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– gateway town to the unspoiled nature of Temburong
– a small town, located on the banks of Tutong River
state capital of Sabah in Malaysia; last transitory capital of North Borneo
Belaga is a small town on the Rejang River in Malaysia's province of Sarawak. Whilst the village can be explored in well under an hour, most visitors arrive in Belaga in order to explore the many longhouses as well as the interior of Borneo. There are a few tour operators which are established in the town; however, the town is very well connected with the tribespeople and finding a local guide shouldn't be very difficult.
(Pulau Sipadan) — one of the best dive spots in the world
Open to visitors when it is not being used for prayers (opening times are posted by the gate). The mosque is very welcoming and if your clothes aren't considered appropriate you'll be given a robe upon entry. Remove your shoes before entering and be respectfully quiet inside as there may be some people there meditating and praying. The mosque is visible from around the centre of the city, but the entrance is located on Jalan McArthur, just south of Jalan Elizabeth Dua.
The water village is a beautiful sight to see hundreds of houses seemingly floating on water. The village, which is the world's biggest settlement on stilts, has been on the river for over one thousand years and was the capital of the Bruneian Empire. The water village people are very friendly and many open up their homes to visitors year-round. For a tour by boat, water taxis can be found by walking along the Brunei river or the main market in Bandar Seri Begawan and waving one down. Try to negotiate the price down—you shouldn't pay more than B$30 for an hour-long tour (B$15 for half an hour) of Kampong Ayer. Even though the water taxis are not wheelchair-friendly, their drivers are very willing to lend a hand and even team up and carry a person in a wheelchair on board; ask for a larger boat though.But to really experience the water village, you've got to walk around and explore it. You can take a water taxi across for $1 per person (a 2-minute ride). Ask the driver to take you to the gallery (4.884202114.9446451 Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery), which has a detailed exhibition of the history of Kampong Ayer and some lovely artistic souvenirs for sale. The gallery is open 9AM–5PM, but closes Friday 11AM–2:30PM for Friday prayers. The observation tower next to the gallery has views of the water village and the city center. Then don't just stay at the edge of the village near the gallery – go into the village and walk around. Not many tourists seem to go in, so you may get curious hellos from residents, especially children. You'll see people going about their ordinary routines, which feels almost surreal since it's all suspended a few meters above the river. If you look around you might spot a mosque, schools, whimsically colorful buildings, and even chickens. The boardwalks might make you nervous, but there's no reason to worry – just watch your step. They're more stable than they look, and even if you did somehow lose your balance and fall in, it's just a short swim to the nearest ladder – in a way it's safer than walking next to a busy street. Don't wear high heels though.If you don't want to shell out for the ride, you can also walk into the village – start from behind the Sultan's Mosque or from the other bank in Batu Satu.
Another mosque, that resembles Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. Whereas Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque is built to commemorate Sultan Omar, this mosque is to commemorate the current reigning Sultan. Visitors, including non-Muslims, can go inside after removing shoes and covering up with a black robe.
ethnographic museum in Kota Batu, Brunei
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