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Negara Brunei Darussalam
State of Brunei, Abode of Peace
بروني دارالسلام
Flag Crest
Motto"الدائمون المحسنون بالهدى" "Sentiasa berbuat kebajikan dangan petunjuk Allah"
"Always in service with God's guidance"  (translation)
AnthemAllah Peliharakan Sultan
God Bless the Sultan

Location of  Brunei  (green)

in ASEAN  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]

(and largest city)
Bandar Seri Begawan
4°53.417′N 114°56.533′E / 4.890283°N 114.942217°E / 4.890283; 114.942217
Official language(s) Malay (Bahasa Melayu)[1]
Official scripts Malay alphabet
Demonym Bruneian
Government Islamic Absolute Monarchy
 -  Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
 -  Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah
 -  Sultanate 14th century 
 -  End of
British protectorate
January 1, 1984 
 -  Total 5,765 km2 (172nd)
2,226 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 8.6
 -  2009 estimate 388,190[2] (175)
 -  2001 census 332,844 
 -  Density 67.3/km2 (134th)
174.4/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $19.716 billion[3] (114th)
 -  Per capita $50,198[3] (5th)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $14.553 billion[3] (105th)
 -  Per capita $37,053[3] (24th)
HDI (2007) 0.920[4] (very high) (30th)
Currency Brunei dollar (BND)
Time zone (UTC+8)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .bn
Calling code +6731
1 Also 080 from East Malaysia

Brunei (pronounced /bruːˈnaɪ/ in English), officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace (Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: بروني دارالسلام), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and in fact it is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak.

Brunei regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984 and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. During the early 20th century, the Southeast Asian nation experienced an economic boom and underwent rapid development. Economic growth during the 1970s and 1990s, averaging 56% from 1999 to 2008, has transformed Brunei Darussalam into a newly industrialised country.

Brunei has one of the world's fastest growing gross domestic product at purchasing power parity.[citation needed] Brunei has the second highest Human Development Index among the South East Asia nations, after Singapore and is classified as a Developed Country.[5] Islam is the official religion.



The power of the Sultanate of Brunei was at its peak from the 14th to the 16th centuries.[6] The Sultanate's suzerainty is thought to have extended over the coastal regions of modern-day Sarawak and Sabah, the Sulu archipelago, and the islands off the northwest tip of Borneo.

IT has been debated when Islam actually first arrived in Brunei. A number of relics showed that Islam could actually be practiced in Brunei by the 12th century.

Amongst these were tombstones found in the various Islamic graveyards in Brunei particularly the one at Rangas which showed one with a Chinese Muslim by the name of Pu Kung Chih-mu. He was buried there in 1264. This is more than a hundred years earlier before the conversion of Awang Alak Betatar as the Islamic Sultan Muhammad Shah, the first Sultan of Brunei.

Pu is the common surname which according to Chinese historians identified them as someone who is a Muslim. The tombstone also identified Pu Kung Chih-mu as one who had originated from Chuan-chou City in China. During the Sung Dynasty, Arab and Persian Traders flocked to the Kwang Chow (Canton) in Kwangtung Province and Chuan-chou in Fukien Province.

It was not the only Chinese Muslim grave there. In another grave nearby belonged to another Chinese Muslim by the name of Li Chia-tzu from Yung Chun (Fukian) who died in 1876. Yung Chun is also another city in China where Muslim travelers frequently trade.

According to Chinese records, stated in the “Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca Compiled From Chinese Sources” written by WP Groeneveldt in 1880, one Chinese Islamic trader arrived in Brunei in the 10th century. His name was P’u-lu-shieh. He was both a trader and a diplomat. SQ Fatimi writing in the Sociological Research Institute in Singapore in 1963 under an article entitled “Islam Comes to Malaysia”, P’u-lu-shieh name is akin to Abu al-Layth.

The Brunei King at that time was named Hiang-ta (Bongto). The arrival of the diplomat-trader from China was greeted with great ceremony. If this is so, Islam has actually arrived in Brunei in the year of 977.

One may discount the fact that the Muslim diplomat-trader did not do anything in Brunei but merely brought greetings and therefore one should not read too much into this. However the interesting thing was that the Brunei King’s delegation to China to return the Emperor’s greetings was headed by another Muslim by the name of P’u A-li (Abu Ali).

Based on this fact alone, Abu Ali must have held an important position in the Brunei Government if he was tasked to be Brunei’s Ambassador in those days and even if the King of Brunei then was not himself a Muslim, some members of his royal court were Muslims.

A number of European historians claimed that Brunei was still not a Muslim nation until the 15th century. However, the Ming Shih, Book 325, a Chinese reference book noted that the King of Brunei in 1370 was Ma-ho-mo-sa. Some say that this should be read as Mahmud Shah. But local Brunei historians take this to refer to “Muhammad Shah” the first Islamic Sultan of Brunei, during his reign Brunei was also visited by Arab, Persian and Sindhi merchants.

Robert Nicholl, a former Brunei Museum Curator argued in another paper entitled “Notes on Some Controversial Issues in Brunei History” in 1980 that the name Ma-ho-mo-sa could be pronounced as Maha Moksha which means Great Eternity. Maha Mokhsa would make it a Buddhist name. Nicholl goes on to argue that even the Brunei Sultan who died in Nanjing in 1408 was not a Muslim. Another European Historian, Pelliot, Ma-na-jo-kia-nai-nai was reconstituted as Majarajah Gyana (nai). But the closest title would have been Maharaja Karna. However Brunei historians have stated that the King was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan who would have been the second Sultan of Brunei.

Nicholl further argued that Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam as late as the 16th century and not during the 14th century as is widely known. However according to Brunei historians, Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam in 1376 and that he ruled until 1402. After which time, it was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who died in China who ascended the throne. That was when Sultan Ahmad reigned in Brunei beginning 1406, during his reign Brunei was visited on various occasions by the Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He.

Most likely there were two waves of Islamic teachings that came to Brunei. The first was brought by traders from Arabia, Persia, India and China. The second wave was brought about by the conversion of Sultan Muhammad Shah. With the coming of the second wave, Brunei’s Islamisation hastened.

!The propagation of Islam in Brunei was led by a Syarif with the name of Syarif Ali who was a descendant from The Prophet Muhammad. through his grandsons Sayydinia Hassan or Sayydinia Hussin.

Syarif Ali arrived from Taif. Not long after he arrived in Brunei, he was married to a daughter of Sultan Ahmad. Syarif Ali built a mosque in Brunei. Syarif Ali was closely connected to a few other well known Islam propogationist in the region such as Malik Ibrahim who went to Java, Syarif Zainal Abidin in Malacca, Syarif Abu Bakar or Syariful Hashim in Sulu and Syarif Kebungsuan in Mindanoa.

Syarif Ali ascended the throne as the third Sultan of Brunei when he took over from his father-in-law. Because of his piousness, he was known as Sultan Berkat (Berkat means ‘blessed).

The mosque especially the pulpit was used by Sultan Syarif Ali himself. Sultan Syarif Ali himself conducted the sermons during Friday prayers. So he was not only the Sultan but he was also the Imam and brought the religion directly to the Brunei people.

According to Thomas Stamford Raffles in his book “The History of Java”, the Islamic activities of Sultan Syarif Ali was not limited to Brunei. He was also known to have gone over to Java to propagate Islam where he was known as Raja Chermin. He tried hard to convert the Majapahit King named Prabu Angka Wijaya.

The efforts of the Brunei Sultans in spreading Islam helped to spread Islam not only in Borneo but also as far north as to the southern Philippines islands. When Malacca fell to the Portuguese in 1511, it was Brunei which played a major role in the spread of Islam in the region[7] (see also: Ottoman expedition to Aceh).

By the 16th century, Brunei had built one of her biggest mosques. In 1578, Alonso Beltran, a Spanish traveler described it as one of five stores tall built on the water. Most likely it had five layers of roofs to represent the five pillars of Islam.

Islam was firmly rooted in Brunei by the 16th century. This mosque was destroyed by the Spanish in June that same year.

European influence gradually brought an end to this regional power. Later, there was a brief war with Spain, in which Brunei's capital was occupied. Eventually the sultanate was victorious but lost territories to Spain.

The decline of the Bruneian Empire culminated in the 19th century when Brunei lost much of its territory to the White Rajahs of Sarawak, resulting in its current small landmass and separation into two parts. Brunei was a British protectorate from 1888 to 1984, and occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945 during World War II.

There was a small rebellion against the monarchy during the 1960s, which was suppressed with help from the United Kingdom. This event became known as the Brunei Revolt and was partly responsible for the failure to create the North Borneo Federation. The rebellion partially affected Brunei's decision to opt out of the Malaysian Federation.

Politics and government

Under Brunei's 1959 constitution, His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah is the head of state with full executive authority, including emergency powers since 1962.

The Sultan's role is enshrined in the national ideology known as Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB), or Malay Muslim Monarchy. The country has been under hypothetical martial law since Brunei Revolt of 1962.

The media are extremely pro-government and the Royal family retains a venerated status within the country.

International organizations and Brunei

Brunei is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ASEAN, APEC and Organization of the Islamic Conference, and other regional and international forum.

Press freedom

Brunei has been given "Not Free" status by Freedom House; press criticism of the government and monarchy is rare.[8] The government allowed a printing and publishing company, Brunei Press SDN BHD, to form in 1953. It continues to print the leading English daily Borneo Bulletin. This paper began as a weekly community paper, became the country's daily paper in 1990 and "remains the foremost source of information on local and foreign affairs."[9] Apart from The Borneo Bulletin, there is also the Media Permata, the local Malay newspaper which is circulated daily. The Brunei Times, another newspaper written in English is an independent newspaper published in Brunei Darussalam. It is owned by the company, Brunei Times Sdn Bhd, which consist of a group of prominent local businessmen.

As for mass media, the Brunei government owns and operates one television channel and three radio stations. A private company has made cable television available as well as one private radio station, Kristal FM.[9]

International rankings

Political and economic rankings
GDP per capita – 5th highest, at I$50,117
Human Development Index – 30th high, at 0.919
Literacy Rate – 75th, at 92.7%
Unemployment rate – 158th, at 4.00%
Health rankings
Fertility rate- 105th most fertile, at 2.29 per woman
Birth rate – 87th most births, at 21.58 per 1000 people
Infant mortality – 30th least deaths, at 5.5 per 1000 live births
Death rate – 191st highest death rate, at 2.8 per 1000 people
Life Expectancy – 74th highest, at 75.74 years
HIV/AIDS rate – 123rd most cases, at 1000 people

Territorial disputes

Brunei claims some territories in Sarawak and it is one of many nations to lay claim to some of the disputed Spratly Islands, specifically small rocks exposed at low tide on Louisa Reef. However, Kuraman Island is recognized as Malaysia territory by Brunei.

The status of Limbang as part of Sarawak was disputed by Brunei since the area was first annexed in 1890.[10]

Districts and mukims

Districts of Brunei

Brunei is divided into four districts (daerah):

The districts are subdivided into thirty-eight mukims.


Map of Brunei Demis.png

Brunei Darussalam consists of two unconnected parts with a total area of 5,766 sq. kilometers (2,226 sq. miles). 97% of the population lives in the larger western part, while only about 10,000 live in the mountainous eastern part (the district of Temburong). The total population of Brunei Darussalam is approximately 400,000 (2010) of which around 130,000 live in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan[11].

Other major towns are the port town of Muara, the oil producing town of Seria and its neighboring town, Kuala Belait. In the Belait district, the Panaga area is home to large numbers of expatriates due to Royal Dutch Shell and British Army housing and recreational facilities. Jerudong Park, a well known amusement park, is located on the west of Bandar Seri Begawan.


Brunei Darussalam has a tropical rainforest climate. The average annual temperature is 27.1°C, with the April–May average of 27.7°C and the October–December average of 26.8°C[12].

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean Maximum (°C)
Mean Minimum (°C)
Average Rainfall (mm) 277.7 138.3 113.0 200.3 239.0 214.2 228.8 215.8 257.7 319.9 329.4 343.5


This small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of its GDP. Substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes rice and housing.

Brunei's leaders are concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion although it became a more prominent player by serving as chairman for the 2000 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Stated plans for the future include upgrading the labour force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and tourism sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base.

The national airline, Royal Brunei, is trying to make Brunei a hub for international travel between Europe and Australia/New Zealand, and also has services to major Asian destinations. Brunei is increasingly importing from other countries.

The Brunei Halal brand[13]

Brunei Darussalam in July 2009 launched its national halal branding scheme which allows manufacturers in Brunei and in other countries to use the premium Brunei Halal trademark to help them penetrate lucrative markets in countries with significant numbers of Muslim consumers.

As envisioned by the Sultanate, the use of the Brunei Halal brand would signify to Muslim consumers the manufacturers' strict compliance with laws relating to Islamic teachings. Brunei also aims to build confidence in the brand through strategies that will both ensure the halal integrity of the products and unfaltering compliance with set rules governing the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing process, logistics and distribution.

The Brunei Halal brand is said to be the first proper attempt to put together a global halal brand that will reap the potential commercial returns of catering to the consumption needs of Muslims worldwide.

A new company, government-owned Brunei Wafirah Holdings Sdn Bhd, has been established as the owner of the Brunei Halal brand. Wafirah has entered into a joint venture with Brunei Global Islamic Investment and Hong Kong-based logistics firm Kerry FSDA Limited to form Ghanim International Food Corporation Sdn Bhd. Ghanim International manages the use of the Brunei Halal trademark.

Producers that want to use the brand are required to first acquire the Brunei halal label (or the certification for compliance with accepted manufacturing and slaughtering practices under Islam) through the Department of Syariah Affairs' Halal Food Control Section. They can then approach Ghanim for their application to use the brand.


To achieve its target for food self-sufficiency, Brunei renamed its Brunei Darussalam Rice 1 to Laila Rice during the launch of the "Padi Planting Towards Achieving Self-Sufficiency of Rice Production in Brunei Darussalam" ceremony at the Wasan padi fields in April 2009.[14]

In August 2009, the Royal Family reaped the first few Laila padi stalks, after years of multiple attempts to boost local rice production, a goal which was envisioned about half a century ago.[15]


All Brunei citizens have access to free healthcare from public hospitals. The largest hospital in Brunei is Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital, and there is a private medical centre, the Jerudong Park Medical Centre. As of 2008, no hospitals in Brunei were undergoing international healthcare accreditation.

There is currently no medical school in Brunei, and Bruneians wishing to study to become doctors must attend university overseas. However, the Institute of Medicines had been introduced at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam and a new building has been built for the faculty. The building, including research lab facilities, was completed in 2009. There has been a School of Nursing since 1951.[16] 58 nurse managers were appointed in RIPAS to improve service and provide better medical care.[17] In December 2008, The nursing college merged with the Institute of Medicines at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam to produce more nurses and midwives.[18]

The Health Promotion Centre opened in November 2008 and serves to educate the public on the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.[19]


Brunei is accessible by air, sea and land transport. Brunei International Airport is the main entry point to the country. Royal Brunei Airlines[20] is the national carrier. The ferry terminal at Muara services regular connections to Labuan island (Malaysia). The speedboats provide passenger and goods transportation to the Temburong district. The main highway running across Brunei is the Tutong-Muara Highway. The country's road network is well developed. Brunei has one main sea port located at Muara. The export of its petroleum products is carried out through dedicated terminals.


The official language of the nation is Malay (Malay: Bahasa Melayu), although an important minority speak Chinese language. The local variety of Malay (Kedayan or Bukit Malay), spoken natively by two thirds of the population, is quite divergent from and unintelligible to Standard Malay. The most important aboriginal languages are Iban, and two languages called Tutong, each with about 20,000 speakers.

English is also widely spoken and there is a relatively large expatriate community with significant numbers of British and Australian citizens. The foreign population is around 220,000 people. The non expatriate population is around 399,290.



Brunei religiosity
religion percent
Free Thinkers

Islam is the official religion of Brunei at 67 percent, and the sultan is the head of the religion in the country. Other faiths practised are Buddhism (13 percent, mainly by the Chinese) and Christianity (11 percent). Free Thinkers are mostly Chinese at about 7 percent, although most of them practice some forms of religion with elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, they prefer to present themselves as having professed no religion officially, hence regarded as Atheists in official censuses. Indigenous religions are about 2 percent.


The culture of Brunei is predominantly Malay (reflecting its ethnicity), with heavy influences from Islam, but is seen as more conservative than Malaysia.[22]

Brunei also has a large number of foreign workers, including Indonesian and Filipino workers, labourers from Thailand, Indonesia and the Indian subcontinent (particularly India and Bangladesh), and American and British professionals working in industry and education.

Prohibition of alcohol

As a Sharia country, the sale and public consumption of alcohol is banned.[23] Foreigners and non-Muslims are allowed to bring in 12 cans of beer and two bottles of other alcohol (e.g., wine or spirits; no distinction is made for alcohol content). This limit used to apply to every entry; in 2007, however, this was changed to one limit every 48 hours. After the introduction of prohibition in the early 1990s, all pubs and nightclubs were forced to close.

Bruneian celebrities

See also

Bahasa Brunei language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Brunei Tourism". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  2. ^ Brunei. CIA World Factbook. 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Brunei". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Human Development Report 2009. Human development index trends: Table G". The United Nations. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  5. ^ "Human Development Reports". United Nations. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  6. ^ "Background Note: Brunei Darussalam". US State Department. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  7. ^ The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia by Nicholas Tarling p.39 [1]
  8. ^ "Freedom Of The Press – Brunei (2006)". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  9. ^ a b "About Brunei". 1998-07-30. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  10. ^ the CIA World Fact Book
  11. ^ 2001 Summary Tables of the Population Census. Department of Statistics, Brunei Darussalam
  12. ^
  13. ^ Hadi Dp Mahmudbandar Seri Begawan (2009-08-01). "Brunei pioneers national halal branding | The Brunei Times". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  14. ^ Ubaidillah Masli, Goh De Noand Faez Hani BRUNEI-MUARA (2009-04-28). "'Laila Rice' to Brunei's rescue | The Brunei Times". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  15. ^ Ubaidillah Masli, Deno Gohand Faez HaniBRUNEI-MUARA (2009-08-04). "HM inaugurates Laila harvest | The Brunei Times". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  16. ^ "FHA – [Nursing staff education in Brunei – Article Summary". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  17. ^ Bandar Seri Begawan (2009-03-19). "58 nurse managers appointed | The Brunei Times". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  18. ^ Hadi Dp Mahmudbandar Seri Begawan (2008-12-06). "Problem needs nursing with care | The Brunei Times". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  19. ^ Bandar Seri Begawan (2009-04-17). "HRH visits Health Promotion Centre | The Brunei Times". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Brunei". CIA – The World Factbook. This comes to 90%, we're not sure about the last 10%.
  22. ^ For a discussion of religious freedom, see (United States Department of State).
  23. ^ Brunei Tourism Website (Government appointed)


External links

General information

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : Southeast Asia : Brunei
Quick Facts
Capital Bandar Seri Begawan
Government Constitutional sultanate
Currency Bruneian dollar (BND)
Area total: 5,770 km2
water: 500 km2
land: 5,270 km2
Population 379,444 (July 2006 est.)
Language Malay (official), English, Chinese
Religion Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs and other 10%
Electricity 240V/50Hz (UK plug)
Calling Code +673
Internet TLD .bn
Time Zone UTC+8

The Sultanate of Brunei (Full name: Negara Brunei Darussalam) is a small but - thanks to natural gas and petroleum resources - very rich country located in Southeast Asia. It is surrounded by Malaysia and has two parts physically separated by Malaysia, almost being an enclave. Strategically located on the South China Sea, close to vital sea lanes linking Indian and Pacific Oceans, it has an exclusive economic fishing zone that extends as far as Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands although it makes no public territorial claim to the offshore reefs.


Brunei is a pint-sized and fabulously wealthy oil-rich sultanate with a population of 398,000 as of 2008.

  • Government Of Brunei Darussalam [1]


The Sultanate of Brunei's heyday occurred between the 15th and 17th centuries, when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate. It was offered to join Malaysia as a state in 1963, but opted out of the Federation due to a disagreement on the amount of its oil income that would have to be given to the central government in Kuala Lumpur. Independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries.

1 January 1984 (from UK)
National holiday 
National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection
29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1 January 1984)

The Istana Nurul Iman is the world’s largest residential palace in occupation. The 300-acre palace sits on a man made hill with a clear view of Kampong Ayer. Istana Nurul Iman is the residence of the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and the cost of the palace is quoted to have an estimated at US$600 million.

Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei
Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei

The backbone of Brunei's economy is oil and gas and the Sultan of Brunei is, famously, one of the richest people in the world with an estimated personal wealth of around 40 billion dollars. Per capita GDP is far above most other developing countries, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes rice and housing.

All sectors of economy are fairly heavily regulated and government policy is an odd mixture of subsidies, protectionism and encouragement of entrepreneurship. Brunei's leaders are attempting to balance the country's steadily increasing integration into the world economy with internal social cohesion. It became a more prominent player in the world by serving as chairman for the 2005 APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum. Plans for the future include upgrading the workforce, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and tourist sectors, and, in general, widening the economic base beyond oil and gas.


Brunei is officially an Islamic state, with many large beautiful mosques across the country. Sale of alcohol is banned. Bringing in meat, (other than seafood) which has not been certified "halal", (slaughtered according to Islamic law), is also banned. During the fasting month of Ramadan, many shops and restaurants will be open. However, eating, drinking or smoking in front of people who are fasting is considered rude and asking permission is appropriate.

The bulk of the population is Malay (67%) and there is also a significant Chinese minority of some 15% as well as a number of indigenous peoples, including the Ivan and Duson tribes who inhabit the jungle upriver and the Tiburon district, (the smaller eastern part detached from the rest of Brunei). There is a large number of foreign workers who work on the oil and gas production or in lower positions such as restaurant staff, field workers and domestic staff. The male to female ratio is 3:2. More than a quarter of the people are short term immigrant workers, most of whom are men.

Geography and climate

Brunei's climate is semi-tropical, and Bandar Seri Begawan's is sub-tropical. The temperature can reach 33°C in January. The temperature is range from 14-33°C. Rainy season is always mild and humid, followed by a hot and humid dry season.

Brunei's topology is of a flat coastal plain rises to mountains in the east, the highest point being Bukit Pagan at 1,850 meters, with some hilly lowlands in the west.

There are no typhoons, earthquakes, severe flooding and other forms of natural disasters to contend with, and the biggest environmental issues is the seasonal haze resulting from forest fires (that is caused by illegal clearing of land) in nearby Indonesia.


Brunei has four districts (Malay: daerah)

Heart of the country where the capital Bandar Seri Begawan is located.
Lies under the coverage of the virgin forest, scattered small scale plantations.
Western-most district, also the centre of the country's petroleum industry.
Isolated eastern district, separated from the rest of country by the Sarawak district of Limbang.
  • Bandar Seri Begawan - the capital, sometimes known as "Bandar" or "BSB" for short.
  • Bangar - the tiny district capital of Temburong district.
  • Kuala Belait - town to catch transport to or from Miri, Sarawak.
  • Muara - main port of Brunei with passenger ferries to Labuan and Sarawak.
  • Seria - oil capital of Brunei, also known as "Shelltown".

Get in

Nationals of Israel are not allowed to enter Brunei, while nationals of ASEAN and many industrialised countries (though not all) do not require an entry visa. Among those who do not need a visa are citizens of the US (90 days), EU (30 days), EFTA, Japan (14 days), New Zealand (30 days) and Canada (14 days). Australians can obtain a visa on arrival for B$20 or a 3 day transit Visa for B$5. Those who need a visa must apply in advance at a Brunei embassy, where processing can take up to 3 days and costs B$15 for a single entry visa. See Brunei Immigration Department [2] for the latest details.

By plane

Brunei's sole airport of significance is Brunei International Airport [3] (BWN), the hub of national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines [4]. The airport itself is small but clean and functional.

After over-expansion and huge losses in the 1990s, Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has cut down on its services considerably but still offers a reasonably comprehensive network, with daily flights to London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Kota Kinabalu. Fares that transit via Brunei are attractively priced and you are guaranteed service with a smile. In addition, Singapore Airlines [5] flies 5 times a week from Singapore, and Malaysia Airlines [6] flies from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu (twice a week from both cities). In July 2006, discount, no-frills carrier AirAsia [7] started flights from Kuala Lumpur, bringing some much-needed competition. AirAsia is the cheapest carrier to serve Brunei from an international Hub, with fares as low as US$35 one-way from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia flies from 35 destinations in Asia to Kuala Lumpur, where connections to Brunei are available. From September 9, 2009 Air Asia will also have a daily flight to and from Kota Kinabalu [8], a city that provides many national and international flight connections as well.

Departing by plane from Brunei involves paying a departure tax: B$5 for flights to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and B$12 to other international destinations.

Getting there/away: A taxi to Bandar Seri Begawan takes 20 minutes and costs around B$25. A covered walk down to the end of the car park further away from the Terminal (turn right from Arrivals) leads to a bus stop for Purple buses to the city centre (B$1).

By car

You can drive into Brunei from Sarawak, Malaysia. There are two entry points for the main part of Brunei, one from Miri at Sungai Tujuh and one from Limbang at Kuala Lurah (Tedungan on the Malaysian side). Both these crossings have drive-through immigration checkpoints at the border but queues can be horribly long, especially during weekends.

It is also possible to drive from the Sarawak towns of Limbang and Lawas to the Temburong district of Brunei. The drive from Limbang requires a ferry ride across the Pandaruan River (RM8 or B$4) which forms the border between Malaysia and Brunei. You can now conduct immigration formalities at Pandaruan (no longer at Limbang Wharf) with the opening of the Malaysian checkpoint in June 2007. Brunei immigration formalities are conducted at Puni, about 600m away from the ferry landing. From Lawas (which is connected by road to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia), a ferry ride across the Trusan River (RM10) is required before you can proceed to the actual border at Labu. Malaysian immigration formalities are done in Trusan (the immigration office, officially known as the Mengkalap immigration checkpoint, is in a shoplot just east of the ferry crossing) about 8km away, and no longer in Lawas. Those for Brunei can be done at the Labu checkpoint at border.

It is possible to drive from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to Bandar Seri Begawan in one day. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page for details.

  • To/from Miri: The Miri Belait Transportation Company runs buses between Kuala Belait in Brunei and Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia. The journey requires a bus change at the Sungei Tujoh border checkpoint. Through tickets are however available at RM12.20 from Miri. Note that there have been reports that buses from Miri occasionally refuse to go all the way to the border and stop just before the Asean Bridge at Kuala Baram because of the high toll charge of the bridge. You may have to use taxis to complete the final 5km between the border and the bridge. From Kuala Belait, there are buses to Seria (B$1) where you can change to another bus for Bandar Seri Begawan (B$6). The entire journey takes about 5 hours and there are only a few buses each day operating on each part of the journey, so start early if you are travelling from Miri to Bandar Seri Begawan or vice-versa.
  • To/from Limbang: There are no direct buses between Bandar Seri Begawan and Limbang in Sarawak. However, you can catch a local bus from Bandar's bus station to Kuala Lurah on the border, walk across the checkpoint into Tedungan in Sarawak and catch a Syarikat Bas Limbang bus to Limbang. Do the reverse if coming from Limbang to Bandar. Buses depart from Limbang bus terminal several times a day and bear the destination "Batu Danau". Taxis are also available on both sides of the border but bargain hard for the fare. You can also get to Temburong district by bus from Limbang, although again, there are no direct buses into Bangar; all buses (destination "Pandaruan") stop at the ferry landing at Pandaruan, where there is now a Malaysian immigration checkpoint. Cross the river by ferry and catch a taxi for the 5km to Bangar.

By boat

The main ferry terminal in Brunei is the Serasa Ferry Terminal at Muara, where there are several ferries daily to/from Labuan and one daily ferry each to/from Lawas and Sundar, both in Sarawak. With a change of boats in Labuan, you can even make it to/from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, in a day. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page.

Please note that the ferry terminal is quite a distance from actual Muara town where the container port is located. The terminal is about 25km from Bandar Seri Begawan. Getting there: There are purple buses linking the ferry terminal with Bandar.

Speedboats also operate between Bandar Seri Begawan jetty in town and Limbang. They depart only when full.

total: 1,712 km
paved: 1,284 km
unpaved: 428 km (1996)

There is one "motorway", from Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital) along the coast. It devolves into dual and then single carriageway but is suitable for all vehicles, right through to Kuala Belait and the toll bridge to Malaysia/Sarawak in the west)

There is also a side road off this, which runs into the jungle towards the settlement of Labi and beyond. Excellent scenery, and a 4-wheel drive may be useful, but the road is now sealed up to the longhouses some distance beyond Labi. Stock up on water at the convenient shop at the junction.

By taxi

There are only ± 40 taxis in whole Brunei (2009), because the car ownership and usage are high. Since there are around 10 waiting at the airport and 8 in the Belait District there is a little chance of finding a free taxi along the road, especially during morning and afternoon peak hours when they are hired by business men. Needing a taxi might require a phone call. The main taxi stand is direct north of the bus station in the capital with only a few taxis waiting.

None of the taxis has a taxi meter since there is no taxi company nor regulation requiring to have one. Drivers have fixed prices for most trips, although the tariffs may vary between different drivers, or they will give a price for an irregular trip.

209 km; navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m

By bus

Around the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, there is a good-sized network of purple minibuses. Brunei's high rate of private car ownership means very few Bruneians take these buses, which largely cater to foreign workers. The speed of the buses are limited to 50km/h but are actually quite efficient and reliable.

There is also an infrequent long-distance bus which runs between BSB and Seria through Tutong.


The official language of Brunei is Malay, but English is widely spoken and understood. Solely among the Malay-speaking states, Brunei also officially uses the Arabic script for Malay known as Jawi, although most signs are written both in Jawi and Roman letters. Nevertheless, the Roman alphabet is still the more commonly used script when writing Malay in Brunei.

The ethnic Chinese community in Brunei continues to speak a variety of Chinese dialects, including Hokkien, Teochew and several others.


For things to do in and in the near vicinity around Bandar Seri Begawan, see Bandar Seri Begawan.

There are many eco-tours which typically go to the Temburong district by boat then to a native "longhouse". It is then followed by a powered boat (by the natives) up the river to the Belalong National Park, a reserve in the Borneo rainforest. There is a canopy walk and research centre at the park headquarters.

Jerudong Park was once a decent theme park with a multitude of rides. Sadly, a downward cycle of neglect, declining admission and unaffordable maintenance costs led to the closure and sale of most of the big-ticket rides, including the three rollercoasters. This has given the park a sad "circus left town last week" air about it. Most people who visit only go at night to avoid the heat during the day. Outside the park, but very close, is a small complex of restaurants which is open at night, though only a few of the stalls are still operational. The local papers have reported plans to renovate the park with a new selection of attractions, but as of March 07 it remains to be seen what these attractions will be and when they will be operational.


The local currency is the Brunei Dollar (B$) you might hear Ringgit used to refer to the Dollar but be sure that participants are not talking about the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) which is valued at less than half a B$ .

As of 27 March 2009 $1 BND = 2.40357 MYR = 0.488 EUR = 0.663 USD

The Brunei Dollar is tied to the Singapore Dollar at a 1:1 rate. By law both currencies can be used interchangeably, so if you're coming in from Singapore, there's no reason to change money as your cash will be readily accepted. (Likewise, any leftover Brunei Dollars can be used at par in Singapore.) However, many stores refuse Singapore notes with seemingly microscopic tears in them, and notices to this effect are posted at the cash register. Malaysian Ringgit (RM) will also be accepted in a pinch, but the exchange rate may not be in your favour. The Ringgit is not available at Brunei banks but can be obtained from moneychangers.

The Brunei Dollar is divided into 100 cents. There are banknotes [9] from B$1 to a whopping B$10,000 (handy if you're shopping for Rolls-Royces) and coins [10] of 1 to 50 cents. All smaller notes and the 2004 series of larger notes are printed as brightly coloured polymer notes.


By South-East Asian standards Brunei is roughly on par with Singapore, meaning roughly twice as expensive as neighboring Malaysia. You can reduce costs by eating at local restaurants and avoiding the more expensive restaurants in hotels. Budget accommodation, once very limited, has expanded in recent years and you can now get a decent bed for the night for around B$30.

Knock knock, who's there? Nasi Katok

Katok is actually "ketuk" in the Malay language, and it means knock. There is a story behind the name Nasi Katok. It was begun by a couple of teenagers who were feeling very hungry after a midnight practice. They went to a place where they normally bought their food. This place was actually a residential house, which offered Nasi bungkus (a pack of rice with chicken and egg) even in the middle of the night. At any time you could just Katok (knock) on their door, and the owner will come up with fresh hot Nasi Katok. And that's how it became Nasi Katok.

Bruneians love to eat out and there are many excellent restaurants in Brunei serving a wide variety of cuisines, thanks to the large number of foreign workers in the country.

There is also the local nasi katok, a simple combination of rice and curried beef or chicken, which can be quite spicy. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to other food that you can buy, for example local food such as chicken rice. However, it is not a healthy option, with few vegetables and too much fat.

Another choice is ambuyat, a culinary experience unique to Borneo. It is a starchy and gooey paste made from sago that can be dipped into a savoury sauce.


Brunei is a dry country: alcohol is not sold anywhere in the country and consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited by law. That said, non-Muslim visitors are allowed to bring in up to two litres of alcohol (wine or spirits) plus up to twelve cans of beer every 48 hours, and there is a wide array of duty-free shops just across the border in Malaysia to cater to this demand. However, alcohol permits must be obtained upon arrival in Brunei while going through customs.

Many higher-end restaurants allow guests to bring in their own alcohol and corkage is not charged, though this is technically illegal and it's best to keep a low profile if you choose to consume in a public establishment. At the lower end (particularly Chinese restaurants), many restaurants supply illicit booze under euphemisms like "special tea".

One should definitely try out teh tarik, a sweet milk tea, as well as the wide array of coffee (kopi) available in restaurants.


Accommodation in Brunei was until recently famously expensive — there is still only one youth hostel in the entire country — but some reasonably cheap guesthouses can now be found here and there. See Bandar Seri Begawan for listings [11].

  • D'Anggerek Service Apartment, 673-2-345 222, [12]. D'Anggerek is ideally located only five minutes away from the Brunei International Airport, the Government Ministries, the International Convention Centre, as well as the National Stadium and its various sports facilities. D'Anggerek offers thirty-four rooms, 24 Deluxe rooms and 10 Suites. Each room and suite meticulously decorated and fully furnished with all the modern amenities you would need. D'Anggerek, Kg. Anggerek Desa, Mukim Berakas, BB4313, Negara Brunei Darussalam.  edit

Stay safe

While some countries have a more liberal attitude to this, drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances into Brunei are serious offenses and carry a mandatory death sentence.

Stay healthy

Eating out is generally safe because of good food safety standards. Drink boiled or bottled water.


The Brunei Government is run as a Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB), which means that the Sultan of Brunei, apart from being one of the richest men in the world, runs the show around here, appearing on the front page of the two local daily newspapers almost every day. At all costs, do not insult or speak badly of the Royal family.

Furthermore, though Bruneians are generally courteous and tolerant, it is a good idea to be aware of sensitivities surrounding certain topics of conversation, especially politics (domestic, regional, or international), and world events, particularly those relating to Islam or Islamic countries.


By phone

The international code for Brunei is 673. The telephone numbers in Brunei consist of 7 digits with no local codes, although the first digit of the number indicates the area, eg: 3 for the Belait District and 2 for Bandar Seri Begawan.

The prepaid Hallo Kad, available from TelBru telephone offices (including one at the airport) and other outlets in denominations from B$5 to B$50 can be used at any phone in the country to make local and international calls. Other phone cards are also available for use in public phones.
GSM mobile phone services are available from network operator DST [13]. They have a good range of roaming connections. 3G mobile phone services are available from B-Mobile [14].

Diplomatic Representation in the US 
Chief of mission: Ambassador His Excellency Pengiran Indera Negara P.A. Puteh
Telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838
Fax: [1] (202) 885-0560
Chancery: 3520 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic Representation from the US 
Chief of mission: Ambassador Gene B. Christy
Embassy: Third Floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan
Mailing address: PSC 470 (BSB), FPO AP 96507
Telephone: [673] 2229670
Fax: [673] 2225293
British High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan 
2.01, 2nd Floor, Block D
in the Yayasan Shopping Centre, BSB
Telephone: [673] 2222231/2223121
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Bandar Seri Begawan 
No.1, Simpang 462,
Kampong Sungai Hanching, Jalan Muara BC2115, BSB
Telephone: [673] 2332755/2334163
High Commission of Malaysia in Bandar Seri Begawan 
No. 61, Simpang 336,
Jalan Kebangsaan BA1211,
P.O.Box 2826, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675,
Telephone: [673] 2381095/2381096/2381097/2381101
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




  1. a country in Southeast Asia.


  • Negara Brunei Darussalam

See also



Finnish Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fi

Proper noun


  1. Brunei



German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de

Proper noun

Brunei n.

  1. Brunei


Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Brunei m.

  1. Brunei



Proper noun


  1. Brunei

Related terms


Proper noun

Brunei n. (undeclinable)

  1. Brunei


Proper noun


  1. Brunei

Simple English

Negara Brunei Darusalam

برني دارالسلام (Negara Brunei Darussalam)

Official flag
National information
National motto: (English: Always in service with God's guidance)
National anthem: Allah Peliharakan Sultan (God Bless the Sultan)
About the people
Official languages: Malay
Population: (# of people)
  - Total: 374,000 (ranked 173)
  - Density: 65 per km²
Geography / Places
[[Image:|250px|none|country map]] Here is the country on a map.
Capital city: Bandar Seri Begawan
Largest city: Bandar Seri Begawan
  - Total: 5,765 (ranked 171)
  - Water:n/a km² (8.6%)
Politics / Government
Established: January 1, 1984
Leaders: Saltan: Hassanal Bolkiah
Economy / Money
(Name of money)
Brunei dollar (BND)
International information
Time zone: +8
Telephone dialing code: 673
Internet domain: .bn

The Sultanate of Brunei is a country in South-East Asia. It is next to the countries named Malaysia and Indonesia. The capital of Brunei is Bandar Seri Begawan. The country has a small area and not many people live there.

The leader of the country is the Sultan of Brunei. He is one of the richest people in the world, because he owns a lot of oil.

The main religion in Brunei is Islam. There are also many people who follow Buddhism or Animism.

From the 14th to the 16th centuries Brunei Darussalam was the seat of a powerful sultanate extending over Sabah, Sarawak and the southern Philippines. Thus, the current Sultan represents one of the oldest continuously ruling dynasties in the world. By the 19th century, the Brunei Darussalam Empire had been whittled away by wars, piracy and the colonial expansion of European powers.

In 1847, the sultan concluded a treaty with Great Britain and in 1888 Brunei Darussalam officially became a British protectorate. In 1906, the Residential System was established in Brunei Darussalam. A British Resident was nominated as a representative of the British government to advise the sultan in all matters except Malay customs, traditions and Islamic religion.

The 1959 Agreement established a written constitution which gave Brunei Darussalam internal self-government. In 1971, the agreement was amended and revised to assert full internal independence except defence and external affairs.

In 1967 His Highness Sultan Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien abdicated in favour of his son Pengiran Muda Mahkota Hassanal Bolkiah. On January 1, 1984 Brunei Darussalam resumed full independence and the Sultan took office as Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Home Affairs Minister, presiding over a cabinet of six. In October 1986, the cabinet was expanded to 11 members, with His Majesty relinquishing the portfolios of Finance and Home Affairs and taking over the Defence portfolio which his late father had held since 1984. In 1988 another reshuffle brought about the elevation of the deputy minister to a full minister and the creation of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources designed to boost the country's development.[1]


Given that Brunei is a oil-rich country, Brunei gets most of its income from selling natural resources.


Brunei uses the Brunei Ringgit to trade. However, the Singapore dollar can be used here as both currencies are of the same value.


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