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About

Located on the northern coastline on the island of Borneo, Brunei, or officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is home to around 415 thousand inhabitants and covers over 5.7 thousand square kilometres of landmass, sharing only a singular border with Malaysia.

By exporting extensively from petroleum and natural gas reserves, Brunei has rapidly developed into a newly industrialized country with a GDP worth over $22 Billion. The country is run via a Sultanate system with Hassanal Bolkiah as the current Sultan. 


Stone Age History

In 1971, the Brunei Museums discovered several stone tools, plates and a rock shelter believed to have been used by Stone Age inhabitants in the area. The people of the area are believed to have lived in the area until around 6000 BC. These were likely relatives of ‘Dawn Man’, thought to have existed since 250,000 BC.

Bronze Age History

The Dawn Man relatives were likely joined by a seafaring tool-using Indonesian group at the time and may have arrived around 3000 BC.

Iron Age History

The Malays may have also immigrated into the area as well and brought Iron age culture, becoming the dominant cultural group in the process.

1st Century – 15th Century History

The first known civilization in the area was likely the Vijayapura, of which little is known but is believed to have existed since the 7th century in the region. Around the same time, the Srivijaya Empire was moving through the area and may have clashed with the civilization there. However, there are very few records which tell even the tiniest tales about the area and most history at this time is based on myth and legend.

Around 977 AD, the Chinese began to investigate into the area and discovered that the nation was wealthy and in possession of great military power, namely over a hundred warships. Further reports in 1280 AD claimed that Brunei controlled large parts of Borneo and other parts of the Phillipines. The civilization was called ‘Po-ni’ by the Chinese and in 1370 AD, the Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuan Zhuang, sent representatives to the country and it subsequently paid tribute to China. The Ming Dynasty expanded into the region and built primarily Chinese towns and villages such as present-day Kota Kinabalu. It’s known that the nation was also influenced by the Javanese Majapahit Empire during the 14th Century.

In the 1402, Sultan Muhammad Shah died and his son, Abdul Majid Hasan, became the new sultan. However, he died only four years later and no successor was left, which in turn left a power vacuum and saw the country’s nobles fight for power. Eventually, Sultan Ahmad took over the country and Ong Sum Ping, the Ming dynasty’s regent in the area, died, his son, Awang, was promoted to the regent of Brunei by the Ming Emperor Yong  Le due to Ong Sum Ping’s dying wishes and Awang immediately began to push his political power forth.

Awang’s sister and Sultan Ahmad’s wife gave birth to a daughter, and she in turn married Sultan Sharif Ali from the Arabian Peninsula. Due to the strong connections of Ong Sum Ping to the Bruneian royal family, Ong Sum Ping’s line is still considered royalty themselves.

By the middle of the 15th Century, Brunei had built up ties with the kingdom of nearby Malacca in Malaysia. At this time the current ruling sultanate formed and endured to the present day. Towards the end of the 15th Century, Sultan Bolkiah began to rule and this period is widely described as Brunei’s golden age as the sultanates’ power expanded into Borneo, Thailand and the Philippines.

16th Century – 19th Century History

Due to the conquest of Malacca by Portugal in 1511, many Muslim merchants and traders were forced to use other ports as means to propagate their businesses and as such, Brunei’s wealth increased vastly due to its many ports. In 1521, upon the end of Sultan Bolkiah’s reign, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed his expedition upon the shores of Brunei and, along with his navigator, Antonio Pigafetta, and the rest of his forces, went to meet the Sultan.

For the most part, Portugal’s relations with the sultanate of Brunei were peaceful and they did little to interfere with Brunei’s development, however, on one occasion the Portuguese attacked the Muslims in Moluccas and this in turn made the sultan incredibly hostile, forcing the Portuguese ambassador in his court to leave. However, Brunei’s relations with Spain were much more hostile.

The Spanish regularly engaged Brunei’s forces in naval combat and in 1571 they actually captured Manilla, the capital of the Philippines, from the ruling Bruneian aristocracy. Although a counter-offensive was devised to attempt to retake the city, Brunei never launched its forces due to a mix of reasons. Seven years later in 1578, the Spanish also took Sulu in northern Borneo from the sultanate. 

Later on the same year, they also captured Brunei itself and began making demands that the sultanate withdraw religious influence from the Philippines and allow Christian missionaries to become active. However, the Spanish were forced to withdraw back to Manilla after suffering incredible losses due to either a dysentery or cholera outbreak, within three months of capturing Brunei. However, the Spanish were able to keep a firm grip on Luzon in the Philippines in turn.

After the reign of Sultan Hassan, a flurry of internal battles over the sultanate’s succession and debates on how to handle the powers of colonial Europe in the region began. This divided the nation dramatically and destroyed the economy and trading industry of not just Brunei, but of most of South East Asia. However, in 1839, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II enlisted the assistance of British adventurer James Brooke and was able to successfully quell the internal disputes of the nation. The Sultan handsomely rewarded Brooke and made him the governor of northern Borneo, naming him the ‘White Rajah’ of Sarawak. After a time, Brooke attempted to politically take control of Brunei, but due to Brunei’s strong sense of national identity, he was unable to.

However, in 1843, Brooke and the Sultan began an open conflict and through it, the Sultan recognized Sarawak’s independence. The Sultan was also subsequently defeated and forced to sign a treaty with the British after the latter captured Brunei. He was also forced to give up Labuan to the British after the latter captured it later on in the same year.

Over the years, the Sultanate signed many more treaties with the British and the Americans, as well as being forced to cede territory to both countries as well as Sarawak. Towards the end of the 19th Century, stretches of territory to the east of the capital were leased and ceded to the British North Borneo Chartered Company. The British also put a treaty into effect after the Sultan appealed to them in 1888, in an effort to cease the Brooke family’s taking of Bruneian territory. Although the Sultan was prohibited from ceding territory to foreign parties, effectively instating Britain’s control over Brunei, the British did not interfere during Sarawak’s taking of Brunei’s Pandaruan district in 1890, claiming that the ruling Brooke family was not considered a foreign party.


20th Century History

In 1906, Britain began introducing its residents into Brunei in an attempt to advise the Sultan in administrating the now-tiny nation of Brunei; however, in time the residents took more executive control over the country than the Sultan himself. In 1929, Petroleum oil was discovered in Brunei and throughout the 1930s, the country saw massive exportation of oil as well as natural gas.

Eight days after their attack on Pearl Harbour in the United States, Japan invaded Brunei and in under a week took control of the entire country. The Japanese made an agreement with Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin over governing the country and the Japanese additionally proposed that the British Resident, Ernest Edgar Pengilly, and his secretary, Inche Ibrahim, retained their position under their administration, but the two both declined. British officials in the nation were also interred under Japanese guards at Batu Lintang Camp whilst the Sultan retained his throne as well as being given a pension and honours by the Japanese.

The British had anticipated the Japanese invasion of Brunei, but had little resources due to the war in Europe and subsequently could not stop it. However, they were able to organize their troops in the 15th Punjab Regiment in the country fill in the oil wells and destroy the extraction equipment to deny the Japanese their use. The Japanese were able to restart the oil wells to some degree, as well as mine coal, but by the end of the war only able half the production level when compared to pre-war levels had been reached.

The Japanese also attempted to force their language into schools and politics in the region, as well as instate a new form of currency called Duit Pisang (Banana Money), but hyper-inflation made this currency worthless. Allied attacks on shipping sources as well as naval bases and airports made the country unable to import food and medicine and this caused waves of famine and disease with the population subsequently suffering.

Supported by American air and naval units, the Australian 9th Division landed in Muara in 1945 in an attempt to recapture Borneo from the Japanese and within three days, the country was successfully recaptured and the Japanese surrendered. The British Military Administration (BMA) took over and remained in place until 1946 following the end of World War II. The BMA subsequently passed administration to the Civil Administration and revived the Brunei State Council as well as attempting to revive the Bruneian economy and putting out the fires on the oil wells, set by the Japanese prior to their defeat.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II called a seven-member committee called the Tujuh Serangkai in order to write up a constitution whilst taking into consideration the views of the country’s citizens in 1953. The following year the committee met and discussed their findings, whilst drafting a constitution for further discussion and alteration. In 1959, the committee was given the green light from Britain and Brunei had a new constitution written up declaring it a self-governing state, but allowing the United Kingdom to retain responsibility over the country’s foreign affairs, defence and security. At the same time, the British Residency system also ceased.

In 1962, the United Kingdom successfully helped to quell the rebellion against the monarchy, but the rebellion contributed to the failure in creating the North Borneo Federation and affected Brunei’s decision to opt out of the Malaysian Federation as well. A year later, more oil and gas fields were discovered and Liquefied Natural Gas rose to prominence in the country’s economy. By 1964, a range of plans had been put into effect and public education expenditure had exceeded $4 Million. Additionally, communications improved dramatically and a transportation infrastructure began construction. By this point in time, the fishing industry had managed a 25% output increase and through a combination of better access to food, clean water, medicine and medical treatment, health increased country-wide and Malaria deaths were cut in half in an effort to eradicate it.

In 1971, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah went to London to discuss amendments to the 1959 Constitution and signed a new agreement with Britain in the same year allowing Brunei to retain control over internal matters and allowing the UK to retain control over the country’s external matters, but the two would now share responsibility for both security and defence. However, the UK deployed Gurkha units in Brunei following the agreement, which remain there to this day. In 1979, Brunei signed another treaty with the UK allowing Brunei to take over external matters under advice from Britain on diplomatic affairs.

On New Years’ Day in 1984, Brunei gained its independence from the United Kingdom and the nation became the 49th member of the Commonwealth, joining the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) less than a week later as its 6th member. In the same year, Brunei joined the United Nations as a full member as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Finally, in 1989, Brunei joined the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
As the 90s rolled around, alongside other countries, Brunei founded both BIMP-EAGA in 1994 and the World Trade Organization in 1995.

21st Century History

In 2002, Brunei held the ASEAN Regional Forum and in 2009, it strengthened its bond with the Philippines through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. In the same year, Brunei agreed to accept the border with Sarawak in exchange for Malaysia giving up claims to oil fields in Bruneian waters. However, the Bruneian government denies this and has said that it has not dropped its claim on Limbang. In 2013, Brunei was both the chair and the host for ASEAN. 

Wording
Phonetic
English
     
Apa Khabar Ah-Pah Cah-Bah Hello/Hi
Selamat Tingal Sell-ah-mat Teng-ahl Good Bye!
Adakah anda fasih berbahasa Inggeris / Malayu Ah-dah-cah an-dah fah-seh ber-bah-hah-sah Ing-gur-riss / Meh-lay-oo Do you speak English / Melay?
Nama saya… Nah-mah say-ah My name is…
Anda boleh membantu saya? Anda boleh membantu saya? Can you help me?
Saya mencari… Say-ah men-cha-ree I’m looking for…
Ya / Ta Ada Yah / Ah-dah Yes / No
Terima Kasih Teh-ree-mah Kah-seh Mr / Mrs / Miss
Hari Ini / Kini Hah-ree ee-nee / Kee-nee Today / Now
Esok / Semalam Esok / Semalam Tomorrow / Yesterday
Ini / Yang / Di Sini / Ada Ee-nee / Yah-ng / Dee see-nee / Ah-dah This / That / Here / There

Phrases

Above are a few common Malay phrases to help you get around.

Languages

The most widely used and official language in Brunei is the Malay language, however, English is also incredibly widely spoken, especially for business purposes, and is considered the country’s other official language. Today, English and Malay are taught in all schools and subsequently most of the country is considered to be bilingual. The specific dialect of Malay spoken in Brunei, Melayu Brunei, is spoken by over a quarter of a million people and is about 84% understandable to speakers of Standard Malay.

Many Chinese languages are also spoken within Brunei, these most commonly include the Mandarin, Hokkien and Hakka dialects but also include Hoisan, Fuchow, Hainanese and many other variants. Additionally, the peoples of Tutong, Dusun, Lun Bawang, Belait, Bisaya, Mukah, Iban and Penan each speak their own language respectively.  Other common languages spoken include Arabic, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Gurkhali, Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesia.
 

Religion

As a primarily Islamic country, Muslims make up the majority of the population covering around 65% of the population, mostly Sunnis but also with a fair amount of Kedayans. The other prominent religions include Buddhism, which makes up around 15% of the population and Christianity which makes up a further 10%. However, it should be mentioned that all non-Islamic religious groups and members of said groups are required to register and can’t publically celebrate their beliefs or religious events otherwise they may face imprisonment.

The last 10% of the population is mainly made up of indigenous religions and some small groups of immigrant religious sects.

Museums, Galleries & Architecture

Architecture in Brunei is built primarily on stilts out of wood, due to most of the country lying on water, and the houses are kept open to allow the breeze to cool down the house due to the country’s all-year-round hot climate. Today most of the region uses western style apartment complexes and buildings but this traditional style is still seen in many places, especially in Kampong Ayer.

Additionally, Chinese and Indian influences have had a definite effect in the style of the architecture, but more prominent are the Islamic influences prominently defined upon entry to the region near the start of the 15th century AD. Some of the most prominent Islamic structures include the Royal Palace of the Sultan of Brunei and the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, both of which are considered to be architectural masterpieces.


Clothing, Dress Style & Etiquette

Although nowadays western clothing such as jeans, shorts, skirts and the like are more common than not, Muslims must follow a strict dress code, especially in public places and government offices. Muslim women nearly always wear the Hijab (a type of head scarf) and the Abaya (a long black body covering), but these are typically of a lighter and brighter variety of colours when compared to their Middle Eastern counterparts. Men on the other hand, are more likely to wear a Keffiyeh ( a head covering) and a Thawb (long white body coverings).

Literature, Poetry, Music & Dance

Due to the Islamic influence in the region, public dance performances, poetry readings, musical performances and literary readings are restricted and have subsequently restricted the development of the art forms connected to these practices. However, fishers are known to sing Adai-Adai, a type of group work song, while they fished, and trios of men and women perform the Benari, a type of folk dance, during many festivals.

The Kedayan community often performs the Aduk-Aduk during holidays, most specifically and frequently during the harvest season. The dance is performed to the rhythm of percussion instruments and the gear includes black clothing, a red belt and traditional warriors’ attire, danced in to the beat of the Silat, a Malay Martial Art.

The Malay peoples also perform the Zapin dance, performed all across Malaysia and in Indonesia, this features six men and women that dance to the Guling Tangan (a type of gong), the Rebana (a type of drum) and sometimes singing. This is most frequently seen at wedding celebrations.


Calendar & Events

Like most other nations, Brunei begins the year by declaring New Year’s Day as a public holiday on the 1st of January. On the 23rd of February, the country takes another holiday in celebration of their independence from the United Kingdom in 1984, the 1st day of May sees Labour day celebrated and on the 31st, Armed Forces Day, the founding of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, is celebrated as well. The opening and closing days of the Chinese New Year are also celebrated early on in the year.  

In July, the start and the end of Ramadhan is celebrated as a public holiday around the beginning and the end of the month, as well as a day in the middle, and right in the middle on the 15th, the Sultan’s Birthday is also declared a public holiday. Around the later months in the year, Dhu Al-Hijjah, the celebration of the story of Ibrahim and Ismael, and the opening of the Islamic Calendar, are celebrated.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are both celebrated on the 24th and the 25th respectively, as is the 31st of December as New Year’s Eve, all as public holidays. 

Due to being a Sharia country, the sale and public consumption of alcohol is banned but non-Muslims are allowed to bring in a small amount of alcohol for private consumption. 

Money

The Brunei Dollar is the country’s national currency and uses the international currency code BND. One Brunei Dollar can be divided down into 100 Cents. BND 1 is equal to $0.79 or £0.48.

Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Cent variants with the 1 Cent variant in Copper-Clad Steel and the others in Cupro-Nickel.

Bank Notes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 10,000 Dollar variants. The 10,000 Dollar Bank Note is considered to be the world’s most valuable Bank Note with over seven times the value of the next most valuable, the 1000 Swiss Franc Bank Note.

Economy

Brunei’s economy is almost solely reliant on oil and natural gas exportation and is actually the third largest oil producer in the whole of Southeast Asia, averaging exports of over 180 thousand barrels daily, and the fourth largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world.

Around 53% of Brunei’s exports are in Liquefied Hydrocarbons and 44% are in Crude Petroleum. The remaining 3% is made up of a wide combination of products but is prominently Brunei Halal brand meat, which subsequently is also the first proper attempt to put together a global halal brand.

Banking

Banks in Brunei are widespread and western banks such as HSBC and Barclays are incredibly prominent within the country. These banks offer identical account policies to their current customers and new customers will see something very similar. Banks in Brunei also incorporate the simplified two-account type system typically used in the west with Current Accounts being more flexible but offering a low interest rate, whilst Savings Accounts tend to have higher interest rates but only allow a certain amount of free withdrawals over a certain timescale.

Taxes

Brunei does not impose any income tax on any individuals and the country’s residents will also not see any sort of capital gains, sales, export or payroll tax. However, companies may still be subject to income tax. Additionally, Citizens and permanent Residents in Brunei must contribute 5% of their salary to a state managed provident fund which behaves something like Social Security.

Only properties being used for Commercial means are subject to property tax based on the value of the property. Stamp duties are levied on most documents in Brunei but some documents will require some duty tax based on the nature and size of the document. Most customs duties are also levied except on tobacco, of which there can be over 200% tax. 

Inspired by the cuisine styles of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and it’s other neighbouring countries, Bruneian cuisine relies heavily on the use of fish and rice with less of a reliance on beef due to its high cost. All food is halal due to the country being that of an Islamic nature and pork is practically non-existent in the country. However, other meats are commonly eaten in more rural areas such as deer and wild birds.

Brunei has an incredible affinity with its use of spices and herbs and as such, most dishes are considered to be incredibly spicy. However, at the same time the dishes are commonly consumed with noodles or rice due to the country’s other Asian influences and as such this helps to balance out the diet a little. Favoured dishes include Beef Rendang (spicy beef rolls cooked in coconut milk, often served with steamed rice), Nasi Lemak (rice balls cooked in coconut milk and often served with anchovies, eggs, curry, vegetables and peanuts), Ambuyat (sour fruit soaked sage starch balls).

The country’s favourite drinks are inspired from more local sources and frequently include coffee, tea, coconut milk and fruit juice. 

VISA Requirements

As long as you hold a passport valid for six months, Brunei allows the citizens of specific countries to travel to Brunei for both business and tourism purposes alike for 14, 30 and 90 days without having a visa.

Stays of up to fourteen days include:

Stays of up to thirty days include:
Additionally, citizens of Australia and Bahrain may obtain both multiple and single entry visas for a fee for up to thirty days, citizens of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia may obtain a single entry visa for a fee for up to thirty days and citizens of Taiwan and Qatar may obtain a single entry visa for a fee for up to fourteen days. With prior approval from the Brunei immigration authorities, citizens of China may obtain a visa on arrival for up to fourteen days.

Health Care

Although there are no medical schools in Brunei, the standard of health in Brunei is considered to be of a high standard and for all medical assistance that the country can’t provide, the government pays for to be performed overseas. The prevalence of HIV is also incredibly low with under 1 in 1000 people said to be carriers. However, the country is struggling from an obesity issue and over 20% of schoolchildren in Brunei are considered overweight.

Transportation

The transportation infrastructure in Brunei has rapidly improved in the past few years with around four thousand kilometres worth of roads being constructed, around three thousand kilometres of these being paved. Additionally, there are thirteen kilometres worth of railway lines that have been built.

Sea-wise, the country contains over two hundred kilometres worth of waterways traversable by small craft and the country also contains five ports; Bandar Seri Begawan, Muara, Tutong, Kuala Belait and Seria, containing eight large ships, all being Liquefied Gas Carriers.

The country also has links via the air and contains two Airports, Brunei International Airport with over three kilometres of paved runway, and the Anduki Airfield with over a kilometre of paved runway. The country also has its own national airline, Royal Brunei Airlines, and three heliports.

Embassies

Embassies in Brunei include:

Australia - Australian Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Australian High Commission to Brunei
Level 6, DAR Takaful IBB Utama, Jalan Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8711, Brunei Darussalam
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: +673 222 9435; + 673 223 7312
Fax: +673 222 1652
Website: http://www.bruneidarussalam.embassy.gov.au/
Email: austhicom.brunei@dfat.gov.au
Office Hours: The High Commission will be open from 8am to 5pm Mondays to Thursdays and from 8am to 1.05pm on Fridays, except for public holidays.
 
Bangladesh - Bangladeshi Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Bangladeshi High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
House no. 10, Simpang 83-20, Jalan Sungai Akar, Bandar Seri Begawan , BC 3915 , Brunei
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (+673) 2 238 420
Fax: (+673) 2 238 421
Website: http://www.hcbangladesh.org.bn
Email: mission.bandarseribegawan@mofa.gov.bd / bdoot@brunet.bn
Office Hours: 0900 to 1300 hrs. & 1400 to 1700 hrs. (Monday to Thursday) 0900 to 1300 hrs. & 1400 to 1700 hrs. (Saturday)
 
Belgium - Belgian Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
n6 Simpang 545, Kampong Dato Gandi, Jalan Kota Batu, Bandar Seri Begawan
, P.O. Box n 65 Bandar Seri Begawan 1900
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: + (673) (2) 78.70.58
+ (673) (2) 78.70.59
+ (673) (2) 78.70.60
Fax: + (673) (2) 78.70.94
 
Cambodia - Cambodian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of Cambodia in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
N0. 7, Simpang 1444-14, , Jalan Beribi, BE 1118, , Gadong, Negara Brunei Darussalam
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (673) 2426450
Fax: (673) 2426452
Email: camemb.brn@mfa.gov.kh
 
Canada - Canadian Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
The High Commission of Canada in Bandar Seri begawan, Brunei Darussalam
5th Floor, Jalan McArthur Building, No. 1, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, BS8711
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (011 673 2) 220 043
Fax: (011 673 2) 220 040
Website: http://www.brunei.gc.ca
Email: bsbgn@international.gc.ca
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
 
Chile - Chilean Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Honorary Consulate of China in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Units 9/10, 2nd Floor, Kiarong Complex, Lebuhraya sultan haji hassanal bolkiah, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: 673-2451606
Fax: 673-2451611
Email: aotw@brunet.bn
 
China - Chinese Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Chinese Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
No.1,3,5 Simpang 462, Campong Sungai Hanching, Jalan Muara, Bc 2115
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: 00673-2-334163
Fax: 00673-2-335710
Website: http://bn.chineseembassy.org/eng/
Email: embproc@brunet.bn
Details: Ambassador: Min Yongnian
 
Finland - Finnish Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Honorary Consulate of Finland in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
B.T. Forwarding Co. No. 7 Block D , 1st floor, Sufri Shipping Complex , Mile 1 1/4, Jalan Tutong
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (673-2) 243 847
Fax: (673-2) 224 495
 
France - French Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of France in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Complex Jalan Sultan Units 301-306, 51/55, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan BS 8811, PO Box 3027 Bandar Seri Begawan BS 8675
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: [673] 22 20 960
Fax: [673] 22 43 373
Website: http://www.ambafrance-bn.org/
Email: courrier@ambafrance-bn.org
 
Germany - German Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
German Embassy in Brunei Darussalam
Block A, Second Floor, Unit 2.01, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex, Jalan Pretty, BS 8711, P.O. Box 3050, BS 8675
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (+673) 2 225 547
Fax: (+673) 2 225 583
Website: http://www.bandar-seri-begawan.diplo.de/en/02/Botschaft.html
Email: prgerman@brunet.bn
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9.oo - 12.oo hrs, Monday to Thursday 14.oo - 16.oo hrs The visa section is open Monday to Friday from 9 - 12 hrs
Details: ---
 
India - Indian Consulate in Darussalam, Brunei
High Commission of India in Darussalam, Brunei
Baitussyifaa, Simpang 40-22,, Jalan Sungai Akar,, Bandar Seri Begawan, BC 3915
City: Darussalam
Phone: 00-673-2339947, 2339685
Fax: 00-673-2339783
Website: http://www.hcindiabrunei.org.bn/
Email: hicomind@brunet.bn
 
Indonesia - Indonesian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of Indonesia in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Lot. 4498, Simpang 528, Kampung Sungai Hanching Baru, Jalan Muara Bandar Seri Begawan, BC 2115, Brunei
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: +673 - 2330180
Fax: +673 - 2330646
Website: http://www.indonesia.org.bn
Email: kbribsb@brunet.bn
Office Hours: Monday -Thursday: 8:00 am - 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Friday: 8:00 am - 12.00 noon, 02:00 pm - 4:30 pm
 
Japan - Japanese Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam
No.1 & No. 3 Jalan Jawatan Dalam,, House No. 33, Simpang 122, Kampong Kiulap, Bandar Seri Begawan BE1518, Negara Brunei Darussalam, P.O. Box 3001, BSB BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (673-2) 229265
Fax: (673-2) 229481
Website: http://www.bn.emb-japan.go.jp/
Email: embassy@japan.com.bn
 
Laos - Lao or Laotian Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of Laos in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Lot No. 19824, House No. 11, Simpang 480, Jalan Kebangsaan Lama, Off Jalan Muara, Bandar Seri Begawan BB 4713
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (673-02) 345 666, (678-8) 728 379
Fax: (+673) 2 345 888
Email: laosemba@brunet.bn
 
Malaysia - Malaysian Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
High Commission of Malaysia, Bandar Seri Begawan
No. 61, Simpang 336, Jalan Kebangsaan BA 1211, P.O.Box 2826, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675,, Negara Brunei Darussalam
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: +673-2381095 / 2381096 / 2381097 / 2381101
Fax: +673-2381278
Website: http://www.kln.gov.my/perwakilan/seribegawan
Email: malbrnei@kln.gov.my
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8.00 a.m to 4.30 p.m
 
Myanmar - Myanmar Embassy in Darussalam, Brunei
Embassy of Myanmar in Darussalam, Brunei
No. 14 lot 2185/46292 Simpang 212 Jalan Kampong Rimbe, Gadong 3385
City: Darussalam
Phone: (673-2) 450506, (673-2) 450507
Fax: (673-2) 451008
Email: myanmar@brunet.bn
 
Netherlands - Dutch Consulate in Seria, Brunei
Consulate Seria, Brunei Darussalam
C/O Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. Sdn. Bhd.,, Seria, Brunei Darussalam
City: Seria
Phone: 00-673-3-374108
Fax: 00-673-3-374427
Email: randolf.nales@shell.com
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 07:00-12:00 and 13:00-16:00
 
New Zealand - Kiwi Consulate in Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
New Zealand Consulate in Brunei Darussalam
Street Address: c/- Deloitte & Touche, 5th Floor, Wisma Hajjah Fatimah,, 22 & 23 Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8811, Postal Address: P.O. Box 1965, BSB BS8673, Brunei Darussalam
City: Brunei Darussalam
Phone: +673-222-5880, 222-3640, 223-6603 or +673-222-242
Fax: +673-222-3360
Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Embassies/1-NZ-representatives-overseas/0-embassies-list.php
Email: hung@deloitte.com
Details: Honorary Consul: Mr Daniel Ng Hui Hua
 
Oman - Omani Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
No. 35 Simpang 100,, Kampong Pengkalan Jalan Tungku Link Gadong, , Bandar Seri Begawan BE 3719
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (006732) 446 953 or 446 954
Fax: 449 646
Email: omnembsb@brunet.bn
 
Pakistan - Pakistani Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
High Commission of Pakistan in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
No.8, Simpang 31,, Jalan Bunga Jasmine Kampong Beribi,, Gadong BE 1118, Bandar Seri Begawan
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: 00673-2424600
Fax: 00673-2424606
Website: http://www.mofa.gov.pk/Brunei/
Email: hcpak@brunet.bn
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
 
Philippines - Filipino Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of the Philippines in Brunei, Darussalam
No.17 Simpang 126, Km 2, Jalan Tutong,, Post Code BA 2111, Bandar Seri Begawan, P.O. Box 3025 BSB 1930, NEGARA, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (00673) 224-1465; 224-1466; 223-8845 ; 222-0781
Fax: (00673) 223-7707
Website: http://www.philippineembassybrunei.net/
Email: bruneipe@brunet.bn / bruneipe@dfa.gov.ph / bruneipe@gmail.com
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 08:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. 01:30 p.m. - 05:30 p.m. Saturday: 08:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Sunday:closed
 
Poland - Polish Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Consulate of Poland in Brunei Darussalam
Simpang 639, 8 km, Jalan Tutong, PO Box 699, 8671
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (+673-2) 651501, 331395
Fax: (+673-2) 651498
Email: sweedir@brunet.bn
 
Poland - Polish Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Bandar Seri Begawan
Simpang 639, 8 km, Jalan Tutong, P.O.Box 699, Bandar Seri Begawan BS 8671, Brunei Darussalam, -, -
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (00-673-2) 651-501, 331-395
Fax: (00-673-2) 651-498
Website: http://-
Email: sweedir@brunet.bn
 
Russia - Russian Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Consulate General of Russia in Bandar Seri Begawan
Unit 7, 3rd Floor, , Wisma 2000 Simpang 51-22 Jalan Menglait, Ga, -, -, -
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (+673) 244 8679
Fax: (+673) 244 8675
Website: http://-
Email: kim@brunet.bn
 
Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
Saudi Arabia Embassy , Brunei Darussalam
Hous 1 Simrang 570 Kampung Salar, Jalan Muara
City: Brunei Darussalam
Phone: 006732792823/ 006732792822/ 006732792821
Fax: 006732792826
Website: http://www.mofa.gov.sa/sites/mofaen/SaudiMissionsAbroad/SaudiEmbassiesAbroad/Asia/Pages/EmbassyID40935.aspx
Email: bnemb@mofa.gov.sa
Office Hours: From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
 
Seychelles - Seychelles Consulate in Guerande, Brunei
Consulate of Seychelles in Guerande, France
9, Rue du Roi Salomon
City: Guerande
Phone: +33-2-4045-8805
Fax: + 33-2-4045-8805
Email: henri.olive.seychelles@orange.fr
 
Singapore - Singaporean Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
High Commission of Singapore in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
No. 8, Simpang 74, Jalan Subok, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: 673-2-262741, 673-2-262742, 673-2-262743
Fax: 673-2-262752
Website: http://www.mfa.gov.sg/brunei
Email: singhc_bwn@sgmfa.gov.sg
Office Hours: Working Hours: Mon - Fri 8.30 am to 1.00 pm 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Sat , Sun and Brunei Public Holiday - Closed
 
South Korea - Korean Embassy in Darussalam, Brunei
Embassy of The Republic of Korea in Darussalam, Brunei
Simpang 462 Kampong Sungai Hanching,, Jalan Muara. P.O.Box 2169, Bandar Seri Bega
City: Darussalam
Phone: +67-3-233-0248/+67-3-233-025
Fax: +67-3-233-0254
Website: http://brn.mofat.go.kr/eng/as/brn/main/index.jsp
Email: koreaemb@brunet.bn .bn
 
Sweden - Swedish Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Honorary Consulate of Sweden, Bandar Seri Begawan
Block A, Unit 1, Second floor, Abdul Razak Complex, GADONG BE 3519, P.O. Box 1297, Bandar Seri Begawan BS 8672
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: +673 (2) 44 84 23
Fax: +673 (2) 44 84 19
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8.30 a.m.-12.00 noon, 1.30-5.00 p.m., Saturday 8.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m
 
Switzerland - Swiss Consulate in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Consulate of Switzerland in Brunei Darussalam
Unit 402-403A, Wisma Jaya, Jalan Pemancha
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (+673-2) 236601
Fax: (+673-2) 228389
Email: shazkpmg@brunet.bn
 
Taiwan - Taiwanese Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Brunei Darussalam
No18, Simpang 80-11, Kg Pengkalan Gadong, Km 4, Jalan Gadong, BE 3919, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brueni Darussalam
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (002-673)2455482
Fax: (002-673)-2455490
Email: twnrocbr@brunet.bn
 
Thailand - Thai Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Embassy of Thailand in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Lot 25251, Simpang 683, Jalan Tutong, Kampong Bunut BF 1320, Bandar Seri Begawan BF 1320, Brunei
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: (+673) (2) 653108-9
Fax: (+673) (2) 653032
Email: thaiemb@brunet.bn
 
United States - American Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
U.S Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
impang 336-52-16-9,, Jalan Kebangsaan, Seri Begawan BS8811 , Brunei Darussalam
City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Phone: 673-222-0384
Fax: 673-222-5293
Website: http://brunei.usembassy.gov/
Email: amembassy_bsb@state.gov, consularbrunei@state.gov
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 7:45 am to 4:30 pm
 
Vietnam - Vietnamese Embassy in Darussalam, Brunei
Embassy of Vietnam in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Lot 13489 Jalan Manggis Dua off Jalan Muara, Bandar Seri, Bagawan, Brune, Darussalam
City: Darussalam
Phone: 2651580
Fax: 2651574
Website: http://www.vietnamembassy-brunei.org
Email: srv@brunet.bn

Phone Lines

Phone lines are common throughout Brunei and are considered of a very high standard with good connections to Europe, the US and East Asia. There are over 80 thousand main lines in use with over 340 thousand mobile phones active, subscription-wise, there are over 180 thousand mobile subscribers. The country not only uses underwater cable links to Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, it also hs two Intelsat satellite earth stations including one Indian and one Pacific. Subscriptions to 3G services are frequent and 4G services are also becoming increasingly common.

Internet

Under the company TelBru through the Brunet department, Brunei’s internet services are mainly monopolized and as such are considered the most expensive broadband services in the world at 512kbit/s to 1Mbit/sfor around BND 128 per month ($101 or £61). However, TelBru has recently began deploying high speed FTTH networks and is aiming to provide these services to over 87% of the population by 2017 and believes that this will provide speeds of up to 100Mbit/s. Within the country, there are over 15 thousand Internet hosts, over 200 thousand Internet users and two ISPs, Brunet and Simpurnet. The country’s top code is .bn.

Communications

There are four TV broadcast stations active. Radio-wise, stations are transmitted on 18 different frequencies on AM 1, FM 2 and Shortwave 0. 

Weather & Climate

Brunei has a tropical equatorial climate and sees the peak of its summer between April and June at 24.7 degrees Centigrade (76.5 degrees Fahrenheit) and the depth of its winter between October and December at 23.8 degrees Centigrade (74.8 degree Fahrenheit).

Rainfall also stays fairly consistent with the year with the most rain in the winter months going up to 340mm and being as low as 100mm between February and April.


Holidays

The Radisson Hotel Brunei offers some of the best luxury apartments available and includes spacious lobbies for socializing, a private poor, childrens playgrounds, climbing walls and a spa. The whole hotel features completely free Wi-Fi, a Business Class Lounge and a Shuttle Service to nearby shopping malls.

A Boutique Hotel with a charm, the Brunei Hotel Bandar Seri Begawan is located right next to all the biggest major banks, the main office spaces of the oil and gas industries and the rest of the city centre. The hotel features a neo-modernistic style with light but prominent splashes of vibrant colours all across the hotel, holding within it some of the most beautiful private spaces possible.

Designed for a luxurious sense of high-class sophistication and simple yet effective design, the Palm Garden Hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan incorporates visual brilliance to give off an elegant, exuberant and utterly beautifully eloquent atmosphere whilst still providing a top quality service to all of its visitors and residents.
The Mangrove Paradise Resort Brunei shifts its focus on the sea and ingeniously features many of its rooms and spaces off of the mainland on huts built up on stilts, reminiscent of the native house-building practice. Don’t worry though, the system is safe, strong and thoroughly tested to ensure you don’t wake up shoulder-deep in seawater.

Kiulap Plaza Hotel is located right bang on in the center of the Gadong and Bandar Seri Begawan areas and features an incredibly close proximity with perfect placement within walking distance to all of the major Business, Financial, Entertainment and Shopping areas of the cities. Each of the rooms has been furnished with a light, warm feel and feels very much like a bed-and-breakfast service, homely, relaxing and safe.

Looking for a taste of luxurious elegance and beauty? The V Plaza Hotel Brunei Darussalam has just that in mind and features an almost abstract art approach to its interior spaces and furnishing choices, however, it keeps a strong presence of professionalism and order within the space and subsequently provides an incredibly eloquent atmosphere.


How about a cosier, more comfortable environment? The Sentosa Hotel Brunei Darussalam has been designed with a Gregorian-esque type appeal but retains modern functionality and many contemporary aesthetic influences. The hotel also is located in close proximity to most of the major shopping areas, restaurants, cafes, bus stations, airlines, banks and gyms.

Keeping to a Switzerland-oriented theme, the Swiss Hotel Kuala Belait in Brunei Darussalam offers two free drinks and snacks at the bar to get you going, and then brings you onto the main attraction; free high-speed Wi-Fi, spacious rooms with a comfortable warm furnishing style and a minibar as well as quick access to the city centre and many restaurants.

One of the top hotels in Brunei, the Plaza Sutera Biru simply exudes a plethora of sophistication and elegant design. The hotel is customized with many Roman accents and influences but keeps true to its boutique look and style and additionally provides beautifully furnished and designed interior spaces for all of its residents.

Meanwhile, the Tat Place Hotel is a more affordable but still amazingly beautiful hotel and includes many upon many wondrous spaces with an inviting and friendly atmosphere. The hotel keeps a slightly more Arabic appearance but combines this with a strong European Victorian look and style throughout the hotel. 

Besides having a fully valid passport, Children follow the same restrictions and rules as adults concerning travel.

Pets are slightly trickier; first you are advised, although not required, to have your pet microchipped. Following that, any pet over the age of three months old must have a rabies certificate and the animal must have been vaccinated at least 60 days before you depart but not over one calendar year before.

You will also need a standard healthcare certificate issued within ten days of your flight (US: Vet Health Certificate 7001, UK: PETS) which is signed and stamped by a qualified vet and must contain the owner’s name and address, the animal’s description, breed, date of birth, sex, size, colour and unusual features as well as country of origin and transit points. Quarantined pets are expected to be fed and cleaned regularly by the owner.

You will also require an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture in Brunei if you intend to import a dog, cat or bird.

Unless brought into the country from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sabah or Sarawak, the animal will be quarantined for 180 days. 

Education in Brunei begins at five years old when the child enters Pre School for one year. Upon turning six, the child becomes a primary student and enters Primary School and progresses through Years One to Six, before taking the Primary School Assessment Exams. These exams help to identify what the student needs to progress and upon finishing the test, will see students move into varying types of secondary school.

When the child completes the Primary School Assessment Exam at twelve years old, they move into Secondary School, this is broken down further into the General Education Programme, the Applied Education Programme, the Specialized Education Programme and the Special Educational Needs Programme.
The former two last for two years each, covering Years Seven to Eleven, these use a common curriculum for the first two years but split apart in the third year, with the General Education Programme following a more rounded subject matter while the Applied Education Programme follows a more specialized set of skills, almost like a college course.


Meanwhile, the Special Educational Needs Programme lasts for five years and is used to help boost the skills of children with special needs; this may include children with behavioural and social disorders, problems understanding subject matter, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ADD and other needs such as physical needs and impairments. The Specialized Education Programme is used in conjunction with students who excel in Science and Sports and will often see students pursuing a career in these areas entering prestigious schools such as the Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College, the Pengiran Jaya Negara Secondary School and many others.

Upon finishing Year Eleven at sixteen years of age, the student takes the BC GCE ‘O’ Level, GCSE or other equivalent examinations and upon completing the exam is awarded with a qualification of secondary education in various subjects. From here on out, the student may enter Tertiary Education directly or take course for a Nursing Diploma, a BDTVEC NSC or Diploma, a Specialized Diploma or a BC GCE ‘A’ or VCE. At a Tertiary Educational Level, many Universities and Academic Institutions are available all across the country. It’s also important to mention that Arabic Secular Education is also available through all levels of education from as young as Year Four, or about nine years old. 

To teach in Brunei, you must hold a Masters or Bachelor’s Degree in Education or a relevant degree as well as holding a teaching qualification in the case of the latter.

Typically three years of experience will be required and the candidate is expected to be trained in the USA, UK, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa as well as being a native English speaker.

Candidates with international experience will be preferred and you’ll be considered more strongly if you have a TEFL or similar certificate, however, unless it is a TEFL specific job, a TEFL or other certificate will not be considered as a full teaching qualification.

Always remember to check out our guide on Visa and Work Permit Restrictions

Brunei’s currency is not only of high value but expenses tend to be high as well to match, for instance, luxuries such as a pack of cigarettes will see you spending BND 7.70 ($6.00 or £3.70), a litre of beer costs around BND 3.00 ($2.40 or £1.40) and a bottle of mid-range wine will set you back around BND 5.00 ($3.90 or £2.40).

Standard food however is cheaper, with a meal at a restaurant costing about BND 5.00 to 25.00 ($3.90 to $20.00 or £2.40 to £12.00) based on where you go, a litre of water costs around BND 2.70 ($2.10 or £1.30), a litre of milk costs about BND 2.20 ($1.70 or £1.00), 500g of bread costs BND 2.00 ($1.60 or £0.95) and 12 eggs will set you back about BND 2.90 ($2.30 or £1.40).

Finally, rent is around the same as it is in the west, with a 1 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre costs around BND 700 ($550 or £330) and inside the city centre you’ll be looking at BND 1100 ($860 or £520), while a three bedroom apartment will cost you about BND 2250 ($1760 or £1070) in the city centre and BND 970 ($760 or £460) outside. 

Known for having the lowest cost flights in the region whilst maintaining a perfect safety record, the Royal Brunei Flying Club has existed in Brunei Darussalam for over thirty years and has constantly maintained an interest and love of aviation and flight sciences during its existence. The club provides full flight training as well as recreational flights and aircraft hire, allowing members from beginner to veteran levels to participate.

Dedicated strategists abide in the Brunei Chess Federation, this organization has been formed to ensure the highest level of Chess play possible and maintains a Chess Training Timetable for six days a week, allowing players to quickly improve their skills and sharpen their minds.

Perhaps you’re more of a rough-and-tumble kind of person? The Brunei Rugby Football Union is perfect for you, whilst still being considered to being in its infancy, the club has already been given full membership in the International Rugby Board almost ten years ago and has played in over a hundred countries.
How about some footy? The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) is responsible for overseeing all teams and events in Brunei’s football scene and includes leagues such as the Brunei Super League, recently re-admitted to FIFA and AFC, the organization has seen a revival and the football scene has never been bigger.

For those who like to chill out, relax and maybe socialize a little, the Panaga Club has been designed for you, facilities include social, sports and leisure variants in the forms of Badminton, a Gym, Yoga, Basketball, Net Ball, Cricket, Hocky, Swimming, Golf, Rugby, Tennis, Childcare, Cruising, Diving, Sailing, Fishing, Rowing, Windsurfing, Arts, Crafts, Horticulture, a Library, a Music Society and a Dance Centre, among others. 

Due to social and cultural reasons, crime in Brunei is practically non-existent with petty crimes such as pickpocketing being scarce. However, Brunei faces issues with human trafficking for forced labour and forced prostitution means and is both a transit and destination for men and women from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand, among others.

Despite the fact that prostitution is punishable by imprisonment for five years and a $20,000 fine, the Bruneian Government has yet to prosecute a single trafficking case. It also has not identified any trafficking victims or implement formal procedures to identify victims or trafficking, but it has made significant efforts to halt the practice.

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance – 991
Police – 993
Fire Brigade – 995
Search & Rescue - 998