Where is Brunei?
Brunei is a small sultanate in Southeast Asia that borders with Malaysia. This place is chosen by those who want to learn the traditions of the East and get to know its history better, as well as spend time in a beautiful, well-groomed, and unusual country. There are probably hundreds of millions of travelers in the world with plans or dreams to travel to Brunei. In addition, it is one of the richest countries in the world. This fabulously oil-rich country is home to almost half a million people. But one should be prepared for the fact that this is a typical Islamic state, where there is practically no nightlife, and the norms of behavior in public places are quite strict. Most of the facilities worthy of special attention are located in Brunei's capital and its largest city, Bandar Seri Bagavan. Travelers note that the capital is very clean and comfortable to live in. There are a lot of modern buildings, wide roads, a lot of mosques and polite residents. Now it is also one of the richest cities in the world. The capital has a lot of chic establishments, and guests are welcomed by the most prestigious hotels. There are many amazing places to visit in Brunei. Where to visit in Brunei?
1. James Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
When you travel to Brunei, you should definitely start your journey from the main mosque of the country. James Asr Hassanal Bolkiah is the largest mosque in the sultanate. James Asr Hassanal Bolkiah is a waqf of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th and current Sultan of Brunei. The temple, like no other building, became the embodiment of the power and steadfastness of Islam. The building was built in 1992 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultanate's rule. The place is unusually beautiful: the temple has 29 domes of gold and 4 minarets. It is considered to be the largest marble construction in the world.
Inside the mosque is divided into two huge halls, one of which is occupied by men and the other by women. And each of the halls accommodates more than 10 thousand parishioners. In front of the entrance, visitors can notice many washbasins in which believers must wash their feet. Everyone enters the Prayer Hall without any shoes - these rules also apply to travelers. In addition, all who come to the mosque wearing short skirts or shorts must be given long black hoodies.
Don't you know what to see in Brunei to get the best experience of all the beauty and uniqueness of this small sultanate? In this case, you should definitely visit this temple.
2. The Omar Ali Sayfuddin Mosque
This historical heritage is located in the capital, Bandar Seri-Begavan. The temple was constructed more than 60 years ago by the 28th ruler, the late father of the now ruling Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Today, it is one of the most luxurious modern mosques located in the East. It is the main reference point and asset of the entire population of the country. The temple looks particularly magnificent at night, due to the lighting, and the fact that the building is washed by the waters of an artificial lagoon, tourists often compare the attraction with a snow-white swan floating on the water.
The temple has marble minarets and 28 gold domes as well as an inner courtyard. Around the attraction, there are many trees and flowers. The lagoon is crossed by a bridge that leads to one of the water villages. Passing through the second marble bridge one can see an interesting structure that resembles a ship and is used for state ceremonies.
The highest part of the mosque is the main minaret, which is 44 meters high. It makes the building the tallest in the sultanate. There is also an elevator in the main minaret that leads directly to the observation deck with picturesque scenery.
Once inside the Omar Ali Sayfuddin Mosque, one can see a lot of painted windows, marble columns, and architectural constructions. One of the main elements of the interior is a fantastic mosaic consisting of more than 3 million fragments, made by masters from Venice. Almost all the material used for construction and decoration was brought from abroad. On the floor, there are soft expensive carpets, whose task is to muffle barefoot steps.
3. Jerudong Park
Jerudong Park is one of the best places to visit in Brunei. Just 25 km from the capital there is a resort called Jerudong. It is a place where you can have some fun. Jerudong Park was built in full compliance with all the requirements of fans to actively spend time and is one of the largest and most luxurious in Southeast Asia.
Here, on a huge green area, is a real sports and entertainment complex, which can be accessed for free. Jerudong Park has first-class facilities for various games, from golf and polo to shooting range, as well as many other sports facilities. Next to the playgrounds, there is also a large Luna Park with a variety of activities and attractions. Also, all visitors should see the laser show that takes place at the main fountain. A large number of water jets to charming melodies show an incredibly bewitching game and give positive emotions to both children and adults.
Also, behind the park, there is Jerudong Beach. It is one of several modern and equipped beaches in Brunei. The place is famous for its good infrastructure and many facilities where you can try a variety of seafood delicacies. That's why Jerudong Park and its surroundings is the best place for those thinking about what to see in Brunei and have fun.
4. Village on the Water Kampung Ayer
Kampung Ayer translated from Malay is a "water village". It is a common name for all such settlements. Kampung Ayer consists of 28 "water villages" on both sides of the Brunei River. The boundaries between the settlements are quite conventional and barely visible. Once in "Venice of the East", as the locals nicknamed it, it is best to get acquainted with the cultural and historical heritage of the sultanate. You can get there by various boats and special vessels for tourists.
It has long been established here that all buildings (houses, educational institutions, shops, temples) in this village are built on stilts right on the water. Once the town of Bandar Seri-Begavan started from this village. Even today, more than half of the locals still live in Kampung Ayer.
Such settlements have become traditional in Southeast Asia, but in Brunei, this water village is recognized as the largest in the world. The houses here are diverse - both old made of wood and modern made of expensive materials. The village has electricity and there are many satellite antennas.
There is a water village museum on the main berth of Kampung Ayer. There the locals have collected quite a lot of exhibits that tell about life in the river villages.
The village has everything you need to live in: temples, medical and educational facilities, police station, petrol stations, and even public transport - these are motorboats that run by the schedule.
Engineering communications have been carried out in the water village, and new houses and even full-fledged settlements are being built regularly. It is also believed that most of the people living in Kampung Ayer are successful people with prestigious jobs, expensive cars, and prosperity. However, they all do not want to move to the dry shore to preserve their traditions and uniqueness.
5. Royal Regalia Palace
This palace is one of the main and most visited sightseeing attractions in Brunei. This real palace and huge architectural complex dedicated to the rulers was built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sultan's reign. The halls of the museum carefully preserve the history of this small state. During a tour of the Palace, one can see the extensive collection of royal regalia and heritage objects that are used during the celebrations of anniversaries. There is a huge chariot, crown, weapons, ceremonial clothing of the ruler of the local lands, as well as huge wealth that was managed by the Brunei rulers. Beautiful sculptures of the warlords and the sultan's close associates can be seen in the hall.
Entrance to the palace museum is completely free for locals and tourists, but taking photos and videos is prohibited. Seeing this magnificence one cannot remain indifferent and not be impressed by the luxury and wealth that surrounds the rulers.
6. Usai-Kandal Sanctuary
One of the places to travel to Brunei is Usai-Kandal Sanctuary. Of course, nature deserves special attention in Brunei, as it is practically untouched by human hand. It amazes with its variety of flora and fauna. Protected areas such as Usai-Kandal are the best places to see the local beauty. This magnificent sanctuary in the middle of the jungle is not very far from the city, only 12 km away, and allows to spend time safely and pleasantly. Usai-Kandal is a state-protected natural complex, which is famous primarily for its Air-Terjun-Menusop waterfalls and Air-Terjun-Tinggi rapids. By the many paths of the park, you can reach the cool and invigorating water for a swim in hot weather.
This stunning piece of nature is also home to Air-Terjun Rendahu, another fascinating waterfall, with its special tourist area and lake Taisek Laboi. This humid rainforest is home to blue-winged peacocks, smoky leopards, shaggy baboons, and Malay bruang bears. In addition, you can see a large number of exotic birds in Usai-Kandal.
7. Ulu-Temburong National Park
Ulu Temburong is the first national park in Brunei territory. It is located to the south-east of Bandar Seri-Begavan and covers an area of almost 50 thousand hectares. Thanks to its good location, challenging terrain, and local government measures, Ulu-Temburong has managed to preserve its natural habitat. Looking at the endless forests, it is easy to believe that you are at the top of the world. It's the wild, almost untouched jungle of Brunei. This specially protected natural area was created back in 1991 and is known as the "Green Pearl of Brunei".
The southern part of the national park is predominantly hilly, and the mountain reaches a height of 1800 meters here, while in the north it is more lowland. Throughout the Green Pearl of Brunei, there are several rivers forming incredibly colorful valleys and flora and fauna that will surprise visitors with their diversity of species. Despite the fact that the territory, unlike many popular resorts, cannot offer a full-fledged safari, because the animals here will be met only by happy accident, this national park is one of the few places in which it was possible to preserve untouched rain forests. So, if there's only one day left and you have to choose which places to visit in Brunei, Ulu-Temburong is an ideal option.
Thus, Brunei is famous for its unique rainforests, beautiful beaches, and a variety of historical and cultural sites. Here tourists can find comfortable places for a beach vacation, untouched natural areas, markets with unusual souvenirs, and original villages with a very unusual lifestyle and friendly atmosphere. Relaxing here can be a truly enjoyable and unforgettable experience, especially if you consider the places that are Brunei's historical heritage and artistic value, with increased attention and curiosity.