Public enjoy time off at Royal Wharf
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
EVEN with overcast and drizzles, the festive spirit was not dampened in the Sultanate, as people celebrated the second day of the Lunar New Year.
The three-day weekend allowed families and friends extra time to come together in good cheer.
The Brunei Times, while on a stroll through the capital, found the Royal Wharf abuzz with activity.
Overlooking the iconic Kampong Ayer, it is regarded as a popular tourist attraction.
Visitors hailing from various backgrounds took in the unique scenes of the iconic water village, taking pictures and mingling with the locals.
Water taxi drivers lined up at the jetty, occasionally waving their hands to attract potential passengers, as they offered to provide tours of the water village.
An expatriate from the Philippines, Armando Ramos, who has been working in the Sultanate for 14 years, was among the modest crowd of people at the Royal Wharf.
“I went to my boss’ Chinese New Year open house on Friday, and decided to go on a scenic boat ride around Kampong Ayer (water village) today (Saturday),” said the 50-year-old.
He begins to reminisce of his early days in Brunei, with the capital then being one of the few tourist attractions in the country.
Ramos says he has been fortunate enough to witness various types of development take place in the country, and enjoys living in this peaceful land.
In the past, the wharf was also the gateway for people entering the Sultanate to conduct trade. It now houses the Waterfront Art Gallery and some eateries.
Other visitors sighted at the Royal Wharf included a family of four.
One of the family members was Ponti Indra, an Indonesian expatriate working as an interior designer at a construction company here.
His Chinese New Year holiday was spent showing his parents and nephew more of the sights and sounds of the country, such as the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah, Istana Nurul Iman, and Muara Beach.
“My father also had a chance to perform Friday Prayers at Kilanas Mosque,” said Ponti, who has been residing in the country for about six years. “Throughout our visit, we enjoyed the green scenery and fresh air,” said Ponti’s father, Hadijanto Soedjono, who will return to Indonesia today. - Sally Piri
The Brunei Times