Best things to do in Brunei
Find out more about those top places in Brunei
Bandar Seri Begawan, formerly called “Brunei Town”, is the capital of oil rich nation Brunei. A relatively small city with a population of 423,000, it has a rich culture and an advancing economy. Its economy makes it a hub for economic activities attracting citizens from neighboring Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The city is famous for Istana Nurul Iman which is the World’s largest residential palace, Kampong Ayer a village situated on water, Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque its 29 dome Mosque and the Royal Museum Palace.
Known as the “World’s largest residential palace”, the majestic Istana Nurul Iman is the official residence of Hassanil Bolkiah the Sultan of Brunei and the seat of the Brunei government. The Palace derives its name from a blend of Malay and Arabic which translates to “light of faith”. It was designed by Filipino Visayan architect Leandro V. Locsin, the building contains 1,788 rooms; which includes a mosque, 5 swimming pools, a banquet hall that can accommodate 5,000 people and 257 bathrooms. The palace is not open to the public except during 10 days of the Ramadan period and the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Kampong Ayer which means “water village” is a historical village situated on the Brunei River. The village referred to as the “Venice of the East” has about 40 smaller settlements and a population of about 13,000 people. The houses of Kampong Ayer are often connected by walkways and bridges with makes it easy for movement round the village but there are several places inaccessible and require Perhu Tambang (water taxis) and speedboats. There are also several mosques, schools, police stations and other basic infrastructure.
Established on 14th July 1994, the mosque is the largest of two national mosques in Bandar Seri Begawan. The Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is famous for its 29 domes and four minarets that are 58 meters high. It is one of the most sacred places in the city and has a capacity of about 5000 people.
Located just ten minutes away from the city center, the Tasek Lama Recreational Park is for tourists and locals seeking a breath of fresh air or an escape from life in the capital. The mini tropical jungle is an outdoor paradise, with several activities to partake in such as jogging on the different multileveled trails and climbing a 12 meters wall. There are also mini gardens and a children’s playground for visitors with children. The park is very important to the city not only in terms of tourism but the fact that it is a reservoir providing the city with drinking water.
Established September 1992, the Royal Museum is set up to exhibit the lifestyle of the Sultan and other royalties of Brunei. The building which as a large gold-dome was originally called the “Churchill’s Memorial Building”. It is currently a museum filled with items from the Sultan’s personal life such as crowns with jewels, ceremonial costumes, weapons, military honors and treaties.