Must see attractions in Brunei Darussalam

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

    Named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei (the late father of the current sultan), Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien is surrounded by an artificial lagoon that serves as a reflecting pool, mirroring its gleaming golden domes. This being Brunei, the interior is almost as lavish as the exterior: the floor and walls are made from the finest Italian marble, the chandeliers were crafted in England and a 3.5-million-piece glass mosaic overlaying real gold leaf covers the main dome.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

    Built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan's reign, Brunei's largest mosque dominates its surroundings. It's impossible to miss the gleaming domes and four terrazzo-tiled minarets as you head towards Gadong. It's certainly an impressive building – since the sultan is his dynasty's 29th ruler, the complex is adorned with 29 golden domes. At night the mosque is lit up like a gold flame.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Malay Technology Museum

    This absorbing museum focuses on the traditional lifestyle and artisanship of Brunei's ethnic groups, using re-creations of tribal villages from across the country.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Kampong Ayer

    Home to around 30,000 people, Kampong Ayer consists of 42 contiguous stilt villages built along both banks of the Sungai Brunei (Brunei River). A century ago, half of Brunei's Malay population lived here, but life is changing along the river, and many old wooden homes are falling into decay, while smart new, government-built stilt homes are appearing on concrete plinths among the wooden boardwalks. Flag down a water taxi (B$1) and explore for a taste of what Brunei was like before oil changed its fortunes.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Istana Nurul Iman

    The sultan's official residence, the world's largest residential palace, is more than four times the size of the Palace of Versailles. It has 1788 rooms, air-conditioned stables for the sultan's polo ponies, gold door handles and 257 bathrooms. The palace is open to the public only during the three-day Hari Raya Aidil Fitri festivities at the end of Ramadan. The best way to check it out on the other 362 days of the year is to take a water-taxi cruise.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Royal Regalia Museum

    When called upon to present a gift to the sultan of Brunei, you must inevitably confront the question: what do you give a man who has everything? At this entertaining, dome-capped museum you'll see how heads of state have solved this conundrum. Offerings range from portraits of the sultan executed in semiprecious stones, to gold models of oil wells and a solid silver model of Angkor Wat.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Brunei Museum

    Brunei's interesting national museum has an Islamic art gallery, exhibits depicting Brunei's role in Southeast Asian history from the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese in the 16th century to the modern day, and a natural-history gallery. It is situated 4.5km east of central BSB at Kota Batu. At the time of research the museum was closed for ongoing renovations.

  • Sights in Jalan Labi

    Labi Longhouses

    Labi is a small Iban settlement about 40km south of the coastal road with four longhouses: Rampayoh, Mendaram Besar, Mendaram Kecil and, at the end of the track, Teraja. How much of a longhouse you are able to see if you go without a guide will depend on whether there's an English speaker there to show you around. The cost of such a tour might be B$3 per person. To visit Teraja longhouse, register at the police station nearby.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum

    The skeleton of a 15th-century Chinese sailing ship, lined with ceramic vessels, greets you as you step into the main hall inside this gleaming building at Kota Batu, 5km east of the city centre. On display are some of the 13,261 artefacts excavated from the country's most important shipwreck, discovered by divers in 1997.

  • Sights in Temburong District

    Pulau Selirong Recreational Park

    At the northern tip of Temburong District lies this 25-sq-km mangrove-forested island reachable only by boat (45 minutes from BSB). Intrepid Tours runs half-day guided trips for around B$100 per person. Two kilometres of elevated walkways lead through the mangroves, which are the untamed habitat of proboscis monkeys and flying lemurs – if you're lucky you might spot one gliding down from the trees. Pulau Selirong is also known as Mosquito Island; bring repellent.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery

    A good place to start a visit to Kampong Ayer – and get acquainted with Brunei's pre-oil boom culture – is this interesting museum and cultural centre, directly across the river from the waterfront in BSB. Opened in 2009, the elevated complex focuses on the history, customs and crafts of the Kampong Ayer people, and a glass-enclosed viewing tower offers panoramic views over the surrounding 'streets' of stilt houses.

  • Sights in Jalan Labi

    Forestry Museum

    The Forestry Museum is a small, simple place with seriously thorough information about the local forest. Exhibits detail the history of logging and conservation in the area, with labelled examples of more than 50 types of wood found here, along with taxidermic examples of the resident wildlife – sadly it's the closest you're likely to come to seeing a clouded leopard in Borneo. It's located down the Simpang 50 turn-off (on the right as you head towards Labi).

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Taman Peranginan Tasek

    If you need a reminder that just beyond BSB's air-conditioned malls lies the Bornean jungle, this city park, with its background chorus of buzzing, chirping and rustling rainforest sounds, should do it. Well-marked paths lead to waterfalls, picnic areas and a hilltop menara (tower) offering views of the city and encroaching greenery. There are rougher jungle trails for longer walks (wear proper shoes). The park is 2km north of the city centre.

  • Sights in Jalan Labi

    Luagan Lalak Recreation Park

    If you're craving peace and serenity this is the place to find it: a trident of wooden walkways extend across alluvial freshwater swamp, with tufts of greenery dotted like islands in mirror-like water. It's a beautiful spot for picnicking, bird-watching or meditating. Locals come here for illegal fishing. Following Jln Labi down from the main highway, the park is 20km before Labi (look for the sign). There is no public transport here.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Tamu Kianggeh

    The covered market set amid canals to the east of the waterfront is a lively place in the mornings, when locals gather to buy ingredients – strange and exotic herbs and spices, big bunches of lemongrass, wild honey, dried fish, tropical fruit – and maybe grab a cheap packed breakfast or lunch to go. Look out for unusual medicinal plants and jungle seeds among the more familiar offerings.

  • Sights in Tutong

    Pantai Seri Kenangan

    Set on a spit of land, with the South China Sea on one side and Sungai Tutong on the other, this casuarina-lined beach is arguably the best in Brunei, meaning powdery white sand only lightly sprinkled with plastic, and warm water to paddle in. Sandflies can be a problem around sunset, so be sure to bring repellent. The beach is 2km west of Tutong town.

  • Sights in Tutong

    Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park

    Tasek Merimbun is Brunei's largest lake and supports ample birdlife. Near the lake there's a small visitor centre that isn't always open. When it is you can learn all about the birds and animals that call the nature reserve home. The boardwalk offers great views of the watery expanse. You need a car to get out there.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Taman Arkeologi Kota Batu

    This often overlooked site preserves the ruins of ancient Kota Batu, the capital of Brunei from the 14th to the 17th century. Among the excavations are the tombs of the 3rd and 5th sultans of Brunei. An overgrown forest walkway teeming with wildlife leads to the Maritime Museum on the riverbank.

  • Sights in Brunei Darussalam

    Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas Park

    On dry evenings, locals head to this pretty park on reclaimed land at the back of the Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque to walk, jog, fly kites and amble around in rented pedal carts (B$10 per hour), admiring the onion domes through a giant picture frame.

  • Sights in Jalan Labi

    Waterfalls

    In the jungle beyond the Teraja longhouse, there are around 40 waterfalls. You can enlist a guide from the longhouse to take you to two falls that are within an hour's hike: the stunning 70m Wasai Beluloh, and the smaller Wasai Teraja, with a deep plunge pool for swimming.