Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum

Museum in Bandar Seri Begawan

The impressive skeleton of a ship, lined with ceramic vessels, greets you as you step into the main hall inside this gleaming, ship-like 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. The ship is believed to have sailed from China in the late 15th or early 16th centuries before being struck by stormy weather as it approached Brunei.

The video showing underwater archaeologists retrieving items from the deep wasn't working when we visited, but items exhibited in the well-presented shipwreck gallery include singburi (stoneware jars) and fine Ming ceramics from China, and porcelain from Vietnam and Thailand, which would have been brought to Brunei to exchange for local products, including spices, rattan, sago and camphor.