Brunei in Brief || Brunei Muara District || Tutong District || Belait District || Temburong District
Festivals || Sports and Recreation || Transportation || Where to Eat || Tours || Shopping
Banking || Communications || Medical Facilities || Water and Electricity
Common Courtesies || Business Hours
|Brunei in Brief|
located north-west corner of the island of Borneo. It has a land border
with the Malaysian state of Sarawak and a coastline along the shore of the
South China Sea, encompassing a total area of 5,765 square kilometres.
It is divided into four districts : Brunei-muara, Tutong, Belait and Temburong. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is in the Brunei-Muara district and this is the main centre of population and administration. Some 70% of the land is covered by tropical rain forest . Brunei is a Malay Islamic Monarchy with a 600 year recorded history, which has given rise to well-established traditions and a unique cultural identity. The state is ruled, in accordance with traditional Islamic values, by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu 'izzadin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam. Since resuming full sovereign independence in l984, Brunei has played an important role in regional affairs as member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The population is about 280,000 of which Malays comprise 70%. There are also communities of Chinese, Indians and others. Malay is the official national language, but English is widely spoken and used in business and commerce.
Brunei's equatorial climate brings consistently high levels of temperature, rainfall and humidity, with only minor seasonal variations. The average temperature is 28 degrees celsius.
|Brunei Muara District|
with an area of 570 sq km, is the smallest of Brunei's four districts. But
it remains the most important, populous and bustling district because the
capital, Bandar Seri Begawan - seat of the government ministeries and departmental
headquarters - is located here. Starting from the city centre itself and
moving out into the rural areas, the district has a wide variety of sights
to see and places of interest to visit.
The City Center Bandar Seri Begawan
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque Dominating the city centre of Bandar Seri Begawan, this is one of the most magnificent mosques in Southeast Asia and a symbol of the strong Islamic faith of the people of Brunei Darussalam. Completed in 1958, it is named after the 28th Sultan, Omar Ali Saifuddien, who is still referred to as the architect of modern Brunei. The mosque's design reflects the use of the world's most elegant materials, including marble from Italy, granite from Shanghai, stained glass and chandeliers from England and carpets from Belgium and Saudi Arabia. Located in a lagoon beside the mosque is a replica of a 1 6th century mahligai barge, which was used to stage colourful religious ceremonies such as Koran reading competitions during the 1960s and early 70s. Visitors to the mosque are advised to remove their shoes before entering and should be dressed conservatively. Visiting hours: Sunday through Wednesday from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon, 1.00 pm to 3.30 pm and from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm. On Friday: 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm . The mosque is closed to non-muslims on Thursday.
Early European visitors to Brunei Darussalam described the Kampong Ayer, or Water Village, as the Venice of the East. Today, visitors continue to be fascinated by these traditional and historic houses on stilts which span the greater part of the Brunei River.
Home for about 30,000 people, the Kampong Ayer is accessible by boat or via wooden bridges from the houses in Kampong Ayer are joined by a maze of inter-connecting wooden walkways, and visitors are free to roam at their leisure. His Majesty's government has provided every modern facility for the residents, including schools, clinics, police stations and mosques. A visit to Brunei Darussalam would be incomplete without a trip to this unique and intriguing place.
The Royal Regalia Building
Situated in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, the Royal Regalia Museum was built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty's accession to the throne in 1992. This museum is home to a collection of royal regalia, including the royal chariot, gold and silver ceremonial armoury, the jewel-encrusted crowns used during the coronation and a replica of the throne which His Majesty uses on state occasions. There is also an exhibition which fully documents the history of the constitution of Brunei Darussalam. The Royal Regalia Building is open to the public daily from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, and on Friday from 9.00 am to 11.30 am and 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm. Visitors should remove their shoes before entering the building.
Brunei History Centre
Established in 1982, the Brunei History Centre was founded to undertake research into the rich history of Brunei Darussalam. Among the areas of special interest is the genealogy and history of the Sultans of Brunei and the Royal Family. There is a display area open to the public from 7.45 am to 12.15 pm and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm on Monday through Thursday and on Saturday. The centre is situated next to the Royal Regalia Building.
Lapau and Dewan Majlis
Another magnificent building within Bandar Seri Begawan is the Royal Ceremonial Hall, better known as the Lapau, where the present Sultan was crowned on the 1st of August 1968. An exquisite golden dome highlights the Lapau's interior. Traditional royal ceremonies are normally held here. Adjoining the Lapau is the Dewan Majlis or Parliament House.
Tasek Recreational Park
This is one of the oldest recreational parks within the city. As well as a natural waterfall and lake, the park features a beautiful garden of trees and flowers. For those who want to get away from the noisy traffic of the city, this park is an ideal place to spend some time. It takes about 15 minutes to walk there from the Lapau. Brunei Shell, as part of their community work, have also installed an 8m high wall for those interested in climbing.
The tamu, or open market, is situated on the banks of the Kianggeh River in central Bandar Seri Begawan. Here one can find a wide variety of items including local dishes, fruits and vegetables, flowers and handicrafts. The tamu is open every day from morning to late evening.
The Istana Nurul Iman and Taman Persiaran Damuan
The most impressive site in Bandar Seri Begawan is His Majesty's royal palace, known as the Istana Nurul Iman. It is the largest residential palace in the world, and its golden domes, vaulting roof and riverside setting make it a spectacular subject for photographs. The palace is open to the public only during Hari Raya, when residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to greet His Majesty and the royal households. The best view of the istana is from the Persiaran Damuan, which is a park along the river bank offJalan Tutong. It has walkways, a well equipped playground and feature six outdoor sculptures by ASEAN artists, on the theme of Unit,vin Diversity. The Persiaran Damuan is popular for jogging and has several foodstalls in the evenings.
Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation Complex
Adjacent to the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, this is the latest imposing addition to the skyline and waterfront of Bandar Seri Begawan. It is a commercial and shopping complex, designed to generate revenue for a foundation dedicated to the welfare of the people. It is a personal initiative of His Majesty, and is a testament to his abiding concern for the well-being of the people of Brunei. The complex is designed withan amalgamation of both traditional Malay and modern architecture . Its main walkway features excellent views of the OmarAli Saifuddien Mosque at one end and Kampong Ayer at the other. The shopping complex, opened in July 1996, and contains the biggest selection of shopping facilities in Brunei. Various branded goods are sold here. With the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation Complex, Bandar Seri Begawan aims to create a complete new image in the city centre, thus making it a major tourist attraction.
Jalan Tutong Area
Taman Mini Perayaan Kampong Parit
About 26 km from Bandar Seri Begawan, the Taman Mini Perayaan Kampong Parit features authentic mini replicas of dwellings that represent rural Brunei and the Kampong Ayer. The models are built in the traditional manner and are surrounded by forest greenery, making it easy to imagine what life was like in days gone by. Kampong Parit also includes a childrens' playground and open-air local-style food stalls. Community events and festivals are often held here, such as the Sultan's birthday celebration.
Located about 10 kms from the city in Mukim Kilanas, Wasai Kandal is best known for its picturesque pools and waterfalls. The first is called Air Terjun Menyusop (Menyusop Waterfall), and is only some 360 metres from the road. From there, the path leads on to Tasek Laboi (Laboi Lake), a still, swampy pond surrounded by tall trees.
Further on, the trail passes Wasai Lumut Lumpan, a small pool with a cascade below it, and Wasai Dang Umai, where there is another pool and a small waterfall . The path climbs a low ridge line into the next small valley, passing Ayer Terjun Tinggi (the High Waterfall), which nestles in a grotto surrounded by trees a hundred feet or more high.
From there, the path winds its way along a stream bed and past stands of bamboo to Ayer Terjun Rendah (the Low Waterfall), which has a large plunge-pool.
Here traditional, intricately designed sarongs are woven using gold or silver threads called 'jong sarat'. They have been worn on ceremonial occasions for centuries, and are valued as heirlooms and collector's pieces.
silver jewellery and artifacts, such as ornamental cannon and the snake-like
dagger known as the 'keris', can be purchased from the centre's handicrafts
Tomb of Suhan Bolkiah
Here the visitor can enjoy a variety of displays including a unique and priceless collection of Islamic art. A large private collection of elaborately gilded Holy Korans are testament to the dedication and craftsmanship of ancient calligraphers, and there are also treasures of ceramics, glassware and carpets.
Other galleries here contain bronze ware, Borneo ethnographic displays, a natural history collection and one devoted to the oil industry. The museum is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily except Monday, and from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and 2.30 pm to 5 pm on Friday.
The museum is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily except Tuesday, and between 9.00 am to 11.30 am and 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm on Friday.
'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Centre, Kampong Rimba Gadong
Next to the main stadium are three other new complexes: the International Tennis Centre, the International Swimming Complex and the Practice Track and Field Complex. More sports complexes, including an athletes' village - a squash centre, hockey centre, an indoor stadium which can seat 6,000 and a multi purpose hall which can seat 2,000, are being built under the 6th National Development Plan of Brunei Darussalam. The stadium is a popular spot for jogging; enjoyed by the young and the old.
Forestry Recreational Park
The grounds, which have extensive childrens' play facilities, are open from 2.00 pm until 2.00 am daily. The games and rides open as follows : Mondays-Wednesdays 5.00pm-12.00am Thurdays & Saturdays 5.00 pm - 2.00 am Fridays, Sundays and Public Holidays 2.00 pm -12.00 am During Ramadhan 8.00 pm - 2.00 am.
Less than 27 km from Bandar Seri Begawan, Muara Beach is very popular with adults and children alike; its long stretch of perfect golden sand is ideal for strolling or sunbathing.
The facilities in the area include a well developed picnic ground, changing rooms, toilets, a childrens' playground and - at weekends - food and drink stalls. This is an ideal place for a family outing.
The remains of the Brooketon coal mine are also accessible, in dense secondary forest near Bukit Tanjong Batu, on the outskirts of Muara town. The mine operated between 1888 and 1924.
The soon-to-be-completed new Government Watersports Complex has facilities for international-level competition events such as sailing, windsurfing and water skiing, a swell as facilities for casual sportsmen and families.
get to these places?
covers an area of 1166 sq km, making it the third largest of the districts.
The Main town isTutong. Less than 30,000 people this district, and this
includes various indigenous groups such as the Tutong, Kedayan, Dusun and
Basong Recreation Park
From the town centre, Sungai Basong Recreation Park is just a 5-minute drive.
Tutong Kampong Serambagun
Further along the road one passes through Kampong Kuala Tutong, amidst a forest of coconut palms, to reach the old jetty. This was the site of a ferry across the Tutong River before the present bridge was built in 1959. The beach is a 5-minute drive from Tutong town, and a lovely spot for picnics, fishing and swimming.
get to Tutong District?
is one of the most important districts in the state, because it is the centre
of the oil and gas industries - the country's main resources. Oil was first
discovered in Seria in 1929, and commercial production began in 1932.
Liang Forest Recreational Park
This is one of several parks which have been developed and maintained for public recreation. The park is one of very few lowland forest areas in Southeast Asia and has facilities for general recreational activities, such as picnicking, jogging and hiking. It also caters for natural history devotees, with self-guided or organised group tours of the forest. The main pond, with its shelter platforms and open areas in the central complex, should satisfy visitors looking simply for fresh air and beautiful outdoor surroundings.
The more energetic may care to explore the network of well-marked nature trails that wind their way around the park, including a high-level canopy walkway in the tree-tops. This wonderful facility will give you a totally different perspective on the rainforest.
Sungai Mau Opening only on Sunday mornings between 6.30 a.m. and 11.00
a.m., this tamu provides a market place for locals, although some customers
come from as far afield as Bandar Seri Begawan. Shoppers can find fresh
goods such as fish. deer meat and wildvegetables from the remote jungles
of Labi. It is best to arrive early in the morning, when the tamu is crowded
with people and the goods are at their freshest. The tamu is 15 minutes'
drive from the Sungai Liang/Labi road junction.
Lalak Forestry Recreation Park
A rare and interesting place, it features an alluvial freshwater swamp or empran. During rainy periods it fills up like a lake, and in drier spells the waters recede and the valley becomes covered with sedges - mainly of the species Lepironia.
There are shelters, footpaths and a 200metre wooden walkway which spans most of the lake.
crosses several steep ridges en route to the fall, but once there you
can enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the jungle and the cool, pure water of
the river. Because this is a long walk, it is advisable to take with you
both drinking water and sun protection gear.
Rampayoh longhouse has 16 doors and is the nearest to Labi. Othersinclude Mendaram Besar, Mendaram Kecil and, at the end of the road, Teraja. They are populated by Iban folk - once feared as headhunters but now more given to pastoral activities. Visitors are always warmly welcomed. Etiquette requires that you take some small gifts, ask permission before entering and remove footwear before doing so.
Several trails head off into the jungle along this stretch of the road. They are clearly sign posted and marked, and lead the walker to scenic waterfalls and hills in virgin primary forest. They are relatively undemanding and guides are not necessary, but for your own safety you are advised to seek local advice before setting off.
Jubilee Recreational Park
The approach to the monument is through an arched entrance and between two straight rows of trees. The arches serve to remind visitors that Brunei is an Islamic environment, and the floor is made up of tiles laid in an Islamic pattern.
There are several "nodding donkey" wells still operating in the area, pumping oil from hundreds of metres below. The cool sea breeze makes this a delightful area in which to relax. The monument is just a 5-minute drive from town centre.
One can travel to the Malaysian state of Sarawak by road from Kampong Sungai Teraban to the immigration post at Sungai Tujoh.
Apart from the pintu gerbang and the monument, there are exhibition huts, shelters, public toilets and a childrens' playground for the convenience of visitors.
get to Belait District?
your river trip to Bangar, which is the main town in Temburong, keep a close
watch along the shores at low tide for monkeys, monitor lizards and crocodiles
basking in the sun. Most of Temburong is dense virgin forest, with a few
patches of land used for cultivation by the Malays, Muruts and Ibans who
Belalong Mini Park
Field Studies Centre Kuala Belalong
The centre is a focal point for teaching, training and research into the lowland tropical forests of Brunei. It can also provide facilities for fieldwork at both university and secondary school level, which are available to schools, higher education institutes, government departments and bona-fide overseas scientists. The centre can accommodate up to 24 people.
there is not easy, and can take up to two and a half hours of pushing
and pulling a longboat over a series of 23 rapids. But the site is a natural
wonder of international importance. For example, one entomologist doing
research there found over 400 species of beetle in a single tree. Applications
for overnight visits must be made through the UBD.
The Peradayan Forest Reserve includes the twin hills of Bukit Peradayan, which rises to 410 metres (1225 ft) and Bukit Patoi, at 310 metres (950 ft) above sea level.
The area has a unique geological character, with some unusual caves and rock formations. One may also encounter wildlife, such as kijang (deer). The rocky summit of Bukit Patoi has an open patch of flat stone which acts as a viewpoint and helipad. There is a pleasant breeze at the summit, and panoramic views of green jungle, blue sea and the villages and fields of neighbouring Sarawak.
Bound Brunei Darussalam (OBBD)
OBBD tailor their courses according to the nature, age and requirements of the client group, and the amount of time The facility is not just for schools and youth groups; it can also offer activities as part of an organisation's management development programme or for people who simply want a challenge. OBBD is unique among Outward bound - being the only one situated in dense primary rainforest. The Project Director of
At the Park Headquarters located at theconfluence of the Temburong and Belalong there will be an information centre, staff quarters and a surau. Accommodation for visitors is located nearby; there are about 7 guest houses and 3 camping sites complete with facilities within the Park. Access to the Park is by Temuai or Long Boat.
get to Temburong District
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