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Manila - Brunei

View South East Asia Grand Tour 2023 on Grete Howard's travel map.


Cold sore

My cold sore has really developed this morning, becoming crusty with lots of pus. Nice (insert sarascm font here).



For our last day here in the Philippines at the Bay Leaf Hotel, I have a breakfast salad, whereas David chooses egg on toast plus pancakes.

Egg on toast

Breakfast Salad

Airport Transfer

Our driver, a chap we haven’t met before, called Alan, turns up to take us to the airport, Terminal Two. My recollection is that we are flying from Terminal One, so Alan checks with the office. We are indeed flying from Terminal One. Just as well I have a good memory, otherwise, it would have been a lot of hassle once we reach the (wrong) terminal.

In order to enter the airport building we need to show our passports and flight tickets, then we encounter a pre-check-in check where they want to see the passports, tickets, onward flight itinerary, the flight ticket to London, my British Settled Status documents (this is only the second time I have ever been asked for that), details about why I have requested Special Assistance, what is wrong with my leg/back, and when it happened (I am pretty sure that would be illegal to ask in this country). When we finally reach the check-in desks, they ask for all the same information, plus the hotel reservations in Brunei. Thankfully, I am very organised and have this all to hand in a chronologically organised folder.

I ask for an aisle seat on the right-hand side of the plane, and she books me one on the left-hand side. I manage to get it swapped fairly easily, and the porter pushes me to immigration via a shortcut. There are long, long queues for security, but the porter jumps the queue to get nearer the front. One of my carry-on bags is picked to be checked, and I have to take everything out. They also check my boarding card and passport.

We continue through long corridors and down lifts. My boarding card says Gate 7, but there has been a gate change, so we re-route to Gate 5. Here there is another X-ray for the bags and security screening for humans, plus they check our passports and boarding cards. On the move again, we have to go down another long corridor, but in order to be allowed to continue, boarding cards must be shown. Once we get to the gate, the porter has to find someone with a key to unlock the door for us to get in.

The waiting area at the gate

Once on board, we take our seats, and find, much to our delight, that we have been upgraded to Economy Plus, which offers ca 4” extra legroom, plus free food and drink.


As we take off, audio of an Islamic 'prayer for the traveller' is played, with subtitles in English. That's a first! The complimentary food is chicken and mushrooms with pasta and vegetables.

Brunei Airport

A delightful husband-and-wife team of porters are there ready to push me around (so to speak) when we land in Brunei. They wheel me straight through immigration and collect the luggage to meet our local guide Farez in the main hall. We are urged to check in online tonight for our flight to Kuala Lumpur in two days’ time, as Air Asia apparently charges for you to check in at the airport (that sounds like some of the low-cost airlines operating out of the UK), and also purchase extra hand luggage beforehand as they are apparently very strict, according to the husband and wife team.

Hotel Radisson

We receive a warm welcome from the receptionist, with the paperwork already completed and on the desk ready waiting for us. The room is modern and fairly big, with a chaise lounge and a writing desk. Welcome to country number 147.



As suggested, we sort out the stuff for the upcoming flight before going to dinner in the hotel restaurant.




Pulled Beef Panini, BBQ Sauce, Jalapenos, American Cheddar, Mustard Mayo - absolutely delicious with just the right amount of spiciness

David's fish and chips

Dessert: Banoffee Bread and Butter Pudding with Coffee Ice Cream and two spoons

In the room next to the restaurant, there is a very loud awards dinner taking place, with lots of laughing and clapping. They also have a karaoke session, but just with the singing, no accompanying music. It is painful to listen to, so we are glad to go back to the room.

This incredible Grand Tour of South East Asia was organised by Undiscovered Destinations.


Posted by Grete Howard 10:45 Archived in Brunei Tagged manila brunei airport_security undiscovered_destinations upgraded bayleaf_hotel manila_airport economy_plus radisson_brunei airport_travsfer misty_aircraft_cabin

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what a day, I am already looking forward to read all about country 147!

by Ils1976

Thank you, Ils ♥

by Grete Howard

You really did pack the countries into this trip!

by ToonSarah

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