Money and Banking

October 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Visitor Info

The local currency is the Brunei Dollar (BND). Dollar notes are available in $1, $5, $10, $50, $100, 500 and $1,000 denominations, while coins are in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent denominations. The Brunei Dollar is pegged to the value of the Singapore Dollar and both currencies can be used in Brunei.
USD1.00 = BND1.65 approx.
EUR1.00 = BND2.10 approx.
For latest rates, please check : www.onebrunei.com

Banking Hours
Banks are generally open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays and 9am to 11am on Saturdays. Most banks are government-approved to handle traveller’s cheques and currency exchange, and most offer ATMs on international networks.

Credit Cards
All major credit cards (Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Diner’s Club) are accepted widely throughout Brunei.

Banks

NAME ADDRESS CONTACT NUMBER
Baiduri Bank Jalan Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 223 3233
Citibank N.A. Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 224 3983
Islamic Development Bank of Brunei Berhad (IDBB) Ground Floor, Setia Kenangan Complex, Kiulap +673 223 2547
Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corp (HSBC) Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 224 2305
Islamic Bank of Brunei (IBB) Jalan Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 223 5686
Malaysian Banking Berhad Jalan Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 224 2494
Overseas Union Bank (OUB) RBA Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 222 5477
Sime Bank Berhad Unit G-02, Komplex Yayasan SHHB Complex +673 222 2516
Standard Chartered Bank Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan +673 224 2386

Tour Agencies

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Visitor Info

Package tours can be one of the most entertaining, informative and hassle-free ways to explore Brunei Darussalam. There are many licensed travel agents in Brunei, most offering package tours ranging from 3-hour coach tours of the capital, to multi-day tours including everything from rainforest excursions to Jerudong Park and Bandar’s urban shopping scene. Any of these agencies will be happy to get you on your way to discovering Brunei’s unexpected attractions.

AGENCY CONTACT NUMBER E-MAIL ADDRESS WEBSITE
Bonasia Holiday Tel: 223 0116 bonasia@brunet.bn www.bonasiaholidays.com
Fax: 223 0400
GoodMILES Tel: 233 1082 mail@goodmilesbrunei.com www.goodmilesbrunei.com
Fax: 233 1753
MegaBorneo TourPlanner Tel: 222 4026 megaborneo@brunet.bn www.megaborneo.com
Fax: 222 4028
Sunshine Borneo Tours & Travel Tel: 244 6509 sales@exploreborneo.com www.exploreborneo.com
Fax: 244 1790
Anthony Tours& Travel Agencies Tel: 222 7969 antours@brunet.bn www.anthonytours.com
Fax: 222 7889
Freme Travel Services Tel: 223 4277 fremebsb@brunet.bn www.freme.com
Fax: 223 4284
Mas Sugara Travel Services Tel: 242 3963 inbound@massugara.com www.massugara.com
Fax: 242 3971
Pan Bright Travel Services Tel: 224 0980 inbound@panbright.com www.panbright.com
Fax: 224 0979
Intrepid Tours Tel: 222 1685 tours@bruneibay.net www.bruneibay.net/intrepidtours
Fax: 222 1687
Mona Florafauna Tours Tel: 223 0761 mft@brunet.bn
Fax: 223 0763
Scuba-Tech International Tel: 241 8888 info@scubatechintl.com www.scubatechintl.com
Fax: 265 2376
Century Travel Centre Tel: 222 1747 century@brunet.bn www.centurytravelcentre.com
Fax: 222 7747
D.D.L  Tour Operators Tel: 234 3946 ddltours@brunet.bn
Fax: 234 3947
Pronine Marketing Tel: 239 0300 eyien.lim@srisentosa.com www.srisentosa.com
Fax: 239 0308
Tabimart Tel: 242 0913 tabimart@gmail.com
Fax: 242 0911
Travel Trade Agencies Tel: 223 3543 tta@brunet.bn www.theway.jp/brunei
Fax: 223 7861
Southern Cross Travel Agencies Tel: 245 4719 southern@brunet.bn www.onebrunei.com
Fax: 245 4724
Ilufah Leisure Tours
Tel: 873 8511
ilufah_aq@brudirect.com www.ilufahaquarium.com/tours.html
Fax: 223 3524

Places To Stay

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Visitor Info

There is a wide choice of hotels, guesthouses and serviced apartments in the capital and throughout the country. Hotel accommodation in Brunei Darussalam caters to all types of visitors, from luxury to business to tourist class. From the impeccable elegance of the “7-star” Empire Hotel & Country Club or the business refinement and efficiency of the Sheraton Utama, to a number of mid-range and budget hotels and guesthouses throughout the nation, visitors will be greeted with friendly service and Brunei’s trademark hospitality.

LUXURY RESORT ACCOMMODATION
NAME
CONTACT NUMBER
WEBSITE E-MAIL ADDRESS
Empire Hotel & Country Club
T : 2418888
www.theempirehotel.com sales@theempirehotel.com
F : 2418999
BUSINESS AND TOURIST CLASS ACCOMMODATION
NAME
CONTACT NUMBER
WEBSITE E-MAIL ADDRESS
Sheraton Utama Hotel
T : 2244272
www.sheraton.com/utama sheraton@brunet.bn
F : 2221579
/ 2228653
The Rizqun International Hotel T : 2423000 www.rizquninternational.com
F : 2428000
The Centrepoint
T : 2430430
www.arhbrunei.com
F : 2430200
Orchid Garden Hotel
T : 2335544
www.orchidgardenbrunei.com ogh@brunet.bn
F : 2335444
Riverview Hotel
T : 2238238
www.mybruneihotels.com/riverview-hotel rivview@brunet.bn
F : 2237999
Brunei Hotel
T : 2242372
www.bruneihotel.com.bn bruhot@brunet.bn
F : 2226196
Terrace Hotel
T : 2243554
www.terracebrunei.com terrahtl@brunet.bn
F : 2227302
Jubilee Hotel
T : 2228070
www.jubileehotelbrunei.com info@jubileehotelbrunei.com
F : 2228080
Grand City Hotel
T : 2452188
www.bruneibay.net/bruneihotels/grandcity.html grandcity@brunet.bn
F : 2452100
Traders Inn
T : 2442828
www.mybruneihotels.com/traders-hotel tradersinn@brunet.bn
LR Asma Hotel
T : 2612218
www.bruneibay.net/bruneihotels/asma.html lrasmahotel@brunet.bn
F : 2612117
The Holiday Lodge
T : 2611618
www.theholidaylodge.com sales@theholidaylodge.com
F : 2611419
Goodview Hotel
T : 2612168
www.mybruneihotels.com/goodview-hotel rivview@brunet.bn
F : 2610168
Plaza Sutera Biru T : 3347268 www.psb.com.bn info@psb.com.bn
F : 3347269
Palm Garden Hotel T : 2233488 palmgarden@brunet.bn
F : 2234448
Capital Hotel
T : 2223561
www.mybruneihotels.com/capital-hotel
F : 2228789
Apek Utama Hotel
T : 2220808
F : 2226166
SERVICED APARTMENTS
NAME
CONTACT NUMBER
WEBSITE E-MAIL ADDRESS
D’Anggerek Service Apartment
T : 2345222
www.danggerek.com inquiry@danggerek.com
F : 2345333
Abd Razak Hotel Apartments
T : 2241536
www.arhbrunei.com arp@arhbrunei.com
F : 2242301
Le Gallery Suites Hotel
T : 8613548
edchua1969@yahoo.com
Komplex Mohammad Yussof Service Apartment
T : 2235532
othman6959@hotmail.com
F : 2235528
GUESTHOUSES
NAME
CONTACT NUMBER
WEBSITE E-MAIL ADDRESS
Nazira Guesthouse
T : 2612053
www.marimari.com/hotel/brunei/nazira hmarzuqi@brunet.bn
F : 2612201
K.H Soon Services And Rest House
T : 2222052
http://khsoon-resthouse.tripod.com
F : 2337264
Seameo Voctech Intn’l House
T : 2447992
www.voctech.org.bn/2004/vih.htm voctech@brunet.bn
F : 2445072
Pusat Belia (Youth Hostel)
T : 2223936
/ 2222900
www.bruneiyouth.org.bn jbsbelia@brunet.bn
F : 2229423
ACCOMMODATION OUTSIDE BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
NAME
CONTACT NUMBER
WEBSITE E-MAIL ADDRESS
Halim Plaza Hotel
(Tutong)
T : 4260688
/ 4260688
www.onebrunei.com halim_plaza_hotel@hotmail.com
F : 4222668
Riviera Hotel
(Belait)
T : 3335252
www.rivierakb.com riviera_htl@brunet.bn
F : 3331052
The Swiss Hotel Apartment
(Belait)
T : 3331668
www.onebrunei.com swisshotel@brunet.bn
F : 3331638
Sea View Hotel
(Belait)
T : 3332651
seaviewhotel@brunet.bn
F : 3342770
/ 3331950
Sentosa Hotel (Belait)
T : 3331345
www.bruneisentosahotel.com enquiry@bruneisentosahotel.com
F : 3331129
Hotel Koperasi Seria
(Belait)
T : 3227592
/ 3227859
F : 3227604
Lukut Intan Guesthouse
(Temburong)
T : 5221078
/ 8896162

Boat

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Getting Around

Water Taxis
Water taxis are the most common means of getting to Kampong Ayer and can be hailed from numerous ‘docking ports’ along the banks of the Brunei River. Regular water taxis also run to Temburong district as well as the Malaysian towns of Limbang, Lawas, Sundar and Labuan.

Ferry Services
Car and passenger ferry services to the Malaysian island of Labuan depart from Serasa Terminal in Muara. The journey ordinarily takes one and a half hours.

SCHEDULED FERRY SERVICES
Departure from Brunei To Time
Seri Anna Labuan 07.30am
Suria Labuan 08.30am
Mutiara Laut II Labuan 09.00am
Beng Seng Speedboat Sundar 10.15am
Utama Lawas Lawas 11.30am
Rajawali Labuan 01.00pm
Duta Muhibbah Labuan 01.00pm
Seri Labuan 3 Labuan 03.30pm
Duta Muhibbah 2 Labuan 04.40pm
Arrival to Brunei From Time
Beng Seng Speedboat Sundar 09.15am
Utama Lawas Lawas 09.30am
Rajawali Labuan 09.45am
Duta Muhibbah Labuan 09.45am
Seri Labuan 3 Labuan 01.30pm
Duta Muhibbah 3 Labuan 02.30pm
Suria Labuan 04.00pm
Mutiara Laut Labuan 05.00pm
Seri Anna Labuan 05.30pm

Air

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Getting Around

Airlines

Royal Brunei Airlines flies to 20 major cities in Asia-Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe via London and Frankfurt. Brunei International Airport is connected to destinations worldwide with service by Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Philippines Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, and Dragonair on a code share basis.

AIRLINE RESERVATIONS INFORMATION
Royal Brunei Airlines 673 224 2222, 224 0505
Philippines Airlines 673 224 4075, 224 4076, 223 6014
Malaysia Airlines 673 222 4141 / 2, 222 3074
Thai Airways 673 224 2991, 224 2992
Singapore Airlines 673 224 4901, 224 4902, 224 2903

Ground

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Getting Around

Many of Brunei’s attractions lie within walking distance of each other in the heart of the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan. A comprehensive public bus system serves the capital and other destinations.

Taxis
Metered taxis are available at most hotels, shopping centres and the airport. In the capital, taxis are located at the Jalan Cator car park.

METERED TAXI FARE
Rates
The 1st kilometre or less from 6am to 9pm B$3.00
The 1st kilometre or less from 9pm to 6am B$4.50
Additional 200 metres or less B$0.20
Every minute of waiting B$0.20

AIRPORT TAXI SERVICE FARE
Place Fare from 6am to 11pm Fare from 11pm to 6am
D’Anggerek Service Apartment B$10.00 B$15.00
Orchid Garden Hotel B$10.00 B$15.00
International Convention Centre B$10.00 B$15.00
Tiong Hin Superstore B$12.00 B$18.00
Sungai Buloh Hostel B$19.00 B$29.00
Muara Town B$25.00 B$38.00
Serasa Ferry Terminal B$26.00 B$39.00
Serasa Beach B$28.00 B$42.00
Seri Lambak Complex B$13.00 B$20.00
Terrace Hotel B$15.00 B$23.00
Sheraton Utama Hotel B$15.00 B$23.00
Capital Hotel B$16.00 B$24.00
Jubilee Hotel B$16.00 B$24.00
Brunei Hotel B$16.00 B$24.00
Yayasan SHHB Complex B$16.00 B$24.00
Crowne Princess Hotel B$18.00 B$27.00
Complex Mohammad Yussof B$18.00 B$27.00
Abdul Razak Hotel Apartment B$18.00 B$27.00
Riverview Hotel B$12.00 B$18.00
Gadong Centrepoint B$13.00 B$20.00
Traders Inn B$14.00 B$21.00
SEAMEO VOCTECH International House B$15.00 B$23.00
Goodview Hotel B$25.00 B$38.00
Holiday Lodge B$25.00 B$38.00
Asma Hotel B$25.00 B$38.00
Nazira Guesthouse B$25.00 B$38.00
Jerudong Park Playground B$25.00 B$38.00
Kuala Lurah (Checkpoint to Limbang) B$30.00 B$45.00
The Empire Hotel and Country Club B$25.00 B$38.00
Tutong Town B$40.00 B$60.00
Seaview Hotel, Kuala Belait B$75.00 B$113.00
Sentosa Hotel, Kuala Belait B$75.00 B$113.00
Sungai Tujuh (Checkpoint to Miri) B$80.00 B$120.00

Car Rentals
Self-drive or chauffeur-driven cars are available for hire from major hotels and the airport.

NAME CONTACT NUMBER
1. Avis Rent-A-Car +673 242 6345 / 244 2284 / 244 6380 / 242 4921
2. Branch – Sheraton Utama Hotel +673 222 7100
3. Azizah Car Rental +673 222 9388 / 785 9888 / 881 8880
4. Booklink +673 244 6380
5. Budget-U-Drive +673 234 5573 / 4
6. Ellis and Sukma Car Rental +673 242 7238 / 242 3777 / 875 0285
7. Hani Car Rental +673 261 1666 / 883 7845
8. Hertz Rent-A-Car +673 245 2244
9. L&W Automobile Rental & Services Sdn Bhd +673 875 2783
10. Qawi Enterprise (Rent-A-Car) +673 265 5550 / 1 / 2
11. Sabli Development & Eng. Co. +673 239 1122 / 877 9421

Buses
There are six bus routes serving Bandar Seri Begawan, with buses running every 15 to 20 minutes. Fares start from B$1.00. Buses to other major towns such as Seria and Kuala Belait depart from the bus terminal located at the Jalan Cator car park in downtown Bandar.

Entry Formalities

October 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Visitor Info

Visas

The government of Brunei Darussalam requires all visitors to have a valid passport and onward tickets or sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country. Visa requirements vary by nationality:

USA: 90 days entry with no visa.

Austria, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom: 30 days entry with no visa.

Australia: Visas granted on arrival for visits not exceeding 30 days.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and Ukraine: 14 days entry with no visa.

A 72-hour transit visa issued on arrival is available to all nationalities except for Israeli passport holders.

All other nationals entering Brunei must obtain visas from any Brunei Darussalam diplomatic mission abroad. Please contact your nearest diplomatic mission for further details regarding visas and entry procedures, or check this website : www.mofat.gov.bn/visainformation/visaarrangements.htm

Customs

Arriving passengers over 17 years of age are eligible to bring in the following items for personal consumption/use:

Cigarettes: 200 sticks

Tobacco: 60 grams

Perfume: 60 ml

Eau de toilette: 250 ml

Alcohol

A non-Muslim over 17-years of age may bring in two bottles of liquor (about 2 litres) and 12 cans of beer for personal consumption, which must be declared to customs upon arrival.

Used Personal Effects

Cigarettes: 200 sticks

Tobacco: 250 grams

Perfume: 60 ml

Eau de toilette: 250 ml

Inoculation

Yellow fever inoculation are required for visitors over one year of age coming from infected areas. Malaria, cholera and small pox have been eliminated from Brunei Darussalam and the inoculation is not needed.

Airport Taxi

Kota Kinabalu & Kuching B$5.00
Other destinations B$12.00

Airport Check-In Times

Please arrive in good time at the airport terminal as this will ensure that your flight operates on schedule. Check local road conditions to avoid possible delay. To enable pre-flight formalities to be concluded, have your baggage screened and checked-in at Brunei International Airport at least one and a half hours before scheduled departure.

Reconfirmation of Bookings

You are required to contact the airline reservation office or its appointed agent for reconfirmation of your outward or return flight at least 72 hours before its scheduled departure date. Failure to do so may result in your reservation being cancelled.

Group Fares

Special fares are available to passengers travelling as a group on certain routes. For details of group rates, please contact your travel agent or any RBA office.

Carriage of Live Animals

Pets and other animals are permitted as checked baggage on all Royal Brunei Airlines flights but can be checked in as manifested cargo. Full details are available from Royal Brunei Airlines’ cargo general enquiry line (Tel: 673 233 3278).

History

October 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Heritage

Ancient history

There is archaeological evidence that early modern humans were present in Borneo 40,000 years ago. These early settlers were later replaced by successive waves of Austronesian migrants, whose descendants form the many ethnic and cultural groups living in Borneo today, alongside more recent immigrants from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and India.

Early Borneo kingdoms were under the cultural, economic and political influence of larger Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in the Indonesian archipelago. There is evidence of early trade with India and China dating as far back as the 6th century, with a rich trade in camphor, spices, precious woods and exotic jungle products in the area that is now modern-day Brunei.

The rise of the Sultans: The Empire of Brunei

Trade with the Arabian Peninsula and with Indian Muslim traders saw the introduction of Islam to Brunei. In 1405, Brunei’s monarch embraced Islam and ruled as Sultan Muhammad, founding a dynasty which continues today. Brunei’s monarchy has the distinction of being the oldest unbroken reigning dynasty in the world.

Brunei’s sovereignty peaked in the 15th and 16th centuries, when it controlled the whole of Borneo and parts of the Philippines. The empire’s vast wealth, derived from international commerce, created a strong impression on early European explorers. They returned to Europe with stories of gold, regalia and majestic ceremonies.

Europeans Arrive

In later centuries, declining trade and colonial intrusions eroded the size and influence of Brunei, especially after the 1839 arrival of James Brooke. A swashbuckling English adventurer, James Brooke was appointed governor, or Rajah, of Sarawak, after helping the Sultan put down a rebellion. However, he soon consolidated power and started expanding the territory under British control, creating his own dynasty of “White Rajahs” that ruled until World War II.

During their rule, the “White Rajahs” continued encroaching on Brunei’s territory, which was also under pressure from British trading companies which had already taken control of present-day Sabah state in Malaysia.

These and other internal disputes prompted the Sultan to accept British protection and control over external affairs. In 1906, Brunei submitted to a British Resident system, giving the British control over home affairs, except for customs and religion. Reduced to a fraction of its former size and wealth, Brunei saw a revival of its fortunes when oil was discovered in 1929. The resulting wealth was judiciously managed and sustained, even during the nation’s occupation by the Japanese during WWII. Following the war, it was the late Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, the true architect of modern Brunei, who set Brunei on its course to modernization.

Modern, Independent Brunei

Today’s Sultan, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th ruler of his line, led Brunei to its independence from the British in 1984. During His Majesty’s reign, a fast-paced modernization program, building upon the nation’s oil wealth, has resulted in a noted improvement in quality of life for all Bruneians. Now leading the nation into the 21st century, His Majesty’s government is responsible for the booming construction and infrastructure expansions which have turned Brunei into one of Southeast Asia’s most developed nations. Attracting foreign investment, improving the nation’s human resources base, and tourism development are all measures that His Majesty and the government are promoting to prepare the nation for the challenges of the future, when oil and gas reserves will have been depleted and a diversified economy will be needed to maintain the high standards of living currently enjoyed by the Bruneian people.

Monuments and Landmarks

October 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Heritage

A glittering example of Brunei’s majestic royal heritage, Istana Nurul Iman is the Sultan’s lavish home in the capital and is the largest residential palace in the world. Situated on the top of a hill overlooking the city, the palace is an enigmatic symbol of Brunei’s enduring monarchy and seat of the nation’s government.

Nearby, the Mausoleum of Sultan Bolkiah pays tribute to one of Brunei’s greatest Sultans, who reigned at the height of Brunei’s sovereignty in the region. It is a peaceful area in a quiet alcove of greenery and exudes the deep respect of the Bruneian people for their rich heritage.

The capital also houses a number of royal museums highlighting the nation’s 600-year old monarchy and century-spanning history. Perhaps the most well-known is the Royal Regalia Museum, where visitors can glimpse the Sultan’s full royal regalia, including the crown and royal chariot, along with a vast collection of opulent treasures. A visit to the Brunei Museum is also a must, with its elaborate displays of antique cannons and intricate daggers, a large private collection of gilded Holy Korans, Borneo ethnographic displays and treasures unearthed from shipwrecks off Brunei’s coasts. Meanwhile, the Brunei History Centre contains genealogical records detailing the origins of the Royal Family and other historical documents significant to the nation.

Though Brunei has embraced Islam and its art, architecture and culture, relics of the colonial days are also integrated seamlessly into the nation’s landscape. The unique House of Twelve Roofs is a good example. This quaint piece of British architecture, once home to the British Resident, has since been transformed into a museum and venue for entertaining foreign dignitaries.

Islamic Heritage

October 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Heritage

With over two thirds of its population professing the Islamic faith, Brunei is ruled according to the national philosophy of the Malay Islamic Monarchy, intertwining Malay traditions with Islam and deep-rooted respect for the nation’s monarchy. Bruneians practice a devout but tolerant brand of Islam, which encompasses sincere respect and devotion, while still remaining open to other faiths and beliefs.

Modern scholars date the spread of Islam to Brunei Darussalam to the late 13th century. Prior to this, ancient Malay Culture was based on animistic and Indic culture. Islam gradually eroded these elements and thus, today’s Malay culture is now more identifiable with Islam.

Visitors to Brunei will see that Islamic influences form a central foundation of the nation’s heritage. As Islam is the foundation for the life of the average Bruneian, many of the nation’s cultural practices and customs are intrinsically linked with religion. Aesthetically, Islam introduced important architectural features such as the ubiquitous mosques and art styles such as the tile mosaics seen throughout the nation. Other culturally enriching additions include the use of Jawi script, the abundance of religious texts and even foods and cooking styles.

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