Many tourists will be forgiven for not thinking about the possibility of traveling to Brunei when considering a trip to Southeast Asia. It is also one of the least visited country in the region. Even though it’s tiny, Brunei has enough stuff to do to keep you busy. You have come to the right place if you are wondering what to do in Brunei. Here are some of the best highlights places to visit after a bit of research on all the Brunei attractions.
In Malay, Brunei is called as Brunei Darussalam. Officially, the nation is also known as “The Abode of Peace”. This is a small country that is completely surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea and consists of two separate regions.
In comparison to Indonesian or Malaysian areas such as Kalimantan or Sarawak and Sabah, it is the only country entirely situated on Borneo Island. Most of the population live in the eastern part of the country, where Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei’s international airport and capital, is located.
Brunei did something incredible. A virgin rainforest has been perfectly preserved. Such efforts to promote sustainable tourism in Brunei make the nation truly special. This is because few countries have tried so hard to conserve their natural surroundings. Eighty percent of Brunei is surrounded by virgin rainforest. That said, a fair amount of Ulu Temburong isn’t open to the public, but it’s worth the route there and the hike.
Adventure travelers are going to love Ulu Temburong’s 60 m high canopy walk. Tourists who are afraid of heights are not encouraged to participate in this activity. Next, it is definitely a unique opportunity to experience the typical longboat trip upstream of a river. There is no road to the National Park of Ulu Temburong. The route is only accessed by boat which makes the ride that much more magical. The river is fairly shallow towards Ulu Temburong and flows across the river. While you sit in a typical longboat, it is easy to imagine going back in time.
Istana Nurul Iman.
The Royal Palace, Istana Nurul, the official residence of the Brunei sultan. This is the largest residential palace in the world, more than four times the size of Versailles Palace. It has 1788 rooms, air-conditioned stables for the polo ponies of the sultan, handles for the gold gate and 257 bathrooms. The palace is only open to the public at the end of Ramadan during the three-day celebrations of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Besides that, having a water-taxi cruise is the perfect way to check it out on the other 362 days of the year.
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.
Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien, completed in 1958, is titled after Brunei’s 28th Sultan. An artificial lagoon surrounding this mosque acts as a reflecting pool. The floor and walls were made of the finest Italian marble, the chandeliers are manufactured in England and the lavish carpets from Saudi Arabia. The central dome is covered by a 3.5 million-piece glass mosaic overlaying the real gold leaf. There are Monday to Wednesday visiting hours for non-Muslims inside the mosque.
This is from 8:30AM till 12:00PM, from 1:30PM till 3:00PM and from 4:30PM till 5:30PM. The mosque is closed to visitors on Thursdays. It’s only available from 4:30PM to 5:30PM on Fridays. The visiting hours on Saturdays and Sundays are close and throughout meditation or any religious activity, it is closed. Visitors are required to properly remove shoes and dress to show respect. Next, at the main entrance, women are given the robes to wear. The authority does not allow tourists to take pictures inside the mosque, but taking pictures outside are allowed.
Museum Of Brunei.
The Brunei Museum is a great source of information about the country’s culture and history, including the oil and gas industry’s latest developments. The Brunei Sultanate was a powerful empire until the 15th century when wars and quarrels caused its decline. The nation remained under different forms of protection from the UK for most of the period after that until full independence was achieved in 1984. This museum is located on the coastal road at Kota Batu, 4.5 km east of the central BSB. The oldest pieces that can be found here are Iranian and Central Asian ceramics and blown glass from Egypt. Besides that, the Levant dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, as well as Quran manuscripts, tiny Qurans of matchbox size and gold jewelry can be found as well.
Update: For major restoration, the Brunei Museum is closed and is said to reopen at the end of 2020.
You should visit Brunei, if interested to see what one of Asia’s least visited countries is like. Besides that, traveling abroad is a critical time to stay alert, even if you feel 100% secure. Keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times and ensure that important items are always with you. Often, keep an eye on unusual behavior and pay close attention to the local traffic and bicyclists.
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