7 crazy things you can do for the price of the new iPhone

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have known that Apple recently unveiled its spanking new premium iPhones – the flagship iPhone Xs Max and its little brother iPhone XsIt also unveiled the so-called “more affordable” iPhone XR – which is considered a mainstream replacement for the iPhone X.

A lot of big, meaningless numbers were thrown around during the Apple keynote address last week but let’s face it, at the end of the day, if you’re a hardcore Apple fanboy (or girl), there’s no stopping you from acquiring these must-have iPhones – no matter the cost.

So for this article, we won’t be boring you with a mobile review.

Instead, we’ll be looking at the iPhones solely from a price standpoint.

‘Neue’ (@whatsneue) has compiled a list of CRAZY things that you can do around the world for the price of the new iPhone. (Editor’s note: The prices quoted below were compiled from a search conducted on September 16, 2018, and are subject to change.)

First off, let’s take a closer look at the iPhones’ price tags:

All screen makes all the difference (iPhone photos courtesy of Apple)

64GB iPhone Xs ($1,649) = Sky diving in Dubai

Skydiving has become one of the most sought after extreme sports. Thousands upon thousands of jumps are made around the year and one of the most popular places to experience this thrilling sport is Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

For the price LESS than an iPhone Xs (64GB), you would be able to purchase a Brunei-Dubai return ticket via RB (Royal Brunei Airlines, @royalbruneiair) for $827.

If you have not skydived before, fret not, Sky Dive Dubai’s (@skydivedubai) tandem skydive is the quickest and easiest way to experience the thrill of free fall at over 120 miles per hour.

You would also be able to experience tandem skydiving, a type of skydiving where you will be connected to a harness attached to an experienced instructor, for $700 (1,699 UAE Dirham).

Total cost = $827 (flight) + $700 (sky diving) = $1,527

Cost of iPhone Xs (64GB) = $1,649

That means you’ll still have over $100 (or $122 to be exact) to spare if you went for skydiving in Dubai instead of getting the Xs.

64GB iPhone Xs Max ($1,799) = Abseiling down UK’s tallest sculpture

Urban thrillseekers can enjoy the ultimate adventure of abseiling down London’s ArcelorMittal Orbit (@amorbit) – the tallest sculpture in the UK.

The 114-metre tall tower, which is located in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, has become one of the city’s most recognised landmarks since opening as part of the 2012 London Olympics.

Here you’ll experience the most spectacular views of London, whilst dangling in free space, 80 metres above the ground, for about $198 (100 Pound Sterling).

If you fancy something really outrageously different to do in London with a pique of adventure, then this is the activity for you.

Total cost = $1,596 (Brunei-London return ticket) + $198 (abseiling ticket) = $1,794

Cost of a 64GB iPhone Xs Max = $1,799

Isn’t it time that you treat yourself to a holiday?

64GB iPhone XR ($1,229) & 128GB XR ($1,299) = Swim with sharks in Melbourne

Do you want to swim with sharks? Of course you do!

For the price of an iPhone Xs Max (64GB), you would be able to purchase a Brunei-Melbourne return ticket via RB for $916.

You will also be able to experience a thrilling shark dive at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium (@sealifemelbourneaquarium) for about $323 (299 Australian Dollars).

You’ll don a wet suit and scuba mask where you’ll be within arm’s reach of sharks. No scuba experience is necessary and an experienced guide will be accompanying you to ensure a safe dive.

Be sure to wave to your friends and family on the other side of the glass for an interesting picture moment.

Total cost = $916 (flight) + $323 (shark dive) = $1,239

Cost of iPhone XR (64GB) = $1,229

Cost of iPhone XR (128GB) = $1,299

Perhaps, it’s time for you to get over your fear of sharks.

256GB iPhone Xs ($1,889) = World’s highest* bungee jump in Macau

Do you believe that everyone should do something that reminds them they’re still alive? Well, how about braving the world’s highest commercial bungee jump – diving 764 feet (233 metres) from the top of the AJ Hackett Macau Tower(*It was reported that a new 260-metre-high (853 feet) bungee-ump platform would be added to the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in China sometime this year).

For just about $768 (3,988 Hong Kong dollars), you’ll be able to experience the ultimate adrenaline rush.

How much to fly to Hong Kong from Brunei? A return ticket will set you back about $730.

A Hong Kong-Macau return ferry ticket will cost you about $64 (330 HK dollars).

Total cost = $768 (bungee jump) + $730 (flight) + $64 (ferry) = $1,562

Cost of a iPhone Xs (256GB) = $1,889

That’s about $327 extra cash you would have if you went for a Macau trip instead of getting the iPhone Xs.

Hope you’re not afraid of heights!

256GB iPhone Xs Max ($2,039) = Dinner with friends … in the sky!

Over the past years, ‘Dinner in the Sky’ has criss-crossed the skies of over 40 countries (Photos: Shutterstock)

‘Dinner in the Sky’ (@dinner_in_the_sky_malaysia) is a Belgian based novelty restaurant service which uses a crane to hoist its diners, table, and waiting staff 150 feet (50 meters) into the air. Guests are served a 3-course dinner prepared by renowned chefs from famous hotels and restaurants in the city.

From now until December 31, 2018, ‘Dinner in the Sky’ will be available in Kuala Lumpur. (To find out where it’ll be headed next, visit http://dinnerinthesky.com/news/)

The price for one ‘Economy Class’ dinner ticket is about $135 (369 Ringgit Malaysia).

The price of a Brunei-Kuala Lumpur return ticket is $209.

So that means it would cost $344 for each person you plan on bringing (in this case, from Brunei) for this fancy dinner (airfare included).

For the price of an iPhone Xs Max (256GB), you would be able to take as many as 5.9 friends (let’s round this number up to 6).

Sounds like a great dinner outing to me, don’t you think so?

512GB iPhone Xs ($2,199) = Enjoy the Grand Prix

If you are wondering what you could spend your money on rather than getting the 512GB Xs, I’m here to tell you that you could have witnessed

Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton emerging as the champion at the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix last night (Sunday, September 16).

It only costs about $300 for a Brunei-Singapore return ticket and $1,488 for a 3-day Grand Prix ticket where you will have access to the upper rows of the Pit Grandstand, which is guaranteed to give fans spectacular views of the team garages, starting grid or finish line. 

Over the weekend, Grand Prix ticket holders also witnessed performances by international acts such as Jay Chou, The Killers, Martin Garrix and Dua Lipa.

Let’s do the math: $300 (flight) + $1,488 (Grand Prix ticket) = $1,788

That’s about $411 you would have extra in your wallet if you had decided to go to the Grand Prix instead of putting money aside for your iPhone Xs.

Perhaps now would be a good time to make plans for 2019’s Grand Prix in Singapore?

512GB iPhone Xs Max ($2,349) = Craziest party on the seas!

Boasted as Asia’s largest festival at sea, this year, “It’s The Ship” (@itstheship) will be celebrating its 5th anniversary this year.

Rather than forking thousands of dollars for a phone, how about chilling out in this high seas by signing up for a 4-day, 3-night party from Singapore to Phuket and back on board a luxurious cruise ship with non-stop music from November 4 to 7, 2018?

How much does it cost? $300 for a Brunei-Singapore return air ticket and about $1,490 (986 US dollars) for a twin sharing cabin.

If you forgo buying the $2,349 iPhone Xs Max, you would still have $559 extra after having the time of your life on that cruise.

Heck! For that money, you could even squeeze in a night’s stay at the grand Marina Bay Sands resort (@marinabaysands) in Singapore before flying back. Sounds like a plan!

We’d love to hear from you

Do you have any other ideas of crazy things you could do around the world for the price of the new iPhones? Be creative!

Will you be buying the new iPhone?

5 Must-See Photos that Prove Brunei is Land of Golden Sunsets

Did you know that some people consider Brunei Darussalam as the “Land of Golden Sunsets”?

This was what Saifulizam Zamhor, the founder of a Brunei-based photography service, Visual Pro (@_visualpro_), said when ‘Neue’ asked him to share some “Instagram-worthy” spots where people could catch a sunset in the Sultanate.

“The sunsets in Brunei are truly something you have to see to believe,” added Saifulizam, an experienced photographer from the now-defunct English-language daily, The Brunei Times.

He pointed out that the usual go-to locations for landscape photography are at iconic mosques such as the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque that can be both found in Bandar Seri Begawan.

What photos would you like to see featured in our next article?


Share your #BruneiSunset photos

Saifulizam has provided ‘Neue’ with the following photos of Brunei sunsets from his personal collection. Enjoy!

“People here in Brunei are lucky in the sense that most of the beaches are easily accessible. Towns here aren’t that far from the shore. The most ideal for people to get a clear sunset shot would be at the beach. However, be warned that you may have to deal with sandflies,” he said.

When asked to share some photography tips with ‘Neue’ readers, Saifulizam said, “Make use of the variety of different landscapes around you for your sunset photos. For example, having a sunset photo with a plane flying across the sky or using greenery (trees) as a foreground.”

“If all else fails, it does not hurt to take a friend who is familiar with photography for your next sunset-spotting adventure,” he added.

We invite ‘Neue’ readers to share their sunset photos by uploading their photos with the hashtag #BruneiSunset.

Be sure to tag @whasneue too if you would like to be featured in our next future write-ups. (Read our previous article, “Is this the best place to see a sunset in Brunei?”)

Get in touch with ‘Neue’

Are you a social media influencer or entrepreneur interested in taking your profile to the next level? E-mail Lance.Thoo@Hoco.Agency to explore opportunities to collaborate with ‘Neue’. Alternatively, you may reach out to us via our Instagram or Facebook social media accounts.

5 Travel Scams To Look Out For In Vietnam

A good friend of mine recently took a much-needed vacation.

It was his first trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Unfortunately, his dream holiday took a rather unexpected turn when he became the target of scammers.

My friend, who requested not to be named in this article for fear of being ridiculed by his colleagues, said, “It was terrible! You should write a story warning people about the many scams out there!”

1. Taxi drivers who overcharge

“My impression of Ho Chi Minh is that it is full of tourist scams. For starters, a shady taxi driver charged me a ridiculous amount for a short trip from the airport. What was supposed to be a 50,000-dong trip (about 2.10 US dollars) became a 200,000 dong trip (about 8.60 US dollars), about four times higher than what was stated on the taxi meter,” he said.

How can you avoid this?

Be sure to decide on a price with your taxi or bike (‘Xe Om’ in Vietnames) driver. By deciding on a firm price before you ride, you can avoid the awkward encounter when it’s time to get off.

2. Money switching

(Photos: Shutterstock)

“Some taxi drivers will use sleight of hand to switch whatever money you give them for smaller denominations,” he said, adding that the most common version is switching a 500,000 dong note (about 21 US dollars) for a 20,000 dong note (83 US cents), which is easy to fall for since they’re both blue.

How can you avoid this?

Familiarise yourself with the many different currency notes of the country you are visiting. Also use small notes when paying your taxi driver, for example, use more 20,000 dong notes rather than 500,000 dong notes.

3. Expensive polishing

While at a touristy location in Vietnam, keep an eye out for shoe polishers. Tourists will be approached by shoe polishers. After negotiating a price, the shoe polisher will return asking for double the agreed amount. Most times, they will say that the agreed price was for ONE shoe. In the event that you do not fork over the money, you can be sure that the “muscles” from syndicates aren’t too far away.

How can you avoid this?

A firm but polite and friendly “No” (Khong in Vietnamese) is sufficient for most of them. If you are approached, don’t be afraid to refuse firmly before moving on. The trick is just not to give in.

4. Extra charge for your bags

A common scam that is often used by shady bus companies is to tell foreigners that they have to pay a FEE when their bags are getting loaded under the bus. Most foreigners will just pay the small fee to avoid all forms of confrontation. We would like to stress that there is NO SUCH THING as a “baggage fee” in Vietnam.

How can you avoid this?

Where possible, make all your bookings via your hotel or tour operator.

5. Disappearing act at massage parlours

This scam is normally targeted at foreign men “looking for a good time” while overseas.

In this scenario, a beautiful woman on the street will try to lure men to come inside a massage parlour. However, once they have paid, the “beautiful woman” is suddenly nowhere to be found and would be replaced with someone who looks nowhere close to what was promised.

You could be charged extra for absurd things while at the massage parlour such as a glass of water, towels and even music.  The worst case scenario is that gangster would step in if you refuse to pay.

How can you avoid this?

We highly recommend doing your own research online for reputable establishments.

Emergency numbers

Keep these numbers handy if you’re planning on visiting Vietnam – Police (113), Fire (114) or Ambulance (115).

We’d love to hear from you

Do you agree with this list? Do you know of any other travel scams that people should be wary about? Drop us a line in the comments section below or reach out to us via social media.

Have you ever been cheated out of your money by a scammer while on vacation?

Getting to London has never been easier

I’m just going to say it: I do not enjoy layovers.

The faster I can get to my destination the better.

So when Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) announced that it would be launching daily non-stop direct flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and London in October 2018, I jumped at the chance to plan my next Europe trip.

For now, it would take me 17 hours 5 minutes to get from Brunei International Airport to Heathrow Airport, which is approximately 11,270 kilometres apart. The 17-hour journey is inclusive of a layover in Dubai.

However, once the daily non-stop direct flights are up and running on October 28, the Brunei-London flight is expected to take 14 hours 35 minutes. That’s three-and-a-half hours shaved off!

I recently sat down with a group of well-travelled friends to learn more about how they stay sane during a long-haul flight.

And this is what they had to say:

1. Noise-cancelling headphones are a must

“They are a must-have item.”

This was something that every single one of the friends agreed.

“We would never travel without noise-calling headphones,” they said. “We get better sleep with them on.”

2. Bring some snacks

Even though you will be served meals during your long-haul flight, it does not hurt to have a snack or two stowed in your carry-on luggage.

“We enjoy a good snack, especially after taking a short nap. More importantly, it helps with improving our mood,” they said.

3. Download TV shows and movies

Bring your own entertainment onboard (Photos: Pexel)

Most airlines allow you to switch on your mobiles and tablets, provided you have airplane mode switched on.

While there is in-flight entertainment systems for passengers on most aircraft, watching your own shows is always far better.

“We would download one or two seasons of our favourite TV shows onto our phones or tablets,” they said.

“Couple this with your noise-cancelling headphones, and you’re all set for your long journey,” they added.

4. Don’t be a jerk

From their years of travel, one thing that they’re still learning is to “play nice”.

“When you are travelling alone, you have no say who is sat beside you, especially when flying in economy class. So the more courteous you are with the person sat beside you, the likelihood of you enjoying each other’s company increases,” they said.

“If you wish to remain silent for the entire flight, at the very least, just say hello,” they added.

5. Understand that some things are beyond your control

No one wants to admit it, but crying babies in planes are the worst!

“There is really no point swearing (silently in your head) when you hear the wailings of a crying infant,” they said. “Try to be understanding. We were all babies once. Just know that the parents of that infant is having a tougher time than you are. Just put on your headphones and forget about it.”

Do you agree with our list? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you.

For further reading, we recommend the following report by Traveller – ‘Air travel tips: 50 tips on how to make your flight perfect’.

Spend a Thursday morning in Tutong

“This is the best tamu in Brunei!”

This was what a retiree in his 60s from Brunei-Muara District proclaimed after I told him that it was my first ever visit to Tutong’s famous Thursday market, which is more commonly known as Tamu Tutong.

I arrived at the market, which is officially called Kompleks Pasarneka dan Tamu Tutong, at 8.30am.

It was a 50 minutes drive from the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

People would come to Tamu Tutong as early as 6am

“My friend …” he said, as he placed his hand on my shoulder. “You’re late! You may not have come at the right time, but at least, you came on the right day – Thursday.”

According to him, Tutong residents and people from other districts come as early as 6am to get their hands on the freshest produce.

He said, “There’s no other tamu (market) quite like this in Brunei.

“Take a look around and you will be surprised at how much stuff you can get here.

“In fact, most of what you see in other tamus in the other districts (Brunei-Muara, Belait and Temburong) come from Tutong.”

Although the tamu opens from 6am to noon, I could see some vendors packing up at 9am that morning.

When I asked them why they were leaving so early, they laughed and said, “It’s not early! We’ve sold everything, so why not go home?”

The people here are ever so friendly.

You can also find handicraft at the tamu
Why not grow some fruits in your own garden? You can get saplings from the tamu too

As I strolled around the tamu, I overheard people saying, among other things, “Oh! You travelled all the way down here too?”

This is certainly a must-visit site if you ever drop by Tutong on a Thursday morning.

Have you visited Tamu Tutong? Is this really the best tamu in Brunei? We’d love to hear from you.


Is this the best place to see a sunset in Brunei?

“I am going to take you to the number one spot in Brunei to enjoy a sunset.”

This was what a resident of Tutong District proclaimed as he told me to drive to the tip of Kuala Tutong past the Old Ferry Jetty.

I was sceptical at first.

We arrived at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

The place that I visited to see the sunset is on the far left side of the map. You have to drive along a sandy road past the Old Ferry Jetty to get to the spot (Courtesy Google Maps)
You can park your car here before going on foot

“Why are we going here so early?” I asked my guide as I wiped the sweat off my face.

“I want you to see firsthand how this place looks early in the afternoon. When we come back here at around 6pm, I want you to remember how this place looked before the sunset,” he said with a smile.

This was how the area looked at 2 o’clock in the afternoon

While waiting for the ideal time for the sunset, I visited the Eco Ponies Garden in Mukim Lamunin, about a 30 minutes’ drive from Pantai Seri Kenangan. (See story: Enjoy authentic kampong cuisine at Eco Ponies Garden)

After spending an afternoon at Eco Ponies Garden, I returned to the Pantai Seri Kenangan at 6pm.

I was disappointed when I returned at 6pm. It was cloudy!
But 10 minutes later … this happened. It was truly a sight to behold!

What do you think? Is this really the best spot to enjoy a sunset in Brunei?

If you think there is a better spot to view a sunset in Brunei, we’d love to hear from you.

Would you like to have your sunset photos featured on the ‘Neue’ website?

All you have to do is:

(1) Follow WhatsNeue on Instagram and Facebook.

(2) Upload your sunset photo and tag WhatsNeue.

(3) Tell us where you took that photo in Brunei.

(4) Use hashtag #whatsneue in your caption.

So Brunei, are you ready to take on the sunset challenge?

Survival guide to going back to work after your vacation

“Why do I have to go back to work so soon?”

“How am I going to make it through the day at work?”

“I want to go on vacation again!”

These are things that people would normally say the minute they step foot in their office after returning from a holiday break.

Whether it’s a quick getaway to Miri or Kota Kinabalu or a two-week retreat to Europe, you will never be satisfied with the amount of time spent away from the office.

But alas, working is a fact of life for most of us.

Here are 5 tips to help you realign yourself energetically for your first day at work after the holidays:

1. Take things slow

Don’t try to tackle all your work all at once.

You may be feeling overwhelmed with the mountain of outstanding tasks that you have to do.

“It’s important that you keep your cool. Thinking about everything all at once can be overwhelming. Don’t abuse yourself mentally,” a top executive working for a private firm in Beribi, Gadong.

According to him, it’s important that you prioritise your work based on four categories.

“Top of your priority list should be tasks that are ‘important and urgent’, followed by ‘important and not urgent’, ‘not important but urgent’ and ‘not important and not urgent’,” he said, adding that this has helped him with his day-to-day affairs.

2. Unpack your luggage a day before work

Unpacking may not be fun, but it’s necessary (Photos courtesy of Pexels)

A well-travelled friend of mine strongly advises that you should not put off unpacking.

“Unpacking after a trip does not have to be big drama,” she said.

“First thing first … take all your dirty laundry directly to the laundry.

“Nothing will stress you out more than knowing that there’s a pile of laundry that you have to tackle after a long day in the office.

“Unpacking can also be therapeutic, where you get to look at all the cool things you bought from your vacation.”

3. Souvenirs for colleagues

“You will find going back to work easier when you have a bag of goodies for your colleagues,” said a colleague of mine who recently returned from Japan.

“Chocolates and other snacks would usually suffice.

“You don’t need to spend a fortune on souvenirs for your workmates.

“It’s the thought that counts.”

4. Let the photos do the talking

Memories are made of these

If you’ve just returned from a theme park, chances are you may have forked over a pretty sum for a framed photo of you screaming with your loved one during a rollercoaster ride.

So why not take that photo to work and place it on your work station?

Alternatively, you could replace the desktop image of your office PC to one from your holidays. If this isn’t possible, select that image as your home screen of your mobile phone.

These photo will not only boost your mood, it’ll also give you something to look forward to i.e. planning your next holiday getaway.

5. Leave the office on time

Time is ticking … Go home!

As the saying goes: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

There’s always tomorrow.

“Better to do your work slow and steady, rather than rushed but careless,” said a mid-level supervisor of a private printing company.

“I would rather work with a person who double-checks his/her work than a fast but careless worker,” he said, adding that success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.

Do you have any tips on surviving the first day back to work after your vacation? We’d love to hear from you. You can e-mail your comments to lance.thoo@hoco.agency.

Are you buying the right tyres for your car?

Tyres are the most important component of your car.

It’s important not to cheap out when it comes to getting new tyres.

Q: Which types should I buy?

They have to be the right size and the right load rating.

You can choose a tyre with load rating greater than the minimum, but not less than that.

Q: Do you get what you pay for when you buy a premium tyre?

The short answer is ‘Yes’. Unlike tyres for heavy trucks, car tyres are not designed to be rethreaded.

Q: Tyres are designed with different tyres of tread, each of which is meant for different road conditions and driving styles. What are the 4 different types of tread?

(1) Directional (unidirectional)

Rotate directional tyres unless they are remounted.

(2) Symmetrical

Symmetrical tyre tread has the same pattern – continuous grooves and/or independent lugs – across the whole tyre. This type of tyre is the most common and found on most non-high-performance passenger cars because it is typically quiet and long-lasting. Also, they can be rotated in many different ways, which helps to prolong the life of the tyres and makes them more versatile.

(3) Asymmetrical

Asymmetrical tyre tread, most commonly found on sports cars, is a bit of hybrid in that it combines a variety of tread patterns for maximum grip on both wet and dry roads. Usually the inside and middle parts of the tyre will be designed for wet and/or winter traction, while the outside of the tyre will have large tread blocks for maximum cornering capability on dry surfaces. To ensure that the tyres are positioned correctly on the car (to maximise handling capabilities), the sidewalls are marked “outside only” and “inside only”.

(4) Directional/asymmetrical

Directional/asymmetrical tyre tread is the best of both worlds – it features the V-shaped pattern of the directional tread for discharging water away from the tyre and the dry weather traction of the asymmetrical tread. You should follow the same rules as directional tyres when it comes to rotation patterns. Vehicles equipped with different size tyres on the front and rear (staggered), prohibit the ability to rotate directional/asymmetrical tyres unless they are remounted.

Q: Are they steps that I can take to extend the life of my tyres so I don’t have to buy new ones as often?

Simple things like checking your type pressure to make sure they are properly inflated can make a real difference in how long your tyres last. Under- or over-inflated tyres don’t wear evenly and won’t last as long.

Q: How can I save more money on fuel?

Under-inflated tyres are one go the biggest causes of using excess fuel. This is because under-inflated tyres have higher rolling resistance, which means that it takes more effort from the engine to move your vehicle.

Q: Should I check the pressure of my tyres?

Yes! You should make it a habit to check the pressure of all your tyres monthly, including the spare. Even if you don’t see any damage, tyres can lose up to 1 psi (pound per square inch) every month. This can be accelerated by air leaks due to accidental puncture, leaks in the valve or valve cap, or by wheel malfunction.

Q: When should I do this?

For the best results, check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cool – before driving the car or if it has covered less than 3 kilometres at low speed. (Top photo courtesy of Pexel)

What factors are important to you when it comes to buying tyres for your car?