temburong is the eastern part of brunei ..
accessible by fast boat with 200hp yamahas..
travel thru mangroves and nipah palms ...
spot wildlife along the way ...
walk around bangar for 20 mins ....
have teh tarik or kopi o and roti kosong ..
do return trip either by boat or by road thru limbang ....
all it takes is half a day and about $20 ...
The main bus terminal at Bandar Seri Begawan is at the multi-storey cark located along Jalan Cator. The buses are purple in colour (see photos) and the numbers are clearly displayed on the buses. The map brochure of Brunei has all the bus routes and most of the fares are $1 Brunei dollars. Most buses operator every 15-20 minutes daily between 6.30am to 6pm.
As for taxis, they are metered at $3 Brunei dollars for the first 1km and $1 for each additional kilometre. Do take note that the rates increase from $3 to $4.50 after 9pm (and booking a taxi will incur a charge of $3.
In general, most of the local people of Brunei have their own cars so there are not many taxis (and therefore getting one may not be so easy on the road unless you book).
Walking is perhaps the best way to explore the town centre of Bandar Seri Begawan because most of the main attractions (e.g. Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Royal Regalia Museum, Yayasan Complex, Kampong Ayer etc) are very close to each other, and the town centre of the city is very small and easy to navigate with a map. Furthermore as you will find out, the city is not crowded with not much traffic, plus it is very safe to walk around as Brunei is one of the safest countries in the world. Also, the local people are friendly and most of them can communicate in English (especially the young people). One of the best maps of Bandar Seri Begawan can be found in the Lonely Planet's "Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei" book or visit the Brunei tourism website below and click onto the digital map.
One way of exploring Bandar Seri Begawan and the rest of Brunei is by driving. There are several car rental booths (including Avis, Hertz etc) just outside the arrival terminal of the Brunei International Airport. For a normal sedan car, the price per day should be $80-120 Brunei dollars (luxury cars and 4WD SUVs will be more expensive). It is quite easy to drive around Bandar Seri Begawan and the rest of Brunei as the roads do not have much traffic, but do note the vehicles are right hand drive (following the British system). Petrol in Brunei is cheap (about 50 Brunei cents per litre). If you need to explore the rural areas, then a 4WD may be required to drive through the track roads.
There is a new Serasa Passenger Ferry Terminal that began operations on October 17th, 2009.
The terminal has plenty of ticket counters, an information counter, shops and money changers.
There are 8 ferries that service between Serasa to Labuan, and speedboats that leave when full to Kuala Lawas and Sundar in Sarawak.
The ferry we went on was full, and luggage was just chucked in the front of the boat. I couldn't complain about the trip across, it was very cheap compared to flying.
One thing to remember, is the terminal is about 25ksm from Bandar Seri Begawan
The fare in 2009 is $21
The website gives you a timetable of the crossings.....
We hired a car for the day through the Traders Inn where we were staying. I can't remember the name of the company, but the car was a Proton, not a new one, but went quite ok. and we were happy with it. Brunei was easy to drive around, and this meant we could see a lot in one day.
Cost was $70 Brunei in 2007.
We arrived in Brunei from Labuan Island via the Ferry.
Going through Customs, we told the Officer's we needed a Visa, so we were taken into a small office where we were interrogated?....it felt like that with the questions the officious lady asked. Finally, out we came with the visa. We didn't have a problem getting it, the officer just wasn't the most pleasant person to deal with!
As we were only staying for 2nights, we were able to get the transit visa, which is valid for 72 hours. Being Australian, we could also get multiple entry visas on arrival.
The visa fee has to be paid in cash in either Brunei or Singapore dollars.
There is a money changer in the arrival hall of the airport beyond the immigration control point if you aren't prepared.
COST IN 2011.............
Single Entry - Brunei $'s......$20.00
Multiple Entry - B$30.00(For less than 3 months)
B$50.00(For more than 3 months)
You need 6mths left on your passport, and exit ticket out of Brunei.
If you are from Israel, then unfortunately, you can't visit Brunei.
Kampong Ayer (water village) along the Brunei River is one of the main attractions of Bandar Seri Begawan (see my Kampong Ayer tips) and one of the best way is to take a boat trip along the river and around the houses which are built on water. To go on the boat trip, you need to go to the wooden speed boats area located along the river just next to the famous Yayasan shopping complex. There will be some speed boats here and the boatmen will ask you whether you are interested for the trip (which will last about 30-40 minutes) and cost about $20 Brunei dollars if you bargain. Personally, I would suggest you go for this speed boat trip as it is a very good experience exploring Kampong Ayer and seeing a sight similar to Venice but yet in a different part of the world with a different culture. Please see part 2 of this tip for more information.
The wooden speed boats are very fast and therefore it will be very windy during the ride. Please sit down during the entire trip and you can ask the boatman to slow down if you want to take photos of interesting sights along the way. The ride itself is very thrilling as the boat will go underneath bridges at the water villages. You will pay the boatman after the end of the trip and it costs about $20 Brunei Dollars if you bargain (the price may be more if there are more people on the boat).
Besides the speed boat trip, it is possible to explore Kampong Ayer (water village) by foot as this will bring you very close to the life and culture of the local people living there. There is a series of bridges and wooden walkways linking different parts of the water village. The main entrance to the water village is located near to the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Yayasan shopping centre (ask the local people for directions if you are not sure). When walking on the bridges and wooden walkways, do be careful as underneath is the river.
The main way of getting to Brunei is by flight and the main carrier is the Royal Brunei Airlines (see website below) which flies to major cities of many continents (e.g. Asia, Europe, Australia). The service of this airline is quite good, and one of the best way is to fly from Singapore to Brunei (about 2 hours, 2 to 3 flights a day). Other airlines include Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines.
The airport at Brunei is about half an hour drive away from Bandar Seri Begawan (see my airport tips at the transportation section).
The Brunei Airport is a relatively small airport located about half an hour drive away from Bandar Seri Begawan. There are not many flights coming into Brunei or going away, so the customs clearance and baggage claim is quite fast. Do take note that there is restriction to the amount of alcohol that can be brought into Brunei (because it is an Islamic country) and that drug trafficking carries a death penalty just like Singapore. Please see part 2 of this tip for more information.
I didn't know where to put this picture but if you are driving you will need to stop at one of these. They are many Shell gas stations all over the city. The main map of Brunei is also sold at the Shell stations and published by Shell.
This is a country of rich people, with brand new roads and cars. the only people without cars are immigrant workers, called Foreigners, who take the bus. so you may find yourself stranded at some part of town and without any transportation at all. Giving lift is not a Bruneian characteristic since they woudl think you are a "foreigner" and thus a guest labourer.
I found my self in such a situation, after visiting the Hossanul Bolkiah mosque. Came out of the mosque and walked to the main street. for half an hour no signs of any buses nor taxis. fortunately an australian stranded thus had a mobilephone and we were able to call for a taxi, not an easy task since there are so few taxis!
so next time you go to Brunei please take this name and number Mr Leong Chen Hin whose taxi is KM 6351 and he can be contacted at 8690796
he seemed a nice man and charged us only 5 bnd for the trip from the hossanul bolkiah mosque to downtown bus station.
Once you are out of the customs check and claimed your luggage, just go straight out and there are taxis waiting for you. A taxi trip from airport to Bandar Seri Begawan (about 30 minutes) will cost about $20-25 Brunei Dollars. There are also several car rental booths e.g. Avis and Hertz as well as an information counter next to the car rental booths (you can communicate in English here, no problems). Other than taxis and cars, the purple buses (no. 11, 23, 24, 36, 38 and 57) will get you to the city at $1 Brunei Dollars.
Some hotels can arrange for airport pick-up services, so do check with your hotel so that you can save some money here :)