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Brunei

Introduction

One of the smallest countries in the world, Brunei is all that remains of a once much larger empire. Two tiny unconnected shards of land on the northern side of Sarawak, the country actually has abundant oil fields, meaning that it is disproportionately wealthy compared to its neighbours. The country is well equipped for tourism and travel to Brunei is far easier than one might imagine.

This wealth means that the neat, clean capital Bandar Seri Bergawan (BSB) has a mix of modern public buildings and traditional mosques including the golden domed Omar Ali Saifuddin, which stands close to the Brunei River. Conversely, The Kampung Ayer area is a collection of 28 water villages built on stilts and home to half the city's population.

Brunei's wealth also means that the country's other resources have been spared, so stand intact; there are still great swathes of primary rainforest here for instance. These are best appreciated from Ulu Temburong National Park, where it is possible to trek forest trails. Alternatively, head to Pulau Ranggu to see proboscis monkeys and macaques.

For adventure, take a speedboat from BSB to Bangar, which crosses Brunei Bay and enters the mangrove swamps and creeks at he mouth of the Temburong River.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
14½ hours

Time zone
GMT +8

Currency
Brunei dollar (Br$)

Language
Malay and English

Travel advice
Check the FCO for latest visa & travel advice

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