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Bandar Seri Begawan

Travel Guide Asia Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan



Kampung Ayer

Kampung Ayer

© All Rights Reserved greggers

Bandar Seri Begawan, or BSB, is the capital of the small Sultanate of Brunei's. When Antonio Pigafetta visited Brunei in the mid-16th century, he described a water village made up of 25,000 homes on stilts with a palace in the middle. The water village, Kampong Ayer, exists to this day, albeit significantly modernized with electricity, televisions and even internet access.



Sights and Activities

  • Arkib Negara - or the Brunei National Archives, contains the country's public records and archives. Popular with researchers.
  • Bangunan Alat Kebesaran Diraja - or The Royal Regalia Museum, housing collections of items used for the Sultan's Silver Jubilee festivities, as well as a multitude of gifts from foreign governments
  • Jerudong Playground, a theme park.
  • Kampong Ayer (English: Water Village) is a district of Bandar Seri Begawan and home to 30,000 people. All of the buildings in the Water Village are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River and roughly one out of ten people in Brunei live here. Kampong Ayer contains many small villages that are linked together by almost 30 kilometres of foot-bridges, although speed boats nowadays are a more important mode of transport, especially on some longer distances. There are over 4,200 structures including homes, mosques, restaurants, shops, schools, and a hospital and on top of the foot-bridges there are 36 kilometres of boardwalks connect the buildings.
  • Muzium Brunei - or Brunei Museum, displays a variety of historical items, including several gilded Holy Qurans and other Islamic artifacts.
  • Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
  • Pusat Latihan Kesenian dan Pertukangan - or Brunei Art's and Handicrafts Training Centre, also houses a handicraft shop where silver goods and sarongs, among other items, are available for purchase.
  • The Royal Regalia Building houses a collection of the sultan's treasures. Entrance is free.
  • Taman Warisan Tasek Merimbun - or Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park, where visitors can enjoy trekking around Brunei's largest lake. It is a forest reserve in the middle of the city. It features a natural waterfall. There is also an exhibition hall displaying the flora and fauna of the area.



Events and Festivals

Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

An Islamic holiday without a fixed date, Muhammad’s Birthday usually falls in January/February. The Sultan and the rest of the royal Brunei family typically lead a procession throughout Bandar Seri Begawan.

National Day

February 23 is Brunei’s National Day, an annual celebration of its independence from Britain. Though freedom was actually achieved on January 1, 1984, the official celebration is held every February 23 to follow tradition.

Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is celebrated every May 31 to pay tribute to the dedicated men and women behind the Royal Brunei army. You will see displays of artillery, exhibitions, parachuting, and military parades.

Sultan’s Birthday

July 15 is Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s birthday. He is the 29th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of the country, and is also the first Prime Minister of Brunei. He was born in 1946 in Brunei Town, which is currently known as the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

First Day of Hijra

This day celebrates the migration of the prophet Muhammad and his followers to Medina from Mecca. This festival also marks the Islamic New Year, so it doesn’t have a fixed date but typically falls in June/July.

End of Ramadan

Eid al-Fitr is the celebrated at the end of Ramadan or the month of fasting, which is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. There is also no set date, but it usually takes place in August. Children are given presents and money, and everyone wears new clothes. Muslims go to the mosque in the morning for special Eid prayers, worship and thanksgiving. The rest of the day is all about eating and socializing with friends and family.




Bandar Seri Begawan has a tropical climate with hot and humid conditions year round. There is not a specific dry and wet season, though the wettest time is between September and January at around 300 mm a month. February to April is the driest and sunniest time of the year, a good time for a visit with only around 120 mm of rain in March. February and March have some more sunshine as well, so this is a good time to visit. Temperatures are around 31 °C during the day and 23 °C at night, with very little variation throughout the year (average highs: 30.4 °C in January versus 32.6 °C in May, average lows: 23.0 °C in July versus 23.7 °C in April and May).



Getting There

By Plane

Brunei International Airport (BWN) is the one and only civilian airport in the country and is the base of the national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines. Other airlines flying into this airport include AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, Malaysia Airlines, MASwings and Singapore Airlines.

There are daily flights to and from Dubai, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, London and Singapore.

An airport tax of B$12 is payable for departing passengers, at the check-in desk, in cash. For Royal Brunei Airlines passengers, the airport tax is already included in the ticket price. Passengers from other airlines boarding a Royal Brunei Airlines flight on codeshare are still required to pay the airport tax at the check-in desk.

By Bus

It is possible to travel between Bandar Seri Begawan and Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak and onward to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, but it is a long and tough journey compared to taking the boat.

By Boat

Speedboats leave for Bangar in Temburong District from the jetty near the foodstalls at Jalan Residency just over the bridge across Sungai Kianggeh to the east of the city centre. Regular boats run between Bandar and Bangar throughout the day. Speedboats leave for Limbang in Sarawak from the ferry terminal at Jalan McArthur in the city centre. The boats leave when they are full.



Getting Around

By Public Transport

Buses are a comfortable and cheap mode of transport. Six bus routes operate in the city; the Central, Circle, Eastern, Southern, Western and Northern Lines.





Brunei Hotel95, Jalan Pemancha BSB BS8811Hotel91
Jubilee HotelJubilee Plaza Jalan Kg KianggehHotel96
Sumbiling Eco VillageKg Sumbiling Lama, Jalan Batang Duri, Temburong, Brunei Darussalam, BorneoHostel-
Terrace HotelJalan Tasek LamaHotel-
Traders InnBlk. D, Lot 11620, Jalan Gadong,Hotel70
Goodview HotelBlock A, Lot 13725 Jerudong BG3122Hotel-



Keep Connected


Internet cafes are very easy to find throughout the capital.


See also: International Telephone Calls

Brunei has a modern telecommunications infrastructure. To dial overseas from Brunei, dial 00 followed by the country code and the telephone number.

Emergency numbers:

  • 991 – Ambulance
  • 993 – Police
  • 995 – Fire Brigade
  • 998 – Search and Rescue


Brunei Postal Services Department is the government run postal service. Airmail letters to Europe or the USA take 2 to 5 days. Registered, recorded and express postal services are all available. Post office opening hours are Mondays to Thursdays from 7:45am to 5:30pm. You can always check options with private companies like DHL, UPS or TNT for package services.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 4.9431
  • Longitude: 114.9425

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This is version 9. Last edited at 8:38 on Nov 18, 15 by Utrecht. 19 articles link to this page.

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