Brunei has always been one of those countries that you hear a lot of things. In preparation for my Malaysia-Singapore-trip, I had mostly read that Brunei is a boring place to visit. Most places are closed by ten pm and they do not serve alcohol. I was still curious, so I decided to visit and see for myself.
Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan is small. From Miri, in Malaysia, there are two buses going to Bandar Seri Begawan daily and there are also two buses from Brunei to Miri daily as well. You could also fly in, as the small country has an airport. Brunei is not very big so one night should be enough. And compared to the rest of South East Asia, Brunei is expensive, so prepare to pay a lot for hotels in the city centre.
At the tourist information they have maps for a walking tour through the city centre. The walking tour is rather nice and takes you to all the major sites in Bandar Seri Begawan. As most places are only to see from the outside, the walking tour should take around an hour. During your tour, you should definitely visit the Royal Regalia. It’s museum and shows you all about the Sultan and his collection of various items.
I went for the walking tour by myself on my first afternoon. For the next morning, before my bus back to Miri left, I booked a guided tour to see the proboscis monkeys and the mangroves along Brunei River. I booked the tour at Pan Bright Travel Service and it costs about B$70 (~€43,50 or ~$52). That was more than I would usually pay for a tour, especially given that I had to pay twice as they only do the tour for a minimum of two people paying. It was still worth it though and I would do it all over again.
All in all, Brunei was nice. Not more, not less. I don’t think that I will ever come back to Brunei, seeing it once was good though. So here’s the tough question for me, would I recommend visiting Brunei? In all honesty, probably not. But I would also not discourage you from visiting. If you have ever been to Brunei, what do you think about the country? Did you like it? And more importantly, would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments.