Stretching for several miles along the banks of the
Brunei River, Kampong Ayer, Brunei's famed water
village, is a fascinating glimpse into Brunei's
Built entirely of stilt houses and wooden
walkways, this cluster of 42 villages housing more than
30,000 inhabitants is the world's largest water village.
Some people refer to it as the 'Venice of the East'.
Kampong Ayer retains much of the
historical features of the 16th century when Ferdinand
Magellan's chronicler first discovered it.
lifestyle of its inhabitants-fishermen, river traders (or padian as they are called in the Malay language) and
artisans making and selling traditional handicrafts
(silverware, brassware, woodcarving and cloth weaving) - has
remained unchanged since then.
Today Kampong Ayer is an almost
self-sufficient community being equipped with modern
facilities such as schools, shops, markets, mosques,
clinics, police stations and fire brigades. All are
connected by a maze of stilted platforms and walkways.
Kampong Ayer is a national heritage and
efforts are being made to preserve this lifestyle so that
the legacy of the 'water' people of Brunei will be retained,
not only as a tourist attraction, but also for the future
generation of Brunei.
Visitors can have a personal experience of
this heritage by taking one of the many water taxis that ply
daily between the water taxi jetty in front of the Yayasan
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in the centre of town and the
water village itself.
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
The Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
Foundation Complex is both a foundation initiated by His
Majesty the Sultan to generate revenue for the welfare of
the Bruneian people and an upmarket shopping centre.
Opened in July 1996, Yayasan (as it is
called in short) sports traditional Malay and modern
architecture and is a prominent landmark in the heart of the
The paved open-air foyer decked with landscaping
offers a splendid view of the magnificent Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque at one end and Kampung Ayer at the other
Framed by blue skies or the brilliance of the evening
sun, this is where most people come to enjoy the view and a
breath of fresh air.
Inside, Hua Ho is the anchor tenant
surrounded by innumerable shiny stores offering branded and
non branded goods of all kinds, restaurants and cyber cafés.
Sultan Omar Ali
This is one of the most magnificent
mosques in Southeast Asia. Built in 1958 as a symbol of the
Sultanate's faith, the mosque which bears the name of the
Sultan who built it, features resplendent marble and granite
floors, stained glass and chandeliers from all over the
Outside, the mosque is surrounded by a
serene manmade lagoon where a 16th century
mahligai or royal barge reposes. The view is especially
captivating at night when the lights are on.
The Mosque is
open for visits in the day but visitors are asked to dress
conservatively when entering the building.
Royal Regalia Museum
Built to commemorate the 1992
Silver Jubilee of His Majesty's ascension to the
throne, this ornate building with a distinctively
gilded dome holds a veritable collection of precious
Priceless collections such as
jewel-encrusted crowns, a royal chariot, gold and silver
armoury, a replica throne and gifts that His Majesty has
received plus a full documentation of the history of the
Constitution of Brunei Darussalam are all exhibited here.
The building, located at Jalan Sultan, tel: 2238-358/360, is
open to the public everyday of the week except Fridays when
opening hours are shorter. Visitors are advised to remove
their shoes prior to entering the building.
Established in 1982, this centre, located
just beside the Royal Regalia Museum holds documents of
Brunei's historical events and the full genealogy and
origins of the Sultans of Brunei and the Royal Family.
A forest reserve and recreational park in
the middle of the city. Only in Brunei would an urbanite be
able to commune with nature with just a 15-minute walk from
the heart of the capital. Taman Tasek has a natural
waterfall in the middle of a lush forest.
Brunei Shell, as
part of their community work, has also installed an eight-metre
high wall for those interested in climbing.
and Dewan Majlis
Another magnificent building is the Royal
Ceremonial Hall or Lapau where His Majesty the Sultan was
crowned in 1968.Traditional royal ceremonies are often held
Another splendid building is the Dewan Majlis or
Parliament House which is adjoined to the Lapau.
The Kianggeh Tamu is also known to the
locals as the Amah's Market, and for good reason. Everyday,
before the crack of dawn, this community market situated on
the banks of the Kianggeh River opposite the Chinese Temple,
is filled with all sorts of local fresh fruits, vegetables,
flowers and handicraft - just the kind of things an amah
would want to pick up for the kitchen. Most of the produce
sold here would be finished by early evening.
and Handicraft Training Centre
This centre, which also holds classes for
those interested in a career making handicraft, displays
brocades called 'jong sarat, hand-woven baskets, silverware,
brassware, woodcarvings and snake-like daggers called 'keris'.
The Brunei Arts and Handicraft Training Centre is located at Jalan Residency, Bandar Seri Begawan, Tel: 2240676/391/399
The Art Gallery, located next to the Arts
and Handicraft Training Centre at Jalan Residency, tel:
2223-205/2222741 provides the services of promoting and
educating the public about art. Brunei's best artists
periodically perform, sell or exhibit their work here.
Visitors wishing to come to the Art Gallery by bus can take
the Central Line Bus No: 11 and the Eastern Line Bus No: 2
Located up the hill of Kota Batu is the
Brunei Museum which houses a collection of archaeological
artefacts, natural history subjects, Brunei Malay culture
exhibits, centuries-old Chinese porcelain, ceramics and jade
(discovered during the course of an offshore pipeline
survey), Islamic artefacts and exhibits of the development
and discovery of oil.
First established in 1965, the building
has occupied this site at Jalan Kota Batu,
tel: 2244-545/6, about 6.5 km from the capital, since 1970.
The Malay Technology Museum
Again at Jalan Kota Batu, tel: 2244-545,
the Malay Technology Museum displays the
traditional technologies of the Water Village, its people
and the traditional technologies of the inland people from
the late 19th to mid 20th century.
dimensional mock-ups of boat making, house-building,
metalworking and gold smiting, the exhibits serve to provide
an insight into the past lifestyle of the Brunei Malays.
The Mausoleum of
One of Brunei's greatest Sultans was the
fifth Sultan of Brunei known as Sultan Bolkiah or Nakhoda Ragam which means 'captain of great manner and activity'.
was under his rule
that Brunei's sovereignty extended over the whole of the
coastal kingdom of Borneo and the
islands of the Philippines. His tomb, which lies within a
mausoleum at a quiet alcove of greenery off Jalan Kota Batu,
commemorates that golden age of the nation.
House of Twelve Roofs
This quaint piece of British architecture
- once the home of the British Resident when the British
Residential System was introduced in Brunei in1906- has
exhibits that examine the long relationship between Brunei
and the United Kingdom since the 19th century.
Between 1905 and 1906, an agreement was
signed between the two countries for the establishment of a
British Resident in Brunei, the stabilising factor in this
country at a time when Brunei was vulnerable. In 1906,
Malcolm McArthur became the first British Resident.
Today, the building shows historical
photographs of the lives of individuals and those involving
the state politically, economically and socially.
as one of the oldest surviving buildings in Brunei, The
House of Twelve Roofs is situated on Jalan Residency, tel:
The Jame' Asr
Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Grand and opulent, with shimmering golden
domes and intricately ornamental minarets set in
a landscape of gardens and fountains, this mosque is
arguably the most magnificent in Brunei today.
The Jame' Asr
Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is also known as the Kiarong Mosque
of its location.
The Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Silver
Jubilee Park and Recreation Area Built in 2002 in tribute to
His Majesty the Sultan's 56th Birthday, this beautiful
six-hectare-large Silver Jubilee Park and Recreation Area in
Kampong Pusar Ulak, Mukim Kianggeh, is situated not far from
the centre of town.
Land marked by lush landscaping and an
imposing structure featuring columns and fountains leading
out to a tranquil pier, this park is a contribution of the
citizens of the Brunei-Muara District, various Government
Departments and the private sector in commemoration of the
Sultan's 25 years of splendid rule.
Three kilometres west of Bandar Seri
Begawan's city centre lies the Istana Nurul Iman, the
residence of His Majesty The Sultan.
It is the largest
residential palace in the world with golden domes and
sweeping rooflines that can be seen from the long road of Jalan Tutong.
The palace is open to the public during Hari Raya, when
locals and tourists alike have the opportunity to greet His
Majesty and members of the royal family.
The best view of Istana Nurul Iman is from
the Taman Persiaran Damuan, a leafy, scenic park along the
river bank off Jalan Tutong.
It has walkways, a
well-equipped playground and features six outdoor sculptures
by Asean artists, on the theme of Unity in Diversity.
Persiaran Damuan is popular for jogging and has several food
stalls in the evenings.
Located in Mukim Kilanas about 1.5km off
Jalan Tutong, the Wasai Kendal or Kendal Waterfall, is a
retreat famous for its wide trails, cool crystal waters,
picturesque pools and beautiful blooms.
Perayaan Kampong Parit
Located nearby is another leafy park with
miniature model houses of rural Brunei and Kampong Ayer,
complete with stilts standing over a small river.
The venue of the 1999 SEA Games, this
high-tech stadium with an advanced Sports Medicine and
Research Centre, is located in Berakas, an area about 5km
from the city centre.
Next to the outdoor stadium are the
6,000-seat Indoor Stadium, the International Swimming
Complex, the International Tennis Centre and the Practice
Track & Field Complex.
More sports complexes such as a
squash centre, a hockey centre and a multi purpose hall are
International Convention Centre (ICC)
The ICC, which is situated on a hill
nearby, overlooks the stadium and regularly hosts political
addresses, international conferences, gala events, concerts,
and jazz and classical music evenings.
Jerudong Park is the famous four-in-one
state-of-theart entertainment, golf, horse riding and
exclusive club catering to the well-to-do in Brunei
Comprising the Royal Brunei
Golf & Country Club, Trijaya Jerudong Equestrian Park,
Jerudong Park Polo Club and Jerudong Park Playground, the
first three parks used to be exclusive only to members, but
today, all four are open to visitors.
The Jerudong Park Polo Club is where His
Majesty the Sultan of Brunei flexes his skill on the polo
When time allows him, it is not uncommon to see
visiting clubs, foreign dignitaries or other members of the
Royal Family join him in a game on one of the three
magnificent fields in this park.
Close by lies the Clubhouse which hosts an
exclusive clientele through its luxurious decor, collection
of equestrian art, personal photographs and many special
facilities such as the European-styled magnificent Banquet
Hall, restaurant, a private four-lane computerised bowling
alley, a covered pool featuring a sunken bar and a
magnificent pavilion providing shelter from the tropical
sun, a fully computerized gym where workouts can be tracked,
two full-sized private squash courts (where Jahangir Khan
once played), a full-sized Riley billiard table set in a
parlour, a 'chip n putt' eight-hole golf course and a
Not far away is the Royal Brunei Golf &
Country Club with a Par 72, 18-hole championship, 6,165m
buggy only course.
Designed by none other than Ronald Fream,
it is considered a 'thinker's course' with its tight
fairways and varying slopes. The golf course is consistently
maintained to the high standards demanded by the USA PGA.
For golfers who prefer night playing, powerful floodlights
provide daytime visibility for a satisfying game.
The Jerudong Park Playground is a
beautiful, 57-hectare wonderland that took four years to
Filled with manicured lawns, a musical fountain
and 39 hair raising rides such as the' Sky Tower'-a rotating
platform that rises 78m to offer a 360-degree panoramic view
of Jerudong; 'Pusing Lagi' - a 5G force rollercoaster;
'Giant Drop'- a 48m dead drop at 4G forces, ' Log Flume
Ride'- a wet exhilarating ride with a reverse drop, 'Top
Spin' - a two-tiered platform that flips in two different
directions and many others, Jerudong Park is the place to be
for a night of fun.
Other features include a Roller Blade
Skating Rink, a Supa-Kart (Go Kart), a Video Arcade, a
Shooting Gallery, Baby Dodgems and a French Carousel for the
younger ones and of course
the famous Jerudong Park Amphitheatre where Jacky Cheung,
Siti Nurhaliza, Westlife, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson
and of late Academy Fantasia have performed.
Jerudong Park Playground charges a modest
fee for the use of its rides. The buggy for visitors to roam
the park is also for hire. Opening hours for the rides are
generally from 5pm till midnight.
For more information on Jerudong Park and its individual facilities, call: 261 2044
for Jerudong Park Playground, call: 261 1353 for the Royal
Brunei Golf and Country Club, call: 261 1582 for the
Jerudong Park Polo Club, call: 261 2500 or just log on to
their website at: www.jppolo.com or
Shahbandar Forest Recreation Park
This is a 70-hectare stretch of rolling
verdant hills designated for hiking, cycling and fishing. An
ideal getaway to work up a good sweat, this hilly area is
usually crowded with fitness enthusiasts in the evenings.
Entrance is free.
The Empire Hotel and Country Club The most
magnificent hotel in Brunei, this 6-star establishment
features a Jack Nicklaus golf course, a theatre and cinema
complex, a selection of restaurants, a range of
accommodation choices, a sports complex, water sports
facilities and many other world class features.
of Hussyn Rahman Enterprise
In 2001, Hj Hussin Bin Hj Rahman, an
enterprising Bruneian, saw the potential of camels in Brunei
and brought in 20 animals for the purpose of "akikah" - a
Muslim rite required of every Muslim to offer an animal
sacrifice once in his lifetime.
With thoughts to expand the
camel business further, he brought in another two camels in
2003, this time for the purpose of providing fun rides for
the enjoyment of the public.
Since their arrival, Silver and Blossom
-the two trained riding camels - have been the 'stars' of
numerous funfairs, Radio Televisyen Brunei and the
Agricultural Expo. In between these events, Silver and
Blossom offer rides to the public back at the farm.
The farm is located at: Lot 161, Spg 502,
Kampung Betumpu Tapak, Jalan Bengkurong Masin, tel:
2681-417/2655-532 (Head Off) with rides available from 9am -
11am and 2pm - 4pm from Mondays to Saturdays and from 9am
-11 am on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Muara Beach &
Muara beach is known for its pristine
coastline while Serasa is known for its water sports such as
jet skiing, kayaking and wind surfing.
The purpose-built Serasa Water sports Complex has facilities for international
level competitive events such as sailing, water-skiing and
The Serasa Water Sports Complex hosted the water sports
events during the 20th SEA Games in Brunei Darussalam.
Bukit Tempayan Pisang is a 500m-high hill
in Muara. The summit gives a panoramic view of the coast and
The Brooketon Coalmine which can be
accessed from Bukit Tempayan Pisang dates back to 1888 when
coal was mined in Brunei. In its heyday, 650,000 tonnes of
coal were brought out to the surface.
The coalmine is of
course now abandoned along with its railway, mineshafts and
tunnels. People who like to explore dark places should visit
for a hair-raising experience.
It takes 45 minutes to get to
Pulau Selirong from Muara. Pulau Selirong or
Mosquito Island is a 2,566-hectare island filled
with mangrove swamps and wildlife.
There is 2km of
wooden walkways built to offer close-up views of the
scuttling life forms that thrive in this unique
ecosystem. There is also an observation tower,
toilet facilities and rest huts.
The Silver Jubilee
Built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His
Majesty's accession to the throne, it is a beautiful
site along Jalan Maulana, just 1 km from KB town.
The 2,679-hectare park faces the beach and features
exhibition huts and a 'Pintu Gerbang' (official
decorative entrance) that symbolises the MIB (Malay
Islamic Monarchy) concept of Brunei. There is also a
Bukit Teraja Bukit
Teraja is one of the highest hills in the Labi area.
Climbers get a fine view over the Baram valley to
the north and Gunung Mulu to the south.
The path to the peak is well marked and maintained
and takes under two hours at brisk pace. The upper
end of the open clearing - also known as `clear of
the wind' - has a picnic spot with benches and a
There are several species of pitcher plants,
characteristic of higher forest zones. Animals
commonly seen here include barking deer, bearded
pigs, squirrels, tree shrews and macaques.
It was opened in 1992 to commemorate His Majesty the
Sultan's Silver Jubilee year and is sponsored by
Brunei Shell Petroleum. Developed from an abandoned
sandpit to a marvellous park with blue lagoon and
landscaped flowers, it is an ideal place to have
family outings and picnics.
Sungai Liang Forest Recreational Park
This is one of the very few lowland forests in
Southeast Asia where parts of the virgin jungle have
been turned into a park with well-marked nature
There are sheltered platforms to enjoy the
surrounding view. Good for picnic and jogging.
Billionth Barrel Monument
It was built to commemorate the billionth barrel of
oil produced by the Seria Oil Field and is situated
near the seawell at the S1 site, the first well that
was dug about 70 years ago.
Designed by local
architect for Brunei Shell Petroleum, the monument
features a tall arched entrance between two rows of
trees and a tiled floor that symbolises the nation's
strong Islamic faith.
Situated along Jalan Maulana lies the residence of
His Majesty the Sultan when he visits the Belait
district. Covered all in white, the palace looks
Known as the oil town of Brunei due the first
discovery of oil in the area. Several "nodding
donkeys" can be seen along the road that never fails
to amuse passers-by, especially kids.
The Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC)
Set up by the Brunei Shell Petroleum in September
2002, it is the latest landmark in Seria aimed at
educating the public about science, technology and
Apart from seven galleries that
showcase 150 exhibits covering the multifacets of
science, the OGDC also has a challenging outdoor
setting, among these a giant chessboard, a
skateboarding ring, a jogging track and a walkway
that leads directly to the Billionth Barrel
The OGDC is opened for visits from
Tuesday to Sundays. There are also video shows on
weekends at the Theatre (11 am, fpm, 3pm). Admission
fees are B$1 for children below age 12, B$2 for
teens up to 17 and B$5 for adults.
It is a famous community market situated between
Jalan Bolkiah and Jalan Nakhoda Manis Seria
operating only on Saturdays (6am to 11am). The
market sells fresh vegetables and fruits and edibles
such as 'ikan salai' or barbequed fish.
Wasai Wong Kadir
The Wong Kadir Waterfall or wasai is what visitors
will find at the end of an arduous uphill jungle
trek that is worth the workout.
Sungai Mau Recreation Park
A lovely recreational spot situated along Sungai
Liang and Labi Road.
Lalak Recreational Park
About 25 km away lies the famous Luagan Lalak
Recreational Park, a 270-hectare site of lush, green
An alluvial freshwater swamp fills up during
the rainy season but dries up to become a valley of
swishing sedges in the dry season.
The effect is
striking and most people admire the scene by
strolling along the 200m walkway that meanders along