Brunei is a sovereign state in South-East Asia. It is a small country bordered by Malaysia on three sides. The South China Sea is on its northwestern side. The capital city is Bandar Seri Begawan. The official spoken language is Malay, which contains many dialects. English is also a recognized language here.
The local currency is Brunei Dollar. Foreign currencies and traveler’s cheques exchange is available at any bank. Hotels, department stores, and big establishments accept all major credit cards. However, credit card payments may require a 3% – 5% surcharge. Also, ATMs are widely available in cities and towns.
Brunei has only a small number of official taxis. Hotels can also arrange a cab for you or supply drivers’ mobile phone numbers. Taxis don’t have meters, so you should negotiate the price beforehand. Tipping is not common. You can also hire a car to get around. The country has one of the world’s cheapest petrol. Roads are in excellent condition. You can hire either a self-drive car or a car with a driver through various companies at the airport or through major hotels. Many companies require a minimum age of 23 years. Also, cars drive on the left side of the road here.
In Brunei, they use electric sockets of type G, so bring an adapter, if you are coming from the USA. The standard voltage is 240V.
This was a British colony until 1984 when it gained full independence. There was a strong economic growth during the 1990s and the 2000s, which made Brunei a highly-developed industrial country. It is the second richest country in the South-East Asia, following Singapore.
Brunei dollar is one of the strongest currencies in the region, which makes it expensive for tourists from nearby countries to travel here. That said, tourism numbers are neither high nor low but rather moderate.
The tourism industry is being one of the economic priorities of the government nowadays. The government makes annual inventions in tourism, and also seeks for foreign investments into the sector. They also plan to diversify the purposes of visiting Brunei, adding adventure travel, ecotourism, and Islamic pilgrimage tourism.
Much attention is paid to developing the tourism industry in Tutong District, which is the major tourist destination in the country. Also, bird watching is an aspect of Brunei tourism industry, which gets much governmental attention and investments.
Sunni Islam is the main religion here. Islam influences the country heavily. When coming to Brunei, remember that both the sale and public consumption of alcohol are banned here as it is also a Sharia country. It does permit non-Muslims to bring alcohol into the country for personal use, however, in limited amounts.
Also, keep in mind, that major tourist attractions in Brunei are Islamic mosques. So, non-Muslim visitors must enter the mosques dressed properly and respect the country’s traditions.
July 15, 2016 12:00 am Leave your thoughts