Monday, September 05, 2011

'Unforgettable' for the tourists in Brunei

By Achong Tanjong

Foreign tourists make use of the golden opportunity to visit Brunei Darussalam during the Hari Raya celebration each year by joining the local community in visiting the palace - Istana Nurul Iman - to convey festive greetings to His Majesty and Her Majesty and members of the royal family.

An opportunity for them to shake hands and take a closer look at the palace, as well as the beloved monarch and members of the royal family.

A group of 30 visiting tourists from Vietnam led by Mr Chinh also visited the Royal Open House on its final day yesterday.

When asked how long they were going to stay in Brunei, he said they would be flying back to Vietnam today.

"The Royal Open House is part of our itinerary during the visit and we are lucky to be able to visit the palace and meet the Sultan and other members of the royal family," he said.

"This is going to be an unforgettable experience for us," he added.

"I have been visiting the palace every year since 2000, when my son started working in Brunei," said Mrs Norliey who hails from Kuching, Sarawak.

"My son would contact us in Kuching, when it is time for the Istana Open House in Brunei. It was a long journey by bus from Kuching to Miri. From Miri, my son picked us up to Brunei," she said.

Also joining the long queue at the palace yesterday was a group of senior officers and staff of the Ministry of Home Affairs, including Penghulus and village heads, as well as village consultative councils from the four districts.

The councils were led by their district officers. They organise the visit every year to convey their festive greetings to the monarch and the royal family.

They comprise 137 people, including officers and staff from the Tutong District Office. One of the council members from Kg Subok, Awg Ang Swee Chuan, said each year he and other council members from other districts would visit the palace to convey festive greetings to His Majesty and the royal family.

He said we are lucky to live in harmony in Brunei Darussalam, wherein the Malays and Chinese communities work together towards better economic growth. He also expressed his happiness and extended his festive greetings to all Muslim friends in Brunei.

Visitors were treated to a wide variety of food and drinks. One of the hit items brought home by visitors was the special yellow box (souvenir).

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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