When Mohamed Adam knew he was being photographed he quickly put on his fancy shades. He takes care of the life jackets while dad drives the boat. Highlights were:
a) the water village where about 20,000 people live and homes are inherited over generations.
b) the Juma mosque with 29 gold domes to mark the 29th Sultan, beautiful from every angle. The mid day prayer going on while I was there added to the experience.
c) Royal palace, fenced and hard to photograph, all with the Sultan’s polo grounds and the Crown Princes’s football field. The 100 hectares elaborate. Three entrances, one for royalty, one for foreign heads of state and one for dignitaries.
Health and education free (almost). My guide’s wife was sent on scholarship to Scotland and his expenses were all paid as well, for 3 years. Poverty exists but the National Housing Scheme allows people to buy homes interest free, so each household can have some land. We visited these areas and multiple cars in driveway. Gas cheaper than bottled water. Official holidays are Friday and Sunday. No personal income tax. 85% of people Muslim, balance mostly Christian. Churches and Taoist temples co-exist along with the 150 or so mosques. Christmas and Chinese New Year public holidays. Lovely being here. Breakfast was an international feast. Everything from Congee to Indian curry available. People: super friendly and English widely spoken. Service: one of the best in Asian hospitality.