4 days in Brunei

You may have heard of Brunei, you may not have. If we mention Borneo, we’re sure you’ll all have heard of there. Brunei is a very small country in Southeast Asia, nestled between Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

This country is extremely underrated and often overlooked by travellers seeking out other Asian countries. It’s known for having the largest oil fields in all of Southeast Asia. The country is a vast mixture of rich and poor, it’s extremely budget friendly as well as being incredibly luxurious.

The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan has incredible friendly locals, delicious food, beautiful mosques and lush forests near by.

Below is a list of the best things to inspire your trip to Brunei and some things you absolutely cannot miss.

1. Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

The mosque is named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei. The building was finished in 1958, it’s an incredible example of modern Islamic architecture. It easily can be one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful mosques. It’s definitely the most incredible we’ve ever seen.

2. Kampong Ayer

Kampong Ayer, is the worlds largest water village often called the Venice of the East. Kampong Ayer translates literally as water village. It is a large village only accessible by boat, which are very easy to grab from the town B$1 each way per person. It’s a must visit, it has its own restaurant, mosque, police station, shop and staff even a small gym. It’s easy to take a tour of the village but we would recommend walking around on your own and exploring.

3. Tasek Lama Recreational Park

This gorgeous park is located a short taxi ride or about a 20 minute walk from the town, it’s a very popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place if you want a work out, the walking trails are great for jogging around and there’s a few outdoor gym areas. The waterfall is a located conveniently close to the main entrance, making it easily accessible if you have children or elderly with you. Make sure to keep an eye out for monkeys, they can be rather aggressive.

4. Tamu Kianggeh

Tamu Kianggeh, a small open air market with lots of very interesting fruits, some we’ve never even heard of. It’s safe to say we bought a lot here and spent extremely little money. The market has traditional food and snacks, along with plenty of fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, the occasional stall with homewares and clothing. The market is open every day from 6am, be sure to get there early as a lot of stalls will be gone by mid day, as we learnt. The busiest day is definitely Sunday when the market is full of people, it’s an incredibly interesting place to watch locals pick their produce.

Where to eat?

Awais Rice ‘n Grill, Pakistani/Indian restaurant

Brunei has a huge variation of foods, we really enjoy Indian food. For us, visiting here was a no brainer, we stumbled across it whilst searching TripAdvisor for dinner ideas. We enjoyed it so much we actually visited it twice. We can both highly recommend the naan breads, the butter chicken and the dal.

Nasi Katok Mama

Nasi Katok is an extremely cheap and popular meal amongst locals. It consists of plain rice, fried chicken and sambal, a spicy relish. This meal/snack is available all over Brunei and is only B$1 per portion, making it the cheapest meal we’ve had. Yes the picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but believe us it’s delicious and you MUST try it.

Piccolo Cafe

We found this delightful little cafe right beside our hotel, making it an obvious choice for us to have a few coffee stops. If you don’t know, we love coffee! It would not be out of place in cities like Berlin or London, extreme hipster vibes. The iced coffees were some of the best we’ve ever had, complete with a metal straw, which really sold it for us. The different lattes were all exquisite, with pretty latte art.

Overall the food in Brunei is an amazing mixture of Indonesian, Malaysian and Indian. Rendang, Nasi Lemak and Ambuyat are all very popular dishes around the country.

Ambuyat is Brunei’s national dish, we believe it’s one of those things that are an acquired taste. It is made from the sago palm, it is very similar to tapioca starch, it’s often served with a mixture of different sauces.

Also worth noting, Brunei being a Muslim country alcohol is banned, therefore you will never see it in any restaurant or hotel. We believe you can bring a VERY small amount in the country, but you will probably have to declare you have it.

Transport

Buses to and from the airport are ridiculously cheap, costing only B$1 regardless of the distance, what a bargain. They are easy to work and the drivers always speak English, making it easy to ask questions.

Taxis are also available but they do cost a lot more, we didn’t take one so can’t say much. Also the app dart is useful as an alternative to grab/Uber.

Hopefully we have convinced you to visit Brunei one day or have taught you where it is at least. We will visit Brunei again one day as it is truly stunning and deserves the recognition.

Thank you for reading, please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rhiannon & David

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