Brunei Darussalam is a Malay Muslim Monarchy on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo, immensely rich in oil which has been exploited since 1929.

It has a tiny population of about 276,300 including immigrant workers. Over 30,000 live in the water Village (Kampong Ayer), in houses on stilts on the banks of the Brunei River. The majority residents are Malays, with large communities of Chinese, Europeans and Indians as well as a number of indigenous tribes, mainly live in the interior.

Brunei Darusalam is one of the most ancient sovereign States in South East Asia. It was referred to Chinese history during the six century AD as a country 45 days sailing from China and rejoicing under the names of ‘Polo, Poli, Ye-po-ti, Pinu or P’o-ni, thought to be early names for Brunei. By the tenth century, Brunei had emerged as a Kingdom of the Buddhist Srivijaya empire of Sumantra. Srivijaya eventually gave away to the Hindu Majapahit empire of Java, which in turn was destroyed by Muslim invaders in the fifteenth century. Islam came to Brunei shortly before the collapse of Majapahit. Brunei rose to the height of its power in the sixteenth century, and played an important role in the propagation of Islam.

Our comments

A city tour will suffice to cover Bandar Darussalam to get a feel of the city. The main highlights are the Palace & the floating village. There are also wildlife & longhouse tours here. If you have the budget, stay at the Empire hotel & Country Club, it is opulently decorated like a palace home…

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