Brunei’s museums and galleries pay tribute to the past Sultans who have strived to create a strong foothold for the country on the Borneo Island. Their valuables, documentary evidence, historical archives, artefacts, and royal regalia are displayed for tourists, to enjoy and appreciate. The Brunei people also want their traditional handicrafts to get their due, for which they have established cultural centres and galleries. At these centres, one can witness and learn the Malay-Brunei way of making arts & crafts.
The Royal Regalia Museum perfectly captures the 600-year-old Brunei monarch history by revealing the royal splendour of Sultans through a collection of artefacts. Established to commemorate the 1992 Silver Jubilee of His Majesty's accession to the throne, the pride of the collection is the royal coronation carriage from the coronation ceremony. The museum is also home to a collection of silver ceremonial armoury, jewel encrusted crowns and a golden throne, which the Sultan had used during state processions. Furthermore, it also contains rare documents, photographs, recordings, and films portraying Brunei rich, constitutional history.Address: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Hajotthu
The largest of all museums in Brunei, the Brunei museum is located on a hill at Kota Batu near the Mausoleum of Sultan Bolkiah. Occupying 48 hectares of land and displaying a great example of Islamic architecture, the museum revels in a lot of design patterns inspired from Brunei Malay heritage. Natural history, Borneo ethnography and Islamic history displays along with century old Qurans are the focal highlights of the museum. Moreover, the ceramic ware, glassware, tapestries, and military artefacts are equally interesting as well.Address: Kota Batu, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Kurun
The Brunei History Centre was opened in 1982 to research on the history and genealogy of the Sultans of Brunei. Located at Jalan Sultan, the centre also contains historical documents relevant to the Royal Family including replicas and brass rubbings of tombs. A flowchart depicting the lineage of the Sultans of Brunei can be found at the entrance of the centre. The building is situated next to the Royal Regalia building.Address: Bandar Seri Begawan BS 8610, Negara Brunei Darussalam
Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery highlights the history of the “water village” of Brunei, which was once described by the British as Venice of the East. Situated on silts along the Brunei River, these small, self-contained villages are an attraction in itself with their own schools, mosques, shops, fire stations, medical clinics, etc. The area dating back to the 10th century is inter-linked by water taxis and boardwalks. Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery’s main aim is to draw attention to the cottage industry of the area by displaying art & craft from the villages.Address: Bandar Seri Begawan, Belait Bay, Brunei Darussalam
Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Kurun
The Brunei-Malays have their traditional life and heritage recorded and documented at the Malay Technology Museum, where one can view the long-established art of making wooden boats, houses at Kampong Ayer, metal works, goldsmithing, weaving and fishing crafts. Opened in 1988 by His Majesty, the museum was sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell on Brunei’s independence in 1984. It is located next to Brunei Museum in Jalan Kota Batu.
Address: Kampung Kota Batu, Brunei-Muara, Brunei DarussalamPhoto Credit: Creative Commons/Kurun
The Bubungan Dua Belas or The House of Twelve Roofs found atop a hill off Bukit residency is one of the oldest buildings in Brunei that exemplifies the fusion of strong Islamic foothold and British influence. A typical example of British architecture, the colonial building was built in 1906 to house British residents and High Commissioners from 1907 until independence in 1984. Today, it is a museum displaying historical photographs outlining Brunei’s history.Address: Jalan Residency, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam Tel: +673 222 6967
As the name suggests, the Brunei Arts & Handicrafts Centre is established to preserve the handicrafts and traditional crafts of Brunei such as silver ware, hand-woven baskets, brassware, woodcarving, & jongsarat. The centre also holds classes for those interested in learning the arts.Address: Jalan Residency, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Brunei Oil & Gas Discovery Centre in Seria, Brunei Darussalam is an ideal place for inquisitive visitors who want to know more about the processes involved behind oil and gas exploration. There are about 100 exhibits at the interactive centre that open up to the world of science and engineering as well promote the theme of nature conservation.Address: Jalan Tengah, Seria, Brunei Darussalam