Brunei Darussalam is a small state in the South-East Asia to the north-west of Borneo. It borders Malaysia. On the north, the country is washed by the South China Sea. The capital city is Bandar Seri Begawan.
The climate in Brunei is wet tropical. Over two-thirds of the territory is covered with tropical forests. The touristic season in Brunei lasts all the year round. The annual temperature is +26 - +28℃.
The official language is Malay. English and Chinese are also widespread in Brunei. The official religion is Islam, about 67% of the population practice it. Almost 13% are the Buddhists and 10% are the Christians (Catholics and Protestants).
Brunei is a true paradise for those who love nature. The hallmark of the country is the mangroves growing right in the water. The mangroves are unique plants which form an unusual and rich ecosystem. In Brunei, the tourists can watch the birds and animals in the national parks, go kayaking, rafting or diving.
Those who love the monuments of history and architecture will find many interesting places in the capital city. A local market is a good place for shopping.
If you like hiking, take a trip to Jalan Palo Kubu Syengkyerong. On this resort, there are sports clubs and parks.
The best way to get to Brunei is a flight. The tourists should be aware that they have to take a transit flight with a stop in one of the Asian cities. There are direct flights to Brunei from Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Singapore.
The duration of the flight depends on the route. For example, it will take you 4.5 hours to get from Shanghai to Bandar Seri Begawan.
The tourists can take a flight to Malaysia and then get to Brunei by bus or by car. As a rule, border crossing takes a lot of time. This is a convenient way of travelling for those tourists who want to see the sights of Malaysia first.
There is a ferry running between Malaysia and Brunei and departing from the Labuan Island.
EU citizens do not need a visa to travel to Brunei and they can stay in the country for 90 days.
The citizens of Ukraine can stay in Brunei for 30 days without a visa.
The citizens of other CIS countries must obtain a visa at the Embassy of Brunei or in a visa centre. The documents are submitted personally, through a trusted person or a travel agency.
It usually takes from one to three months to get a visa.
It can be refused to issue a visa to people who have visited Israel before.
The tourists can bring in the foreign currency without restrictions, but it is necessary to declare the money. The export of foreign currency is limited to the sum indicated on the declaration form. The export of national currency is limited to 1.000 BND as well as the export of Singapore dollars.
The tourists can bring in Brunei the following goods duty-free:
- personal belongings;
- some alcohol and tobacco.
It is prohibited to import:
- goods, coins or bank notes from Israel;
- Indian rupee;
- antiquities (a permit is required);
- wild birds, animals, and plants.
The tourists can export from Brunei souvenirs for personal purposes and they should provide a sales receipt from the store where they bought the goods.
When leaving the country, the tourists must pay a duty of 8 US dollars.
It is not allowed to export antiquities and times having historical, artistic or archaeological value.
The Brunei cuisine combines traditional Malaysian dishes, Indonesian, Chinese, and Thai cooking traditions. The staple food here is rice. The original Brunei dish is rice with beans and generously flavoured with spicy sauces.
If you stay in Brunei, treat yourself to the traditional beef stew with nuts Rendang and kebabs Satai.
The tourists will enjoy the taste of a thick chicken or beef soup Soto Ayami.
Chicken is the main ingredient for a hot spicy dish Serondeng Padang and boiled chicken with noodles and curry sauce Curry laksa.
The foodies will have a great choice of seafood dishes, of course, all with curry sauce. Savory and stewed prawns Udang sambal harem bersantan, fish curry, prawn and beans stew Petan, and various fish and clams dishes.
For a dessert, you will be offered a traditional rice cake Ketupat and pudding.
The popular drinks in Brunei are tea and coffee. The locals love coconut water and juices.
In Muslim Brunei, they do not produce alcoholic drinks, but the tourists can buy imported beverages.
The currency of Brunei is the Brunei Dollar which is divided into 100 cents. The Brunei Currency and Monetary Board issues the banknotes from 1 to 10.000 Brunei dollars.
The tourists can pay with Singapore dollars as this currency is equally legal here. Be attentive with this as Brunei salesmen do not make a difference between these two currencies when they write the price.
One can exchange currency in exchange offices and at banks.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted in large stores, at petrol stations, in hotels, and restaurants.
You can pay with traveller’s checks in large stores, malls, and exchange offices.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Brunei
During your trip to Brunei, you will have a chance to see wonderful Oriental architecture, magnificent palaces and learn better about the life of the people living in Borneo.
- The Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque is ranked by the Guinness Book of Records due to its impressive size and magnificence. The major dome is 52 meters high and is covered with 24 carat gold.
- The Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah has been built by the currently ruling sultan. All the 29 domes are covered with gold and along the perimeter, the domes are encrusted with gemstones.
- The Istana Nurul Iman is the largest residential palace in the world. Once a year, at the end of Ramadan, the palace opens its doors for everyone. This is one of the most popular places among the tourists.
- The water village Kampong Ayer is a settlement which has existed for 1.300 years and it is a traditional place of living for the local people. About 30.000 people live here and in every house, there is running water, air conditioner, and Internet.
- The Center of Crafts contains collections of silver objects, textile and other crafts.
- The Brunei Museum contain a collection of ancient exhibits, including Islam manuscripts which date back to the 10th - 11th centuries A.D. This is a must-see in Brunei.
- The Royal Regalia Museum contains an interesting collection of objects which were presented to the members of the Royal family.
- The Wasai Kandal is a picturesque reserve in the jungle with amazing waterfalls Air Terdzhun Menyusoup.
Souvenirs in Brunei
In Brunei, the tourists usually by the following souvenirs:
- national male shirts sarong;
- clam shells;