Brunei – a country ruled by the royal family of the 'Sultan' and renowned for the biggest presidential palace in the world – boasts of being a super-rich country with huge reservoirs of petroleum and natural gas. The country's official name is 'Negara Brunei Darussalam' and it is one of the cleanest and most modern places to visit for avid travellers. Brunei tourism promisingly offers you an excellent combination of cultural values and modern amenities.
Flanked by the South China Sea along its coastline and sharing its land borders with Malaysia, this tiny country lies in Southeast Asia. It boasts of having the largest palace in the world (area: 300 acres) used for residing, where the Sultan of Brunei stays with his extended royal family. The beautiful palace named 'Istana Nurul Iman', is built on top of an artificial hillock alongside Kampong Ayer, with a whopping expenditure of 600 million dollars. Currently, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is one among the richest people in the world, is housing it.
Brunei's capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), is loaded with the latest amenities, awesome surroundings, wide paved roads, ancient monuments and modern architectural marvels. It is famous for Istana Nurul Iman – the palace of the Sultan; Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque – the magnificient and luxurious mosque with a golden dome; the Kampung Ayer – an ancient group of twenty-eight water villages constructed on River Brunei's stilts; Bum-bungan Dua Belas – i.e. the house of twelve roofs; the Royal Regalia Building – a collection of the royal articles used during coronation ceremony; the Brunei Museum – house of ancient artifacts; and the Chinese temple. You can do some shopping at the 'tamu', where you can settle down for a good bargain with the local street vendors.
A few major cities in Brunei are Muara, Bangar, Seria and Kuala Belait. Among these cities, Seria is also known as "shelltown" for its huge oil reservoirs and Muarais the cheif seaport in the country. Another important place in Brunei is Jerudong, where the playground of the Sultan is located. The Jerudong Park is well known for its golf course, polo stadium, croquet and trapshooting adventure sports. The Tutong district in Brunei has a very beautiful beach called Pantai Seri Kenangan, enormously popular among tourists as a picnic spot. Some other places to visit in Brunei include Pulau Ranggu, the waterfalls at Wasai Kandal, sea-beach and ferry rides at Beliat, the Bukit Shabbandar Forest Park, the Peradayan Forest Reserve, and Batang Duri.
Bruneian cuisine specializes in non-vegetarian delicacies made from 'halal' meat and poultry. Since it is an Islamic country, there are strict rules applicable to the culinary service, which bans alcohol consumption in Brunei. The favourite dishes of Bruneians are 'nasi katok' (rice with chicken/beef curry) and 'ambuyat' (made from sago). Try out sipping 'teh tariq' (sweetened milk tea) and relish a cup of 'kopi' (coffee) at famous eateries.
Staying in Brunei is heavy on the pocket if you are looking for decent accommodation, but you can also get it cheap at a few guesthouses, minus the A-class facilities. For a nice shopping experience, tourists can head towards the 'Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah commercial complex' in BSB, a four-storey lavish shopping centre that has every brand under one roof.
Brunei has a single airport, the Brunei International Airport, where the official carrier of the country, the Royal Brunei Airlines, is operational. Come to this beautiful land of the Sultan and bask in the bright sunlight. Brunei has a hot and humid climate, so come here to feel the rays of the smiling sun...it is a truly wonderful travel experience.