Found on the island of Borneo, Brunei is a mix of indigenous culture, modernity and Islamic tradition. There are many Islamic attractions to see that have hints of modern influence, quite a unique blend to witness. Brunei also has many indigenous groups that give color to the culture and sites of the land. The people are quite warm, and very much value – respect, harmony and familial ties. Brunei is a wonderful place to experience Islamic, Asian and indigenous culture meet modernity through the many sites and cultural experiences across the small, but culturally rich country. You will instantly be drawn in by the vibrancy of this beautiful country.
Important and Interesting Facts about Brunei Darussalam
- This country is one of the smallest nations on earth that is located on the island of Borneo in South East Asia. Besides sharing its border with the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, it also faces the South China Sea in the North.
- Blessed with vast reserves of oil in the region, the country’s countries economy is based on natural gas, and oil.
- Geographically Brunei is located in both the western and northern hemisphere.
- Brunei is the second smallest nation in South East Asia after Singapore. With an area of 5,766 square kilometers, the country consists of two unconnected parts and they are divided into four districts.
- Rare fruits that are extensively cultivated in Brunei are Durian and Rambutan.
- The Nurul Palace – a 300-acre palace- is the world’s largest residential palace. Annually, the palace situated on the top of a hill with a view of Kampong Ayer, remains open to the public for three days, after a month of fasting during the Ramadan month.
- With over 2,500 rooms spread among 30 establishments ranging from guesthouses to the super luxurious “7-star” Empire Hotel and Country Club, and with a dozen or so active inbound tour operators, Brunei has a well-established, yet underutilized infrastructure attracting an increasing number of regional and international visitors.
- Blue Water Wreck, Cement Wreck and Australian Wreck are some of the popular place for scuba diving in Brunei.
- Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque – This mosque is located at Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei, and is considered as the major landmark of the country. This is a magnificent mosque especially at night when it ‘glows in the dark’. It has 28 domes as symbol of the 28th Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III.
- Ulu Temburong National Park– It is the first national park in Brunei that is protected since 1991. There many adventures you can do in the area including the most exciting activity on the Canopy Walkway where you can see the green forest from over 60 meters above the ridge of the mountain. This walkway, built with steel towers supporting the cable way.
- Billionth Barrel Monument – The monument was built in 1991 to commemorate the production of the billionth barrel of oil produced in the onshore oil field in Seria. The monument is located near the first well discovered in Seria Oil Field. In the same place where the monument is located, you can also see the nodding donkeys, the instruments that are used to pump oil.
- Oil and Gas Discovery Center– It showcases the captivating world of science and engineering as it applies to the petroleum industry. Its aim was to create an education center for visitors to understand and appreciate the oil and gas industry which has been the strong supporter of Brunei Darussalam’s economy.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Brazil
- One of the wealthiest people on earth, the Sultan of Brunei has a collection of more than 500 luxury cars and a palace that has more than 1500 rooms and has a total asset of more than 25 billion US dollars.
- Due to the lack of public transportation, low taxes, and low price of oil, Brunei has one of the highest rates of vehicle ownerships which are about one car for every 2.09 people.
- A kind of carnivorous plant called Low’s Pitcher plant (Nepenthes lowii) is an endemic species of plant in the island of Borneo and at Mount Bukit Pagen.
- Lots of countries can enjoy a visa-free travel in Brunei, like – all European countries, United States, Iceland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, UAE, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, etc.
- Brunei is one of the best places in the Southeast Asia for macro photography.
- Brunei is almost as expensive as Singapore, twice as expensive as Malaysia.
- The private press in Brunei is owned by the royal family.
- The Belalong Tree Frog (Rhacophorus belalongensis)can only be found in Brunei.
- The full Malay name and title of Sultan of Brunei is 75 characters too long to fit in a tweet. (It also arguably requires circular breathing to say at once: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.)
- His palace, the Istana Nurul Iman, has 257 bathrooms.
- As a birthday present to himself on his 50th, he built an enormous stadium and paid Michael Jackson $17 million to perform there.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Brunei Darussalam
- It is a legendary fact that Brunei was discovered by Awang Alak Betatar. When he first found Brunei, he called out “Baru nah!”, which means “that’s it!”, and that is how Brunei formed its name.
- Around 16th century Brunei’s religious faith was completely changed to Islam. Around that time one of the biggest mosques of Brunei was built, and in 1578, a Spanish traveler, Alonso Beltrán, described the mosque being five stories high and built on the water.
- The Sultanate of Brunei was most powerful between 15th and 17th centuries, which extended from northern Borneo to southern Philippines.
- The Empire of Brunei was quickly declining in the 19th century when much of its territory was lost to the White Rajahs of Sarawak. This is the reason why Brunei is separated into two landmasses today.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the 29th Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah was the world’s richest man in 1993.
- In 1929, petroleum was discovered by F.F. Marriot and T.G. Cochrane in Brunei, near river Seria. Apparently a lot of efforts were made before, to look for some natural resources, but all were fruitless. Shortly after the discovery of petroleum, the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company was founded on 22 July 1922.
- In this strictly Muslim country, selling alcohol and drinking in public are strictly banned with very stringent penalties if you are found indulging in either.
- Pointing the index finger while in conversation is considered to be rude, instead using thumb to point is encouraged.
- Table manners include eating and passing food with right hand only with the exception that while holding a heavy plate with a right hand, the left one can be used to support the right wrist.
- Business clothes should be conservative. Men should wear a suit and tie and women should wear a business suit or dress with long sleeves and a skirt that goes below the knee (that means no miniskirts!)