Brunei Darussalam


Continuing from my recent Mocktail Mania post is biG Magazine’s cover feature: Legends of Borneo. Tutong based photographer Enaz Hanari has taken what I think is a great composition of the legendary Jong Batu in Kampong Ayer with a hint of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque in the distance and kudos to biG editorial team for selecting this piece over my submission. If dark, mystical tales passed down from ancestors your thing, be sure to pick up the latest copy of the magazine.

Take a boat ride tour of the Kampong Ayer and you’ll most likely pass by an oddly shaped rock, somewhere south of the Brunei River. A casual glance at it shows nothing more than a large rock. Viewed from the right angle however, the rock reveals itself to resemble a capsized ship. It is this resemblance that has spun off the legend of Nakhoda Manis and his doomed vessel. — biG Feature | Page 7

JONG BATU, Kampong Ayer | Photo by  Enaz Hanari

Perhaps the most accessible of the two featured Bruneian legends is the Raja Ayang mausoleum that’s located in Bandar Seri Begawan, across from the post office. If you happen to drive past the mausoleum every day on your way to work and didn’t realize its significance, stop by next time to read the story inscribed on the marbled wall at the entrance.

This tale is actually a true story, but gained legendary status due to the mystery surrounding it. In the heart of the nation’s capital, along Jalan Elizabeth II lies the Raja Ayang mausoleum. The story of Raja Ayang is recounted through oral history as a tale of forbidden love between two siblings. Raja Ayang was a member of the Royal Family, during the rule of Sultan Sulaiman. It was discovered that she had been carrying on an unnatural relationship with her sibling, living together as husband and wife. The couple’s unlawful relations were punishable by death (through stoning), but Sultan Sulaiman – although a strict Islamic ruler – did not have the heart to carry out the sentence. — biG Feature | Page 7

Other legends featured in this issue include Sabah’s Turtle Islands Park and Mount Kinabalu and Sarawak’s Mount Santubong and Sungai Baleh.

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