Sightseeing around Brunei
Brunei is famous for its stunning sunsets, long days and beautiful mosques; however we’ve been told there is much more to do on a visit to the country. After our own brief trip to the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, we received quite a few suggestions from readers of our travel blog, about places to see in Brunei and what other activities are available. Here are some of the useful recommendations, many from local Bruneians, about things to do along with some travel tips for anybody planning a tour of Brunei.
The Essential Touristy Experience
Any visitor to the capital of Brunei should try and take a water taxi. This relaxed mode of transport offers some spectacular views and there are no shortages of water taxis to choose from. It’s a great way to sit back and coolly appreciate your surroundings. Fares are negotiable, as is the route and journey time, so if you’re unsure of the price enquire in a few of the local shops or cafes to get an idea of how much it should be. You may want to visit the water village and check out the daily market.
If you’re a nature lover like us, you’ll most probably spot one of Brunei’s strangest looking inhabitants, that of the incredible looking prosbiscus monkey and of course you’ll see plenty of exotic looking birds.
What is the best time of year to visit Brunei?
Brunei enjoys a fairly constant weather climate which is hot and humid, but it is blessed with around 12 hours of sunshine year round. However, as a tourist there are some especially good times to visit the country when certain events and celebrations take place, such as National Day (23 February), the Sultan’s birthday (15 July), or during Eid. At this time locals hold special performances and celebrations and the food markets are bustling. The Sultan opens up the palace for a few days every year (which is normally closed) for Hari Raya, when everyone is welcome to visit, locals and tourists alike.
Parks and Recreational Activities
If you love nature, hiking or just want to explore a rainforest then a visit to Ulu Temburong National Park is essential, here you will find an amazing rainforest trek.
There are also many other recreational places to visit such as Tasek (Lake) Merimbun, Bukit Shahbandar, Berakas, Tasek Lama and several more parks.
Brunei Beaches and Coastline
It’s not surprising with such a beautiful coastline that there are many experiences available for those who love water based activities such as sailing, wind-surfing, scuba diving and fishing. So be sure to explore some of these options, how many will depend on your budget.
If you’re not the sporty type and just want to relax on some excellent beaches you may want to explore Pantai(beach) Muara, Pantai Serasa, Pantai Seri Kenangan (which translates to Beach of Memories). These beaches are clean with light surf where you can wind-surf, take a ride on a 4×4 sand buggy or go para-sailing.
For me though, one of the most appealing attractions would be to try diving in Brunei, the coral reef and wrecks are rich in marine life here.
Museums and a bit of Bruneian Culture
The Royal Regalia Museum is the place to visit if you want to take a look at the royal jewels on display, it’s located in the centre of town near the library and contains other interesting exhibits besides gemstones. Brunei National Museum and the Museum of Malay Technology are the other main museums and offer further information for those wanting to learn more about the country’s history and its relationship with oil.
Get an Insider’s Perspective about Brunei
For those in search of a deeper understanding of Bruneian culture and society, a reader has suggested that visitors contact Brunei University and enquire whether it’s possible to meet up with some students, who may be willing to act as a guide or explain a different side to what most tourists see in Brunei.
A return visit to Brunei
Whilst there may not be much to keep visitors occupied of an evening, there are plenty of options for those in search of things to do in Brunei. If we ever get the opportunity to return to Brunei, it would be great to try out some of these experiences personally and enjoy some Brunei hospitality. In the meantime, if you’ve tried any of the above yourself or have any tips on things to do in Brunei, from a tourist or travel perspective, please leave a comment or share this article with your friends.