Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei. It is located on the northern bank of the Brunei River. It is the only town of any size in the country. It is a neat, modern city, split into three main areas: the "old" 1950s-built central area, the Seri Complex and Gadong, with its newly built shopping center and numerous restaurants.

Bandar Seri Begawan offers many mosques, museums and historical sites. The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, built in 1958, features a golden dome and an interior of Italian marble walls, carpeting and an elevator. It also has tunnels, which are used by the Sultan on journeys through the town. The largest mosque is the Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. It is one of the most magnificent looking mosques in Brunei. It was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary His majesty the Sultan reign. It is locally known as the Kiarong mosque.

Kampong Ayer water village is a popular attraction. There are hundreds of houses built on stilts which seem to float on water. The water village people are very friendly and many open up their homes to visitors year-round. Water taxis can be found by walking along the Brunei river or the main market in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Things to See & Do

* Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
* Jame' Asri Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - mosque
* Kampong Ayer - water village
* Royall Regalia museum
* Istana Nurul Iman - residential palace of the Sultan

General information

Cruise Season - Jan - Dec
Currency - Brunei dollar (BND)
Language - Malay
Electricity - 2 round pins European style
Population - 140,000 approx
Land Area - 100.36 km²
Time - GMT plus hours eight hours
International Country Telephone Code - +673

Port Location - The port is located on the outskirts of the city, approximately 5km from the town centre.

Travel Links - Brunei International Airport serves the whole country. It is 11 km from the town centre and can be reached in 10 minutes via the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Highway. Airlines flying into the airport include Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Thai Airways International.

A water taxi service known as 'penambang' is used for transportation between downtown Bandar Seri Begawan and Kampong Ayer. Water taxis are the most common means of negotiating the waterways of Kampung Ayer. They can be hailed from the numerous "docking parts" along the banks of the Brunei River.