Muara, Brunei DarussalamFebruary 17, 2015 in Brunei ⋅ ⛅ 82 °F
The sultanate of Brunei was quite a place. The Sultan is one of the richest men in the world since her was able to keep all the oil in this oil rich country while the rest of the island of Bornea joined Malaysia when that country formed. He keeps people pretty happy with free health care and education but runs things without a parliament or council elected by the people. They do get part of the oil profits so they don't seem to complain too much. :-)
The Muslims have Sharia law but those infidels like us just have the regular law to live by although when they instituted Sharia here they prohibited alcohol so you either have to bring your own or form a private social club on your own property to drink. The guide says the nightlife went way downhill after that was passed. :-) It reminded me of my college days in a "dry" county in Arkansas. We had to run to another county and they have to run to another country.
We had a special dinner at the Prince's "over the top" Polo Club complete with local dance and singing. I am officially tired of the music of Indonesia. :-) The food is still okay though.
Yes the 29 spheres on the top of the towers of that mosque are real gold leaf and the pinnacle on top is solid gold. Some 14 million of so from the guides estimate. There are jewels embedded in the tiles in walls of the mosque that according to the locals are yours if they fall off on their own and you find them. I suspect that if you found prying them out you could be killed so it is kind of a lottery system. :-)Read more