Fun things to do in Brunei

  • Things to Do
    by colin_bramso
  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
    Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
    by colin_bramso
  • Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
    Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
    by lakwatserang-ligaw

Most Viewed Things to Do in Brunei

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    Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque: Mosque Madness!

    by lakwatserang-ligaw Updated Apr 1, 2014

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    Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is an Islamic mosque located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. Considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific, it is a place of worship for the Muslim community, a major landmark and a tourist attraction of Brunei. Christians are not allowed to enter the Mosque when they have an event. We went there without knowing and we ended up sitting outside. The people are friendly enough to suggest to come back the next day or visit other mosques.

    Named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei who also initiated its construction, the mosque serves as a symbol of the Islamic faith in Brunei and dominates the skyline of Bandar Seri Begawan. The building was completed in 1958 and is an example of modern Islamic architecture.

    The mosque's most recognizable feature - the main dome, is covered in pure gold. The mosque stands 52 m (171 ft) high and can be seen from virtually anywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan. The main minaret is the mosque's tallest feature. In a unique way it mixes Renaissance and Italian architectural style. You can appreciate more the gold dome at night. I didn't get enough of this mosque. It's just too alluring for me, I think I loved this mosque the moment I saw it.

    Opening hours:
    Interior
    Saturday - Wednesday; 8.30am-12:00pm / 1:30pm-3:00pm / 4:30-5:30pm
    Friday; 4.30pm-5:00pm
    Thursday; Closed

    Exterior
    Daily; 8:00am-8.30pm (except prayer times)

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    • Historical Travel

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    Royal Regalia: A Museum Worth Millions!

    by lakwatserang-ligaw Written Apr 1, 2014

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    This museum is devoted to the sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The main gallery displays the coronation and Silver Jubilee Chariots, gold and silver ceremonial armory and traditional jewellery encrusted coronation crowns. A collection of documents that chronicles the sultan's life up to the coronation together with the constitutional history gallery is also housed in the same building. When called upon to present a gift to the sultan of Brunei, you must inevitably confront the question: what do you give a man who has everything? Here you'll see how various heads of state and royalty have solved this conundrum (hint: you'll never go wrong with priceless gold and jewels). It's nice to know what your own leader has given to his majesty.

    Shoes must be removed before you enter. Slippers for the guests are limited so if you are late, you walk around barefooted. Bags & cameras need to be deposited before they allow you to enter. They have lockers for your things.

    This building worth millions! Taking pictures at the main gallery is not allowed. However, you can still take pictures when you go out of the main gallery.

    No entrance fee. Opening hours:
    Sunday - Thursday; 9:00am-5:00pm
    Friday - 9:00am-11.30am / 2.30pm-5:00pm
    Saturday - 9:45am-5:00pm (Last Entry 4.30pm)

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    Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah...Largest Mosque!

    by lakwatserang-ligaw Written Apr 1, 2014

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    Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque (at night) - Built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan's reign, Brunei's largest mosque and its four terrazzo-tiled minarets dominate the 'suburbs' of BSB. It's certainly a...noticeable building; because the sultan is his dynasty's 29th ruler, the complex is adorned with 29 golden domes. At night the mosque is lit up like a gold flame.

    The interior is best described as jaw-droppingly over-the-top. The sheer volume in itself is amazing, not to mention the myriad woven rugs scattered across the men's prayer hall. You can't take pictures of the inside of this mosque. They don't allow people to enter also, just was lucky I had to use the restroom and was able to see the inside. Same as the other mosques in Brunei, it's best to see this at night.

    What amazes me is the the stairways! I really can't fathom how rich and extravagant Brunei is!

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday & Saturday- 8:00am-12:00pm / 2:00pm-3:00pm / 5:00pm-6:00pm
    Friday - 5:00pm-6:00pm
    Sunday - 10:30am-12:00pm / 2:00pm-3:00pm / 5:00pm-6:00pm
    Thursday - Closed

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    See how the other half live.

    by Madasabull Written Feb 4, 2014

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    Visiting the palace of the Sultan, and other homes belonging to the Sultan's family, is something to do of course.

    These homes are amazing. You can peep in through the gates and fences and see how much luxury there is in there. This is the same anywhere in the world of course, but here, although these homes are grand, they aren't as showy on the outside as palaces in some parts of the world, but make no mistake, the Sultan's Palace is huge and luxurious in the grounds.

    It was nice getting around and seeing other things on the way to these places too, and although we couldn't get past the gates, that was OK, one look at me and they would have added extra security anyway :)

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    The Mall

    by Madasabull Written Feb 3, 2014

    It's a shopping mall in the city center. It sells all sorts of stuff. That's it really, a Mall is a Mall is a Mall.

    Oh, we had a nice ice cream while looking at a Mosque in the distance.

    I'm sorry, I am really struggling here to find good things to do and see in Brunei. Have you heard the expression "if your give a lemon, make lemonade"?, that doesn't apply here.

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    Royal Regalia Building

    by Madasabull Written Feb 3, 2014

    This building was actually really pretty nice, and full of some really great items. A load of discarded relics and monuments to the current Sultan of Brunei, and some of them are really beautiful.

    We took our shoes off as everyone did, and marched our way in. After a brief walk around the main hall, we wanted to see the rest of the items, but these were out of view, and you had to leave your bags and sign a book before entering these areas.

    We approached the counter dedicated to this, and were asked if we were part of a larger party, to which we said no, there are just the 2 of us. We were passed the book and told to sign. While we were doing this, others were approaching the counter, stating they were part of a large group, and proceeded to hand over their bags. We still had our bags.

    They were then asked to sign the book, while we looked on, and they were off to see the rest of the items. After about 4 people went through, I said can we go, and the same straight faced, snappy woman, asked us again if we were part of a larger group, to which we said no. She then passed us the book again and asked us to sign. In fact she didn't ask, she told us to sign the book.

    I said we have just done all that right in front of her, and she turned to start asking others for their bags. That was it for me, I had done with Brunei, we just walked straight out of the door.

    There was no need for the way we were treated.

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    Picking up rubbish, for fun.

    by Madasabull Written Feb 3, 2014

    Here is a great tip that will keep you busy, for a very long time. Sure, most countries have piles of rubbish all over the place, but this is Brunei, where the Sultan loves his people and country, gives his people money, discount houses, and it didn't appear to me that the people were struggling to survive, so really no excuse, none at all.

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    • Eco-Tourism

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    Water Taxi's

    by Madasabull Written Feb 3, 2014

    As you walk along the Brunai River, you are shouted at by the drivers of the Water taxis who are the most common means of getting to Kampong Ayer, and getting around really. They will take you to all the houses on stilts that can be seen from the banks, or drive around like mad men with you on board, thinking that you might like it, and you might.

    It looked more like a an attraction, like a ride at a fairground, than a way of getting around. But not for me. Nope, I get sea sick really easy, and the chop created by all the dozen's of water taxi's, would have turned me green in seconds.

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    Beaches

    by Madasabull Updated Feb 3, 2014

    We asked a taxi to take us to the most beautiful beach he new about. I think something got lost lost in translation, as we ended up on a beach that could have been quite nice, but due to no maintenance and lack of interest by the people, it was far from it.

    It may have been however, that this driver believed the beach he took us to, was in fact the most beautiful beach, and if that was the case, then Brunei needs to pull it's finger out and clean the place up.

    It was sad, because as we stood there on what looked like a boat ramp, the view around was really nice, but all around us was litter and other rubbish. The sand was harsh and stoney, the water was muddy brown, and the oil rig just off the coast didn't do much to help either.

    As we turned around, we could see the driver still there, wondering what on earth we were doing, as I am sure spending time on the beach means nothing to most of the people here.

    A beach holiday it isn't.

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    Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

    by heydelin Written Feb 16, 2013

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    After the trip to the mangroves, I went to see the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque which was built in 1958. This is one of the world’s most beautiful mosques.

    There are days and times in day where the Mosque is closed so better to check first the schedule.

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    Royal Regalia Museum

    by heydelin Written Feb 16, 2013

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    Second stop is the Royal Regalia Museum which displays the Silver Jubilee chariot, armory, and collections of gifts to Sultan from different countries. There are parts of the museum where you can take pictures but most parts are prohibited from taking picture. The gallery is the only area where you can take pictures. There is a locker where you have to deposit your bags including phone and camera.

    There is a souvenir shop inside where you can all sorts of Brunei memorabilia.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Istana Nurul Iman

    by heydelin Written Feb 16, 2013

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    Our first stop is the Istana Nurul Iman – the official residence of Sultanof Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The palace was designed by a Filipino architect Leandro V. Locsin and constructed by a Filipino firm – Ayala International. The palace is open only during Hari Raya (the festival after the end of the Muslim fasting month). This is the largest residential palace in the world containing 1788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall which can accommodate 5000 guests, a mosque which can accommodate 1500 people, 110 garage, and 5 swimming pools. AMAZING!

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    Brunei Museum

    by heydelin Written Dec 14, 2012

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    Brunei Museum is located in Kota Batu about 3 miles from Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB).

    The museum consists of the following galleries:

    Islamic art gallery
    The history and technology of Brunei Darussalam’s petroleum gallery
    Brunei traditional culture gallery
    National history gallery
    Brunei Darussalam archaeology and history exhibition gallery

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    Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

    by heydelin Written Dec 14, 2012

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    Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is the largest mosque in Brunei and was built to commemorate 25th anniversary of the sultan’s reign. Phone and camera are not allowed inside so you need to deposit it in the locker area. Also women must put on a black robe upon entering the mosque. The staircase behind me consists of 29 steps (the current sultan is the 29th to rein). For every crowned Sultan, a new mosque and palace should be built.

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    Visit Muara Beach

    by heydelin Written Dec 11, 2012

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    After having breakfast at the hotel, I head to the bus stop just across the place where I was staying. I took Bus No. 55 to Bandar (1 dollar) where I took Bus No. 39 to Muara. At the port in Muara, transfer to Bus No. 33 going to Pantai Muara (Muara bridge).Be very patient in waiting for a bus. It took me 20 minutes to wait for Bus No. 55 in Gadong and it took me an hour to travel to Muara.

    It was 11am when I finally arrived at Muara beach. There were a few people mostly students (it’s a school break) because it is a weekday.

    The beach has white sand. The waves are wild so it is not advisable to swim during that day.

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