5 great things about life in BRUNEI
Explore the pristine rainforest
Brunei Darussalam is proud of the abundance of easily accessible, pristine, untouched rainforest.
Ulu Temburong National Park is the largest of the national parks in Brunei. Tourists can hop on a 40-minute boat ride to Temburong district where the Park is located. This park covers 550 km2 but is so protected and untouched that tourists are only permitted to visit with guides.
Brunei’s rainforests are home to rare wildlife such as the Borneo horned frog, pangolins, proboscis monkeys, salt water crocodiles, slow lorises, hornbills and clouded leopards to name a few.
Around 80% of Brunei is covered with rainforest and 60% of this is pristine rainforest. The nation has one of the highest air-quality ratings in the world, so is a perfect place for anyone seeking a clean, healthy environment.
Image: proboscis monkey, courtesy of iStock
Beaches and diving sites
Brunei is something of a hidden treasure for diving enthusiasts. There are a number of well-known shipwrecks found in Brunei Bay, namely the Australian Wreck, Cement Wreck, American Wreck and Blue Water Wreck. The coral reefs and disused oil rigs offer further contrasting opportunities for under-water exploration. Diving clubs located in Brunei-Muara have experienced instructors and professional gear for rent. The beaches of Brunei are stunningly beautiful and easy to access.
Image: a Brunei beach, courtesy of iStock
Brunei’s harmonious way of life
Brunei Darussalam,‘the abode of peace’, is a sultanate following an Islamic, peaceful philosophy. The nation acquired its independence and sovereign status in January 1984 from the United Kingdom but retains close ties and a great deal of affection for the UK.
The Islamic philosophy permeates through the customs and traditions of Brunei. Uniquely, at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan (Hari Raya), His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei, hosts three days of 'Open House', when anyone may go to the Palace and enjoy Bruneian hospitality - both local people and guests from other countries.
Image: open-house hospitality for Hari Raya, courtesy of Jerudong International School, Brunei
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
Since its completion in 1958, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque has become one of Brunei’s most famous landmarks, known for its picture-postcard architecture. Situated within a five-acre site, it is known as ‘the white mosque with the golden dome’. There are a number of other architecturally-stunning mosques in the kingdom to be visited too.
Image: the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, courtesy of Jerudong International School, Brunei
Kampong Ayer - the water village
Kampong Ayer, the water village located just a short ride from the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, may be visited by water taxi. Tourists can see the fire station, schools, medical clinics and mosque, as well as homes, all built on stilts. More than 1000 years old, the village is still home to around 30,000 residents. Visitors can also arrange to stay overnight in a village house and experience Bruneian hospitality for themselves.
Image: courtesy of Jerudong International School, Brunei
Winter's would like to thank the staff of Jerudong International School for compiling this article.
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