Brunei Travel Guides for Backpackers

Brunei: South East Asia’s Best Kept Secret

The beauty of Bandar Seri Begawan (“BSB”), Brunei is definitely one of Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets, like being shared in hush-hush only to a privilege or lucky few. We were privileged and lucky, indeed, to have our Brunei vacation. On a random sale of Philippines’ Cebu Pacific airlines, I chanced upon a cheap flight to BSB. BI only know 3 things about BSB when I bought my ticket: 1) it boasts of a majestic white mosque; 2) the price of oil is cheaper than drinking water; and 3) BSB does not sell alcohol. But since I wanted to visit a new country this year, I, along with three others, booked a flight for a two-night/two-day trip for PHP3,000.00 (roughly USD60.00) to BSB. We arrived on a Thursday night and left on a Saturday night.   Where is Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), Brunei A quick Google search of BSB will reveal that it is the capital of Brunei Darussalam (officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace). Brunei is a small country, which lies in the south-eastern part of Asia. Weather in BSB is similar to Manila. It was around 31-32 degrees Celsius when we visited in July.   The Currency Brunei’s currency is its own Brunei Dollars (B$). It has the same conversion rate as the Singapore dollars.   Where to Stay Originally, there were five of us going on the trip. We booked 3 double-bed rooms for 2 nights at Le Gallery Suites for a total of B$300.00. Le Gallery Suites is located 900 meters away from Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, the beautiful white mosque. However, when one of our friends couldn’t make it, we canceled our reservation and booked 2 double-bed rooms for 2 nights at Trader’s Inn for a total of B$216.00. Trader’s Inn, located in Gadong, was more convenient for us because it was near a supermarket (Supa Save) and several Bruneian/Chinese/Malaysian restaurants.   What to See We booked a private 4-hour tour with our hotel for B$20.00 each (total of B$80.00 for a regular van). While we could have easily toured BSB on our own considering BSB’s bus lines are efficient, we wanted to see all the tourist sites in one day. Renting a private van was relatively cheap, convenient and effective, given our short trip. We only stayed in Brunei from July 21 to 23, 2017. JameAsr Hassanil Bolkiah Our driver first brought us to one of Brunei’s national mosques and the largest mosque in the country, JameAsr Hassanil Bolkiah. It is reportedly a waqf (a charitable endowment under Islamic laws) of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the current sultan of Brunei. The mosque has 4 minarets and 29 golden domes making it even more beautiful at night. It also has a beautifully-landscaped garden at the back, perfect for pictures and yes, even quiet meditation. Entry was prohibited at the time we visited the place, but according to TripAdvisor, entry is allowed on Sundays to Wednesdays at 8 am – 12 noon, 2pm-3pm and […]
Load More