Bandar Seri Begawan

Brunei | What To Expect When Visiting Brunei

My visit to Brunei was part of my Kota Kinabalu Itinerary.  I stayed only for 2 days and 1 night in Bandar Seri Begawan.

From Kota Kinabalu, I took an Air Asia flight to Bandar Seri Begawan.  Most of the passengers are Filipinos who are either residents/OFW of Kota Kinabalu or Bandar Seri Begawan.

They only have one airport in Brunei and I must say that their airport is of international standards.  I took a cab (again) from the airport going to my hostel (The Brunei Youth Hostel) that cost me 60BND! Its very very very expensive! There were no buses available when I arrived. The cab’s driver is a nice guy.  He instantly became my tour guide for 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes from the airport to the hostel and its 60 BND!) when I said I am a Filipino.  He has been to Manila way back 1990 and he has many good memories of Manila.  To him, Philippines is a richer country than Brunei.  He has fresh memories of Makati, Ortigas and SM Mega Mall.

My “tour guide” told me that there are only 17 taxis in the whole of Brunei! 10 are operating from the airport and the rest operating from the City proper! That explains why its expensive taking  a cab. And this means to say that ALL families in Brunei own 2-3 cars! Rich country indeed.

Next day, i walked around and visited several mosques.  I tried the river taxi for 50BND – a ripped off! I also visited the Royal Regala Museum – an impressive collection of the Sultan’s gifts and souvenirs all over the world. And my last stop was the Sultan’s Palace.  Unfortunately, tourists were not allowed to take pictures even OUTSIDE the palace.

I have no good memories of Brunei! It’s a boring country – no beers, no liquors!  Brunei has nothing to offer except its grand mosques decorated with gold! Wait, the saving grace? Jollibee! And there are 5 branches!

My apologies to those from Brunei if I don’t like your place.  I hope to be back to change this impression.

3 replies »

  1. We would like to go Dinawan Island (1day tour) or 美人魚島Mantanani Island snorkeling or diinvg. Please send me your relevant details and expenses.We are planning to visit Sabah on Dec.1~4, 2012 via Airasia flight.

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