Brunei: An introduction
21st January, 2004
Total reviews: 24
At least 113
Along with Malaysia and Indonesia, Brunei is one of the countries that divide up the island of Borneo. Although it's the smallest of the three, it's the richest thanks to oil and is probably best known for its extravagant Sultan, one of the world's wealthiest people.
The capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan is home to just 140,000 people and is surprisingly down to earth. The main attractions are the gold-domed Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the Royal Museum and the traditional "Kampong Ayer" (water village on stilts), but the country is small enough to use BSB as a base for trips to Ulu Temburong National Park or scuba-diving the shipwrecks that lie off the coast.
What Brunei isn't known for is partying -- it's a dry country. Foreign visitors are allowed to import a bottle of booze for personal consumption or you can try the bar at the Sheraton.
Bandar Seri Begawan does have an international airport with flights to most Southeast Asian capitals as well as Dubai and London. That said, for most travellers Brunei is not the destination but a transit point for travelling overland between the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. While it is possible to breeze through in a day, it's worth spending a night in Bandar Seri Begawan, if only for the bragging rights that you've been to this little-known country.
Brunei's currency is the Brunei dollar which is pegged one-to-one with the Singapore dollar. Thankfully travelling in Brunei isn't as expensive as in Singapore, though it is more costly than Malaysia. A private room at one of the city's few budget hotels start from B$30 or a bunk at the youth hostel from B$10. The price of oil is so low that nearly every Bruneian owns a car or two, but there's a network of minivans for public transport at a flat fare of B$1.
#1 Posted: 1/2/2013 - 19:17
3rd February, 2013
I agree, brunei is so much cheaper in singapore where the standard of living has greatly skyrocketed. But the cities itself have lots of differences, Singapore has become really cosmopolitan with the influx of so many foreigners whereas Brunei has somewhat still retains it identity
#2 Posted: 3/2/2013 - 21:56
8th March, 2013
- brunei population is slightly more than 400,000 now.
- no booze at Sheraton bar. the only place sell alcohol is British Garison store in Seria, restricted to their personnel only.
#3 Posted: 8/3/2013 - 11:39
12th February, 2006
Location United States
Total reviews: 47
At least 98
is mariajames a spambot?
#4 Posted: 26/3/2013 - 14:18
6th June, 2009
Total reviews: 10
No booze, no nightlife, no salsa = no way.
#5 Posted: 27/3/2013 - 03:29
2nd April, 2013
Brunei is such a nice place as well as cheaper as compare to other places
#6 Posted: 2/4/2013 - 03:47
4th November, 2013
When i agree, brunei is significantly more affordable inside singapore the place that the quality lifestyle has drastically skyrocketed. Nevertheless the metropolitan areas itself have lots of variations, Singapore is becoming truly multicultural with the influx regarding countless foreigners while Brunei has fairly however retains this identity.
#7 Posted: 4/11/2013 - 20:43
13th December, 2013
Hi, I am getting married at the end of September and we are looking to spend the month of October in Thailand for our honeymoon! Any suggestions on where to stay, what to do, we are interested in snorkeling, anything on boats, rock climbing, staying in beach bungalows and looking for really cool remote islands and nice beaches .
Any advice on anything would be nice! Looking forward to hearing from anyone, thanks so much!
#8 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 10:56
5th December, 2013
Yeah you are right, Burnai is nice place, cheaper price of goods, overall a nice place for me...
#9 Posted: 17/12/2013 - 09:38
16th February, 2012
Re overland connections by BUS:
2/day to MIRI-Srawak, at 8.00 and 14.00-a little later from Miri, cost is 18B$ or 40/45 MYR, pay in bus, by PHBS-busline.
1/day direct to KK=Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, at 8.00 from both sides, takes 10-11 hrs and passes from Brunei: piece of Srawak-into another part of BI-then again Srawak-Sabah (also has border controls, even though its all Malaysia), so you gain 8 stamps in your passpt. Cost 45 B$ (ca 100 MYR)-pay on bus, or in BI at a cafe nearby the stand (close by to the local BUSterminal).
There is also a direct bus to INDOnesia-Pontianak, via Srawak-KUching, but it may take only people going to Indo and not let off in Srawak. Run by DAMRI (=Indo army).
#10 Posted: 2/3/2014 - 02:22
18th March, 2014
always wonder how sulthans spend time there
#11 Posted: 7/4/2014 - 03:29
23rd April, 2014
I had visited Brunei once and it is a nice place as well as cheaper then other places. I completely agree with Larajohn.
#12 Posted: 23/4/2014 - 01:34
24th April, 2014
I couldn't visit Brunei.So I want to know more information about this place.
#13 Posted: 4/5/2014 - 23:58
26th April, 2014
You're post seems to have hit it right. My friends who have been to Brunei have also told me it's not a party place. It's a small oil-rich country where cost of living is great and that's it.
#14 Posted: 7/5/2014 - 18:22
8th May, 2014
I still liked brunei even if there was not much of night life and parties. its peaceful cheap but the hotels are still great
#15 Posted: 8/5/2014 - 22:07
12th May, 2014
I like brunei too
#16 Posted: 12/5/2014 - 05:05
11th September, 2014
You share very useful information. It's make me to think about visiting Brunei. Can you please share any other attractive thing about brunei if you have.
#17 Posted: 12/9/2014 - 01:58
16th February, 2012
NO. Have bene there last week, the usual 1 overnight.
I have to adjust prices above about the buses to MY: they are now 50 MR to Miri and 90MR to KK-though this bus takes mostly less as 10 hrs-about 8. Can also go by boat via Labuan (local bus to Serasa feri first), this is cheaper and takes just as long as bus.
In Short: its an utter boring place, and thats not becse there is no alco, the whole city is utter boring. You can see a few things, people are a bit reserved but mostly nice, there is not the usual Asean hassle (but then there is hardly any of that either in Sarawak or Sabah). but ther is hardly anything to see/do in the city. This may be different if you want jungle and nature-but then have to sign up for expensive touts. As it borders the Gunung Mulu NP in Sarawak, I guess its just most of that the same too.
The cheap hostel has been extensively renovated in 2013 and is now open again, but if there is some official youthgroup or so, it will not take loose farang. Next cheapest is SOON guesthse, right beside busstesyen, from 35 BD (=about 80MR)/night/single/AC but bath outside. There is supposedly also a homestay, bookable via some facebook as ''friends'' in the kampung Ayer. Other as what they claim there, those watertaxi';s are not at all unique for Brunei.
#18 Posted: 28/11/2014 - 01:34
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