’s hope this sort of event will be a yearly thing for Mercedes-Benz customers. I wonder what models will be introduced in the next driving event.

 

 


Customary group photo before the first session
 


Azlan Ahmad, founder of Mixmediaworx, receiving his certificate of participation
 


Another Bruneian receiving a certificate
 

 


Izah Azahari of Borneo Bulletin also enjoyed her session
 


Pg Abdullah posing for the camera
 


Reuben Fang the Best Male Driver
 


I loved the bean bags
 


Chilling at the hospitality section at Paddock Club 1
 

 


The Mercedes-Benz CLS 450
 


The drifting session with the A200/A250. I kinda enjoyed this.
 


The ladies were excited for their sessions
 


Ready, Get Set, Go
 


I love the C 43 😀
 

 


I don’t mind this as my garage
 


Take your pick
 


Daniel and I chilling before the ride
 


Olala… The AMG GT C
 


This AMG can be a collateral for your new home
 

 


I don’t mind being caged with the Mercs
 

Winners feted by At-Taqwa Travels Tour

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Business, Social News

 


With the top three winners of At-Taqwa Travel Tours promotion held yesterday
 


The grand winner, Massharyanti binti Haji Hussain who an Umrah package for two, receiving the prize from Ak Md Nassiruddeen Pg Hj Yussof, Chief Financial Officer of At-Taqwa Travels Tour
 

At-Taqwa Travel Tours Sdn Bhd has been making a name for themselves for the past year or so. With a very solid team, they provided the best service to every customer they can within their resources. I have worked closely with them last year during my Umrah trip and they were very particular when it came to service.

And yes, when you provide good service, you will eventually get more customers and so they did. The last travel fair, Sabre Travel Fair 2018 drew 562 bookings and it was the biggest milestone for a new player in the industry.

Apart from that At-Taqwa also had special lucky draw promotions and yesterday, three top winners were feted with awesome prizes from the travel agent.

The Grand Prize went to Massharyanti binti Haji Hussain who won an Umrah package for two. The second prize winner went to Fauzian Hj Samat with a BND 2,500 travel voucher while third place winner won a BND 1,500 travel voucher which went to Muhd Wazif Asryaf bin Md Affendy.

Ak Md Nassiruddeen Pg Hj Yussof, Chief Financial Officer of At-Taqwa Travels Tour thanked the customers for their support during the travel fair and also to their loyal customers.

All present during the prize presentation were Pg Hj Rosdimar bin Pg Hj Omarali, Managing Director of At-Taqwa Travels Tour and the management as well as representative from Royal Brunei Airlines.

At-Taqwa Travels Tour will be in full swing this until next year as the first batch of Umrah pilgrims will fly off today. They have been busy with the preparations especially with the practical session for the pilgrims to be familiar before they reach the Holy land.

You can follow their updates on IG @at_taqwa_travel_tours for updates.

 

 


Ak Md Nassiruddeen delivering his welcoming remarks
 

 


Fauzian Hj Samat receiving 2nd prize from Pg Hj Mohd Fakhrulrazi Pg Hj Omarali, Head of Department, Haji and Umrah, At-Taqwa Travels Tour
 

 


Representative of Muhd Wazif Asryaf bin Md Affendy receiving third prize from Dk Sabtuyah binti Pg Hj Abdul Rahman, Head of Department of travel and tourism, At-Taqwa Travels Tour
 

 


Representatives from At-Taqwa and Royal Brunei Airline
 


Check out the merchandise from At-Taqwa
 


The first batch of Umrah pilgrims flying to Jeddah today
 

RB flies to Haikou

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Social News

 


Evergreen Park, Haikou. Image from Hainan Explore website
 

Royal Brunei Airlines is pleased to announce that the national carrier has launched direct scheduled services to Haikou effective 22 November 2018.

RB’s CEO Karam Chand said, “We are pleased to introduce Haikou, the capital of Hainan province, to our growing network of scheduled flights to China. Adding Haikou to our scheduled services will support our airlines’ network development and builds on the strong bilateral relationship between Brunei and China. The new route presents a very special opportunity for both cities to boost tourism and trade sectors.

In addition to Haikou, we have already launched Nanning and Hangzhou routes and soon Changsha which will operate effective 15 January 2019. Further establishing RB’s presence in China is very important for us as we are constantly exploring new opportunities to grow our footprint in one of the largest market in the world. With the growth of our short-haul network to China and vice versa to Brunei, we are confident our guest will benefit from the increased connections and enhanced travel experience from non-stop flights and signature RB service on our game changing A320 NEO aircraft.”

The flight is available on www.flyroyalbrunei.com and also at RB’s travel agents.

 

 


RB flies twice weekly to Haikou
 


View of Haikou. Taken from South China Morning Post
 


Marriot Hotel, Haikou, Hainan Province.
 

Sneak peek of Mercedes Benz Driving Experience

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in technology, travel, automative, Business, Social News

 

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Jati Transport Sdn Bhd arranged a special Mercedes Benz Driving Experience #MBDE for the selected winners to test drive the latest range of Mercedes-Benz models in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Also present were representatives from Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and members of the media. More stories to follow on upcoming post. Stay tune 🙂
 

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They managed to have a driving experience on the Sepang International Circuit for a few hours
 

 

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Robin having a great time on the Sepang Circuit.
 

Shortlisting monthly winners

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, travel, food, Social News

 

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Kingston Beverage & Creamery Sdn Bhd team with members of the press
 

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One of the press shortlisting a monthly winner
 

Kingston Beverage & Creamery Sdn Bhd conducted the All New Pepsi Max Taste monthly draw at its office at beribi recently. There are 10 finalist that have been drawn by the member of press for the upcoming Prize Presentation on the 23rd November 2018 (Friday) that will be held at Soon Lee Megamart, Lambak Kanan.

The 10 finalist will be contacted to present on that day to participate in mini games challenge for their prizes. The prizes for the monthly draw are 7 nos of Pepsi Hamper worth B$50 and Shopping Voucher worth of B$100 for 3rd Prize, B$200 for 2nd Prize and B$300 for 1st Prize.

Other participants are still in chance to win the unforgettable 2nos of Turkey Tour Package for 2 pax with allowance as Grand Prize, 2 nos of exotic Dubai Tour Package for 2 pax as 1st Prize and a lot other great prizes.

The All New Pepsi Max Taste Lucky Draw 2018 which runs from October 1st till December 31st will be also collaborating with Ayamku, KFC, MarryBrown and PepperLunch as part of their draw. This means that consumer will be able to participate for the draw when they consume at these participating food outlet.

The participating brands for the draw are Pepsi Products which is includes PEPSI BLACK, Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, 7up, Assorted Mirinda and Revive. PEPSI BLACK, the new cola with no calories is one of brand highlight for this campaign. With its MAX TASTE ZERO SUGAR, Pepsi Black comes in 330ml, 600ml and 1.5L bottles available for your choice in the market.

To participate in this All New Pepsi Max Taste Lucky Draw 2018 is as simple as 3 steps. STEP 1: Purchase any value pack SIX (6) tins/bottles 330ml/600ml/1.5L Pepsi Products in a single receipt. STEP 2: You will need to answer: All New Pepsi Black contains zero sugar? “True / False”. STEP 3: WhatsApp details to +673 8300 833 with clear picture of the original receipt, or you can submit your participation via Kingston Instagram @kingstonbn with terms and conditions apply.

 

 

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Purrrrrrfect

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, travel, lifestyle, Business, Social News

 

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Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism (2nd from left) during the memorandum of Agreement between Royal Brunei and Sarawak Tourism Board held recently
 

Meeeowwww!!!! It’s back again!! After a 4 year hiatus, direct flight from Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuching is back!!! The previous connection was via MASwings which stopped its operation back in October 2014. Royal Brunei ever flew to Kuching and its first flight was back on 15th May 1975 while its last flight was 28th July 2011. So it’s good to see that Royal Brunei has finally re-commencement its flight services to Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, starting 28th December 2018.

A signing of memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between RB and the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) was held yesterday, aimed on offering bi-weekly flights between Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuching and vice versa.

Present was the guest of honour, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism. Present during the MoA were Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Sharzede binti Datuk Haji Salleh Askor, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board and Karam Chand, CEO of Royal Brunei.

“The signing of the MoA between the Sarawak Tourism Board and Royal Brunei Airlines bears great importance to both our capitals,” said Sharzede binti Datuk Haji Salleh Askor, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board. “First, it symbolises the start of the many collaborative efforts between our two capitals which will bring about sustainable socio-economic growth for both Sarawak and Brunei with tourism as a significant contributor, as well as strengthening the friendship between our people.

“Secondly, the Sarawak-Brunei tourism collaboration, especially with the strengthened connectivity between the two destinations, will increase the competitiveness and attractiveness as twin tourism destinations to capture tourists around the regions and the world, especially making Kuching more accessible to our focus markets including Melbourne, Shanghai and London, which augurs well for the marketing of the destination.”

RB will fly to Kuching on December 28 using the RB A320, with the route operating twice weekly before increasing to four times a week by February 3, 2019.

 

 

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The signing of the memorandum of agreement
 

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Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports speaking during the press conference
 

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Karam Chand, CEO of Royal Brunei, on a side note, mentioned there will be no changes in scheduling for BSB to KK with the arrival of their competitor this coming January
 

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Chartered bus to Miri/KK

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, travel, lifestyle

 

 

Effective 01 November 2018, Syarikat Lian Tong & Anak-Anak will be providing chartered bus services to Sarawak and Sabah.

Need to travel via Miri Airport?
Shopping in Miri & Kota Kinabalu?
Road Trip to Kota Kinabalu with stopover from Limbang to KK?

The bus is equipped with 32″ LED TV and GPS Android System for their passengers ‘comfort.

Call them now for booking at (673) 2444555 and early bird discounts applicable subject to terms and conditions.

Whatapp (673) 8910888.

 

All passengers are safe, arrived London via diff airlines

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Social News

 

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Royal Brunei Airlines flight BI003 made an important diversion and landed at Vienna International Airport, Austria, yesterday after the aircraft had some technical issues
 

As posted on Royal Brunei Airlines website.

7 November 2018 4:46 PM

Due to technical issues, Royal Brunei Airlines flight BI003 from Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN) to London Heathrow (LHR) on 07th November 2018 has made a diversion landing at Vienna International Airport.

The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance to RB and we are currently working to ensure our passengers will safely reach London Heathrow through other carriers.

Update at 1700 (GMT+8)

Please be advised that Flight BI004 on 07th November 2018 from London Heathrow to Bandar Seri Begawan is cancelled. Guests are currently rerouted on other airlines.

Update as at 1842 (GMT+8)

Please be advised that all guests have been rebooked onto flights with other carriers, leaving Vienna later today.

The safety and security of our guests is our number one priority.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

RB Customer Service Centre:
Bandar Seri Begawan: +673 2 221 2222
London: +44 2075 846660

Note:

It hasn’t been confirmed on what the technical issue is and no statement or press release given by Royal Brunei Airlines to confirm on the specific technical issues. It was definitely a significant technical issue as RB flight B1003 had to make an unscheduled landing at Vienna International Airport. What’s more important are the safety of the passengers, pilots and crew on board. Kudos to the pilots for the quick thinking, considering this is a long haul flight (14 hours) and a non-stop flight from Brunei Darussalam to London. Appreciation also goes to the crew on board to calm the situation and making sure everyone is safe and in good hands. Alhamdulillah.

When we thought that Twitter is not relevant anymore, it still is as the pictures of the incident were being circulated and it was a screenshot from twitter, @FlightAlerts_ to be specific.

On board on the flight B1003 was Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa Ash’ari, a member of the Legislative Council, who tweeted on the whole ordeal from checking in in Brunei International Airport to finally arriving in London safely. She did highlight one thing though – Travel insurance 🙂 Oh yes, how that is so important and let’s not taking everything for granted.

Let’s hope the situation of such incident is a rare one. Once again, kudos to the pilots and the crew on handling the situation and the swift thinking of the pilots.

 

Visit Nepal Part I

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


What a beautiful sight from the plane! I really miss Kathmandu. Definitely coming back again 😀
 

My long overdue entry. My recent trip to Kathmandu from 25th September to 3rd October was definitely an eye opener and perhaps the best highlight of my travels for 2018 so far. Initially, I was slightly skeptical, feeling a bit fearful, being in a country too foreign and a country recovering for the devastating earthquake back in 2015. I even worry to the point of internet connection (the lack of it) and such (Yea, you can tell that I’m quite addicted to the world of internet).

Being a CI holder, meaning a Certificate of Identity “passport” holder, I wasn’t sure if my travel document will be accepted in Nepali waters. I only knew my fate at the Nepal Embassy in Kuala Lumpur where I waited patiently for 3 hours before my travel document reached the Chargé d’Affaires level as the First Secretary couldn’t give me a definite answer. Finally, it was a YES and I was too excited that I would be able to fly to Kathmandu with ease. So ladies and gentlemen, for those with CI “passport”, it will only take one day to process and you collect your passport the following day. For 15 day visa, it’s RM 100, 30 day visa for RM 160 and 90 day visa for RM 400. I applied the 15 day visa.

For those wondering on catching a flight to Kathmandu, there are many airlines that fly to Kathmandu via Singapore/Kuala Lumpur. My preference would be through Kuala Lumpur and I believe that one of those legs, you have might have to sacrifice one night in Kuala Lumpur. The average flight fares are at BND 800ish so it’s something for you to plan in advance to save up for the fares. My preference would be taking Malaysian Airlines because of the comfort as compared to AirAsia. The flight from KL to Kathmandu is roughly 4 hours 30 mins.

 

 


A 4 hour 30 mins flight on business class is worth it. I was surprised that the online fare on Malaysia Airlines offered me BND 600 from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu return with one sector of business class!!! Now that was an awesome deal. AirAsia then was selling BND 1,000 return. The decision was simple 😉
 

Kathmandu, ah yes, it was surreal when I landed at Tribhuvan International Airport. The immigration process was quite efficient and you can actually apply visa on arrival but that would mean longer queue and waiting time. The baggage claim area was pretty small and it can get overwhelming. I was waiting for sometime only to realize that my bag was shifted to the floor from the belt. So do be aware of that.

Ohh yeah, do get your SIM card, once you reach the small arrival hall. There are only two telcos and I would recommend Ncell. I took the higher tier one with 8GB for around BND 15 which is 1,200 Nepalese Rupee. I was quite impressed that their network is quite fast at times. I also ended up not using the whole data after a week stay in Nepal. There are times when network can be frustrating but overall, I am still impressed with their 4G network. So choose Ncell if you are in Nepal. The only downside is when you apply for the SIM card, you have to fill in a form and also produce a passport size photo.

 

 


The Tribhuvan International Airport is kinda small and we caught the shuttle bus before reaching the immigration
 


Interesting to see this on the arrival card
 


Oh yeah, every subscriber have to fill in a form when you sign up for a SIM card. Good thing I brought my photo.
 

Now Taxis are pretty cheap. They are everywhere once you step out of the small airport. Drivers will be hunting for tourists and for a reasonable price to Thamel (the city area) will be roughly BND 8 (700 Nepalese Rupee). There are no meters on most taxis so you can start bargaining with the drivers. So try to negotiate to 700 NR and if they question you, just say that’s what you paid for on your last visit. The airport to Thamel area wasn’t that far. Even with traffic, it would take tops 40 mins or so. Kinda nearby if you ask me.

Hotels. Well, there are pretty cheap and affordable. I chose a 3 star hotel and a 4 star hotel and both were pretty good. Of course, the latter was better. The first hotel I chose was Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel (3 stars) and it’s only around BND 60 per night. It could have been cheaper depending which dates you are flying in. There are even some hotels with great ratings as low as BND 30 per night. So it’s the choices are up to you. I made all my bookings on booking.com and so far, no complains. As for the second hotel I stayed was the Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel which was more of a pleasant stay.

Let’s talk about Aryatara Hotel. I love the service. The front desk people are quite polite and even the manager on duty. He took time to greet those who dined in for breakfast and I thought that was a nice gesture to have. My room was quite spacious and the bed was not bad. I had a spare twin bed where I dumped my other things for convenience. The hotel has good access to the market area too. Breakfast wise, it wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t too good. Just average because of its limited choices. TV channels are limited. Then again BND 60 is a great deal. Ain’t complaining. You can have airport transfer from the hotel too. There’s a Korean restaurant next to Aryatara. As for laundry, there’s a laundry outlet nearby and they go by the kilo. Quite cheap too.

As for Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel, I am in love with this hotel. For BND 100 per night, I didn’t expect such good service and furthermore, the room was pretty awesome!! I didn’t expect this in Nepal and according to my friend who works at Agoda, this is one of the top hotels in Thamel, Kathmandu. The service is top-notch and they treat guest like god. What I am impressed with the designs of the room. So much thought being invested in RP rooms. It has even stuff animals and fresh plants inside the room. The TV channels are endless. I could just stay in and watch TV all day long. Even Premier League matches are available.

The room service is 24 hours too. The unique thing is the breakfast deal. Since it’s a set breakfast, you can have it anytime of the day and not only limited to breakfast hours. Cool, huh? The only beef I had was the wifi. My Ncell 4G line is much faster than the in-house wifi. Other than that, it’s great. A safe box, a weighing scale and even provided an extension with multiple sockets. Clean and modern looking, I would guarantee you that you will enjoy your stay at Royal Penguin and it’s located at the smackdown area of Thamel city. I shall visit this hotel again on my next trip.

 

 


The first few days, I stayed at Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel and I enjoyed their service. Only problem was my room was on the fifth floor and there were no lifts :/
 


I was in love with Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel for so many reasons. Highly recommended.
 


The good thing is that you pay in your preferred currency though they don’t accept Brunei notes. I had my Singapore dollars then. US dollars is also widely accepted.
 

Kathmandu. Now this is one interesting city. Despite the hustle and bustle of Thamel, I felt a sense of calm and it took me a few days to get warmed up. Of course, my travel buddy, Pranika Lama, guided me on tips and such for me to be familiar around the city from walking to grabbing a “tempo” to a taxi. I even had an opportunity to hop on the public bus. Google maps was also my saviour. The only one that I didn’t experience was hoping on a van. Apparently the van ride was much more risky as compared to the rest according to Pranika. The “Tempo” was an interesting ride. It costs roughly 10-20 cents only. It’s like their version of Tuk Tuk but bigger. It’s shared for the public and you can hop on anytime you want and just pay the driver the fee after being dropped off. I was wondering the mechanics of the Tempo but it was pretty simplified. It was able to carry at least 10-12 people, depending on your sizes. When you think it’s full, don’t be surprised if one or two person can still squeeze in. To cue the driver for the next stop, just simply use ur hand to bang on the metal roof. The cheapest means of transport but the only problem was the language barrier if you want to ask the driver for directions. I was fortunate enough to have Pranika guided me on which number Tempo to hop on.

I love Nepalese people too. Not all can speak English by the way but most shops in Thamel have some command of English as this is a tourist zone. There are many occasions I was mistaken for a Nepali. Too make it even obvious, I wore their type of clothings to blend in more. Some of the shop attendants would take pictures with me because of my foreign status with a Nepali vibe *lol*

 

 


My first photo at Thamel Street
 


The Tempo I was talking about. It’s operated on batteries and not petrol.
 


You can see the skeleton of the Tempo at the driver area. I can even notice the ground from this view.
 

After my 3rd day in Thamel, my love for Nepal grew and I became more adaptive to the environment. Yea, you may have noticed me sporting a face mask and that was because Thamel can be very dusty as constructions were still ongoing for the restorations of building and temples  after the 2015 earthquake. So yea, my advice is to buy a mask, just in case and it is also a good fashion accessory 😉 Walking 3-5 kilometers was my daily routine and Thamel was such a crowded zone with tons of shops, selling handicrafts, boutiques, clothes and even electronics. I did spent a handful on clothes for souvenirs and plenty more on accessories. I ended flying back with a 35 kilo load which was an unusual practice when I travel abroad.

 

 


At Durbar Square where buildings are being restored and renovated after the 2015 earthquake
 


Tons of souvenirs, handicrafts being sold at Durbar Square
 


Thanks Pranika for being my unofficial tour guide 😀
 

Halal restaurants were easy to locate and I believe they have roughly 5-6 within Thamel. You can simply google Thamel Halal. I tried Shafqat Halal Food Restaurant, Anatolia Restaurant (Turkish and Indian cuisine) and Third Eye Restaurant, maybe favourite of the lot. Please do try the Nepalese dish – Momo and Dal Bhat. Dal bhat is a traditional meal from the Indian subcontinent, popular in many areas of Nepal, Bangladesh and India. It consists of steamed rice and a cooked lentil soup called dal. I actually enjoyed the dish but it can be very filling for me. Momos, according to Pranika, aren’t as authentic as they added more flavor which loses the authenticity of the taste of a real Momo. Well, if you are keen, you can try out a Momo restaurant in Kuala Belait where the Momos are cooked in a traditional way. Just another advice if you are in Kathmandu, do order water bottles rather than a glass of water. Sometimes, you don’t want to take the risk of not acclimatizing to the boiled water in Kathmandu. So to be safe, order water bottles instead.

 

 


One of the halal restaurants I tried at Thamel.
 

Culture. Interestingly enough, this is a city that has high tolerance on religion. Both Hindu and Buddhism are very common and when you visit the temples and Stupas, most of them will share histories of their gods. It was no surprise that there are tons of arts and sculptures in the Kathmandu valley. If you are into history, there is an abundant of historical sources in Kathmandu. You can visit the museums, temples and so on. Of course, the popular ones which made a name of itself were Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and along the streets of Thamel because Dr. Strage was being filmed there. I only managed to enter Durbar Square and took some shots and of course, Thamel street is also quite accessible and convenient to visit.

Human traffic is quite high especially at the tourist zone with a mixture of foreigns and locals. Even on narrow streets, all types of vehicles can still drive thru the congestion and there were times when they can get stuck for a little while. Some cars would even step on the gas in tighter streets. The usage of horns were quite high and it was pretty common. One of my Nepali friends told me that one of the highest cause of death were accidents. Ironically, I only came across one accident, on the final day of my stay in Nepal. I would have to say that on average, the Nepalese people are quite hardworking in earning a living. There were even little children, carrying huge sacks on their back to deliver items to his/her clients.

 

 


At Durbar Square
 


At Durbar Square
 


Pranika all smiles
 


One of the historical chariots being displayed at Durbar Square
 


It can get pretty colourful at night at the streets of Thamel
 

Safe. Well, I was well informed by a local person and also Pranika to watch out whenever I roamed around Thamel area. Somehow, I found the area quite safe and it was ok to take precaution measures just in case. I was recommended not to look too touristy and be mindful of pickpockets around Thamel area. The shops closed around 9pm and the night life wasn’t as entertaining at certain joints. I was also told not to wonder around being solo after 10pm or so. I never tried but I noticed uniform personnel stationed outside hotels during evening time. So maybe that’s a reason why I felt safe walking alone if I had to. Just don’t flaunt your richness or make it too obvious 🙂

Dusty. I remembered two years ago when Pranika was wearing her face mask because the air pollution was quite moderate. Most of the areas in Thamel were dusty due to the ongoing constructions and restoring of roads and buildings. I masked myself almost 80% of the time as I could sense the dust. You will see shop attendants planting water to the flooring area outside their shops so the dusts will settle down when people walking or cars driving past. When shops closed after business hours, some would clear off the dust and sand from their products that were displayed outside the shop. Be mentally prepared for these kind of situations.

Stay tune for my second part!!

 


This is their version of music entertainment
 


This is the mood after 9pm. Most shops will be closed by then.
 


Yes, this is my shoes that got pretty dusty during my 7 day visit in Nepal
 


Mask on 😀
 

15th Brunei Travel Fair

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, travel, lifestyle, Social News

 

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The press conference for the Brunei Travel Fair coming this weekend at International Convention Centre
 

Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) Sdn Bhd will host the 15th annual Brunei Travel Fair on 6th and 7th October, to provide airlines, national tourism offices, hotels and travel agents with a unique platform to showcase their products and services to travelers. Taking place at Plenary Hall, located in the International Convention Centre, Berakas, the two-day event is open to the public, and aims to provide travelers with the convenience of shopping for a wide selection of travel deals under one roof.

“Sabre Travel Network Brunei is proud to organize the Brunei Travel Fair, an important event for the country, benefitting Bruneians, the expat community, our partners and the travel industry at large,” said Irene Soon, General Manager, Sabre TN Brunei. “We are grateful for the continued support of our partners and travelers, and for their contribution to the 15th annual edition of the Sabre Brunei Travel Fair. Thanks to their participation, we will deliver new and unique content to travelers looking to book their dream vacation. Last year, we welcomed over 13,600 attendees to the Brunei Travel Fair, and we are confident that we will exceed these numbers this year,” she added.

To ensure that travelers experience quality service, Sabre will provide more than 60 terminals to the eleven Sabre-connected travel agencies participating in the fair. “The annual Brunei Travel Fair is an excellent opportunity for Brunei-based travelers to shop for overseas and domestic travel packages, making it an event that simply cannot be missed,” said Abd Halim Haji Abd Rahman, Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing, Sabre TN Brunei.

Participating travel agents include Anthony Tours & Travel Agency, At-Taqwa Travel Tours, Century Travel Centre, Dar El Ehsan Travel, Darussalam Holdings, Freme Travel Services, Grace Travel, J J Tour Service, Pan Bright Travel Service, Southern Cross Travel Agencies and Straits Central Agencies.

National tourism organisations attending the Brunei Travel Fair include Brunei Tourism Board, Korean National Tourist Office, Ministry of Tourism – Republic of Indonesia Sarawak Tourism Board, Taiwan Tourist Bureau and Tourism Authority Thailand. Baiduri Bank Berhad, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Korean Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) will also be on site with their own booths to support participating travel agents and assist visitors.

Medical and Insurance services will be represented by Bangkok Hospital, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council and Takaful Brunei Am.

Malaysia Airlines Berhad and Singapore Airlines will also be supporting the travel fair by providing attractive fares to participating travel agents, as well as enticing lucky draw prizes.

 

 

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At-Taqwa is quite known recently for their Umrah packages and top-notch service. But did you know they also provide interesting places to fly to enjoy your travels? They even have a good lucky draw for their customers. Check out Trips by At-Taqwa Travels & Tour.
 

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Some of the rates offered by At-Taqwa Travels & Tour
 

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You can stand a chance to win BND 25k Umrah travel package or a trip to London. Visit BIBD Booth at the travel fair.
 

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Many privileges await you when you swipe with your Baiduri cards (credit & debit). Click image to learn more.
 

 

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The benefits you will enjoy when using Baiduri
 

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Even better if you haven’t sign up for a Baiduri Credit Card
 

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As always, Pan Bright Travel Service also have a grander prize such as a car or a Birkin bag. Many reasons to book your flights with Pan Bright.
 

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Check out the rates from Century Travel. Very comprehensive indeed.
 

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Darussalam Holdings is also having their promotion, monthly and grand prizes to be won
 

 

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Freme Travels also have upped their game with a grand draw of BND 10,000 of cash vouchers to be won
 

Contact RA

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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