Day 354. 63km. Jerudong – Labuan

Posted: April 25, 2016 in Brunei, Cycling, Malaysia
Tags: , , , , ,

The orange Mazarati stood next to the bright red Porsch in front of the spa resort and restaurant as our friend, paying for everything, beckoned us to take a seat. Labuan is the fun island of sin just off the coast of Brunei, and we find ourselves living it up here in an orgy of consumption and decadence. Thank you so much Charles for the experience!

Night club

Night club

‘There’s no time,’ said our Brunei cycling hosts.
We had met with them in the morning for another wonderful meal of Brunei delicacies under the supervision of the Sultan, hanging in tapestry form on the wall above us.
‘You should go straight to the harbour.’
That was our call to challenge, and there was not a minute to lose. We had to do 50km in 3 hours, see the mosque in the city, and arrive at the harbour at 1 to catch the boat at 2. So we hurtled along the highway in the mounting heat and ran into the mosque. We felt the air-conditioned silence and peace inside, surrounded by gold and the finest marble. Then off to the harbour. We arrived 10 minutes early only to find that the boat was leaving an hour earlier than expected. Running through customs, we threw the bike on the boat and darted inside – our visit to this little country lasted exactly 24 hours.

The mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan

The mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan

Labuan is the tax-free playground of the people from Brunei. Part of Malaysia, one can indulge in temptations here that are not to be had in it’s Sharia-law neighbouring state. Clement and I find ourselves with Charles staying in an apartment with four bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, with a 10th floor view over the island from (one of) the balconies. We would have played cricket inside, only Clement doesn’t know the rules. Today was non-stop dining. In the evening we were whisked away to see the sunset from a beautiful beach. We finally finished with whiskey and coke, continually refilled by the cute little waiters in white shirts and black ties plying the tables of the thumping music night-club.

Sunset on Labuan

Sunset on Labuan

Walking home with the music still ringing in our ears, Clement and I thought back on Borneo. Such an explosion of experiences and contrasts. We have been welcomed by many lovely native Iban families. We have cycled through jungle and through vast deserts of palm oil plantations. We have played pool in the mining outpost of an aluminium smelter. We have been welcomed in a private manor in Brunei, and lived it up on Malaysia’s Labuan island. Borneo – what is in store for us next?

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Life of a rock star! 😉

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