Explore the capital of this independent, oil-rich country and you will find a bounty of exciting activities in the city.
Eat + Drink
Try the national dish ambuyat, a soft, gooey substance made from sago palm tree starch, and traditionally served with dips made with binjai, a local sour fruit, or tempoyak (fermented durian).
Make your way to Gadong Night Market to sample this delicacy or other local delights. Fancy a pint? You won’t find any bars serving alcohol in Brunei as it’s forbidden to be sold in the country. But as a non-Muslim tourist, you can bring your own booze into the country in limited quantities. (Simpang 37)
While in town, go see (read: Instagram) the stunning, history-rich Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, whose construction was begun by the 28th Sultan of Brunei. Later, take a speed boat tour of the world’s largest village on water, Kampong Ayer. Known as the “Venice of the East”, this settlement and its interconnected stilt houses on the Brunei River offer a rare insight into a traditional way of living. (Jl. McArthur, BS8711)
Visit Tamu Kianggeh for a true local experience. Market vendors sell a variety of food, antiques, souvenirs and more. Or, pop into The Box, a chic lifestyle mall, built using multiple shipping containers. (Jl. Sungai Kianggeh, BS8111; Simpang 175, Jl. Telanai, BA2312)
Splurge for a room at The Empire Brunei (from $270 a night), a gorgeous golf and spa retreat with a six-storey glass atrium with an epic view of the hotel’s exclusive beach.
Getting There + Around
There are regular, direct flights on Singapore Airlines and Royal Brunei Airlines to the capital. Once there, hop onto its public buses for the cheapest way around town. Or, use a ride-hailing app, Dart, to get a taxi.
By Melodi Ghui, The Finder Issue 301, December 2019
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