Do all roads lead to Bandar Seri Begawan? I'm doubtful that they do, however all mileage markers are measured from the capital city's cross roads.
The Clock Tower shown here in the central Bandar district is mile marker "0" for all road networks leading away from the city.
In the background of the photo is the Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddein Park.
Compliments of VT'er "SangAji", he clarified that there is another clock tower at Kuala Belait located next to the taxi stand and bus stop that represent mile zero from the opposite end ie. about 67 miles away
A good way to see the sights is to hire a car, WITH the added plus.......
fuel is very cheap here compared to other countries.
But beware, because recently, they have made fuel dearer for foreigners than locals, it still is reasonable though!
I have visited a quite a few Asian countries and I must say that Brunei is different to most.
We always felt safe here, people were friendly and helpful, and there didn't seem to be the scamming and rip-offs of other Asian countries.....
We did strike one, and there would be minor instances, but on the whole, Bandar Seri Begawan and surrounds was a great hassle free place!
The airport is DEAD. There is virtually nothing to do here at all.
There is an internet cafe, and 2 othere cafe's plus a few shops. nothing else. At night it is a ghost town.
You can sleep though, there seats have no armrests between them and are quite comftable.
Besides the city of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei offers other attractions all over the country as well. Below are some of the popular trips out of Bandar Seri Begawan:
- Ulu Temburong National Park (consists of tropical rainforest and rivers, need at least one day to get there and special pass required. Best to join a tour from a local travel agency).
- Muara (there is a nice beach and a port at this place).
- Jerudong (please see my VT Jerudong page. This place is famous for its beach, Jerudong Park Playground and the Empire Hotel & Country Club).
- Tutong (there is a nice beach here)
- Seria (this is the area in Brunei where most of the oil is found, both in-land and off the coast. There are local day trips to this place).
- Kuala Belait and Miri (Kuala Belait is a town at the border between the state of Sarawak in Malaysia and Brunei. Once across the border, Miri is the nearest and biggest town. A lot of Brunei people go to Miri regularly for shopping, entertainment etc).
Downtown Bandar Seri Begawan is surrounded by water but streets are wide and safe. When I first visited Brunei, I have noticed light traffic and the city seems deserted. As you can see in the pictures I posted, there are not many cars around. In other countries where business offices in the city operates, you will find crowd and people rush on the streets going to their offices or people down on the street doing their daily chores. I did not see this in Bandar. It is the opposite as a whole. I did not do much of a walking either. My host has a car and spent most of the tour by driving around the streets of Bandar Seri Begawan.
Fondest memory: I always think of Bandar Seri Begawan as a quiet place and not much of activity. The number of days of my stay is more than enough although I spent most of my time with my friend driving around the streets of Bandar.
This is how IBB looks outside when I first visited one on my first trip to Brunei. It is widely known as Islamic Bank of Brunei. This is one of the three Islamic banking institutions in the Sultanate. Banks in Brunei are open on weekdays from 9AM to 4PM. On Saturdays, most of them are open from 9AM till 11AM only.
If you want to contact IBB in particular, the address is Jalan Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei with contact telephone at +673 223 5686
Fondest memory: It does have an impact on my trip as I have to visit this bank for exchange purposes.
I am going to share with you on how houses in Brunei looks like. The traditional houses are the Longhouse, Boat House, and the Farm House. Almost all of them are made of palm leaves and wood.
The house I posted here is the one which is a bit modern and quite big and spacious. It is complete with big kitchen, receiving room, and a couple of bedrooms. You will see that it has only the top floor. There is no first floor but rather posts that hold the upper floor and have exposed and enclosed stairs. The exposed stairs goes straight to the kitchen and the enclosed one goes to the receiving room. Downstairs parked the cars under the house. It is generally comfortable and the breeze is fresh.
Fondest memory: I miss the excellent atmosphere in Brunei. I especially like this house where I stayed as it is away from other houses and typically Brunei and is very different from the rest of the globe.
BSB is the short form of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of the Sultanate of Brunei. It's a quiet and peaceful city, with a lot of green - so green and well looked-after that it does look like a big golf course. Very clean, modern but not tacky buildings, no traffic jams, big cars driving about slowly... definitely my idea of a heavenly place to live.
Actually BSB is only like this apparently: only half the population livs in the city - the other half, roughly, lives in the water villages on the other side of the river: long rows of small houses built on stilts... poor-looking in a way, until you notice that inhabitants park their cars by the river (where they take a boat to head home) - and what cars they are...
Fondest memory: A fond memory - not strcitly attacjed to the city is... the lifestyle and quality of life. Impressive. Retirment at 55 with state pension for everyone, no income taxes, free medical care, lots of government incentives for just about everything.
If there's one place I would love to move to - well, this is the Sultanate of Brunei.
It really depends on what you like to find out the best place to visit in Bandar. For culture aficionados, you may wish to visit Kampong Ayer, Earth's largest water village. But you must visit this place while with a guide, or you won't get to sample the tasty Malay snacks served by the locals. History buffs can visit the Brunei Museum (which is temporarily closed for renovations) as well as the Malay Technology Museum, which showcases the lifestyle of the Bruneians in years gone by. However, for those of you who have no particular interest, and for the general tourist, you should visit the Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in the Gadong district. The sheer splendour and size of this splendid mosque is a testament to Brunei Darussalam's devotion to Islam. Note that to enter you must wear long sleeved trousers for men and long sleeved shirts AND trousers for ladies.
Fondest memory: What I love the most about Bandar must be its cleanliness (of all the things). Its general cleanliness in the city centre,water village or suburbs is simply amazing. The sight of massive mosques in certain places is also astounding. My fondest memory from Brunei is the boat ride from the city to the water village. It made my butt hurt,but hey it was still a lot of fun.
The usual Islamic rules apply.... just use common sense.
Take off your shoes when entering a Mosque
Women should keep shoulders covered
Do not walk in front of someone praying to the Koran
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
Fondest memory: Located downtown, this mosque was named after the 28th sultan of Brunei. It is one of the tallest structures in Bandar Seri Begawan, and is surrounded by a artificial lagoon.
I'm tickled by how well this photograph came out.
Normal temperature range between 24ºC in the night to 32ºC during day. Most of the rain takes place from October through March. Rains can be heavy and sudden. The country experiences humidity throughout the year.
You can visit this part of the world anytime of the year except rainy season and the month of Ramadan when most of the Muslims go on fast.
The mosque was built in 1958 at a cost of $5,000,000 US dollars. It was named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei.
It stands in its own artificial lagoon and is one of the tallest buildings in Bandar Seri Begawan.
The walls and the floor are made of Italian marble. The hand crafted stained glass windows come from England. the carpets come from Saudi Arabia.
Visit Kampong Ayer in Bandar Seri Bagawan. You can see it is a study in contrasts. Look closely at the buildings in the stilt village and you will see TV antennas on top of the roofs.
Nearly 30,000 people live in Kampong Ayer. It is accessible by boat or wooden bridges from Bandar Seri Begawan. The houses are connected by a maze of wooden walkways.