Bandar Seri Begawan – the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei, is located in the northern part of the island of Kalimantan in the Malay Archipelago. The territory of the country consists of 2 enclaves and is located on the northern bank of the Brunei River.
The capital of Brunei is connected to the western part of the country by roads. The eastern part is separated by a bay, you can get into it either by sea or through the territory of Malaysia.
Brunei International Airport is located 11 km from the city center. It serves the whole country.
Water transport is represented by taxi boats (locally called penambang) that run along the river from the city center to Kampong Ayer. Boats also connect the capital with the cities of Bangar and Limbang.
Sightseeing: In the capital of Brunei – Bandar Seri Begawan – there is one of the most remarkable buildings not only of Brunei, but of the entire Muslim East. This is a huge modern mosque named after Omar Ali Saifuddin, the father of the current Sultan.
Worth mentioning is the Sultan’s Palace. In this grand building, listed in the Guinness Book of Records, there are 1,788 rooms with a total area of 205,000 square meters. In this, frankly, not cramped palace, there is also a garage for hundreds of cars, a helipad, an air-conditioned stable for 200 thoroughbred horses – the monarch’s favorites.
In the capital of Brunei, be sure to check out the nearby “Village on the Water” (houses on stilts) with a visit to the Brunei Museum, Arts and Crafts Center. Repositories of royal regalia, the Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque (with a dome covered with 24 carat gold, the world’s largest marble sculpture) and an external inspection of the 1788-room magnificent Royal Palace, covering an area of 120 hectares.
Travel by car to “Longhouse” – the residence of the Iban tribes, in the recent past known as “headhunters”. Walk along the outer corridor of the “long house”, where guests are warmly welcomed by friendly and hospitable hosts, who offer their traditional favorite drink – rice wine – as a sign of special respect. Picnic on the river bank, where you can swim if you wish. There is a mini zoo nearby.
The Bukitshahbandar Forest Recreation Park is spread over 70 hectares of pristine land near the coastline and is an ideal place for walking and a real “diamond” of the forest reserves of the Forestry Department with a network of well-groomed paths throughout the territory, hills and observation towers, from which a magnificent view of Muara, the capital – Bandar Seri Begawan and Jeradon park. 50% of the territory of the park is the creation of human hands, where trees brought for cultivation grow, and 50% – natural steppe vegetation and tropical forest.
Labuan is a beautiful serene island with an area of 90 sq. km and a population of 29 thousand people, located at the entrance to the Brunei Bay and 129 km southeast of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian province of Sabah. In the middle of the last century, the Sultan of Brunei ceded Labuan to Great Britain on the condition that it be used as a naval base in order to put an end to piracy in the region. Tour to Malaysia’s Duty Free Island includes visits to the Australian War Memorial, golf club, Malay village, souvenir shops and beautiful beaches (incl. lunch).
Kuala Belalong – the most interesting place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, located in the depths of the Brunei jungle and is the main center of research conducted by the University of Brunei and the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain.
Enjoy a sumptuous “dinner on the boat”, take a photo with the glittering lights of the Royal Palace in the background, and then, after the move, an evening of entertainment and relaxation in Jeradong Park – Brunei’s “mini Disneyland”!
Experience an unforgettable Borneo wild man experience at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center – the oldest and largest in the world, where you can watch young orangutans feed and play. Visit to the Natural History Education Center to view exhibits and videos.
The city includes the village on stilts Kampong Ayer, stretching for more than 8 km along the river. Craftsmen live in the village, whose art is presented in the local gallery.
Among the city parks, Persiaran-Damuan is primarily interesting, which presents sculptures created by representatives of the ASEAN countries. Here you can also meet proboscis, monkeys that live only in Kalimantan.
A bit of history:
Settlements on the coast of the Brunei River can be traced back to the 7th century. Until 1970, the city was called Brunei.
During its history, the location of the city changed three times: the first settlements were in the mukim of Kota Batu, then in Kampong Ayer, before being located within the modern city.
In 1920, the settlement received the official status of a city and the center of British possessions. On October 5, 1970, it was renamed in honor of the former Sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddin, to Bandar Seri Begawan, which means “City of His Lordship” in Malay.
In modern history, the size of the city has increased six times: in 1931, 1936, 1940, 1949, 1956. On August 1, 2007, the Sultan of Brunei approved the expansion of the territory from 12.87 to 100.36 km².