Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brunei: The Trip That Wasn't Exactly A Holiday Volume 2

Continued from Volume 1.

~*Day 3: Weekend Stay at The Empire Hotel*~

During dinner the previous night, K suggested a day out with both the family (ie both mummies and 4 kids) so off we went on a car ride in K's family MPV the following afternoon.

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For lunch, we had Japanese food at Kaizen Sushi.

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Here was what we shared!

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This was my bento set. It's a beef and salmon sashimi bento set which was absolutely delicious! I loved how my beef was done -- almost like a medium rare. I thought it was quite rare for a beef to be done this way without request.

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This was K's set.

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The children thoroughly enjoyed their garlic fried rice.

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Hong Zhi was still very shy towards me then. However each time he saw his good friend Leanne talking to me, he would also try to get into the conversation. When I talked to him, he would shyly hide his face and simply not answer me. In the photos below, he agreed to be photographed only to hide his face when I snapped.

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After lunch, we hung out at a kids' book store and toy store. I love all the traditional toys there. I really appreciate good old wooden toys as opposed to electronic gadgets. In our modern world, it is not uncommon to see each kid having his or her eyes glued to an iPhone, iPad, PSP or DSLite.

I always told kh that our future kids shall not be fed with technology during their childhood. I'm not too sure if it would be a different story when the time comes. Most of my friends who are parents are quite sure that I would eat my words.

The kids had so much fun playing with the wooden doll house and farm house, as well as all the other educational wooden puzzles that they almost could not peel themselves off the toy store when it was time to go home.

In the evening, kh picked me up and we headed for The Empire Hotel for a weekend stay.

He claimed that the hotel stay was supposed to be the highlight for my birthday instead of the chicken rice.

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Since its opening in 2000, The Empire Hotel has become synonymous with Brunei, reflecting the country's majestic and cultural heritage. Majestic yes, the colour of gold was ubiquitous in the hotel.

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Our Deluxe room for the weekend.

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It came with a balcony too.

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It always amazes me how my dear hubby could pack so neatly. We shared the luggage and he helped to pack my stuff in while I was out enjoying myself with the kids in the afternoon.

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After checking in, we decided to get changed and take a walk in and about the hotel.

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It was too early to have dinner so we made do with high tea instead.

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The food on the tiers looked really luscious but they did not taste as good. The cakes were too sweet and the sandwiches were too salty.

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My tea was fine though but how wrong could tea go?

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After tea, we walked about the hotel till the sun set.

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The Empire Hotel has got its own cinema building. Since our walk took us there, we decided to catch a movie.

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It was about 9+pm after the movie and dear hubby was famished. What should we find open at that time but Spaghettini!

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Kh decreed that Spaghettini shall be my official birthday treat and that I should tell everyone to erase Tian Tian Chicken Rice off their minds.

We were allowed to pick and choose our starters from a rotating tray (as seen on the top left picture of the collage). I love the cold appetiser which consisted of cold duck and pieces of tuna carpaccio drizzled with a tangy dressing (top right). Our mains were not too bad. I forgot what we ordered but I preferred mine (bottom right) over his (middle right).

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Drinks and desserts to share.

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More sights in the hotel.

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Just in case you need, here's a video of The Empire Hotel which I found on YouTube.




~*Day 4: The Empire Hotel and THE Teh-C Special*~

We were trying to capture the beautiful view from our balcony with us inside but failed.

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For our usual buffet standards, we ate quite little for brunch.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent watching movies on tv and then off we went to explore another part of the hotel.

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I love the sunset hue of the following two pictures and how the tree branches framed the tranquil scene so wonderfully. They have not been colour edited at all and I was trying to get kh to capture the same hue for the rest of the pictures but he could not do so anymore. I guess it was the right timing and amount of light at that time.

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At night, we walked more parts of the city which I hadn't been to yet.

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Not long after, we stumbled upon a pet shop.

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I do not usually like white rabbits except for that creamy rabbit sweet but this rabbit is simply lovely.

Do you have an aversion for mice's tails? Kh does. He simply could not bear to look at their pinkish tails and had to turn away from the cage. Mice's tails also remind me of tails being chopped. Blame Three Blind Mice and The Witches by Roald Dahl. I could not wipe the chopped tails images off my mind.

I remember when I was young, Syrian hamsters were all the rage. Hence it was something out of the ordinary when my sister brought home a pet mouse. I took a long time to get used to holding it and having its tail wrapped around parts of my hands.

During the late evening, we were supposed to have dinner with the rest of kh's colleagues. I forgot what the celebration was for but I knew it coincided with K and her hubby's wedding anniversary.

We had dinner at Seaworld Neptune.

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We spent quite some time looking at the "live seafood".

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The food tasted as unappealing as it looked. It was the worst meal I had in Brunei.

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Seaworld Neptune was supposedly very raved about and kh's colleagues who were long time "denizens" of Brunei also felt that the standard that night had dipped drastically as of the service.

As usual, I would order Teh-C Special. Boy was I glad that they offered the wheatgrass variant here. Their Teh-C Special would be their only saving grace.

If you don't already know my addiction and undying love for this drink, refer to Volume 1.

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After dinner, everyone gathered outside the restaurant. Some of them were engaged in conversation while others were entertaining the kids.

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Ethan is so cute! I love him. Kh recorded a short video of K and Ethan playing peek a boo while I was carrying him and his expression was simply adorable. The video would remain private though.

There was no other night activities to engage in in such a laidback place that we went back to the hotel's cinema to catch a movie. Our 3rd movie for the trip was Pirates of the Carribean.

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I would end off this post with a photo proof of how some people have got huge rebel streak in them.

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The final volume would be up soon.

11 comments:

  1. I'm glad I read your posts. Otherwise I might have thought you two ate that bunny. =)

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  2. Wow Rick! That was really fast! And I was reading your comment aloud to my hubby and he laughed even though he is currently deep into his game.

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  3. Hey babe! Looks like you had fun in Brunei!! I was just there back in Oct, but only had a few days to spare. One of my good friends live there. Definitely not used to the space.. but they have awesome food!! We drove to Malaysia to eat too. And went to the Empire as well. Way more laid back and simple compared to Singapore. Love the pics btw :)

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  4. happy belated birthday hon!! you looked like you had a fabulous time! that hotel looks so pretty and i love love the dress you wore it's so pretty on you! yumm i love afternoon tea.. although i'm sorry to hear that it didn't taste as good as it looked :(

    you and your hubby are so adorable together!

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  5. Adorable pictures!! veryone looks amazing!! Yummy food :)) Happy Be-lated birthday. What a great place :)) xx

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  6. Tessa,
    You were on some mini "Amazing Race" for a while eh? I never ever knew anyone who goes to Brunei for non-work related issues. High 5 on that. It's cool to have friends there. I'm really not used to the laidback life and lack of activities but for a one-week stay, it pretty much surpasses my expectations.

    ~~~

    Lisa,
    Thanx dear. My birthday is way belated as I'm updating last year's stuff. My hubby and I get that comment a lot. Thank you.

    ~~~

    The Dainty Dolls House,
    My birthday is way belated as I'm updating last year's stuff but thank you for the wishes.

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  7. PS - Not sure why I came back to re-read the post, but I shouldn't have. It's making my tummy hurt. Well, something else is making my tummy hurt (it's an explosive situation), so I guess it's just sad knowing I couldn't eat any of that great food even if it was in front of me. :(

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  8. Haha...love that last pic! Pretty brazen. I enjoy your trip pics! :D

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  9. super love your picture looking up the tall tree! nice shot!

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  10. The hotel you stayed in looks so beautiful! The decor really does look very majestic. I really like those photos of you standing underneath the tree in Day 4 by the way!

    The food looks really good in all of your photos, except for the meal you had at Seaworld Neptune. I have to agree that it really does look unappealing in your photos, especially when compared to all your other meals on this trip.

    And you and KH aren't the only ones who are bothered by mice tails. I can't stand seeing them either for some reason. I think actual mice can be very cute, but the moment I see their long, creepy tails I get chills down my spine lol

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  11. Rick,
    You re-read it to make sure I didn't eat the rabbit. lol

    ~~~

    Shop N Chomp,
    Brazen is the word!

    ~~~

    MACY,
    Thank you. I love that too!

    ~~~

    Rinny,
    So we found another mice-tail-creeper!

    ReplyDelete

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