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Despite its vast oil wealth, large English speaking population, and relatively small size, Brunei is a country which many tourists overlook during their Southeast Asia stay. People who take the time to explore this small sultanate, however, will find a modern capital city in Bandar Seri Begawan as well as plenty of natural beauty in the virgin forests and secluded coastline of Brunei's rural regions.Don’t Miss
One of the world's richest individuals, the Sultan of Brunei, lives in Istana Nurul Iman, the biggest palace on Earth which has been consistently occupied by its ruler. Even though this hilltop structure is closed to the public during most of the year, visitors can still admire its sprawling exterior and views of Kampong Ayer, a unique water village.
Bandar Seri Begawan's other main attractions are mosques, museums, and the Jerudong amusement park. Brunei's other three districts outside of its national capital are Tutong, Belait, and Temburong. The heart of Brunei's lucrative oil industry is Belait, while Tutong is best known for its scattered plantations and virgin forest. Visitors must travel through the Malaysian district of Limbang to reach isolated Temburong.
Popular Brunei boat tours include Tutong River cruises and Temburong's Belalong National Park. Several nudibranch species, shipwrecks such as the 80m Blue Water Wreck, and some of Southeast Asia's most unspoiled coral reefs are the most spectacular sights scuba divers will see beneath Brunei's waters. Pantai Serasa, Pantai Gadong, and Pantai Muara are Borneo's most frequently visited beaches.Restaurants and Bars
Brunei's signature dish, nasi katok, combines rice with curried chicken or beef. Ambuyat, served throughout Borneo, is a sago paste which is starchy, gooey, and dipped into savoury sauces. The soy sauce served in Brunei restaurants is generally thicker, darker, and stronger tasting than typical Chinese or Japanese soy sauce. Bandar Seri Begawan is the easiest place to find international restaurants in Brunei, but it is illegal to buy or serve alcohol in this devoutly Muslim country.Shopping
Central Bandar Seri Begawan's Yayasan and the waterfront Pusat Kesenian dan Pertukangan Tangan Brunei) are a couple of the places Brunei's government has established for locals to sell handicrafts such as silver jewellery and woodwork. Gadong, Kiulap, and Serusop all contain modern shopping centres in addition to traditional shophouses.