Brunei » Entertainment » Attractions

Brunei offers an intermingling of Malay traditions with Islam, reflected through a lineage of Malay Islamic monarchy that has travelled centuries to cover most of the Borneo Island, until the arrival of Europeans. The fascinating mosques and alluring residential palaces built by the ruling Sultans are the striking attractions of Brunei, all of which are located within the city limits of Bandar Seri Begawan – capital of Brunei. Brunei’s long lasting traditional monarchy, Malay heritage, and economic stability is visible in all its attractions.

Istana Nurul Iman

Emphasizing Brunei’s royal heritage and magnificence, Istana Nurul Iman is the Sultan’s home and the largest residential palace in the world. The overtly glamorous palace sits atop a hill, acting as the nation’s seat of government. This huge structure possesses more than a thousand rooms and 250 bathrooms designed by Filipino architect Leandro Locsin. It is open to the public three times in the year, but tourists can catch a quick view of it from Taman Persiaran Damuan.

Address: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Christian Trede
Jalan Labi

The longhouses of Borneo are a striking piece of architecture and the best place to see them in Brunei are at the longhouse communities in Jalan Labi. Located within a rainforest, these houses are best adapted to a lifestyle in a jungle. Although in a remote location, these Iban houses with more than a dozen doorways are home to no less than a 100 people. Catch a glimpse of Borneo bearded pigs, hornbills, barking deer, orangutans and macaques while on the way to the longhouses.

Address: Jalan Labi, Mukim Liang, Brunei Darussalam

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Aron Paul 2005
Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

The Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, also known as Kiarong Mosque was built in 1992 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of His Majesty's accession to the throne. This astonishing mosque displays the intricate details and finery in grand interiors to represent the Sultan’s devotion to Islam. The majestic edifice, amazing landscaped gardens, and serene surrounding certainly deserve a visit.

Address: Jln Hassan Bolkiah Gadong, Brunei Darussalam
Opening Hours: Saturday - Wednesday, 8 am to noon, 2 pm - 3 pm, 5 pm - 6 pm and 8 pm - 9 pm

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Veritas2233

Mausoleum of Sultan Bolkiah

During the reign of Sultan Bolkiah, Brunei rose to the peak of fame and glory capturing most of Borneo under the governance of the Brunei Empire. Right from Indonesia, to the coast of Philippines and Luzon Island, the golden age of Brunei was the realization of the efforts of the fifth Sultan of Brunei - Sultan Bolkiah whose mausoleum lies on a hill ridge at Kota Batu. Sultan Bolkiah is known to be a man of great voyages who breathed his last while returning from Java.

Address: Kampung Kota Batu, Brunei Darussalam

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Bubbha
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, an Islamic royal mosque is one of the grandest mosques in Asia Pacific and the chief tourist calling point in Brunei. The foundation of the glimmering mosque was laid by Sultan Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien who was the ruler when the mosque was completed in 1954. The grandeur of the mosque is visible in the materials used to construct it such as Italian marble for floors and Shanghai granite for outer walls. The carpets are imported from Saudi Arabia and Belgium while Britain contributed the chandeliers and stained glass windows. The golden dome is enveloped with 3.3 million pieces of Venetian mosaic.

Address: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Opening Hours: Sunday – Wednesday, 8 am - noon, 2 pm – 3 pm & 5 pm - 6pm, Closed on Thursdays to Non-Muslims

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Veritas2233