Brunei has long been synonymous with opulence and oil money. There’s little that immediately counteracts that image in this nation of shimmering whitewashed mosques and golden-tipped minarets. In this article, we will give you a list of the top must-visit destinations in Brunei to explore.
Top Must-visit Destinations in Brunei
1. Bandar Seri Begawan
Bandar Seri Begawan is perhaps the most richly-adorned capital you’ve never heard of.
Home to just 50,000 people, it’s a pint-sized lesson in how oil money can change the world.
Having been transformed in the last century, from a seaside trading town to the gilded epicenter of drilling and home of the great Sultan of Brunei, the town hosts wondrous – if a tad gaudy – sights like the gold-tipped Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the colossal Istana Nurul Iman, which holds the world record for the largest governmental building on the globe.
There’s also fascinating Islamic craft on display in the Brunei Museum, and oodles of shopping to be had in the malls of Gadong.
2. Ulu Temburong National Park
The revered Green Jewel of Brunei, Ulu Temburong sits nestled deep in the recesses of the country’s eastern exclave.
A veritable mecca for ecotourists and wildlife lovers, it’s been hailed across the globe as a fine example of state-sponsored conservation.
In all, it covers a whopping 550 square kilometers of primeval rainforest, and hosts the exotic likes of rhinoceros hornbills and swinging gibbon colonies.
Visitors who make their way here can enjoy safaris on specially constructed rope bridges in the canopies, which offer a unique perspective atop the old-growth jungle.
3. Kampong Ayer
Always featured among the top attractions in Brunei, Kampong Ayer provides an experience found nowhere else on the planet. The historical floating village consists of more than 40 smaller settlements connected with a maze-like network of wooden boardwalks. A total of 13,000 residents live inside Kampong Ayer who have their own schools, mosques, and shops.
Speedboats cost approximately B$1 ($0.66 USD) to ferry residents and tourists to the world’s largest stilted village.
4. Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
The stunning Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Kampong Kiarong is the largest mosque in Brunei. Built-in honor of the current Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, it is one of the two national mosques of Brunei.
The glittering golden domes of Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque create an aura of grandeur and mystery. Being a relatively new structure, built at the end of the 20th century, much of its history is actually being lived out right now by the citizens of Brunei. A visit to the Jame asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is perfect for a day of introspection, soaking in the architectural marvel and getting a glimpse into the religious lives of the citizens of Brunei.
5. Royal Regalia Museum
Royal Regalia Museum, located at the center of Bandar Seri Begawan, is dedicated to the Sultan of Brunei. It depicts the life of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and the history of his rule.
Royal Regalia Museum is an important museum in regard to the history of Brunei and has many exhibitions featuring how the royals work and rule including the replica of the Sultan’s silver jubilee celebration chariot.
It is home to some of the most valuable items of the royal family as well.
6. Istana Nurul Iman
7. Pekan Tutong
Located right on the edge of the South China Sea, it’s home to a clutch of acclaimed schools and a few good guesthouses.
However, the major pull is surely the golden stretch of sand that lines the city at Seri Kenangan.
This sparkling, wide beach runs along with the courses of the Tutong River, and plays host to enticing beach bars and seafood restaurants as it goes – it’s surely one of the top places for sun, sand, and sea in all of Brunei.