Nomads do not have homes, they say. I beg to disagree. Wanderlusts, travelers, backpackers, find homes in unexpected places. It may not be where they permanently stay, but it is where their memories will forever wander back.
This is M3 for me. When we decided to go to Brunei, we really did not have any idea what was in store for us. We even didn’t think they would have homestay available there considering the conservative culture.
When we checked AirBnb, we were proven wrong. There were several homestays available with a wide range of variation depending on price and location. We opted to get the cheapest (yet most appealing at first glance) since we were just going to spend the night sleeping and waking to another hectic day.
We were lucky to have found M3. The first thing that caught my attention was the price. It was below Php 1,000 and it has air conditioning and very good feedback. They also offer tours around Brunei, Miri, and Kota Kinabalu. They can also take you on a wildlife trip where you can feed crocodiles!
I immediately booked this through AirBnb. Our room was listed under “Nice and Cozy Room – Shared toilet” under M3. This homestay will appear if you search Bandar Seri Begawan. Just to clarify, the place is not in Bandar Seri Begawan exactly. It is located in Gadong which is a good 10 minute-bus ride with no heavy traffic.
Before we leave for Brunei, I communicated with the owner, Brandon. He gave me exact details on how to locate the place: all we would have to do is go to the central station and ride bus 55. We should alight at Supasave Beribi and cross the pedestrian bridge to Mamih Cafe. On the same area there is a hardware store named Goldmyne Hardware and there is a small slope next to it. We would have to climb the slope and that is M3! Does it sound complicated? Not really! That is the exact thing we did and we found where the place is!!! Awesome and clear directions!
When we arrived, we were greeted by Mizzy, one of the hosts. She showed us our room. To our surprise, we were given a free upgrade! We upgraded to a big room with our very own toilet. We have a television, DVDs to watch, and a couch! The bed was large and cozy! The air conditioning was perfect too. They have centralized air conditioning and our very own AC inside the room.
The bathroom is spacey too. They have hot and cold water which is perfect. It has a sink and a place where we can put our stuff when we are taking a bath.
To top it all off, M3 has a wide front yard. This is perfect if you would just like to hangout outside and take a breath of fresh air. The place has a lot of greens around and they have the kindest neighbors with adorable dogs. Ate, as Mizzy endearingly calls the household helper next door, is a Filipina! She greeted us warmly when we arrived too!
Mizzy, me, and my partner chatted the late afternoon away over coffee. We talked about the beautiful places in Brunei, the locals, things that we should and should not do…everything we needed to know. We were so grateful to have an accommodating host who would tell us the real deal about the country. She also gave us tips like how much the water taxi is. Also, when we visited, it was Ramadan. Mizzy messaged people to know if it was already Raya. If not, we will be able to see the mosques and other places since it will be open to the public.
The 3 of us had dinner in Mamih Cafe after sunset. We were surprised at how good Mizzy is in speaking tagalog. She asked the waitress if she’s Filipina to which the waitress said yes!
Mizzy walked us through the menu and I ended up ordering Bah Kuh Teh and Kopy C, while my partner ordered Kopy O. I blogged about our Mamih Cafe experience HERE!!
Before our host went home, she gave us the wifi password. The connection was good and we were able to surf with no problems. We slept peacefully that night and got up the next day to see Bandar Seri Begawan. We met Tze Yi, the other host, and she was warm and friendly! She even offered to drop us off to where we were going but we just woke up and were sort of embarrassed at how slow our pace is. LOL.
She advised us where to eat since it was still Ramadan and restaurants were closed. She said that the restaurant on the Warisan Mata Mata Complex (the commercial area next to us, where Mamih Cafe is) houses a Chinese-fusion restaurant named Sing-U.Me Restaurant which is open. According to her, there are restaurants that are still open to accommodate non-Islams. All windows are covered with paper and there is a sign on the door that would say non-Islams can dine inside. This was a very helpful tip and we were so lucky to have known this!
We dined like royalty that day because of Tze Yi! All thanks to her, we were able to discover good food in Gadong!
To read all about our adventures that day in Brunei, click HERE!
We got home late that night and had our own Raya dinner. The dining area of the place is neat and the kitchen was spacious. We were able to use the microwave with such ease and water to clean up was not an issue.
We woke up the next day ready to leave Brunei. We cleaned up our mess and messaged Mizzy that we were checking out. We left the keys and headed to our next destination.
Honestly, our stay in M3 was unexpectedly pleasant. It was one of the reasons why I fell in love with Brunei. The hospitality of the people of Brunei was reflected at how good Mizzy, Tze Yi, and Brandon treated us. Everything we needed to know that actually helped us get by that day when we roamed around the streets of Bandar Seri Begawan, came from them.
I highly suggest that you stay here in M3! It will be worth your effort and the money you pay! Affordable, clean, spacious, and a very friendly place that is right next to a commercial area!
**To search for homestays and save money on your next trip, THIS IS THE LINK!!! You can also be an affiliate by signing up and sharing links to your friends. You get to earn while travelling! How awesome is that?!
**If you’re curious how we traveled from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei and earned 8 passport stamps, check my BLOG!