When one steps first outside the airport in Brunei Darussalam, two things hit you in the face. There's the humidity of course, which immediately wraps around your skin like cling film, and then there is the large tourism signs which proudly boast that you have arrived in The Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures.
Prior to visiting Brunei, you'll probably experience a conversation like this:
"I'm going on holiday to Brunei!" "Where? You mean Bahrain, or Bhutan?" "No Brunei, its a small country on the island of Borneo" For a handful of people, the island of Borneo will be enough of a geographic reference to feign knowledge of Brunei. But for most, eyes have glazed over, interest is lost, you're talking a foreign language. Therefore you may be correct to wonder which "unexpected treasures" await in this so called "Kingdom" that you have probably never heard of.
I have a nostalgic familiarity for this tiny oil rich, jungle dense, Muslim nation, with a population of just over 400,000. Bru...
It had been six years since I last ventured to the famous and at times, infamous Indonesian island of Bali but far from the negative stereotypes this part of the world often conjures up the next 8 days would be a wonderful and unforgettable journey.
Nestled high up in the tropical rainforests of Ubud approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Bali’s International Airport and 10 km’s from Ubud town centre was our first stop the magnificent Como Shambhala Estate. A sense of calmness and serenity immediately descends as you pull into the property, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the busy Denpasar streets left behind some hours ago. The estate is set on 9 hectares of beautifully manicured land and offers striking views across the rainforest coated hills, valleys and gully’s, lush greenery as far as the eye can see with the tranquil sound of the Ayung River flowing down below.
This writer was fortunate enough to stay in a beautiful suite in the Wanakasa residence at the far end of the prope...