Brunei Museum

Museum in Bandar Seri Begawan

Brunei's national museum, with its Islamic-art gallery, exhibits depicting Brunei's role in Southeast Asian history from the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese in the 16th century, and natural-history gallery, is a decent place to blow an hour of your time. It is situated 4.5km east of central BSB along the coastal road, at Kota Batu. At research time the museum was closed for ongoing renovations.

The oldest pieces here are ceramics from Iran and Central Asia and blown glass from Egypt and the Levant dating from the 9th and 10th centuries, as well as manuscripts of the Quran, tiny Qurans the size of a matchbox and gold jewellery. Don't miss the collection of Brunei's famous ceremonial cannons, known as bedil, some with barrels shaped like dragon heads. It wasn't oil but these bronze-cast weapons that were once the source of the sultanate's wealth and power.