Brunei is a cute mini state with various hills, green areas, lots of national parks and magnificent nature. That’s why it’s an appealing place for visitors for spending time in very beautiful scenic spots. Almost two third of the territory is covered with Brunei rainforests. In contrast to this, there are also sandy beaches where you can lie in the sun forgetting about the hectic life.
The local sea is hosting various species of fish, including barracuda, mackerel, tuna, fish, sail, dolphin and others. This is a hint that the place will be a great destination for those wishing to snorkel. The flora and fauna of Brunei are no less interesting; only few know that it is here that the longest vine rattan and largest flower known as Rafflesia Arnoldii grow.
As in most of the Islamic countries, Brunei doesn’t offer bright nightlife activities. Even the standards for behavior in public places are pretty strict. This is one of the places, where you will get a chance to be acquainted with the traditions of East.
The capital and the busiest city of Brunei is Bandar Seri Begawan, located on the north bank of the Brunei River. The city has nothing to do with the traditional Eastern narrow-street cities like the ones you can find in Iran. Indeed, it’s a modern city with high-rise public buildings, numerous mosques and markets. And the only hint of the Eastern atmosphere is the color of the buildings: national colors of the buildings create typical oriental visions. The Eastern habit of taking care of gardens and parks is also a bit different. Here you will find a large list of religious buildings and palaces in the old architectural style, reminiscent of the history of the country before the era of the oil boom.
The first stop in Bandar Seri Begawan is the magnificent palace of the Sultan Istana Nurul Iman, which is considered to be the biggest residential palace in the world. The beach is only in 4 kilometers allowing to have a sea scenery. The designer of the palace is the famous Filipino architect, artist, and interior designer Leandro Locsin. He has preserved the Islamic design, adding a cutting-edge and very expensive finish to it.
Another major attraction of the capital is the huge Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. This one has no long history of existence, but it has got a chance to become one of the most impressive and beautiful modern mosques in the East. The golden domes of the building reach 52m, while being fully covered with interesting and beautiful mosaic decorations made of Venetian glass. Overall the interior of the mosque is also very luxurious, but it’s open for the Muslim visitors only.
The fans of active leisure will be thrilled to visit the elegant Jerudong Park, which is a huge green area serving as a sports and entertainment complex. And it’s amazing that the government pays to keep the park, making its entrance free. The complex includes a polo stadium, golf fields, a first-class platform for croquet, shooting range, kart track and other sports facilities, as well as thrilling attractions that will provide you with enough adrenaline and bright memories about Brunei. And if you get a bit tired of all, you can walk a short distance reaching Jerudong Beach, one of the few modern and well-equipped beaches in the country.
The historical remarks of Bandar Seri Begawan can be found at the rather traditional Brunei Museum known for its Art Gallery of Islamic art, among which you can find not only local samples, but ancient copies of the Quran from India, Iran, Egypt and Turkey, a luxurious collection of weapons, huge and amazing collections of ethnographic files, as well as handmade objects from sunken ships.
Kampong Ayer is one of the most favorite regions for the tourists coming to Brunei. It combines 28 traditional pile villages, which are amazing not only with their interesting stories, but allow to have a look at the colorful buildings in the traditional style.
The main eco-zone of Brunei is definitely Temburong, the eastern region. The evergreen forests, rivers and swamps are calling for a chance of hiking excursions. There you can visit the excellent National Park Ulu Temburong and the colorful ethnic villages, populated with ethnic Iban, Malay and Murut groups.
The modern spirit of Brunei can be explored in the oil and gas regions of the country. The commercial production of oil started long time ago, but the local government is doing its best to keep the natural balance here. This is why the nearby Sungai Liang is given a special attention. It’s one of the few areas of lowland tropical forest in Southeast Asia, performing the recreational area role, where you can just relax in the natural surroundings.
Brunei is also home to various ethnic groups. If you want to have a chance of meeting them in the same region, you should stop at Tutong District. The distinctive local tribes and their customs will be of special interest. The list of other places to visit in Brunei also includes Sungai Basong Recreation Park and the famous open-market Tamu Tutong.