The Sultanate of Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) officialy Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace is a small but – thanks to natural gas and petroleum resources – very rich country located in Southeast Asia. It’s 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.
The country is a pint-sized and fabulously wealthy oil-rich sultanate with a population of just under half a million, if illegal immigrants from countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines are included.
It is a member of the Commonwealth and has good education and hygiene. The population is devoutly Muslim.
The culture of Brunei is strongly influenced by Malay cultures and the Islamic religion. The culture is also influenced by the demographic makeup of the country: more than two-thirds of the population are Malay, and the remainder consists of Chinese, Indians and indigenous Malays such as Dayaks, Dusuns and Kedazans. While Standard Malay is the official language of Brunei, languages such as Brunei Malay and English are more commonly spoken.
Islam is the official religion of Brunei and Brunei has implemented Sharia law since 2014.
The climate of the country is tropical equatorial. The average annual temperature is 26.1°C (79.0°F), with the April–May average of 24.7°C (76.5°F) and the October–December average of 23.8°C (74.8°F).
Brunei’s topology is of a flat coastal plain rises to mountains in the east, the highest point being Bukit Pagan at 1,850m, 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.
Time & Date: GMT +8
The Brunei dollar (Malay: ringgit Brunei, currency code: BND), has been the currency of the Sultanate of Brunei since 1967. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively B$ to distinguish it from other dollar-dominated currencies. It is divided into 100 sen (Malay) or cents (English). The Brunei dollar is issued by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam).
Under a Currency Interchangeability Agreement in 1967, the Brunei dollar is interchangeable with the Singapore dollar at par. As such, the Brunei dollar is accepted in Singapore as “customary tender”; likewise, the Singapore dollar is accepted for payments in Brunei.
There are a number of languages spoken in Brunei. The official language of the state of Brunei is Standard Malay, the same Malaccan dialect that is the basis for the standards in Malaysia and Indonesia. This came into force on 29 September 1959, with the signing of Brunei 1959 Constitution.
When buying your travel i.nsurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.
The Government of Brunei Darussalam allows citizens of specific countries/territories to travel to Brunei for tourism or business for up to 90, 30 or 14 days without having to obtain a visa. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months.
Brunei International Airport
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Currency: Brunei dollar
Official languages: Malay, Englis