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Brunei

Brunei

Etymology

According to legend, Brunei was founded by Awang Alak Betatar, later to be Sultan Muhammad Shah. He moved from Garang, a place in the Temburong District to the Brunei River estuary, discovering Brunei. According to legend, upon landing he exclaimed, Baru nah (loosely translated as “that’s it!” or “there”), from which the name “Brunei” was derived. He was the first Muslim ruler of Brunei. Before the rise of the Bruneian Empire under the Muslim Bolkiah Dynasty, Brunei is believed to have been under Buddhist rulers. It was renamed “Barunai” in the 14th century, possibly influenced by the Sanskrit word “varuṇ” (वरुण), meaning “seafarers”. The word “Borneo” is of the same origin. In the country’s full name, Negara Brunei Darussalam, darussalam (Arabic: دار السلام‎‎) means “abode of peace”, while negara means “country” in Malay. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Brunei Functional Programming Meetup – We are the Functional Programming community in Brunei. We learn Haskell, Lisp, Clojure or other languages, and exchange ideas around the concepts involved with functional programming. [meetup]

Brunei Geek Meet – This group intends to provide a space for technology enthusiasts who get together and have an informal meetup where anybody can- give a talk about a certain topic of interest, tell a war story that they faced.. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Brunei Darussalam Dating – Have you tried all the traditional ways to find someone special in Brunei darussalam? Are you tired of the Brunei darussalam bar & club scene, coming home to an empty house, lonely tables-for-one at those romantic Brunei darussalam restaurants, disastrous blind dates set up by your matchmaking friends, Brunei darussalam local singles groups, singles events and meetings with no results?? [connecting singles]

One Love Net – Brunei Darussalam Free Singles, Profiles, Dating, Love & Personals. [one love net]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Lambir Waterfall National Park Self-Exploration Private Trip – Visit Lambir Hill National Park, famous for its numerous waterfalls and the main pool with sandly beach in the middle of the jungle. Create your own adventure as you explore this natural wonder on your own. [city discovery]

Lambir Waterfall National Park Self-Exploration Trip – Visit Lambir Hill National Park, famous for its numerous waterfalls and the main pool with sandly beach in the middle of the jungle. Create your own adventure as you explore this natural wonder on your own. [city discovery]

Selirong Island Mangrove Tour – Visit one of the most unique forest parks in Brunei. Go on a scenic boat ride and enter another world full of unique and captivating sights, sounds and smells. Walk along a plank walkway and learn along the unique world of mangrove. [city discovery]

Selirong Island Mangrove Private Tour – Visit one of the most unique forest parks in Brunei. Go on a scenic boat ride and enter another world full of unique and captivating sights, sounds and smells. Walk along a plank walkway and learn along the unique world of mangrove. [city discovery]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Admire the 2 Amazing Mosques – Brunei is a Muslim country and is home to some amazing architectural Mosques. The two that you must admire are the Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque (the biggest one in Brunei) and the picturesque one called the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin (shown in photo). Both are just a short distance away from each other and absolutely worth a visit. [the hungry partier]

Eat Nasi Goreng – Literally translated as “fried rice,” Nasi Goreng is one of the tastiest local food that you can get in Brunei! This dish is stir fried rice that has chicken, egg, prawns, shallots, garlic, tamarind, chilli and spiced with sweet soy sauce. It is usually eaten as a roadside food, but you can also order it in many restaurants around town. [the hungry partier]

Explore Ulu Temburong National Park – Known as the “Green Jewel of Brunei,” Ulu Temburong Park was the #1 attraction and my biggest draw towards visiting Brunei. If you look at a map of Brunei, you’ll see that the country is split into a big Western chunk and a little eastern chunk of land. Ulu Temburong National Park covers about 50% of that Eastern part of Brunei. [the hungry partier]

Go to Gadong Town – Gadong is a suburb of Bandar Seri Begawan, that is just 5km away from the city center. It is the largest metropolitan area in Brunei, and it is known as the commercial center for young and old people alike. On any given day, this district has many activities going on, and major shopping outlets such as the Jaya Hypermart and Seri Kenangan Complex. [the hungry partier]

Graze thru the Open Air Market – The Kianggeh market has local foods, vegetables, hand-crafted goods and more! The best times to go are on Friday and Saturday morning, where it is very crowded and colorful. I found some exotic fruits (durian, anyone?) as well as some tasty locally made treats. [the hungry partier]

Learn something at the Brunei Museum – Established in 1965, this national museum is absolutely worth a visit- and it’s free of entry! The museum has 3 galleries. The first is about animals and plants of Brunei, the second is about the booming oil economy, and the last one is about Islam in Brunei. It is very interesting to learn about, and you will see some cool artifacts that were gathered across the Islamic world. [the hungry partier]

See some Proboscis Monkeys & Wildlife – Proboscis Monkeys are the ugly monkeys that are just painfully adorable. I am sure you’ve seen pictures of them before, and you can see them for real life in Brunei in their natural habitat! They are actually native to Borneo Island (the island that Brunei is on), so it’s even better because you don’t have to go to a zoo to see them. [the hungry partier]

Visit Muara Beach – Muara is perhaps the nicest beach getaway in the small country of Brunei. It is located on the most northern tip of Brunei in the town that is actually named Muara. To the north is the South China Sea, and to the south is the Brunei Bay. It’s not necessarily a picture perfect beach that you’d imagine, but a nice shoreline that offers a great place to spend the afternoon or a few days. [the hungry partier]

Visit the Museum of Malay Technology – If you are out of things to do in Brunei (which is likely after a few days) then take a trip to this museum. It’s located in Kota Batu, in Begawan, next to the Brunei Museum. There are 3 exhibition halls, featuring how things were done in ancient times. You’ll learn about things like boat making, fishing, goldsmithing, etc. [the hungry partier]

Water Taxi Thru Kampung Ayer – Kampung Ayer is the largest water village in the world. It is home to over 40,000 people, or roughly 10% of the entire country’s population! It is located right along the main river in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. [the hungry partier]

Festivals

Festivals

End of Ramadan – Eid al-Fitr is the celebrated at the end of Ramadan or the month of fasting, which is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. There is also no set date, but it usually takes place in August. Children are given presents and money, and everyone wears new clothes. Muslims go to the mosque in the morning for special Eid prayers, worship and thanksgiving. The rest of the day is all about eating and socializing with friends and family. [iexplore]

First Day of Hijra – This day celebrates the migration of the prophet Muhammad and his followers to Medina from Mecca. This festival also marks the Islamic New Year, so it doesn’t have a fixed date but typically falls in June/July. [iexplore]

Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday – An Islamic holiday without a fixed date, Muhammad’s Birthday usually falls in January/February. The Sultan and the rest of the royal Brunei family typically lead a procession throughout Bandar Seri Begawan. [iexplore]

Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day – Armed Forces Day is celebrated every May 31 to pay tribute to the dedicated men and women behind the Royal Brunei army. You will see displays of artillery, exhibitions, parachuting, and military parades. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

By boat – 209 km; navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m. [wikitravel]

By bus – Around the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, there is a good-sized network of purple minibuses. Brunei’s high rate of private car ownership means very few Bruneians take these buses, which largely cater to foreign workers. The speed of the buses are limited to 50km/h but are actually quite efficient and reliable. Note that bus routes cease operation before 8pm. [wikitravel]

By car – There is one “motorway”, from Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital) along the coast. It devolves into dual and then single carriageway but is suitable for all vehicles, right through to Kuala Belait and the toll bridge to Malaysia/Sarawak in the west) [wikitravel]

By taxi – There are only ± 40 taxis in whole Brunei (2009), because the car ownership and usage are high. Since there are around 10 waiting at the airport and 8 in the Belait District there is a little chance of finding a free taxi along the road, especially during morning and afternoon peak hours when they are hired by business men. Needing a taxi might require a phone call. The main taxi stand is direct north of the bus station in the capital with only a few taxis waiting. [wikitravel]

By tour vans – Another alternative is hiring a tour van to drive you around Brunei, for example, for a whole day, or several hours. Try asking them from the ferry counters in Muara. Discuss the price first before agreeing to board the van. [wikitravel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Anak IT Brunei – Anak IT Brunei; a table to share knowledge and experience voluntarily, a group for anyone interested in IT, a community where it was set up by the Bruneians, for Bruneians, created as a centre of learning for the locals to share their knowledge in the IT field. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Your Expat Community in Brunei – Selamat dating and a warm welcome to your InterNations Community of expats in Brunei. InterNations gives you access to a comprehensive library of resources especially created to support and guide expats, as well as many events and groups where you can meet up with fellow global minds in real life. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Brunei

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