Archive for October, 2018
Yang Mulia Dayang Dr. Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Development (centre) as guest of honour with the BIBD Senior Management during the launch of BIBD’s 13th Home Showcase Festival
Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) today organized its 13th ‘Home Showcase Festival’ aimed at highlighting the benefits of home ownership and providing a one-stop platform for current and prospective homeowners especially the young ones. The BIBD Home Showcase Festival will run until Saturday, 27th October 2018, and is open between 9am-7pm.
BIBD partnered with realtors and interior designers to showcase their products and services that will complement their search on their future homes. All home financing applications, and other eligible products and services taken up (T&C applies) during the 2-days event will automatically be entered to the BIBD Barakah 8 that offers a B$25,000 Umrah package as its main prize. The event also showcased Fabular as its featured event partner who launched their Fabular Village which introduced visitors to affordable and minimalist home opportunities and living lifestyle, the future homes targeting millennials.
Besides offering special discounted rates and waivers on processing fees, there are also Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf vouchers, and up to 100,000 Hadiah Points for new credit card applications.
The event also served as an avenue for some 30 local entrepreneurs and SMEs, and this is the first time that some participating vendors will be promoting cashless payments with the BIBD QuickPay, under its BIBD NexGen solutions.
A much better set up this time round
Check out Fabular latest product at BIBD Home Showcase
As part of BIBD’s efforts to support the de-cashing of the economy with seamless transactions via mobile-led technologies, services like QuickPay are part of the BIBD NEXGEN platform that caters towards mobility and convenience, aimed to bridge the digital gap between customers and business owners, particularly budding entrepreneurs. Also brought in to the event is BIBD’s support towards the cause of Breast Cancer Awareness, where the public also had the opportunity to understand more about it from representatives of the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Center (PJSC). This is part of BIBD’s CSR initiatives to bring awareness to the community and be in touch with the professionals.
BIBD Head of Retail Banking, Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Md Jaafar, commented during the launch, “There are only a few emotions you can relate to when you first step into your dream Home. It represents the next steps in your life, where your family will grow and where you go to at the end of a busy day. We at BIBD want to ensure that your dream is realised by being with you every step of the way and bringing our friends from PJSC for the Breast Cancer awareness reinforces our position to the community of how we care about this cause for the nation.”
Present as the guest of honour to officiate the event was Yang Mulia Dayang Dr. Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Development. Also in attendance during the launch were BIBD senior management and personnel which was held at the BIBD Kiulap Branch.
Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre is selling Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts and all the proceeds will be donated to Breast Cancer Support Group. I love their pins.
The best Breast Cancer Awareness pin to date. Only $3
JPMC also participating during the event
Food galore. Plenty of food vendors
Tried the curry puff at Piccolo booth and I love it
Find words that suits you 🙂
Test driving event at Indera Motors yesterday. It was quite packed earlier in the afternoon.
Indera Motors Sdn Bhd, the official retailer of Jaguar and Land Rover held an exclusive afternoon tea session to launch their test drive and lucky draw campaign where you can stand a chance to win a flight ticket. The promotion begins now until 31st December 2018.
Members of the public are invited to experience the range of Jaguar and Land Rover and for every test drive registered, they will be eligible to participate for the lucky draw contest and stand themselves a chance to fly to amazing destinations. Models present for Jaguar are XE, XF, XJ, F-Pace, E-Pace and F-Type and for Land Rover are Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Sport, All-New Discovery, Discovery Sport and Land Rover Vogue.
The event yesterday received a positive response from the public and the session saw the showroom packed with visitors and for those who missed it, there will be another afternoon tea session today from 2pm to 6pm. Test drive will be available from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm and more high tea sessions to be held in the upcoming weeks and call 2391000 for more information.
Some of the guests were eager to test drive the Jaguar and the Land Rover
Refreshments were served. Today (Saturday) will be another session from 2pm to 6pm
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 😀
Executive Chairman of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd Pg Anak Hj Jaafar ibni Al Marhum Pg Pemancha Pg Anak Hj Mohamed Alam and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam Peter Wolff as the Guest of Honour at the official launch of the Mercedes-Benz A250 and A200 at Mercedes Autohaus showroom last night
Last night saw the official unveiling of the Mercedes A250 and A200 at the Autohaus Show hosted by Jati Transport Sdn Bhd. The event were attended by Executive Chairman of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd Pg Anak Hj Jaafar ibni Al Marhum Pg Pemancha Pg Anak Hj Mohamed Alam and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Brunei Darussalam Peter Wolff as the Guest of Honour during the unveiling.
As I’ve mentioned before the Mercedes-Benz A250 and A200 have taken Brunei by storm because of the latest features especially technological wise. It has a very young and dynamic feel and these models have been a major hit among the youth.
This is so far the most advanced in terms of features that Jati Transport have brought to Brunei and do expect the upcoming newer models of Mercedes-Benz to have the state-of-the-art technology and features too. This is also an upgrade model of the 2013’s.
I love the “Hey Mercedes” feature which is a voice-operated command whenever you are inside the vehicle. You can simply request to change the ambience and the lighting in the interior and even ask to change the temperature of the car, all by means of saying “Hey Mercedes”.
Do check out the models at Jati Transport for the latest models in today’s viewing.
CEO of Baiduri Bank, Mr Pierre Imhof, addressing to the media of the revamped Baiduri Smart Executive Program (SEP)
Baiduri Bank launched its revamped Baiduri Smart Executive Programme (SEP) last week, a programme targeting the young and busy executive. The new Baiduri Smart Executive Programme offers more benefits tailored to meet the financial and lifestyle needs of young professionals ranging from banking convenience to financial flexibility and tools.
According to CEO of Baiduri Bank, Mr Pierre Imhof, “The Baiduri Smart Executive Programme focuses on the upwardly mobile 21 to 45-year-old demographic, who are actively looking to achieve greater success in life. They are an inquisitive generation of customers with an evolving and dynamic set of needs that changes with the ebb and flow of trends. As they become more financially discerning, we want them to know that Baiduri Bank is their financial partner, ready to help them successfully navigate different life stages.”
Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network further explained, “In catering to this market segment, we have overhauled the current programme with a fresh new look and improved benefits to better complement their lifestyle. For this, the programme is created on the principles of the four pillars: Smart Financial Privileges, Smart Wallet, Smart Lifestyle and Smart Digital Bank.”
SMART FINANCIAL PRIVILEGES
For this financially savvy group, the SEP has tailored solutions ranging from preferential rates on loans to fantastic investment packages to assist this segment achieve their goals such as getting their first home, purchasing their first car or saving for their children’s education.
The revamped Smart Executive Programme comes with special Baiduri Smart Executive branded cards and with them travel and lifestyle benefits locally and globally. The internationally accepted Baiduri Smart Executive Visa Platinum Debit Card avails the cardholder with benefits such as VIP treatment privileges, up to 6 complimentary visits to over 850 airport lounges worldwide, as well as discounts of up to 50% at over 900 dining outlets in airports worldwide with the Airport Companion Programme by DragonPass. Additionally, Baiduri Smart Executive Mastercard Platinum Debit Card avails the cardholder to various travel privileges and rewards experiences.
Beyond receiving exclusive invitations to events and insightful seminars to empower SEP members with tools to achieve financial success, we have broadened the list of Smart Partners.
“Additionally, we’ve teamed up with a suite of Smart Partners to offer exclusive discounts ranging from health and fitness, travel and dining overseas, automobile dealerships as well as tech and gadgets, covering the general spectrum of needs of this demographic.”
SMART DIGITAL BANK
Recognizing this segment’s need for convenience and accessible banking, Baiduri Bank offers digital banking. Keep track of finances, settle bills, purchase top-ups or transfer funds locally and abroad from Baiduri Personal i-Banking, which allows members to bank from wherever using any mobile device. Additionally, with 24-hour customer helpline and an extensive network of ATMs, SEP provides what these generation of digitally-savvy customers needs to be confident to manage their finances electronically.
In line with the relaunch of the Baiduri Smart Executive Programme, Baiduri Bank is offering a welcome reward of BND300 for the first 30 new sign-ups who successfully apply for any of the following:
10,000 and above
Loan (Home Ownership)
50,000 and above
20,000 and above
Life Insurance Product with a yearly minimum of 1,200
30,000 and above
*Terms and Conditions apply
The invited guests and members of the media during the press conference
Nadzri the brand ambassador of Smart Executive Programme
The press conference took place at T-Lounge
Jati Transport Sdn Bhd knows how to throw a sneak preview of a model in a luxurious manner. They collaborated with a new eatery called Hook•ed, a subsidiary I believe from Golden Corporation, and provided the set up (ambience), service and the most important the food with detailed food presentation.
The event was hosted for the likes of the local press and social influencers of Brunei Darussalam for the press preview of the latest Mercedes-Benz model, the new A200 and the A250, which have already caught many buzzes when I posted a short video a month ago on social media. The dinner + press preview took place at Mercedes Autohaus at Beribi.
In attendance were Mr. Ho Ley Hoon, Sales Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Daniel Loo, Marketing Executive at Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and other sales team of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd.
I have to say that the dinner event has a very personal touch and the representatives of the media and social influencers were in awe with what the new A250 and A200 can deliver. Though the exterior may have similar look with previous models, the main stealer of the show is the features of the A250 and A200 and of course, the interior.
I shall share all the specs and features in my next post or show. You will be amazed how smart the Mercedes-Benz can be and yes, you can command by using your voice. The magic word is “Hey Mercedes” and it will attend to you. Awesome!!!
All the current stock have been taken up by customers even before the official launch. But not to worry, more are being shipped as we speak. If you want to buy a Mercedes-Benz, this is definitely the right window and it could be just the best investment for the year 2018 😉
My deep appreciation for Jati Transport for the invite and delivering such a classy dinner event which really suited the theme with the new Mercedes-Benz A250 and A200. Stay tuned for the upcoming post on the A250 and the A200.
The much talked about KFC Zinger Waffle on social media
The latest ‘it’ thing from KFC Brunei is here! Fans are set for another indulgent treat with the new KFC Zinger Waffle Burger. This latest KFC burger innovation is a distinctively new unique take on the much-loved KFC Zinger burger, and it is no ordinary burger.
The KFC Zinger Waffle Burger is a generous yummy stack of deliciousness. In place of the conventional burger bun are fluffy premium Belgian Waffles sandwiching the spicy KFC Zinger fillet. Topped with a delicate golden Maple syrup and KFC mayo sauce, it serves up a gratifying combination of sweet yet spicy flavours; and fluffy yet crunchy elements.
“We know that today’s generation appreciates a little adventure when it comes to food and this inspiration has led to this big burger concept that is both indulgent and differentiated. It is not just another quick-on-the-go format as it is loaded with everything that makes for a lavish and satisfying eat. You wouldn’t want to miss it,” said Mr. Ooi, General Manager of KFC Brunei.
The KFC Zinger Waffle Burger is available starting from BND 6.90 ala carte. This limited time offering is also available in combo and Mega Box meals. TheZinger Waffle Burger combo comes with Crispier Fries and a drink while Mega Box includes a piece of Hot & Spicy or Original Recipe chicken. Get it before it runs out!
Available at KFC Delivery and all KFC restaurants nationwide while stocks last. It’s more than a Zinger, more than a waffle.
While stock lasts
Recently Luqman Hakim bin Abdullah, Sales Manager of Indera Motors Sdn Bhd (Jaguar and Land Rover) was invited to Namibia, South Africa for a hospitality treat. Being a same CI holder as I am, he wasn’t sure if Certificate of Identity Holder could fly to South Africa. Apparently it is possible and he was extra delighted as it will be his first trip to South Africa. Below is a blog entry of his week trip to Namibia, invited by Land Rover. Enjoy the entry by Luqman Hakim.
I woke to the gentle tap on my shoulder by a flight attendant asking me to raise my window shade for the landing in Windhoek. There are many negative opinions about venturing to Africa for the first time and I was very nervous myself. What if I were to get lost in the wild and never came back? As someone who was so used to see Africa portrayed in a very negative light in the news and popular culture, it was difficult to not associating myself with preconceptions that were long embedded in my minds.
I arrived at the airport in the afternoon and as soon as I made my way out of the arrival hall, I immediately received a warm welcome from a group of local Land Rover representatives. I was then joined by few other representatives from the Asia Pacific Region and we headed straight to our first destination. As we cruised past the dusty roadway, I gazed over the horizon line and I started to think that this place was not that bad, Namibia had its own vibe and feelings, as strange it may sound but I started to feel like home.
We finally reached our destination earlier than scheduled. Our facilitator did a quick tour briefing with our expert guide and then we drove to our lodge in the direction of Etosha. Located in its own reserve, we spent the night watching wild animals come for drinking at the waterhole close to the lodge. We spent the rest of the night with introduction session and exchanging stories with fellow explorers.
Our first destination was the Etosha National Park. Dubbed as the greatest game reserves in the world and it did not take me long to understand why it was labeled as such. The meaning of Etosha is ‘place of dry water’ the place was just as dry as the name but I was still able to spot several waterholes throughout the journey. The exquisite landscape of the rocky terrain offered nothing but adventure and the All New Discovery handled it with ease, Great car with a top-notch performance, best SUV in the world for a reason.
In the lodge, we experience the magic of a starry African night once again, intensified by the distant roaring of a lion. During the day it was a bit quiet, I was able to see one drinking at a waterhole and another one dozing peacefully under a tree. In the evening everything came to live, we sit nearby the waterholes and watched numerous wild game emerging from the darkness. It was totally terrifying but amazing in the same time!
Our journey continued the next day in the Etosha National Park and we drove all the way to western part of the park. The place was a wild retreats for rearing of young animals and the habitants developed without human interference. The setting was surreal, it was like watching a live theatre show with a steady stream of animals and birds constantly arriving to bathe and drink just a few metres away. I could happily sit and watch the wildlife come and go all day long.
Rare species such as black rhino and black-faced impala have established themselves in the area. We spent the night in a resort in the western part, vehicle movement at night was prohibited and luckily we managed to be there before sundown.
Etosha was a lovely place but we had to leave the park and continue our journey to Khowarib. We headed straight through the plains of Mopane Savannah and the route was extremely dusty. The roadway was loaded with invisible land mines made of solid sharp rocks and the sand was so fine that it raised dust like water splashing from a puddle. It was the most unnatural steering practices but thankfully the reliable Land Rover carried us all safely to our next check point.
We finally reached the Khowarib Lodge in the afternoon, it was located perfectly on the bank of the Hoanib river surrounded by the great canyon in the northwest of Namibia. Surrounded by pristine wilderness, the experience in Khowarib was really something else. The lodge set up was a little more rustic than what we were used to thus far and it was quite more primitive than what I expected. The bathroom reminded me to the Flintstone cartoon, it was an open air and the walls are made of stone cobbles which were quite interesting but daring at the same time. The lodge is surrounded by mountains, and tented cabins are designed to absorb cool breeze which makes sleeping very lovely.
We continued our journey through the Palmwag concession area. Here we will get another convincing demonstration of the unparalleled off-road mobility of our Land Rovers. The route leaded us though Namibia’s open spectacular plains. We spent the night in a camp with its fabulous sunsets in the middle of Damaraland.
We left quite early in the morning because we wanted to reach our next destination in Swakopmund earlier than scheduled. We drove slowly through the beautiful mountain landscape and I managed to spot a herd of zebra and all kind of wild animals but the highlight of the day would be when a huge elephant got too close for comfort and it was a massive relief to see it walked away peacefully a moment later.
Suddenly the landscape changed, we were welcomed by the rough coast with long beaches. The town of Swakopmund is located between gigantic dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. The landscape somehow looked so familiar, until I was told that the blockbuster movie “MAD MAX” was filmed here.
It was first time exploring the desert and I did it in a spectacular fashion. We all summoned our inner child and had an absolute blast. We did stop for a bit to take in the beauty of the dunes before tearing off again. The experienced guide took us through nerve racking bends and turns as I screamed my lungs out through the sand dunes. By the end I was wishing it could have been longer! Riding through the dunes was definitely the best thing I have done for in my whole life.
After breakfast, we set off for the Namib Naukluft Park, an area of 5 million hectare and the fourth biggest Park worldwide. Most of the Park is Savanna and desert. We reached our last accommodation nearby Windhoek. In the evening, we came together for a farewell party and to review the time spent in Africa. It was a tearful moment knowing that I might never see these people again and I thanked them for being a part of this unforgettable adventure.
Today marked the last day of my journey in Namibia. I got driven around Windhoek which felt like a small city that is itching to explode, with building and construction around every corner. A town where the legacy of the German and South African influences still run deep in architecture and street names.
I was looking forward to a dose of the comforts of home and people I had missed but a part of me did not want to leave. The feeling was like some strange combination of wistfulness, anticipation, sadness, happiness and an overwhelming desire to cling to every minute I had left here, it was sad to finally leave. Until this day my dreams are still taking me back to the Namibian landscape that has refuelled and regenerated the me I want to be.
Thank you Land Rover for the ultimate self-driving adventure in the wonderful country of Namibia.
A new brand that will raise some eyebrows
Leonard You, Corporate and Pre-Owned Specialist, Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, Garth Turnbull, Pre-Owned Manager for Jaguar Land Rover Asia PacificAlfred Yong Foh Sen, General Manager of Indera Motors Sdn Bhd and Zen Thea, Pre-Owned Manager of Indera Motors Sdn Bhd during the launch of APPROVED Program
Last week saw a new milestone for any car dealer company in Brunei Darussalam. Indera Motors Sdn Bhd, in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, formally launched a certified Pre-Owned Programme, branded as “APPROVED”.
In a nutshell, if you happen to scout for a pre-owned Jaguar or Land Rover, your best aim is to go for the “APPROVED” progamme and let me tell you why.
1) There is a 2-Year Approved Warranty. This means a comprehensive cover, equivalent of a new car warranty, using only genuine parts. It covers reports for sudden and unexpected mechanical or electrical failure. The workmanship is only undertaken by their trained technicians (with three years of training and certification). The warranty covers customers for a minimum of two years and is only available through Indera Motors Sdn Bhd.
2) The 24/7 Roadside Assistance. If anything happens to your Jaguar or Land Rover while on the road, fret not. The Roadside Assistance is there to help you and this will give you the peace of mind with their seamless service. Be it breakdown or accidents, you car will be covered for the entire warranty period.
3) 165 Multi Point Inspection. I never knew a car inspection can be this comprehensive and detailed. The diagnosis requires two hours for the technician to go through and ensure all the 165 check list points are good to go. This ensures the customer the best possible electrical and mechanical condition and you will be driving with a better peace of mind.
4) Highly trained technicians. These technicians have to undergo intensive training for three years and you can expect professionalism, skill and of course, attention to detail from the technicians. This is one of the core products of the “Approved” program and there is no compromise when it comes to technicians in this program.
5) Provenance and Service History. Every vehicle is checked for both Retailer Verified Mileage and Service History. This guarantees that their customers drive away safe in the knowledge that their APPROVED vehicle has a full Brunei history and delivers everything they expect from it.
6) Road Test. After all the workmanship is done on the pre-own cars, the technician will conduct a road test to assess the unique performance characteristics of each vehicle. This includes things like suspension, vibration, braking systems, engine performance, transmission and many more. So the customers will feel as if they are driving a brand new car.
7) Independently Inspected. Delivering is one thing but let’s not forget, maintaining and sustaining the high standard is also very important under the APPROVED programme. They set themselves an independent inspection of Indera Motors Service as the facilities and staff is undertaken by Jaguar Land Rover UK.
So there you go, all the 7 great things you will be benefit under the APPROVED program. You needn’t worry so much with pre-owned Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles.
Present during the launch was Garth Turnbull, Pre-Owned Manager for Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific. According to him, the APPROVED programme represents a complete shift in the way we prepare and market pre-owned vehicles in Brunei Darussalam. Customers can experience a complete peace of mind, along with the quality of service that they would expect from Jaguar and Land Rover. Their customers will be given the ultimate purchase experience, exactly as they would expect from their brand. This experience is also more in line with purchasing a brand new vehicle, removing concerns of future ownership through detailed vehicle preparation and the provision of a best in class warranty and roadside assistance.
Also present were Leonard You, Corporate and Pre-Owned Specialist, Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, Alfred Yong Foh Sen, General Manager of Indera Motors Sdn Bhd and Zen Thea, Pre-Owned Manager of Indera Motors Sdn Bhd.
If you are keen to know more, you can visit their showroom at Lambak Kanan Industrial Area or contact 833 4444. You can also check out their website for more details.
Garth Turnbull sharing the benefits under the APPROVED program
A certified trained technician, Level 4
The special dedicated computer that can run 165 check points during the diagnosis
Zen Thea, Pre-Owned Manager of Indera Motors Sdn Bhd
Special awards for Indera Motors
Guest in attendance during the launch
It’s the time of the year again. They had one earlier this year and now another similar event where Jati Transport lucky customers will be attending the AMG Driving Event in Sepang International Circuit (all paid expense trip to Malaysia).
The draw was held earlier this afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus and all the 10 winners were drawn and an additional 4 were drawn as well, just in case some of the top 10 winners couldn’t make it for the said event.
There were 55 Mercedes-Benz models that were bought from 1st July 2018 to 30th September 2018 and all the 55 customers were entitled for the lucky draw. To make the draw legit, the draw was broadcasted live on Instagram and representatives of the media drew the shortlisted winners.
The models that were purchased ranged from the GLCs to the GLSs to the C class and many more.
This even is slated for 16th November 2018 at Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur. The Driving Event in Sepang allows participants to spend a whole day training and learning about the fundamentals of improved driving safety and driving enjoyment as well as to experience all kinds of thrills behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz.
So what can you expect?
Imagine this. What do you do in an emergency situation where braking is very necessary? Or you want to avoid a certain object by maneuvering the steering wheel? All these require a decision in a split second. So the Driving Event will give some theories and practicals for the participants.
You will also learn the position yourself on your driving seat. Perhaps the fun part is when you learn to oversteer and understeer. Sounds scary but fun, right? Not to worry because the courses are conducted by Mercedes-Benz certified instructors.
Apart from that, the participants will have the privilege to drive different models of the Mercedes-Benz range around the popular Sepang Circuit.