Brunei

SULTANATE OF BRUNEI

PART 1, General Information

PART 2, BLOG Pictures and Gallery

PART 1, GENERAL INFORMATION

Capital city; Bandar Seri Begawan

Population; 400000

Currency; Ringgit Brunei

Km travelled 450km

Days in Brunei; 

Languages; Standard Malay

General

Brunei enjoys a healthy economy and political stability, which is largely thanks to the abundant oil and gas reserves, allowing the people to enjoy a comfortable way of life. the people enjoy plenty of benefits, such as practically free healthcare, a well-established state education system and even a housing scheme dedicated to providing citizens with affordable homes. It has developed wealth from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields. Brunei is ranked fifth in the world by gross domestic product per capita. Forbes Magazine ranks Brunei as the fifth-richest nation out of 182, based on its petroleum and natural gas fields.  Brunei has a rich Islamic heritage, and its practices are regularly observed by the people as the country’s official religion. The nation has some of the region’s most beautiful and iconic mosques, with ancient artefacts of the country’s history. Nearly 50% of the population lives in and around the capital city. 47% lives in the towns along the coast Muara, Seria and Kuala Belait. The remaining 3% lives (around 10000) in the mountains.  Apart from its coastline, the country is surrounded by the Malaysian State of Sarawak. Brunei is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang.

Tourist Highlights

Most of Brunei is within the low land rainforest ecoregion, which covers most of the country. Inland you will find the mountain rainforest. Brunei boasts a colourful exhibit of fascinating customs and rich nature, with a contemplative respect for religion. One of the wonderful things about Brunei is how green it is everywhere! while tracks through the jungle give way to reveal waterfalls. Don’t forget to catch a sunset at one of Brunei’s pristine beaches

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

The capital city of Brunei. Must see places are; Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Jame asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque (largest in Brunei) The Royal Ceremonial Hall, the royal Mausoleum and Kampong Ayer this is a city suburb, where house are built on stilts along the Brunei river for more than 8 kilometres. It was founded 1,000 years ago. The village is considered the largest stilt settlement in the world with approximately 30,000 residents and 2,000 houses.

MUARA

In the north-eastern most part of Brunei. This is the only deep-water port of the country. An urbans cape that boasts magnificent Islamic architecture and the natural green geography of the land, Brunei-Muara is the epitome of traditional culture co-existing harmoniously with urban sophistication.

SERIA

It is the birthplace of the country’s Petroleum industry; it was here where oil was struck here in 1929. The areas like Kampung Panaga is where you find many foreigners (Expats) working for Shell and living in Shell houses. The head offices of Brunei Shell Petroleum are found in this area as well as the well-known clubs Panaga and BSRC. Must visit places are Oil and Gas discovery Centre, The Pekan Seria Mosque, The Billionth Barrel Monument

INLAND AREAS & SUKANG

Leave the city behind experience the real Brunei breathtaking views, flora and fauna, enjoy pristine rainforest, winding rivers, waterfalls and friendly locals. Amazing scenery on the way to Sukong. Meet the village headman in Sukong and hear how 3 tribes live together in peace however many have moved to the capital city. Visit another longhouse, meet more people from the Iban tribe (head-hunters)

CLIMATE

Weather in Brunei can be described as tropical with hot, humid, rainy. Heavy rain between Dec to March (North East Monsoon) and June to October South East Monsoon. Temperature all year round between 24 degrees at night and 34 degrees during the day

PART 2, BLOG Pictures and Gallery

BRUNEI 2009

The Brunei border crossing was easy, and all up took less then one hour. We had to fill out the usual government paperwork with chassis number, engine number etc., get the stamps and insurance and then we were on our way. Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital, is 140km north of the border. After 10km we came onto a toll road! Oops, we have No Brunei Money! We parked the car, walked up to the toll booth and explained that this pour tourist was unaware of toll roads in Brunei and was not able to find a bank at the border. (Only Money exchangers) The guy was very friendly and helpful and understood this poor tourist and let me off for 10 Ringgit. Today was a day of bureaucracy: Brunei-Sarawak-Brunei-Sarawak-Sabah – yes, no less than five border crossings in 170km. They really do love stamps. As we are novice`s in border crossings and signs are only in Arabic/Malay, we stopped, handed over the passports, carnet and hoped for the best. As we entered Brunei it appeared we had missed one stamp. To leave Brunei 55km later however was not possible, because we first needed the entry stamp – it could not be done! So, the border guard wanted us to cross the road where people were entering Brunei from Sabah, so we could go back to the first border post where we entered 60km ago to get the entry stamp! Anyway, the border post was very busy and after 20 minutes in line we figured out that as we had no entry stamp, why would we need an exit stamp?