Have you ever heard about Brunei? No? No worries! It´s very small, semi-closed country located in the north of island Borneo, rich and specific, though. However, this country, despite the size, is one of the richest "country" (5th)  in the world. Why? Well, firstly, it´s sultanate and its sultan is among the weatlhiest people in the world! He holds all the power and is basically in charge of everything (ministry of justice, foreign affairs, finance,...). Secondly, more than 3/4 of sultanate´s profit comes from oil production and it´s visible on the shore.

So why did I include Brunei into my Asia-travel plan at all? 

In front of the palace with gardens and waterway

Brunei  is really unusual place to visit and I know nobody who would ever mentioned this country in front of me or even has any knowledge. Personally, I learnt about Brunei in grammar school, that it´s small and rich country on Borneo island and has sultan and lot of oil. This country was always misterious place for me as I have been interested in unusual, wealthy countries with something untypical, exotic, maybe dangerous a bit and the least visited.


Alone, quite tired after 7 days in Kota Kinabalu, I took a ferry to Brunei. Cruise took around 5-6 hours with one stop-over. There was only few "white" people on board. Before I could enter Sultanate of Brunei, I had to fulfill "visa" that frightened me quite with their "death for-..."

Everything went smooth at the harbour and finally I was in Brunei! I was waiting for my friend, that I met in Kota Kinabalu. And guess who I met at the harbour??? CZECH traveller!!! Can you believe that I have not met any czech guy during my while stay in  South Korea and then I meet one in Brunei :D He was travelling from New Zeland to the north. It was such a nice moment to speak with my mother tongue and about my country. It was quick, though, because he had to catch the ferry to Malaysia.
My friend was not coming for long time and I was worried. No hostel booked, no public transportation, high prices for everything. Well, I would have figured out how to get to city center, but at that time I was worried a bit.He eventually came, with hic car and evertything just started to be awesome! I was accommodated in his dormitory (very nice, comfortable), met his international roomamtes, had some drinks and came up with an idea right away! What idea? To go swimming to the sea during night :D It was around 11pm., we were about 8 people (Ireland, New Zeland, Bhutan, Kongo, Czech,...). There was one moment on the beach I will remember forever! I felt so great there. Why? I was nearly in my second-half of my Asia journey, in Brunei, healthy, with great people from all around the world, I was on the beach in Brunei, oil production base in front of me and......I was swimming while swimming with fluorescent plankton! Firstly, I could only see something is lightning under the surface and I did not pay attention, but then I asked someone what is that.....He said it´s fluorescent plankton and the more Im shaking my hand under the surface, the more it´s lightning! I was just amazed, something incredible for me....

Two czech guys in Brunei!

DAY 2 

My second day was exausting. It was around 36 degrees from 10am till late afternoon! Thanks God he had a car, so we could go and visit everything with ease. No hurry, no need to look for some place to sit, no need to wait for public transportation.
We started with palace of sultan. It´s one of the biggest complex in the world. Sultan is also among the richest people in the world and holds almost all the power of the country. His palace is magnificant as I heard, we could see only entering gate, garden and some buildings, though. 
After taking picd near the palace we visited for me the most beautiful mosque I´ve ever seen. Pity we could not enter the mosque as  it was Sunday and some prayer took place there. But even the surroundings, garden, water canal with waterways were just outstanding. 
Next point worth seeing was a slum. Huge difference between poverty and wealth could be seen. Only few metres devided this two parts. This slum was specific. It was on the water! More than 30.000 people live there!! I could not believe my eyes in which conditions those poeple have to live. Some places were massively polluted, kilograms of rubbish lied around and were washed by dirty water. I felt sad when I saw all that mess and grime everywhere...
After riding a boat through the slum we went to look at the other mosque....and again amazing archutecture. Huge mosque with all its decoration and garden.

In front of the palace

In front of the palace

In front of the palace

After seeing this mosque we went back home to tak a rest. Because we saw pretty enough for that day, my friend came up with a crazy idea. He asked me: "Hey, Jan, wanna go to Malaysia to grab some beers?" I was like: are you kidding me man? How is it possible? Well, Brunei is small by size, so it is not a big deal to go near the border by car. I was simply amazed by that idea and was IN! We ate something, picked up one our friend and went to Malaysia for couple of hours :D And really, I got a new stamp in my passport on the border, and welcome to Malaysia, where I was just 2 days ago :D People of Brunei usually do this because of cheaper alcohol (there is a prohibition in Brunei) and cigarettes. I could perceive the difference between Brunei and Malaysia. There was life, vital chatting, music, lots of people gathering, decoration, multiculturality....Realla nice experience again! We went back to Brunei during night, got a new stamp and went to sleep, because flew to Kuala Lumpur very next day.

Borneo, you have been just amazing experience! Thank you for everything...But now mainland again! Specifically to the capital city of Malaysia - KUALA LUMPUR!