National day in Brunei: A must see!

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Probably no one will go for a complete holiday specially to Brunei. It’s more a destination for a stopover when coming from Sabah or Sarawak. We also visited only the city of Bandar Seri Begawan in 2008.

Replica of a royal barge from the 16th Century.
Replica of a royal barge from the 16th Century.

If you don’t arrive by plane (Royal Brunei Airlines or Air Asia) when coming to Brunei it’s the best way to take a taxi (or the bus) from Miri (Sarawak) to the capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Coming from Sabah (Kota Kinabalu) you can take the boat to the Sultanate (half day). On the island of Labuan you must change the boat. Duty-free shopping is available.

The country celebrates two National Days: The Independent Day (23 of February) and the birthday of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (15 of July). It’s a spectacle you must see!
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Important:
Don’t speak badly of the Royal family!
Respect the (official) muslim religion.
Taxi-drivers in Brunei have fixed prices for most trips.
Alcohol you only can bring in! Only non-muslim adults can bring in two bottles (max. 1 litre) of wine or spirits, and 12 330ml cans/bottles of beer, lager or cider. At customs you will be required to fill in a yellow form to declare your alcohol.
Brunei is a very safe place. Crime is much less than in many other Asian destinations. Locals are very helpful and will usually assist you if you ask for help.
Accomodation is in the middle to higher price range. Only a handful cheap guesthouses!
Cigarettes are difficult to obtain. If you wish to smoke in Brunei, it is advisable to bring in your own supplies (max. 200 cigarettes).

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A boat trip to Kampong Ayer (water village) is recommended. Although modern homes are available, many people do not leave the water village. A major problem is the waste!

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