Owing to its vast resources of oil and gas, the Asian country of Brunei is one of the richest in South-east Asia. This pint-sized nation, housed on the island of Borneo, is split into 2 sections and is flanked by Malaysia on one side and the South China Sea on the other. It is a major tourist magnet thanks to its stunning beaches, thriving wild-life and historical sites showcasing an illustrious heritage.
History aficionados will love exploring the majestic Istana Nurul Iman, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei and the seat of the Brunei government. The palace is housed on a luscious green space and riverside sprawl of hills on the banks of the Brunei River, a few kilometers south of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei's capital. This opulent palace is the largest residential palace in the world. Be sure to head over to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, situated at the capital city. Regarded as an iconic landmark of the nation, this magnificent mosque comprises of 28 domes as a symbol of the 28th Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III.
Another mosque worth visiting is the James 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. Renowned to be the biggest mosque in Brunei, it comprises of 29 golden domes. Referred locally as the Kiarong Mosque, it was designed to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Sultan's reign. The Royal Regalia Building Museum comprises of copious amounts of exhibits linked to the commemorations of 25 years of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's rule of Brunei. It is housed at the center of the capital of Brunei. Head over to the Brunei Museum, located at Katu Baru close to Bandar Seri Begawan, capital city and marvel at the showcases of Islamic art, historical period of the 16th century and archaeology and ethnography. Adjacent to the Brunei Museum is the Malay Technology Museum - which features the workings of boat-making, fishing, metalworking and goldsmithing.
Want to see and explore the quintessential rustic life of the locals and natives living in Brunei? Then take a trip to Kampong Ayer (Water Village) - a prehistoric village built on stilts above the Brunei River immersed in cultural and historical heritage. It is renowned to be the biggest water village in the globe and is often referred to as the 'Venice of the East'. One can travel from one point to the other via water taxis and plank walkways.
Spend some quality time at the Ulu Temburong National Park - first national park in Brunei that has been protected since 1991. Be sure to do the Canopy Walkway where one can catch a glimpse of the green mountain from over 60 meters over the ridge of the mountain. This walkway is built with steel towers supporting the cable way. Nature lovers and wild-life enthusiasts can try out the Tutong River cruise tour which focuses on mangrove ecology and conservation education. The stunning and calm mangrove-fringed Tutong River houses endemic Proboscis, monkeys, eagles, crocodiles, macaques, kingfishers and other wild-life.
Scuba diving is rather popular in Brueni for the country offers spectacular dive sites. Some of the popular dive site comprises of the Blue Water Wreck, Cement Wreck, Australian Wreck and Rig Reef. If you're interested in learning more about the universe of science and engineering and how it applies to the petroleum industry, be sure to visit the incredible Oil and Gas Discovery Center in Serai which aims to educate visitors to comprehend and appreciate the oil and gas industry. Don't forget to take a picture of the Billionth Barrel Monument, built to celebrate the production of the billionth barrel of oil generated in the onshore oil field in Serai.
Shopping is a national obsession in Brunei. Be sure to look-out for textiles, silver-work, carved wood, ceremonial swords and so forth. As for cuisine, try out regional specialities such as Daging Masak Lada Hitam (spicy beef with potato beans) or Serondeng Padang (chicken fried with garlic wrapped in pandan leaves). Don't forget to taste Air Batu Campur, also known as ABC, is a deliciously-sweet dessert-drink that meshes ice with sago pearls, red beans, noodles and grass jelly.
Brunei is home to a plethora of stay options that suits the needs of the luxury-craving visitors who seek the best high-end hotels the city can offer and is also ideal for the backpackers and budget travellers requiring cheap hotel apartments.
Brunei experiences tropical equatorial climate. The best time to holiday in this nation would be between February and October as the temperatures are more comparatively pleasant.