Largest Japanese Restaurant Chain in Brunei Opens Outlet in Miri, Sarawak

Quoting my Facebook post:

“After years of speculative yes, no, maybe, Brunei’s largest and most popular Japanese eatery Excapade Japanese Cuisine has officially opened in Miri, much to the delight of loyal and insatiable Excapade sushi and sashimi fans in Miri, maybe even across Sarawak.”

“When I first saw this place, I fell in love with the view” — Michael | Owner

The following selections are my favourite shots of the new Excapade Miri establishment

Fire and Rescue Estimates Over $7 Million Loss in Historic Seria Landmark Fire

For majority of residents in oil town Seria, Millimewah Department Store is their go-to place for everything — although mostly catering for the budget conscious, they’re the only complete department store in town. While it’s debatable whether Soon Lee or Millimewah had more inventory, Millimewah was the only outlet that had a floor dedicated to selling clothing for kids and adults, men and women. At least they were up until the moment the entire premise was burned to the ground in a matter of hours. Electrical overload is believed to have been the cause of the fire according to Fire and Rescue’s assessment. I happened to be in the vicinity when fire broke out though I wasn’t anywhere near enough to hear what passers-by described as an explosion.

I had a busy afternoon shuttling the kids to and from tuition classes so that explains the near and far photos I shared on Facebook during the drive to and from home several times. The intensity of the billowing smoke seen from the Shell refinery and the field opposite Anthony Abel College (I took those routes to get home) very quickly turned turbulent increasing in volume and density.

Related: Seria landmark fire causes total loss of over $7 million

All images: Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

One Bukit Shahbandar Two Families

The night before yesterday morning’s Bukit Shahbandar, my family and I were having dinner at Nur Wanita when a former classmate who’s back from Taiwan to visit his family asked if I would be hiking Shahbandar any day soon. It didn’t take much for me to quickly discuss this over the dining table including shooting a quick text to a regular hiking buddy on the opposite end of the country if he was up for it the next day. Everyone on this side of the table was confirmed to go. Fast forward 12 hours to the next day, the morning was met with scattered showers with some parts of the country experiencing heavy rain. Rain quickly stopped while the weather remained overcast — we went ahead with the trip, reached Shahbandar in time to greet a car full of regulars: Eric Pui and his whole family who came on very short notice. For personal reasons my former classmate couldn’t make it so the 10 of us went ahead with our hiking plans.

The mandatory group photo at the Lookout that’s backdropped by forest canopy covering a large part of the 3 km extended trail.
The trail remained dry despite morning downpour and the breezy weather made our hike so much more enjoyable.
The four of us reached the peak of the notoriously steep Pondok 6 first so a quick photo op before we’re joined by the rest of the group.


Eric’s family including wife, two kids and sister in law, Yii Zhu, who is now a “9 hills” trail regular.
One of my favourite locations to stop for a photo is the rocky trail that connects Pondok 6 to Pondok 7.
Eric is bestowed the fatherly duty of carrying an exhausted Isaac. “Porter training” jokes Eric recalling his experience with the amazingly fit porters of Mount Kinabalu.
Ryan hangs on to the rope while tackling this tricky descend.


A nervous Yii Zhu crosses the wooden bridge (one of the better constructed ones in the forest) that leads to the steep rocky trail where Pondok 9 is located.

Additional photos not published here can be viewed in Facebook Comments

The average time it takes for a leisure hike along the same trail is typically 1 hour 15 minutes. Taking up to two hours to complete is not uncommon especially when there are long and frequent breaks. This hike burns 1,251 Calories, a step closer to my first 200,000 Calories milestone!