#DiscoverBrunei: Travel Tips and Attractions in Brunei Darussalam

If you asked me where is Brunei a few years ago, I would have definitely pointed you to the middle east. But this small yet very rich country is just 2 hrs away from the Philippines. I recently flew there and each day I stayed, the false impressions and history struck me in an extraordinary way.

Bandar Seri Begawan's Park and one of Asia Pacific's Most Beautiful Mosque, Omar Ali Saifuddien

The Kingdom of Brunei is one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia. Being an oil exporting nation, Brunei Darussalam have been likened to countries in the middle east: progressive. Upon arriving at the airport, you definitely will feel at peace, secured. To my surprise, there were no guards at the entrance unlike what I was accustomed to. The capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan is an old city with modern touch. And one notable feature of this city is it's river and mangrove forest of which played a big part to the countries history.

What to #DiscoverBrunei

The country is divided into four districts, consisting of Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong and Temburong. Each of which have there own charms and attractions to boast.

Ulu Temburong National Park ( Temburong )

River rafting, wildlife encounter, water tubing, canopy walk and more. This adrenaline filled National Park of Brunei will surely give you an Indiana Jones Vibe. Surviving the forest from dusk til dawn. 

Going to the National Park is half of the fun. Traversing the river rapids is an exhilarating activity. 
Canopy Walk of Ulu Temburong National Park. My first hike/climb/crawl this year. The 40+ meters steel towers and bridges on top of them provide a vantage point like no other. Hear the jungle 360° with Gibbons and Howler monkeys dominate the airwaves. A truly nerve and not for the faint-hearted experience in Temburong District, Brunei.

Canopy Walk of Ulu Temburong National Park
Tower 1 of the 5 towers in the Canopy Walk

Kampong Ayer and the Mangrove Forest

Commonly known as "Venice of the East" at the Capital City of Brunei, Kampong Ayer is a historical place to which the country came to be. Interlinked by walkways and bridges to create a contiguous area, Kampung Ayer in Bandar Seri Begawan is a historical settlement you must visit in Brunei. Located in the bountiful Brunei River, array of traditional stilt villages were erected dating back around the 15th century. Literally translated to ‘water village’, Kampong Ayer was the de facto capital of Brunei Empire centuries ago.

Settlements, Museums, Schools and more are erected like this one in the Brunei River

The water villages and its settlements complete with modern facilities

Mangrove Forest where Proboscis Monkey's are seen.
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Almost anywhere you look around the Heritage Trail in Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), you will see the towers of this mosque. Even at night, a distinct glow illuminates this white mosque. A must see in day time and also night time. I even tried singing "A whole new world" while walking the pathway going in. Isn't it an Aladdin kind of scene? 

The Frame at BSB

Omar Ali Saifuddien

From the boat in the Lake within the Mosque
Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

The grandest mosque of them all. I'm in awe entering the prayer hall of this mosque. It fills you up and completely gives you a feeling of how small you are in the world, your worries, your problems. The sanctity and sacredness of the place was so serene, it's a destination you need to experience for yourself.

Masjid Jame 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah

Inner halls of the mosque. The second floor is for your eyes only. No photo and videos can be taken within the  prayer hall

Billionth Barrel Monument

A milestone in the country's dominance in the oil industry, Brunei Darussalam's One Billionth Barrel Monument in Belait is a testament on how rich in oil deposits the territory of the country. We were lucky that the monument was newly painted in preparation for the 73rd Birthday celebration of their Beloved Sultan.

Newly painted and renovated
The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Made when the Prince was Minister of Finance, The Empire Hotel doesn't pull any stops in grand display of power, elegance and grandeur. The sheer size of this 6-7 star hotel will leave you breathless with a pool that tends to be an extension of the sea below it.

Travel Notes and Tips:

Facts: A bottle of water is more expensive than a liter of oil in Brunei hence according to my Bruneian friend, there is 2:1 ratio of people having cars. The main mode of transportation are private vehicles. Seldom you can see mass transportation like bus and the like. This must be why the roads there are very wide, and well maintained to accommodate the numerous number of cars passing every day.

Contrary to my first impression, Brunei also respect other religions. There is buddhist temple within the capital city where locals can offer prayers. 

Buddhist Temple in Bandar Seri Begawan

Smoking is ban all over the country. So if you don't want to be apprehended, control your urge because they jail people for public smoking.

The food there is a mixture of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine inspired. But there are few local food that will surely spice up your taste buds. One of which is  the Ambuyat.


Side dishes to compliment Ambuyat

Rojak is an malay cuisine that is a must try!

Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng Indonesian food in Brunei
There are more things to explore and discover in this small yet rich in heritage and nature nation. I just scrape the surface of it. The next time someone will ask me where is Brunei, Ill have stories to tell, history to share and experiences I can show with pictures and videos I have done in the short span of Discovering Brunei.
Thanks for Brunei Tourism , Activ8 and Grace Brunei for the wonderful and very extraordinary stay in Brunei.

You can visit these website for more information:

Brunei Tourism website: https://bruneitourism.com/

Brunie Tourism IG: https://www.instagram.com/brunei.tourism/

Brunei Tourism FB: https://www.facebook.com/BruneiTourismBoard

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