Brunei Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation
Mosque in Brunei
This is a gem among the ASEAN countries, a tiny and incredibly wealthy sultanate which offers visitors splendid mosques, river exploration and virgin rainforests within a little corner of Borneo. Its capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, features such contrasts as the world’s largest residential palace, the Istana Nurul Iman, and a picturesque water village, home to 30,000 people who dwell in curious stilthouses over the water, called the Kampong Ayer. Tourists may wish to admire the ceremonial jewels of the Sultan kept within the Royal Regalia Building, and visit the Brunei History Centre to find out about the fascinating history of the royal family. The monarchy has been in existence since the 5 th century, only appointing Islam as state religion in the 15 th century. The impact on the traveller is felt perhaps at the end of a hot and sticky day of sightseeing when a cold beer is not to be found anywhere due to the strict Muslim law that prevails. Otherwise, the nation’s cuisine could be said to make up easily for what it lacks in alcoholic beverages: a delicious, often coconut milk-based, combination of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Arab flavours.
Before leaving the capital, you should experience the colourful local market or tamu on the banks of the Kianggeh river, as well as the weekly Tamu Hujung Minggu offering a variety of exciting goods. The Royal Ceremonial Hall or Lapau is the venue for traditional royal ceremonies while the Tasek Recreational Park features waterfalls, ornamental gardens and a lake. Just outside the city you will find the town of Kampong Parit, with its mini replica of a rural village, and easy access to the rainforest and waterfalls via Wasai Kandal. For an adrenaline rush, head to the Jerudong Theme Park or for a more relaxing visit, see the weaving and silverware on display at the Craft Centre in Kota Batu. Other major towns include the coastal town of Muara, the oil capital Seria and its neighbouring town Kuala Belait, where the Panaga area is home to many expats who enjoy local recreational facilities such as the Panaga Club.
This is a steamy and tropical country whose aspect is sometimes described as Malaysia prior to modern development. There are long stretches of coastline and lush green hills, mangrove swamps and four main rivers, while the eastern region is somewhat more mountainous. There are a number of areas which showcase the glorious pristine equatorial environment to be discovered here, such as the Rainforest Centre at Kuala Belalong, the Bukit Shahbandar Forestry Park and the Ulu Temburong National Park where you can also find accommodation and recreational facilities. Sometimes the country’s geography itself simply makes a journey of discovery a little hard-going, and this can be exacerbated by the very humid climate. But for adventurers, the challenge of conquering the rugged terrain is an added attraction in comparison to the more developed and occasionally overrun tourist facilities of Malaysia, for example.
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