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Archive for November, 2012


Just weird

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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Brunei to host Asean Summit 2013

His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei with Barrack Obama, President of the United States during the ASEAN Summit 2013 at Cambodia. Today there will be a live titah from His Majesty on RTB1 and RTB International at 6:15pm later. And yes, Brunei will be chairing the ASEAN Summit 2013 and yes, very likely President Obama will be coming to Brunei. Image courtesy of AP.

A successful event

Pehin Abdullah being briefed during the “Walkabout for a cause”

Will this be a yearly event? It’s a good start indeed as Baiduri Finance (Baiduri Bank Berhad) joined forces with Brunei National Road Safety Council in creating a good gimmick event to raise awareness of road safety as well as remembering the victims of road traffic. For your information, 18th October is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and Baiduri Finance held a major event last Sunday to commemorate the significance.

More than 3,000 people participated in “Walkabout for a cause” which took place at Jerudong Park Playground and there were 30 pitstops for participants to gather clues related to the road safety. This, in a way, is a good exercise to remind the public on road traffic regulations, the dos and the donts and also learn about relevant agencies that are involved in this campaign. Judging from the responses from the participants, this is one successful event and I won’t be surprised if this event will have another go again next year. Well done, Baiduri Finance!!

Prior to the start of the walkabout, a minute of silence was observed in remembrance of those who have lost their lives as a result of road accidents in Brunei. After a brief warm up session, participants were flagged off category by category by the guest of honour, Yang Berhormat, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Communications. Also present was YAM Pg Anak Muda Abdul Mu’min and Pierre Imhof, the Director of Baiduri Finance and CEO of Baiduri Bank Berhad.

I shall be posting the results in my next posts on the winners of the respective category. Pierre Imhof said that this event was a success and the most important thing is they have fun while learning about the regulations of road traffic and apply it to their daily lives especially when they are driving. It is true sometimes we take for granted that we know the rules but we don’t know what the traffic laws are exactly but only using common sense.

Well done, Baiduri and the event partners on the wonderful event. I’ve never seen a playground painted in yellow as it was the official t-shirts for the activities. Looking forward for next year. More pictures to follow too.

Guest of honour flagging off the family category

Pierre Imhof enjoying his walk during the event




Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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He was well missed

What a great response from the public considering it was a last minute push for JJ’s Remembrance Ride by means of social media through Facebook, twitter and instagram. Around 86 cyclists took part yesterday for the event and there was the recital of the Surah Yassin and tahlil to commemorate the ceremony at the Jame’ Asr’ Hassanal Bolkiah graveyard.

Attended the prayers were family members, colleagues and close friends of the late Captain Ismael Dato Seri Setia Hj Samid (JJ) and among the attendees was the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya, who also took part in the 77km ride.

The route was from Kiulap to Mabohai then to Mentiri then to Kota Batu then to Tungku Link Highway before turning off from The Empire Hotel before returning back to Jame Asr’. According to one of JJ’s best friends, Captain Moza Syaffiarizal Hj Mohammad, the route is tough.

According to Liyana Latif, wife of the late JJ, he would cycle the route almost every Sunday and if he has the time, he would do it two or three times a week. He would leave after Subuh prayers and come home after having a meal at Hayati’s. Liyana was touched to see those who cycled yesterday and she hopes to organise a bigger one next year given the chance. [Source: The Brunei Times]

Refreshments were provided by Hayati Restaurant prepared by Liyana and the restaurant owner, Colonel (U) Dato Paduka Hj Ibrahim Hj Mohamad. For your info, this restaurant is one of JJ’s favourite. For more updates, you can follow the news on the Facebook page.



I need to cool down :D

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

A hot Sunday indeed

A day full of events.. I’m not really sure why but it’s one of those days that many things are happening at once and it has to be today. Yes, as usual, I will have quite a few pitstops here and there and I kinda miss coverage hopping too. The Bali trip was amazing and I could still feel as if I haven’t left Bali just yet. Sorry, for my lack of updates this week and I shall be in full gear starting next week.

Last week, I kinda missed all the updates from the local news and it’s sad to hear all these news being reported in the papers especially the misuse of technology when people are spreading pictures through Whatsapp with inaccurate descriptions of the photos and that itself can be very damaging. So do think twice if you want to do so because you can get in trouble with the law and yes, they can still trace you (I heard) even through Whatsapp. The Royal Brunei Police Force warned that this will be under a criminal offence under section 34 of the Public Order Act, Cap 148 and spreading false rumours can carry a penalty of up to three years in prison and/or fine of BND 3,000.

I’ve been catching ton of movies in the past three days. I have yet to review the previous movies I’ve watched – Sinister, Paranormal Activity 4, Skyfall, Silent Hill: Revelation.. One movie that really disappointed me was Silent Hill and just imagine that I went to the movie with the least expectation and I’m still disappointed for many reasons. Lately, after my Bali trip, I caught Looper, Cold War and Pitch Perfect and tomorrow I will catch the Korean hit movie Thieves. Such a pity that I missed other movies such as Frakenweenie, Taken and Hotel Transylvania. I shall be posting my reviews soon for all the movies I’ve caught in the past weeks or so. Movies that I hope to catch soon are Wreck-it Ralph, Flight, Argo and Django Unchained.

I was just reading today’s newspaper and found out that one of DPMM FC’s midfield maestro Ivan Jerkovic, has been released from the club as the management has decided to change their line-up for next season’s S•League. It’s quite a huge gamble considering the impact he has given to DPMM FC and he won’t be an easy person to replace either. I honestly didn’t like the signing of striker Osman Bashiru. His goals have dried up in the 2nd half of the season and his moves are predictable as in tripping down by the slight of touches by his opponents. If he focused more on his talent than his acting skills, he could have bagged more goals.

For your info, both strikers Osman and Patrick also have been released as well. DPMM FC have been eyeing on Luis Boa Morte and Pascal Chimbonda, both with Premier League experience. As for coach Simunic, he’s not much concerned about the changes and I’m pretty sure he can deliver the same magic with a new team. He was named Mikasa Coach of the Year at S•League Awards Night ceremony. He guided DPMM FC to the StarHub League Cup title and runners-up in the S•League.

Anyway here are some of the events that are happening today if you are interested.

1) Baiduri Bank’s “Walkabout for a cause” in remembrance for Road victims.
2) JJ’s Remembrance Ride
3) Go-Kart Racing in Bandar
4) Jati Transport’s Family Day
5) b•mobile’s Bfit competition (2nd final week)
6) Times Square Lucky Draw 4pm
7) Hasan Happy Day at Sayidina Hasan at Kilanas
8) 2012 Festival for agriculture, fisheries and agrifood at Jerudong Park Amphitheatre

Muzzy wants to follow his late father’s footstep. This shot was taken this morning for JJ’s Remembrance Ride where 86 cyclists took part and the entourage was led by Pehin Yahya.



BULAT activity picking up pace

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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Walkabout treasure hunt this Sunday

Baiduri Finance Berhad extended the deadline for its upcoming treasure hunt-themed ‘Walkabout for a cause’ event which will be held on November 18, 2012, at the Jerudong Park Playground.

The event is the finale of the ongoing road safety awareness campaign that was launched in conjunction with the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims by the Ministry of Communications and Baiduri Bank Berhad. The campaign is headed by Baiduri Finance and facilitated by the Brunei National Road Safety Council (BNRSC).

Other co-campaigners include the Brunei Automobile Traders Association (PPAB), General Insurance Association of Brunei Darussalam (GIAB), Takaful Am Brunei Sdn Bhd, Insurance Islam TAIB Sdn Bhd, The Red Crescent Society of Brunei and the Co-curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education (MoE).

During a press conference held yesterday, Baiduri Bank Business Development Manager Hj Mohd Rayme Hj Bakri addressed the media where he mentioned that the registration date for the Walkabout event is extended to the event day on November the 18th.

Upon registration, participants will receive a Quest Card, a bottle of water, a sticker to signify their category. For those who have registered under the Family category (maximum of four members per group) they will be given a red sticker, participants in the Open Below 18 years old will receive an amber sticker and those in the Open Above 18 years old (from 1994 onwards) will receive a green sticker.

Registration for the Walkabout event is at 6am on Sunday, November 18. “We advise people to drive safe to the event… We also encourage car pooling for the participants,” said Hj Mohd Rayme.

Additionally, students who register in the Under 18 category will get to register for free. Similarly, students who fall into the Above 18 category will also get to register for free provided that they produce a student identity card from their respective institutions.

Baiduri Bank Business Development Manager Hj Mohd Rayme during the press conference for ‘Walkabout for a cause’ event this Sunday

The associates of Baiduri Bank during the press conference

The members of press at the press conference

The official t-shirts for the event

On the event day, a warm up session will be conducted before the contest begins. Each category will be flagged off at different times and will have two hours to complete the walkabout.

Within the Jerudong Park Playground, 30 pit stops will be randomly placed throughout the entire route. At each pit stop, participants will face challenges called ‘Quests’ that will earn participants a point when completed. The ‘Quests’ will examine participants’ knowledge on the road safety awareness campaign, road signs and regulations with a multiple-choice concept.

‘Bonus Quests’ will also be made available for participants to earn additional points. Winners for each category will be those who accumulate the most number of points. In the event of a draw, the first participant to drop off their quest card in the dropbox will be considered the winner.

There will also be attractive prizes up for grabs. For the Under-18 category, the top three prizes are an Apple MacBook Pro, the new Apple iPad, a Samsung Galaxy Tab and three PlayStation Portable (PSP) as consolation prizes. For the 18 and above category, the top three prizes are an Apple iPhone 5, a Samsung Galaxy S3, a Samsung Note 2 and three Apple iPod Touch as consolation prizes.

For the family category, the top three prizes are an LED TV, an xBox 360 set, a Super Slim Playstation 3 and three The Empire Hotel & Country Club vouchers as consolation prizes. Participants are encouraged to wear fancy costumes to stand a chance to win prizes for the best dressed. There will also be prizes for best workout from individuals and/or family.

The Baiduri Bank Group has always been associated with innovation and creativity and this is proven by the numerous accolades that the Baiduri Bank Group has won over the years. “So with this innovation we felt that we wanted to develop something new for the society and also to align with the objectives of the Road Safety Awareness Campaign,” said Hj Mohd Rayme.

“Hence thereforth when we design this Walkabout event we wanted it to be not only to increase the awareness of road safety but also to include the elements of fun,” he added. All proceeds from the Walkabout will be donated to charity. There are also 150 volunteers involved in the event and Baiduri Bank deeply appreciate their efforts and contribution for the good cause.

For more information, call 2449666 or visit any Baiduri Bank Group branches. Text courtesy of Zatty Joanda of The Brunei Times.

Though the registration starts early, the actual event will kick off starting at 8:30am

The map of the pitstops for the treasure hunt. You can go to any of the pitstops without any order. Good luck!!!

Each participant will be given a Quest Card to fill in the answers

One of the prizes – iPhone5 for the above 18 category

BUILD 2012 sneaks

The admins and members of Brunei Usergroup Lego and Technic (BULAT) at last night’s private display of Brunei Usergroup Individual Lego Display (BUILD 2012) exhibition held at Holiday Lodge

There have been talks on when Brunei will create its first lego display for public viewing and for your info, Lego is back in trend where adults are back in the hobby of collecting Lego. The same goes for me though I only collect Marvel and zombies minifigs and a bit of the mini figures Lego series.

I’ve been pretty active in catching up the latest news from the closed group of Brunei Usergroup Lego and Technic (BULAT) on facebook. So if you guys are interested to be a member of the close group, you can click here and all the photos and posts are Lego related. Otherwise, your unrelated photos will be deleted by the admin.

Anyway, last night was testing ground for BULAT group in creating awareness to the public of Lego as a thriving hobby in Brunei and this was also an inaugural event known as BUILD 2012 where it provides an avenue for members of BULAT to display their collections to the public. The exhibition will also pave way for bigger exhibitions in the future with the vision of cementing BUILD as one of the premier events in the region.

For your info, BULAT was created on 15th May 2011 and it serves as a mechanism to assist and support the Lego hobbyists and also help to promote and support local businesses currently selling and distributing Lego within Brunei.

For all the Lego fans out there, the next public display will be at Times Square on 23rd November from 10am to 9pm. So take note of the date.

This is super cool stuff. Star Wars collection by Philip Chan.

I can see Hulkie 😀


Zulfadli Bakar, one of the admins of BULAT, being interviewed by RTB


The haunted house full of zombies.. Me like.

Btw, this is my own Marvel Lego that I mixed around at home





Come together

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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Water Rafting in Bali

Telaga Dewata Rafting

This was truly amazing!! I’ve always love water rafting but then again, you will need a lot of people or perhaps a group of 3 or 4 so it would be more fun to raft. Last Monday, we had the opportunity to do so and there were 40 of us who chose to give it a go and it was great learning experience for me because I kinda learned my strengths about my well being and it’s not just purely fun. I learned about my leadership and also bringing laughter to people. I’ve hardly acknowledged my strengths and that experience during the rafting journey made me realised that I’m capable leader and I also learn about my other rafting buddies – Alvin, Lona and Grace 😀

If you happened to be in Bali, I highly recommened you the Dewata Rafting and it was quite a long ride to the area as it’s not far from the mountains. The Telaga Waja River is one of the best place for water rafting and it has a stretch of 14 km from start to finish which took us about 2 hours and lunch is also served right after you finish you session.

That time, grade of the river flow is 3 which is safe for rafting. I enjoyed the scenic view especially the tropical forst adn the water falls along the river side. There were many water falls to be impressed with and we had a pitstop and enjoy the fresh water fall. Each raft will have a professional river guide and we had one named MaDe who has been rafting for over 15 years. He took care of us well and we just have to listen to his instructions otherwise our raft can get stuck between the rocks. Our group did amazing and we showed great teamwork and we only got stuck just because we got distracted by this lady who was wearing a bikini in the other raft *lol*

The costs of the water rafting is USD 75 per adult, USD 55 Child or USD 215 (2 adult + 2 child). Telaga Dewata Rafting is located Sanur, Bali and you can call their hotline +62 361 289467 or you can visit their website for more details.


Selamat Tahun Baru Hijrah

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Monarch graces Hijrah prayers

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah (4th-L) the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, with HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah (3rd L) the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at Prime Minister’s Office, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah (6th L), HRH Prince ‘Abdul ‘Azim (2nd L), HRH Prince ‘Abdul ‘Malik (L), and HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel (5th L), attend the `Majlis Sambutan Awal Tahun Hijrah 1434H’ held at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. Picture by Saiful Omar of The Brunei Times. Click image to see more

Great facial deals

Exclusively for beauty enthusiasts, SocialDeal made a comeback deal with Dermalogist Beauty Therapy from Serusop on their popular Diamond Dermabrasion deal. This time around, you save B$45 out of the normal price of B$135. Which means you only pay B$90! quite a good deal for the ladies!!

Dermalogist is located at Blk B, Unit 26, 1st Floor, Serusop Complex Kg Delima Satu BB4713 Jln Muara (Opposite Secret Recipe) – but you’ll have to GRAB the deal at SocialDeal.com.bn to get the savings before dropping by tho.

www.SocialDeal.com.bn has been storming through various businesses in Brunei for the past 1 and a half years with their jaw-dropping savings on great stuffs to see, do and taste in the country. Throughout 2012, SocialDeal’s concept skyrockets to a 50,000 peeps following on their Facebook page with almost B$300,000 saved. That’s real cash money saved for Bruneians online!

Aside from beauty, wellness, products & spa deals – SocialDeal is also popularly known for their food deals from restaurants all around the country. We saw exclusive deals from interesting places recently especially Au Lait Cafe’s western deal, DreamCone’s Gelato deal, Little Hot Pot’s Steamboat deal among others which saw local netizens nabbing the coupons wildly within 7 days.

If you haven’t registered with them, I’d advice you do so for FREE here: http://socialdeal.com.bn/customer/account/create/ and start experiencing the best Brunei has to offer via the one-stop discount portal loved by so many!

JJ’s Remembrance Ride

Click image to enter Facebook page event

I just found out about the event yesterday through my friend Yaty who’s all the way from Canberra. This is an event which will take place this Sunday 18th November 2012 which is a cycling event roughly 77.0 km where it will start and finish at Tanah Perkuburan Jame Al-Asr’ in the loving memory of Allahyarham Captain Ismael bin Dato Seri Setia Hj Samid also popularly known as JJ who was passed away last July.

Here are the schedules as follow:

0630H : Attendance of cyclists
0645H : Surah Yassin & Tahlil Recital
0715H : Expected to start the ride
1030H – 1100H : Expected to finish

The meeting point will be at Jame Al-Asr’ at 6:30am. The distance 77.0km ride is also in commemorating JJ’s badge number which was 770. Do take note that there will be the recital of Surah Yassin & Tahlil so it’s advisable that the participants do wear appropriate clothing such as long pants, songkok or topi haji.

Refreshments will be provided by Hayati Restaurant (Late JJ’s favourite post training recovery area) which will be prepared by Liyana Latiff (JJ’s wife) and restaurant owner, Colonel (U) Dato Paduka Hj Ibrahim. For more info, you can click here to find out more details.

There’s no registration required for this event so do come as you please. A big shout out to the organisers, contributors and volunteers on this event. I shall be arriving late in the morning as I have prior commitments with the Road Safety Awareness Campaign on the same time.

JJ, you have touched many hearts and you are sorely missed. Al-Fatihah.

The late JJ samid with his passion – Cycling

Czarena earns her captainship

Sharifah Czarena upon her completion of her task last week

Yess… More girl power… This year, Maziah Mahusin, our Brunei Olympian, created history for Brunei in the summer and yesterday was also another milestone for Brunei when Royal Brunei (RB) becomes the the first national flag carrier in the region to appoint a female captain and she is no other than our own 31 year old Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy Syed Hashim. It was her flight from Melbourne back in 6th November 2012 where she completed the final stage in commanding training process with the guidance and supervision of Deputy Chief Operating Officer Captain Khalidkhan Hj Asmakhan.

Yesterday a reception was held in her honour and present during the event was Datin Hjh Adina Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, who delivered a heart warming speech as she praised Captain Czarena on her achievements. She even praised on how women are getting more recognised over the years especially in Brunei. She said that there are at least 50% women in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Attorney General’s Chamber and Datin hopes that there will be more women taking bigger role by 2013.

RB Deputy Chairman, Dermot Mannion, who was not present during the reception, said that RB is delighted to acknowledge this great achievement by Captain Sharifah Czarena in becoming not only the first female captain in RB but also in any flag carrier airline in South East Asia.

Guest of honour Datin Paduka Hjh Adina was overwhelmed with her niece’s achievement

Some of the invited guests during the lunch reception

The official ceremony in conferring Czarena’s rank as Captain

“Believe in your dreams, they will come true. Believe in yourself and your dreams will come true” – Captain Czarena’s final remarks

A quick history background on Captain Sharifah Czarena. began her aviation career as a cadet pilot in 2003 when she was sent to the UK for intensive initial pilot training at the Cabair Flying School, Cranfield. After graduating in 2004 she was sent on secondment to Loganair as a junior First Officer on the Saab 340 turbo prop aircraft before returning to Brunei in 2006 to join RB as a First Officer on the B767-300ER. She gained promotion to Senior First Officer shortly thereafter and in 2010 underwent training to fly the B777-200ER.

In order for a pilot to be considered for command in RB, the candidate is expected to have completed 5,000 flying hours together with having consistently high assessment grades obtained throughout their career as a Senior First Officer.

Once selected, the candidate is required to undergo an intensive three month command training program. The program includes classroom, simulator and aircraft training as well as regular progress tests, assessments and checks, all conducted by members of RB’s experienced team of flight training personnel.

Flight number BI 054 was the final check flight for Captain Sharifah Czarena in the command process which she has passed with flying colours.

For your info, RB has six female pilots in active service; five on the Boeing fleet and one on its Airbus fleet. In addition, RB has recently welcomed Dayangku Nurul Hidayah bte Pengiran Hj Abd Wahab as its latest female cadet pilot recruit and to mark that event she was also a guest at yesterday’s reception together with very proud members of her family.

Datin received a memento from Royal Brunei

Group photo with invited guests and family

Group photo with the other captains and female pilots

Group photo with Czarena’s family and friends

It’s not easy to earn this.. Congratulations Czarena on your milestone.


The flow

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Maya Ubud Resort & Spa

One word – Amazing.. I thought Natura Villa Resort & Spa was awesome place too but Maya Ubud is like living in a community with a massive compound with an amazing scenic view as well. It has 108 luxury guest rooms and private pool villas but I have to say that it’s an hour drive from the airport or from the commercial areas such as Kuta and Nusa Dua.

I haven’t tried The Spa at Maya but Michelle said it’s one of the best she tried and she rated it 8/10. The view from the Spa and the River cafe is breathtaking, overlooking the side of the mountain and the greenery as well as the river. I love the pool side too and we had a quick dip over the sunset and it was simply an awesome experience.

The food too are delicious considering it’s from the hotel. I’ve never really trusted food from the hotel but Maya Ubud’s dishes are above average. The rooms might be pricey as well and on top of that, you have to pay 21% tax on top of your bill. It was a good thing that we had a subsidized rate for the rooms. I’m definitely coming back to Bali again but in 2014 but I hope we will be staying here at Maya Ubud. Thank you for the experience and the facilities. Want to know more about Ubud? Click here.

Below are some of the pictures taken from Maya Ubud.. Sorry, I didn’t have the time to caption them yet 😀

My villa room

The Spa & River Cafe at Maya Ubud

Tennis & flying kite

Throwing MawMaw to the pool

Let’s Get Together



Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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Money Money Money

So far my Bali trip has been a fulfilling one and I still have a few more days left here at Bali. I won’t say it’s a dream come true to be at Bali but it’s one of the destinations that I wanted to go for a very long time. It’s pretty amazing how I’m in Bali now and enjoying every single moment with my buddies from Brunei and all over the world. It was good to catch up with familiar faces such as Jayden, Jerry, Alvin and Vinod and met new ones along the way. So far so good and I’m having one of the best times of the year too.

As I’m currently in Bali, I’ve been reflecting a lot in life on how I have been living it. I’ve learnt on how the resources I have (or on which I thought I owned) defines who I am to others. Let’s say, in this case, money, and I have plenty of them but all I do is spend, spend, spend… So where’s the value in spending or the finished product or service? I do admit that I’m in debt and I’m not embarrassed about it. But I guess it’s time for me to pull up my socks and be discipline about my money issues and set my priorities starting this weekend and move forward. I became aware if one is debt free, the feeling of abundance and freedom is greater and it will also reflect on my attitude as well which will be more positive. Now ain’t that a strange thing to think about especially when you are in place of tourist attraction and all these awarenesses or lessons just come by and hit you hard. 2013 will definitely be a road to recovery of my well being and one of the techniques is money management and I’m gonna ask ALH for help as she’s apparently applying that practice and it works 😀

Ok, enough about my ramblings and I shall post some pictures of my time in Bali and though I have yet to explore the other side of Bali such as Nusa Dua, I’m pretty content just to hang around Ubud which is a place full of nature and it’s very much peaceful place to be too. And let’s not forget the great company around to make the trip quite a memorable and fun.

You notice that my posts are getting slower but I hope you understand that I’m taking my sweet time and just enjoying my stay here in Bali. I have a few more days left here and I’m gonna make the most out of it 😀 Happy weekend, peeps!!!

Checking up on the latest news in Brunei while enjoying the comfort of the pool

Boys will be boys, teasing each other

Jayden had a quick preview??

We went to a restaurant up the mountain but the food was so-so

This was the view from the restaurant. Awesome and beautiful.

Outside the restaurant, we came across this huge bat and it was unique in a way because it was exposed to broad daylight. The Dark Knight was definitely rising.

The final shot outside the restaurant before heading to the temple up the mountain

It was must to wear a sarong and we were preparing to wear one just before entering the Pura Besakih the mother temple of Bali

Ken had other ideas of using the sarong and turbanized himself

Notice the little giant hiding somewhere

This temple was amazing and this temple is located at Mount Agung and it was quite a fair ride to the destination. At least an hour plus from Maya Ubud Resort & Spa.

The views are just amazing once you go from different levels and view from the top at different angles. If you walk to the northeastern part, then you will the best view of the lot.

Taking a break from the humidity

The little girl got more than she bargained for. The “greenness” managed to convince more $$$ into her pocket and man, she kept following us through out our walk *lol*Oh yeah, before of the tour guides inside the temple, it’s not necessary for you to get one. You can walk on your own and enjoy at your own pace.

Taking a break from the heat

I have to say the reaching the temple is an exhausting experience as it was a fair amount of walking from the car park area and once you enter the temple, you might have to walk upwards to the top the get the amazing view

Durians were selling by the side before entering the temple and it was pretty darn cheap and tasty too according to my friends. I’m anti-Durian for your info.

Jo having an ice-cream after the one hour ride to town from the mountain

Jayden and Llona enjoying their ice-cream at Oops Gelato

Jerry quickly did the Gangnam before a rush of bikers

I love these concepts of shops along the street as compared to shopping malls. It gives a more homely feeling.

It was a cool sight to see all the students getting on their bikes after their school just finished

And this is the same spot after just 5 minutes… Amazing!!

This is how the police car looks like

The taxis at Ubud are quite competitive and cheap and they can take advantage of tourists like us

No one wanted my service though

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Comedy is a mask of tragedy

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Cyber Security Awareness Week

Royal Brunei November Promotion

BIBD: Blessing Rewards Part III

BIBD Blessing Rewards returns

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) launched BIBD Blessing Rewards 3 at a ceremony held yesterday in the Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Jerudong. BIBD Blessing Rewards 3 is the third installation of the immensely successful Blessing Rewards campaign initiated by the bank in 2011.

Earlier this year, a BIBD customer won a brand new Lexus IS300 convertible, the grand prize of the Blessing Rewards 2 campaign. During the ceremony yesterday, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hjh Noraini Hj Sulaiman unveiled a sporty Toyota 86 as the grand prize for this round of the campaign.

The other five prizes in the campaign were also revealed. The second place winner can choose between a holiday package for two to Melbourne, Australia, or a travel package for two to perform umrah in Saudi Arabia. The packages include air tickets, accommodation and spending money.

The third prize is a package to furnish a home with Samsung household electronics such as a refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner, a 46-inch LED 3D TV and a Samsung Home Theatre system to complete the prize.

The fourth place winner will walk away with 1,000,000 AirAsia BIG points, which will allow the winner to fly to destinations such as Tokyo, Melbourne or Beijing, among others.

The fifth prize winner will receive Apple products, such as a MacBook Pro, an iPad and the latest iPhone 5.

Lastly, the sixth prize winner will take home a Samsung package consisting of a Samsung NX11 kit, a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S III and a 16GB Samsung Galaxy Note.

This campaign is open to new and existing customers of BIBD who sign up and maintain personal accounts with BIBD or successfully sign up for BIBD facilities from now until February 28, 2013. The CFO also emphasised the prizes for this round’s Blessing Rewards, saying that the prizes are much more exciting than in the previous rounds.

Entries for the campaign are generated and entered automatically by the system upon approval or activation of the product or service, without the need for customer to fill in forms or vouchers manually. Ammirul Adnan of The Brunei Times.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hjh Noraini Hj Sulaiman in her welcoming remarks

The Grand prize is the Toyota 86

The 2nd and 3rd prize are still awesome!!

….Or the AirAsia points is still a good catch

I <3 Bali

Sometimes it’s best not to negotiate with these guys on the street

I think this is their version of 7-Eleven

We had our lunch here around Ubud. I give it 7/10

Loads of dishes being served

They even have this deco at the restaurant to show the Balinese tradition

I saw this around Kuta, Bali

Be careful when you visit the money changer. Some are opportunists and some tend to give counterfeit ones. Do ask the driver for suggestions.

Loads of foreigners rented bikes there

Pirated DVDS are pretty common and you can even rent them

They have a 5D simulator but we never tried

*LOL* Smart idea of a restaurant but way too smart for my liking

I see a huge bird cage in one of the restaurants (Am I being naive?)

We had a short break at this cafe at Legian, Kuta

The gado-gado dish at Alang-Alang cafe

There were tons of motorbikes along Legian street

So I paid a visit to this shop and the process was easy to rent a motorbike. No licence required or whatsoever. All you need is BND 10 for the whole day or less than BND10 for two days. So darn cheap!!! I only went for one round but I still had to pay for a full day charge.

I realized I’m not ready to ride one as I was already struggling in the beginning. I rode through the traffic with a lot of start-stop moments in between *lol*

The Bali Momument where the bombing happened a decade ago. RIP.

I saw this at one of the Quicsilver shops at Kuta

This is an actual radio station and it’s broadcasting through this mini-bus.. How cool!!


Thumbs up to Natura Resort and Spa

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

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Promotion at Tasek Brasserie

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The Bali Story: Day 2

I highly recommend the Natura Resort & Spa, Ubud

Today’s the 2nd day in Bali and I’m kinda enjoying it.. I just found out how Ubud is totally different from Kuta and Nusa Dua which are the more popular destinations for tourists in terms of entertainment and shopping. Ubud is kinda remote from the busyness of Bali. I have to say that it took us an hour and a bit to get to our hotel at Ubud from the airport. Whereas places such as Kuta and Nusa Dua are nearer. Then again, I love here in Ubud as it’s full of nature and green and also quite peaceful. So if you guys want time out from the hustle and bustle, Ubud is the best choice of stay.

Now I’ve not talk so much about the hotel we stayed in. Thanks to Agoda, I managed to find an awesome place in Ubud and we’re staying at this resort called Natura Resort and Spa. I would have thought it was nearby the beach because of the resort word. However, the closest we’ve got is a river down the hill *lol* Then again, this area is pretty scenic (the green and the jungle) and I love the villas that we are staying at. The price is around $220 per night with two bedrooms and a mini pool. The master bedroom is huge and lucky lilmopiko has the whole room to herself :p

Oh yeah, internet speed is quite fast too for a remote area though I’m hardly on the internet on my macbook air *lol* As for adapter, they use a round two-pin plug but not to worry as the housekeeping do provide those adapters for your convenience. Service is pretty good too as we arrived 11ish pm on our first night and they assisted us quite well and efficient. I was a bit worried at first because we did our booking through Agoda and all we had was our printed out voucher and furthermore, we had a late check-in. But it was all good as the reception had our booking confirmed as well as the transaction from a few months’ ago.

Definitely a highly recommended place if you want a piece of mind and enjoy the scenic view of the hills and the jungle. Perhaps the downside is the breakfast as it was just average but that to me is such a minor thing. Another challenge was the numerous steps on the way to the Spa hut which can be a turn off for me.. Michelle kinda had second thoughts about her spa appointment because it can be quite tiring to walk up the steps and you will be left panting halfway through the steps (which I did *lol*).

If your want to check out the comments from tripadvisor.com you can click here. Oh yeah, it’s better that you hire a driver since there are no cab services in Ubud. Prices are quite reasonable as well for a whole day and we have an awesome driver too. One awesome hideaway and I’ve been enjoying my sleep in many months 😀 Thank Natura Resort & Spa for giving me an awesome stay experience. Definitely coming back here next time.

The “Do Not Disturb” sign on our villa

This is unique as this is the first time I’ve seen umbrellas provided in hotel rooms

I have the twin beds all to myself and this room is the smaller of the two

This is the master bedroom and one of the spacious room I’ve seen from a villa. Awesome!!!

The sitting area at the master bedroom. Sadly I don’t have this in my room *boohoo*

The bath tub at the master bedroom

A big area for wardrobe and washing up

Lilmopiko and Jasmine enjoying the morning view, down at the balcony of the villa

The breakfast dining area. We weren’t impressed with the food but it was ok still.

The hotel pool area down the hill

The steps get smaller once you keep going down the hill if you want to go to the river. It’s quite a climb too once you are all the way down.

If you want to go for the spa, this can be challenging in terms of stamina *lol*

The Spa huts and it closes pretty early at 5pm because of the lack of light

Michelle trying out the tub at the Spa

You can enjoy the scenic while you are being pampered

Ah.. I was doing this entry post here 😀

Winnie… We miss you.. Too bad you’re not able to make it. Taken before our shopping/sightseeing trip yesterday morning

Oh yeah, did I tell you that the street leading to our hotel from the simpang is narrow which is enough for one car. There are couple of times our driver had to reverse because of an incoming car.



November 2012
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