Bandar Seri Begawan
A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.
Birdwatching at Luagan Lalak Park
Go birdwatching in Luagan Lalak Recreational Park, which includes a rare alluvial fresh water swamp, an inviting freshwater lake, and a series of footpaths and elevated walkways.
A little-known destination within an already obscure country, Brunei’s coasts feature hundreds of hectares of reefs, home to countless coral, rays, sharks, and tropical fish. In addition, there are a number of wrecks and even a decommissioned oil rig, all of which have been sunk to form artificial reefs for coral to grow on.
Gadong Wet Market
Shop for food at the Gadong Wet Market, a rambling maze of stalls selling all the manner of fresh produce, seafood, and meats. Many of the boisterous, friendly hawkers at Gadong hail from the nearby Kampong Ayer.
Istana Nurul Iman
Visit the Istana Nurul Iman, the residence of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and with 1,700 rooms spread over 300 acres (121 hectares), the largest royal palace in the world. A fascinating structure whose design influences include traditional Islamic architecture and modernist principles, the Istana Nurul Iman sits on a series of green, rolling hills overlooking the Brunei River.
Unfortunately, the palace is closed to the public except during the annual celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which marks the end of Ramadan; during this three-day period, over 100,000 visitors are allowed to visit the halls of the palace. For the rest of the year, the Istana Nurul Iman is closed, and must be seen from afar.
Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Similar in design to the Saifuddin Mosque, the Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque was built to commemorate the current, ruling Sultan. Consisting of a central dome flanked by numerous, smaller minarets (all of which are also decorated with golden domes as well), the Bolkiah Mosque features a beautiful marble courtyard, flanked on both sides by marble walls with sharp, distinct arches cut into them.
Kampong Ayer Water Village
Charter a boat to visit Kampong Ayer, the largest over-water village of its kind in the world. Comprising a group of 42 villages and 30,000 inhabitants, the many dwellings and structures in Kampong Ayer are built on stilts over the Brunei River, and linked together by a series of wooden paths. Don’t be fooled by outward appearances, however; many of the houses within Kampong Ayer feature modern amenities, including satellite television, air conditioning, internet access, and electricity.
Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
Named for the previous sultan of Brunei, this mosque is a beautiful structure of gold and marble sitting on the banks of an artificial lagoon on the Brunei River. Designed by an Italian architect, the mosque is a mix of Mughal, or imperial Indian, architecture, and Italian aesthetics; the most striking aspect of the mosque is certainly the dome, which is covered in the purest gold.
Cruise along the Brunei River’s myriad mangroves in search of the endangered Proboscis Monkey, a comically shaped creature with a long, trunk-like nose, mottled, half-orange and half-gray fur, and an exaggerated potbelly. Other creatures include ferocious, saltwater crocodiles and flocks of migratory birds, including magnificent herons, wily kingfishers, and white egrets.
Royal Regalia Museum
Visit the Royal Regalia Museum, a repository of artifacts, possessions, and photographs of the royal family of Brunei. Browse displays of luxurious royal clothing, extravagant gifts from other notaries and heads of state, and royal accessories - including a large carriage built in the shape of a dragon.
Sungai Liang Forest Reserve
Hike through the Sungai Liang Forest Reserve, a lush tropical forest located in the countryside outside Bandar Seri Begawan. Listen to the various sounds of the forest, from the chirping of tropical birds to the rhythmic croaking of the cicadas.
Tomb of Sultan Bolkiah
Visit the tomb of Sultan Bolkiah, the fifth sultan of Brunei, who ruled from 1485 to 1524. A shrewd ruler who was responsible for expanding Brunei’s reach over the neighboring islands (present-day Sulu, Malaysia, and the Philippines), Sultan Bolkiah was interred in Kota Batu after his death. Today, his cenotaph is set amidst a lush, pleasant park, covered with a simple, domed pavilion.
Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below on the right.
Located in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, the Radisson Brunei is situated just a few minutes away from the Royal Regalia Museum and the Brunei History Center. The hotel has 142 rooms and suites, and each room is equipped with a flat screen TV, a minibar, a coffee and tea maker and complimentary WiFi. Hotel facilities include a fitness center, an outdoor pool and a spa. The onsite Catik Spa offers a variety of treatments including facials, massages, body wraps and exfoliation. Dining options include 2 restaurants, as well as a poolside bar that serves light fare. Enjoy international and Italian cuisine at Tasek Brasserie, which is open all day. Deals Restaurant overlooks the pool and serves dinner only. The Radisson Brunei is located approximately 15 minutes away from Brunei International Airport.
The Empire Hotel & Country Club
Opened in October 2000, the Empire Hotel is a stunning property that reflects the country’s majestic cultural heritage and takes advantage of its beautiful surrounding environment. Voted the Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific by Asian Golf Monthly in 2011, the Empire Hotel offers much more than an 18-hole golf course with breathtaking seaside views. All 508 guest rooms have a balcony, free wi-fi and satellite TV. In addition, 5-star amenities, including the aforementioned golf course, 8 outdoor pools, a private sand beachfront, a bowling alley and outdoor tennis courts, are available to all guests to use at leisure. Dining options include Atrium Cafe, which offers themed buffets daily, Li Gong’s Cantonese fare and Pantai, which offers al fresco seafood. The Empire Hotel and Country Club is located 15 minutes from the Brunei Airport. It should be noted that Brunei is a dry country; therefore, the restaurants do not serve alcohol.
Brunei Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
Brunei isn’t a large country, and using the capital as your travel base allows visitors to see the best of the nation’s hotels, nature, and diving.
What Others Say
Here is a small selection of the kind words our clients have said about us recently.
A Couple from San Francisco
The guides and drivers were very knowledgable about the areas and took care of us well
Couple from Madrid
Our private jet was a very important part of our trip. Most of the legs were less than 30 minutes, compared to six to 10 hours if we traveled by road. Overall, we had a fantastic trip to a new country for us. Remote Lands never fails!