Somewhere in Asia travel blog

Volleyball court on stilts

Hotel crew and friends, busy at work

Enjoying a cool cendol on a hot/sunny day

A city commuter bike

River in the morning

River in the morning

Our ride to Limbang, a Malaysian town sandwiched between the two 'slices' of Brunei, started out late. We took our time writing postcards over some kopi and saying goodbye to the orderly city of BSB. By the time we hit the road, so did everyone else. Traffic was non-stop and drivers not so keen to keep their distance. At one point I rammed into a car with my right handle bar (leaving a small dent). I was going straight and the car decided to take a left turn right in front of me (cars in Brunei drive on the left). The driver didn't even notice, and I lost my balance, but gained some clarity. Since a vast majority of people in Brunei can afford to own a car, there are very few scooters on the road, and most people do not look out for them, or for bicycles.

Eventually, we arrived at the border crossing, and continued riding past a 1km long line-up of cars. Everyone could see us, but no one honked or got upset. Most of them were on their way to Malaysia to have some fun, the kind that is prohibited in Brunei. Some were making their way across the border to return with some alcohol, as they're allowed two bottles of it a time, strictly for their own consumption (that is if you are not a Muslim). We got stamped out of Brunei, and stamped into Sarawak within 10 minutes (time spent chatting with the friendly immigration officials, included).

The scenery on the ride to Limbang was very beautiful. We were expecting to see some more palm oil plantations, but instead we passed many farms, forested hills and small villages. Riding into Limbang we passed a village of colourful Malay-style homes, and eventually a fishing village along the river to our left. The rest of the town was not as memorable, although it did have a neat market with hawkers selling some tasty sweets and other quick eats along the river. After a very cold shower at our hotel, followed by some very cold cendol I remembered Calgary, the feeling of goose bumps on your skin on those late summer evenings in the city.

Limbang is a bit of a 'party' town. There seems to be roughly one karaoke bar per capita here, and they're all full of patrons - many from Brunei. Many people staggering, drunk on the streets, unlike what we've seen in the rest of Malaysia. Sadly, there are also many brothels in town, where some very young girls from neighbouring Indonesia and Philippines can be found standing in the doorways.

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