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Bandar Seri Begawan

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Bandar Seri Begawan

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Bandar Seri Begawan (Jawi: بندر سري بڬاوان ; )(formerly known as Brunei Town) is the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. It is officially governed as a Municipalities of Brunei. Bandar Seri Begawan has an estimated population of 100,700, and including the whole Brunei-Muara District, the metro area has an estimated population of 279,924.


Bandar Seri Begawan is most notable for the absence of the mayhem that is typical of most south-east Asian cities. Central Bandar Seri Begawan is quiet, pleasant, greenery-dotted with a low-skyline that is decorated with minarets and neat arrangements of buildings.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Brunei's sole airport of significance is Brunei International Airport [7] (BWN), the hub of national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines [8]. The airport itself is small but clean and functional.

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) has expanded its network, with daily flights to London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Kota Kinabalu. There are also frequent flights to Bali, Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia; Changsha, Haikou, Hangzhou, Nanning and Shanghai in Mainland China; Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia; Bangkok, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul Incheon, Taipei and Tokyo Narita. RB has started its RB Link services (operated by Malindo Air) to several destinations (Balikpapan, Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Sibu, Sandakan and Tawau) in Borneo using ATR-72 aircrafts. The best prices are usually found on RB's website. Stopovers in Brunei are available and are good value, though you'll usually need to book by phone or through a travel agent. RB is a dry airline.

In addition, Singapore Airlines [9] flies 5 times a week from Singapore, and Malaysia Airlines [10] flies from Kuala Lumpur. In July 2006, discount, no-frills carrier AirAsia [11] started flights from Kuala Lumpur, bringing some much-needed competition. AirAsia is the cheapest carrier to serve Brunei from an international hub, with fares as low as US$35 one-way from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia flies from 35 destinations in Asia to Kuala Lumpur, where connections to Brunei are available. Cebu Pacific [12] flies red-eye flights to Manila.

Departing by plane from Brunei involves paying a departure tax: B$5 for flights to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and B$12 to other international destinations. This is now included in the price of most airline tickets. Getting there/away: A taxi to Bandar Seri Begawan takes 20 minutes and costs around B$25. There is a public bus service from the airport to the bus terminal in Bandar Seri Begawan until 6pm daily. The fare is only B$1. The bus stop is at the Arrival Hall Level, and is located at the left side of the Terminal building. Once you walk through the glass door and leave the air-conditioned part of the Arrival Hall, you will see Jollibee restaurant on your left. Walk straight ahead, then turn left. Do not cross the road into the car park. The bus stop is to your left at the far end. Note that, Darts [13], the local ride service hailing, now operates from the airport, but from the Parking 2 area.

By car[edit]

You can drive into Bandar Seri Begawan from Sarawak, Malaysia. There are two entry points for the main part of Brunei, one from Miri at Sungai Tujuh and one from Limbang at Kuala Lurah (Tedungan on the Malaysian side). Both these crossings have drive-through immigration checkpoints at the border but queues can be horribly long, especially during weekends. The drive from Miri to Bandar Seri Begawan is about 2 to 3 hours, while the drive from Limbang is about 1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the queues at immigration checkpoints.

Note that the border checkpoint opens at 06:00 and closes at 00:00(midnight) daily.

It is possible to drive from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to Bandar Seri Begawan in one day. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page for details.

Get around[edit]

Bandar Seri Begawan is small enough to get around on foot. Most major sights are within walking distance. Only a couple of sights, such as Malay Technology Museum and the Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque are a short bus ride away. Bus fare is only B$1 per ride for adults. Children and senior citizens pay only 50 cents each. Buses operates from 0600 to 2000 daily. However, bus service may be limited before 0630 and after 1800.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Babu's Kitchen, Lorong Gerai Timur, Bandar Seri Begawan, 2457868, [1]. 0700-1800 daily , except Friday (0600-1200; 1400-1800). Local Asian fusion cuisines at reasonable prices B$5.  edit
  • Big Papa's Restaurant, 109 Jln Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8811, 2228222. 0700-1630. Serving Asian food  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Brunei is a "dry" country, meaning that it is illegal to sell alcohol. However, non-Muslims over the aged of 17 are allowed to bring in duty free of 2 bottles of liquors and 12 cans of beers. Declaration forms are available at airport and from duty free shops at land borders.

The locals like to hangout at the numerous cafes found in town.

  • Gloria Jean's Coffee, Jalan Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Begawan, 2241477, [2]. 0700-0000. An Australian retail coffeehouse chain company.  edit
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Mayapuri Building, Lot 36 & 37, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8611, 2220589, [3]. 0900-0000. an American coffee chain  edit
  • Another Cafe, Wisma Jaya, G8, Jln Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8811, 222 3012, [4]. 0730-1930. Locally owned cafe serving good gourmet coffee  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

It seems that there are more and more hostel-style accommodation popping up in different areas in the town centre. Use online booking websites to search for the accommodation available.

For hotel accommodation, the online rates are usually cheaper than walk in rates.

  • The Brunei Hotel, 95 Jln Pemancha, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8811, 2244828, [5]. A newly refurbished hotel right in the centre of town.  edit
  • Jubilee Hotel, Jubilee Plaza, Jalan Kampong Kianggeh, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8111, [6]. A reasonably priced hotel next to the Kianggeh Market and it is just a short walk to the town centre.  edit


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