Negara Brunei Darussalam: My First Out of the Country Trip

Brunei Darussalam or formally called Negara Brunei Darussalam is a small but very rich country. It's so rich that the people currently enjoy free medical service, education, housing and pay no tax.  Its sovereignty once stretched across the entire island of Borneo and some parts of the Philippines. Although it is small, you still need more time to see all the hidden jewels this country has to offer.
When you visit Brunei Darussalam, most people will ask why, since not much to do and see there. However, if you are an adventurous person and love nature and historical sites more than shopping malls and night life, Brunei is the perfect country for you.
Brunei has 4 Districts only, these are: Belait (Largest), Tutong, Temburong and Brunei Muara (Smallest).  I was only able to visit Brunei Muara, but let me tell you, even though it's the smallest, it is the site of the nation's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, and the center of all commerce. You will need more than 3 days to fully explore this district.
Just in case you want to visit Brunei in the future, here are some helpful information:

How to Get There
Brunei is accessible by air with Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA), the national carrier, flying to 23 cities. Other airlines that fly to Brunei are Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International.

Brunei is also accessible by road from Sarawak and Sabah. A drive from Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak, takes approximately 13 hours while a drive from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, takes approximately 6 hours.

Brunei International Airport is about 15 minutes drive from the capital (11 kilometer). Airport tax - International Departure: $12.

Travel Documents
The government of Brunei Darussalam requires visitors to be in possession of a valid passport.

German, Malaysian, Singaporean, British nations with the right of adobe in the United Kingdom and New Zealand nationals are exempted from the requirement to obtain a visa for visits not exceeding 30 days.

American passport holders can enter Brunei Darussalam for three months without visas.

For national of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Japan, Luxembourg, republic of Maldives, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the Principality of Liechtenstein, visas are waived for 14day visit. Whereas nationals of Australia are issued visas on arrival at the Brunei international airport for visit not exceeding 14 days.

All other nationals entering Brunei Darussalam must have visas obtainable from any Brunei Darussalam diplomatic missions aboard. These visas are normally issued for a two week stay but can be renewed in Brunei. Visitors must have onward tickets or sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country.

No duty is charged to passengers two bottle of liquor (appox.2 quart) or 12 cans of beers for (non-Muslim only), and a reasonable amount of perfume (0.33 litre).

Malay is official language but English is widely used. Other language includes Chinese and dialect is also spoken. Although the official religion is Islam, other faiths including Christianity and Buddhism are practiced.

Most shops open at 8.00am although department stores open an hour or so later. Many shops remain open until 9.00pm. Department stores open seven days a while most other shops close on Sundays.

Getting Around Brunei
Please visit: Getting Around Brunei Darussalam

Common Courtesies
Please visit: Brunei's Do's & Dont's

What to See
For interesting attractions in Brunei, please visit:
28 Things to See & Do in Brunei Muara District
8 Things to See & Do in Temburong District
4 Things to See in Tutong District
14 Things to See in Belait District
List of Mosques

For our (mis)adventure in Brunei, please visit:
Brunei Darussalam Day 1: Tamu Kianggeh | National Day Celebration | Tamu Selera | Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Brunei Darussalam Day 2: Royal Regalia | Tasek Lama Recreational Park | Kampung Ayer | Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Brunei Darussalam Day 3: 45-Minute Free Viewing of the City | Istana Nurul Iman|Brunei Arts & Handicrafts Training Centre | Malay Technological Museum | The Empire Hotel & Country Club | Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Useful Malay Phrases
Good Morning -> Selamat Pagi    
Good Afternoon -> Selamat Petang
Good Night -> Selamat Malam
Where is the toilet? -> Di mana tandas?
You're welcome -> Sama-sama
What is your name? -> Siapa nama awda?
My name is ... -> Nama saya ...
I want to go to ... -> Saya mahu pergi ke ...
Yes -> Ya
No -> Tidak
How much? -> Berapa?
Excuse me -> Maafkan saya
Thank you -> Terima Kasih
Turn right -> Belok Kanan
Turn left -> Belok Kiri
Go Straight -> Jalan Terus

Equatorial climate with temperatures ranging from 20C to 35C throughout the year.


Useful Telephone Number
Police: 993
Directory Enquiries: 113
Fire: 995
Flight Information: 2331747
Ambulance: 991
Royal Brunei Airlines: 2339225

List of Hotels in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
List of Apartments/Guesthouses in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
List of Hotels Outside Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam


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