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Brunei

BRUNEI TRAVEL GUIDE

Brunei Darussalam on the island of Borneo is the closest South East Asia comes to Utopia. It’s a land of sandy beaches, forests, rivers- and no taxes. Although it’s one of the smallest countries, the Sultanate of Brunei is one of the richest nations in Asia. The Sultan of Brunei is the world’s richest monarch; the people have the highest per capita incomes in the world; there are no personal taxes; healthcare and education are free, and houses and cars are subsidised. Sounds too good to be true?

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  • Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Government:Absolute Monarchy
  • Currency: Bruneian dollar (BND) (pegged 1:1 with the Singapore dollar, SGD)
  • Area: 5,765km²
  • Population: 428 962 (2018)
  • Language: Malay (official), English (recognised)
  • Religion:Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs and other 10%
  • Electricity: 240V, 50Hz (UK plug)
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BEST TIME TO VISIT BRUNEI

Brunei has a tropical climate, which means that it is hot and humid all year round. The country has two main seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.

  • The rainy season, which typically lasts from November to February, is characterized by heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. This can make traveling more difficult and some areas may be flooded.
  • The dry season, which runs from March to October, is the best time to visit Brunei. The weather is more pleasant, with less rainfall and lower humidity. This season is the best time for outdoor activities, sightseeing and for traveling.

 

The best time to visit Brunei is between March and October, during the dry season when temperatures are more pleasant and there is less chance of rain. However, the country is tropical, so it is relatively hot and humid year-round.

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BRUNEI WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Brunei Darussalam has an equatorial climate influenced by the monsoon systems known as northeast monsoon and southwest monsoon. The country generally experiences wet and hot conditions throughout the year with average annual rainfall of 3,000 mm and mean daily temperature of 28.04°C between 2010 and 2014

Brunei

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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SNOW SPORT IN BRUNEI

HIKING & CYCLING IN BRUNEI

The best time for outdoor activities in Brunei is between January and May when the weather is fairly dry, but not too hot. June to August is the peak tourist season, but it is incredibly hot! The rainy season is from September to December and it may not be possible to travel to some of the more isolated places.

BEACH OPTIONS IN BRUNEI

With just over 160km of coastline, Brunei has everything from activity-based beaches like Muara Beach to untouched, peaceful beaches like Tungku Beach. 


The best time to visit Brunei is between January and May when the weather is fairly dry, but not too hot. Although June to August is the peak tourist season, but it is incredibly hot! The rainy season is from September to December. 


Be sure to check out these beaches: Muara Beach, Meragang Beach, Berakas Beach, Tungku Beach, Jerudong Beach, Seri Kenangan Beach & Tanjong Batu Beach.

SURFING IN BRUNEI

The best time of year for surfing in Brunei is during the summer months of June to August and sometimes into September. Surf spots can be found at Tungku Beach, Tanjung Batu & Berakas Coastal Park.

KITESURF IN BRUNEI

Although not a particular kitesurfing destination, you can find good conditions for kiting in Brunei from December to March. There are kitesurfing spots at Berakas and Merangang.

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN BRUNEI

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance. For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN BRUNEI

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Brunei

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

BRUNEI TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Brunei can vary depending on the time of year, your travel itinerary and your personal preferences. However, in general, Brunei is considered to be a relatively affordable destination.

Here are some estimated costs for various aspects of a trip to Brunei:

  • Accommodation: Prices for hotels in Brunei range from around $30 to $200 per night. Hostels and budget-friendly options are also available.
  • Food: Eating out in Brunei is relatively inexpensive, with meals at local restaurants typically costing around $5 to $10 per person.
  • Transportation: Public transportation in Brunei is relatively cheap, with bus and taxi fares averaging around $1 to $3 per trip.
  • Activities: Many of the top attractions in Brunei, such as the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the Royal Regalia Museum, and the Kampong Ayer, are free to visit.

It's important to note that the costs above are general estimates, and the actual costs of your trip may vary depending on your specific plans and choices. However, overall, Brunei can be considered as an affordable destination for travelers.

 

Here is an example of a daily budget for a trip to Brunei:

  • Accommodation: $40 - $60 per night for a budget hotel or guesthouse
  • Food: $15 - $20 per day for meals at local restaurants and street food
  • Transportation: $5 - $10 per day for local buses, taxis and ferries
  • Activities: $10 - $20 per day for admission to museums and other attractions

Total daily budget: $70 - $100

Cost & Spending

BRUNEI TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some travel tips for visiting Brunei:

  • Dress modestly: Brunei is a Muslim country, and it's important to dress modestly when visiting. Women should wear long pants or skirts and cover their shoulders, and men should avoid wearing shorts.
  • Be respectful of local customs: Brunei is a conservative country, and it's important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. For example, avoid public displays of affection, and avoid taking photos of people without permission.
  • Bring cash: While credit cards are accepted in some places, it's a good idea to bring cash as well, as many places still only accept cash.
  • Plan ahead for Ramadan: If you're visiting Brunei during the month of Ramadan, be aware that many businesses and restaurants will be closed during the day, and it's important to be respectful of those who are fasting.
  • Bring insect repellent: As Brunei is a tropical country, it's a good idea to bring insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other bugs.
  • Plan for rainy season: If you're visiting during the rainy season, be prepared for the heavy rainfall and potential for flooding in certain areas.
  • Try the local cuisine: Brunei has a unique and delicious cuisine, try out the local dishes like ambuyat, a starchy dish made from the trunk of the sago palm tree.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be able to fully enjoy your trip to Brunei and have a great experience.

Travel Tips


SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF BRUNEI

Brunei is divided into four main regions:

  • Bandar Seri Begawan: This is the capital and largest city of Brunei, and is the main hub for tourism. Here you can find some of the top attractions in Brunei, such as the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the Royal Regalia Museum, and the Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque.
  • Tutong: This region is located to the north of Bandar Seri Begawan, and is known for its beautiful beaches and lush forests. Highlights include the Pantai Serasa Beach, the Temburong National Park, and the Ulu Temburong National Park.
  • Belait: This region is located in the west of the country and is known for its oil and gas industry. The region also offers beautiful beaches, such as the Muara Beach, and historical places like the Seria Oil Field and the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre.
  • Temburong: This region is located in the east of the country and is known for its untouched rainforests and protected wildlife. Highlights include the Ulu Temburong National Park, the Batang Duri and the Bukit Patoi Forest Reserve.

Each region has its own unique attractions and highlights, so it's worth exploring all of them to get a complete understanding of the country.

Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map

Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Brunei:

  • Visit the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque: This is the most iconic and recognizable landmark in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, and is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Southeast Asia. The mosque features a stunning golden dome, intricate carvings and a beautiful artificial lagoon.

  • Explore the Royal Regalia Museum: This museum showcases the history and heritage of the Sultanate of Brunei. It displays the royal regalia, crowns, and other treasures of the country.

  • Take a river cruise on the Kampong Ayer: The "Venice of the East" Kampong Ayer is a village located on stilts over the Brunei River, and a visit to Kampong Ayer is a must-see attraction when in Bandar Seri Begawan.

  • Visit Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque: This is the largest mosque in the country, and is known for its impressive architecture and intricate details. The mosque can hold up to 5,000 people at a time.

  • Visit the Ulu Temburong National Park: This is the largest national park in Brunei and is known for its pristine rainforests, diverse wildlife and beautiful waterfalls. Visitors can explore the park on guided tours, which include jungle trekking, canopy walks, and river cruises.

  • Visit the Pantai Serasa Beach: This is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities. It's also a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

  • Visit the Temburong National Park: This park is known for its rainforest and a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and reptiles. Visitors can explore the park on guided tours, which include jungle trekking, canopy walks, and river cruises.

  • Visit the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre: This is a great place to learn about the history of Brunei's oil and gas industry and the country's oil production process.

  • Visit the Seria Oil Field: This is where the first commercial oil field in Brunei was discovered in 1929 and is a must-see attraction if you're interested in the history of the country.

  • Visit the Muara Beach: This is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities. It's also a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Brunei:

  • Visit the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque: This is the most iconic and recognizable landmark in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, and is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Southeast Asia. The mosque features a stunning golden dome, intricate carvings and a beautiful artificial lagoon.

  • Explore the Royal Regalia Museum: This museum showcases the history and heritage of the Sultanate of Brunei. It displays the royal regalia, crowns, and other treasures of the country.

  • Take a river cruise on the Kampong Ayer: The "Venice of the East" Kampong Ayer is a village located on stilts over the Brunei River, and a visit to Kampong Ayer is a must-see attraction when in Bandar Seri Begawan.


  • Visit Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque: This is the largest mosque in the country and is known for its impressive architecture and intricate details. The mosque can hold up to 5,000 people at a time.

  • Visit the Ulu Temburong National Park: This is the largest national park in Brunei and is known for its pristine rainforests, diverse wildlife and beautiful waterfalls. Visitors can explore the park on guided tours, which include jungle trekking, canopy walks, and river cruises.

  • Visit the Pantai Serasa Beach: This is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities. It's also a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

  • Visit the Temburong National Park: This park is known for its rainforest and a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and reptiles. Visitors can explore the park on guided tours, which include jungle trekking, canopy walks, and river cruises.

  • Visit the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre: This is a great place to learn about the history of Brunei's oil and gas industry and the country's oil production process.

  • Visit the Seria Oil Field: This is where the first commercial oil field in Brunei was discovered in 1929 and is a must-see attraction if you're interested in the history of the country.

  • Visit the Muara Beach: This is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities. It's also a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Brunei
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN BRUNEI

WHAT TO EAT IN BRUNEI

Brunei offers a diverse range of delicious and unique dishes to try when visiting. Here are some popular traditional dishes to try:

  • Nasi Katok: This is a simple but delicious dish that consists of steamed rice served with a choice of curry or fried chicken. It's a popular street food and can be found at many local food stalls.
  • Ambuyat: This is a traditional Bruneian dish made from the sago tree. It is a sticky dough-like substance that is dipped into a variety of sauces.
  • Satay: This is a popular Southeast Asian dish that consists of skewered and grilled meat, usually chicken or beef. It's often served with a peanut sauce and is a must-try when visiting Brunei.
  • Laksa: This is a spicy noodle soup that is made with a variety of ingredients, including coconut milk, shrimp, and vegetables. It's a popular street food and can be found at many local food stalls.
  • Mee goreng: This is a popular traditional dish that is made with stir-fried noodles, vegetables, and meat. It's a great option for those who love spicy food.
  • Soto: This is a traditional Bruneian soup made with chicken or beef and served with noodles.
  • Kueh: This is a traditional Bruneian dessert made from glutinous rice and is steamed, it is sweet and savory.
  • Takoyaki: This is a popular street food that is made with a batter that is filled with diced octopus.
  • Air Batu Campur (ABC): This is a popular local dessert that is made with shaved ice and a variety of toppings, such as fruit, red beans, and glutinous rice.
  • Local fruits: Try some of the exotic fruits that are grown in Brunei such as Durian, Rambutan and others.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious traditional dishes that you can try when visiting Brunei. Be sure to sample as many different dishes as possible to get a true taste of the country's cuisine.

LGBTQ IN BRUNEI

Brunei

WHERE TO STAY IN BRUNEI

When visiting Brunei for the first time, choosing the right area or region to stay in is crucial for experiencing the country's rich cultural heritage, pristine rainforests, and Islamic architecture. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation suggestions for each category: budget, mid-range, and luxury.


Where to stay in Bandar Seri Begawan:

Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei, is where you'll find the country's most iconic landmarks, including the majestic Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the opulent Istana Nurul Iman palace, making it an ideal base for exploring Brunei's cultural and historical treasures.

  • Budget: Badi'ah Hotel - Affordable hotel located in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, offering clean and comfortable rooms with basic amenities at a reasonable price.

  • Mid-range: The Brunei Hotel - Situated in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, The Brunei Hotel offers budget-friendly accommodations with comfortable rooms and basic amenities. Guests appreciate its central location, friendly staff, and proximity to attractions such as the Royal Regalia Museum and Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

  • Luxury: Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam: Located in the city center, Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam offers luxury accommodations with modern amenities and personalized service. Guests can stay in spacious rooms and suites, enjoy access to a swimming pool, fitness center, and dine at the hotel's restaurant serving international cuisine.


Tips: For the best value accommodation in Bandar Seri Begawan, consider booking your stay during the weekdays rather than weekends, as hotels may offer lower rates due to decreased business travel.


Where to stay in the Tutong District:

Tutong District offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling city, with its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and traditional kampong (village) lifestyle, providing visitors with a glimpse into Brunei's natural beauty and rural culture.

  • Budget: Riverside Residence by Gina Suite - Affordable guesthouse located along the Tutong River, offering cozy rooms with river views and easy access to outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking.

  • Mid-range: Jeruton Hotel - A charming boutique hotel set amidst tropical gardens, offering comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and guided tours to nearby attractions like Tasek Merimbun, Brunei's largest lake.


Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Tutong District, consider booking directly with guesthouses or smaller hotels, which may offer special packages or discounts for longer stays or group bookings.


Where to stay in the Belait District (Kuala Belait):

Belait District is known for its oil industry and scenic coastal landscapes, with attractions such as the Billionth Barrel Monument and the picturesque Pantai Seri Kenangan beach, offering visitors a mix of industrial heritage and natural beauty.

  • Budget: Seri Belait Hotel: Seri Belait Hotel provides affordable accommodations with clean rooms and friendly service. Guests appreciate its central location and easy access to Kuala Belait's business district and recreational facilities.

  • Mid-range: Garden Sentral Hotel - A modern hotel featuring comfortable rooms, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, and a central location near Kuala Belait's shops and eateries.

  • Luxury: Keoja Hotel: Keoja Hotel offers luxury accommodations with elegant rooms and upscale amenities. Guests can indulge in spacious suites, fine dining experiences, and leisure facilities such as a swimming pool and spa.


Tips: For the best value accommodation in Belait District, consider visiting during the off-peak season (January to March and October to December) when prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists, but the weather is still pleasant for outdoor activities.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

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DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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