Introducing Brunei DarussalamView Gallery
Brunei combines natural beauty with a rich traditional heritage. Visit the Sultan's house - the largest palace in the world featuring a unique blend of contemporary and traditional Islamic architecture
Brunei is a tiny, tranquil enclave on the north coast of Borneo. The residents of this wealthy country have a quality of life like no other – thanks to its massive offshore oil and gas deposits, education and healthcare are free, and houses, cars and even pilgrimages to Mecca are subsidised.
Brunei is a country of lavish contrasts: the capital of Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) is a mix of extravagant mosques and traditional wooden houses built on stilts. You can spend a weekend living the life of a sultan in one of Brunei's luxury hotels before trudging, waist-deep in murky water, through pristine, virgin rainforest.
Brunei may see itself as an oil state, but it is far from being a mini Dubai. Its wealth is reflected in the happiness and welfare of its people rather than ultra-modern skyscrapers, so the atmosphere is relaxed and calm.
Top things to do
Marvel at Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque – It'd be pretty difficult to miss this big, beautiful building, a wonderful mixture of Italianate and Mughal design, English stained glass and Saudi Arabian carpet, all mixed together in one extravagant creation.
Sail through Ulu Temburong National Park – A boat trip through this park takes you through mangrove forests and jungle-flanked hills, monkeys screeching all around. A canopy walk offers breathtaking views as well as sightings of gibbons and hornbills.
Go shopping – Locals here love shopping. At night, join the swarms of people at Gadong, just outside BSB, to window-shop, people-watch and spend, spend, spend!
Visit Kampong Ayer Water Village – Floating in BSB, Kampong Ayer is an incredible maze of markets and homes teetering on stilts above the water.
Try ambuyat – The favourite dish of Brunei, ambuyat is a glutinous mass of sago tree pith, ground and mixed with water. Make sure you dip it in sauce first.