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Travel Notes: Asia: Brunei Travel Notes

Brunei Travel Notes

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Brunei Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


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About Brunei

Officially called the Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace - Negara Brunei Darussalam, in Malay.

Brunei Mosque

Negara Brunei Darussalam

Countries neighbouring Brunei are: Malaysia and Indonesia; or rather the Malaysian provinces of Sabah and Sarawak, and Indonesian Borneo.

Map of Brunei Darussalam

Brunei was once a sultanate with nominal authority over the whole of Borneo and some of the lesser islands of The Philippines.

Although the Spanish captured the capital in 1580, they could not control piracy in the region and were forced to leave.

In the mid 19th century the British, seeking to protect commerce between Singapore and north-west Borneo, started operations against the pirate fleets and eventually destroyed them.

James Brooke was granted Sarawak by the Sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddin II. The British army officer   assumed the title of raja and gradually extended his territory at the Sultan's expense.

Brunei became a British protectorate in 1888, although the sultan remained in nominal authority.

Brunei became an independent sovereign country on January 1, 1984.

If you travel to Brunei from Sarawak, you will pass Seria, where the first oilfields were discovered in 1929. Brunei owes most of its health, social and welfare development to the enormous oil and gas reserves.

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Bandar Seri Begawan

The capital of Brunei was formerly called Brunei Town.

Downtown Bandar - copyright Travel Notes

A royal palace and one of the largest mosques in Asia are notable attractions in the city.

When in Bandar Seri Begawan, you can also visit the open air markets, and take a ride around Kampung Ayer, a collection of water villages behind the mosque, on one of the many water taxi launches.

The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque was named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei. Designed by an Italian architect, the mosque was built in 1958.

The golden-domed structure is the tallest building in the city, and a stone replica of a 16th-century barge rests in the Brunei River in front of the mosque.

The Istana Nurul Iman, the sultan's palace, is 4km out of town on the other side of Jalan Tutong's Edinburgh Bridge. The Istana is only open to the public at the end of Ramadam, but you can always drool at it from the front gates.

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Accommodation in Bandar Seri Begawan

Empire Hotel Country Club: Bandar Seri Begawan.
Jerudong Bg3122.

Official Website:
Empire Hotel Country Club.

Overlooking the South China Sea, the Empire Hotel and Country Club sits on 445 acres of beachfront estate; approximately 15 miles from Brunei International Airport.

All rooms have private balconies.

Hotel amenities include the floodlit 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course, 26-bay driving range, country club facilities, full-service spa, floodlit sport courts (including tennis, badminton, and squash), fitness centre, 10-pin bowling, billiards and snooker, 11,000-square-metre saltwater swimming pool, 50-meter freeform swimming pool, kids' club, kids' pool (with waterslide), river swimming pool, water sports, three cinema screens, and a 450-seat theatre.

On-site dining is available at the signature restaurant, Spaghettini (with fine Italian fare), Pantai Restaurant (by the beach and poolside), Li Gong Chinese Restaurant, Atrium Cafe (casual dining), and Bunker Cafe.

Brunei Information

The official language of Brunei is Malay, but English is also used for official purposes.

The majority of the people in Brunei are practising Muslims, with Islam being the state religion.

The Government of Brunei:
Latest official news and links to ministry websites from the Brunei Darussalam Prime Minister's Office.

Tourism in Brunei

Brunei Darussalam's vision is to promote the country as a unique tourist destination and gateway to tourism excellence in South East Asia.

Brunei Embassies

Brunei Embassies Abroad

Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Washington DC:
3520 International Court NW, Washington D.C. 20008.

Sultan of Brunei

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah came to the throne in 1967.

Calling itself the Malay Muslim Monarchy, in 1990, offended some of Brunei's large Chinese population.

At the helm of the only remaining Malay Islamic Monarchy in the world, the Sultan of Brunei comes from a family line that dates back over 600 years, to 1405.

His Majesty, The Sultan of Brunei's official residence is the Istana Nurul Iman, which is also the country's seat of administration; he is, after all, also the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, and Minister of Finance.

Brunei Tours

Intrepid Tours:
Tour packages are based upon the outstanding cultural and environmental heritage of Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak.

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Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei (Travel Guide) Borneo: Sabah Sarawak Brunei (Bradt Travel Guides)

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