Traveling tips for Brunei – what you should know before a trip to Brunei

Wondering what you need to know before you enter Brunei? Brunei, a tiny oil-rich nation on the island of Borneo, offers a unique blend of Islamic culture, lush rainforests, and stunning architecture. Whether you’re interested in exploring the Royal Regalia Museum, admiring the majestic mosques, or trekking through the Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei has something for everyone.

In this article, we’ll share valuable insights and practical tips to help you make the most of your trip to Brunei. From understanding the best time to visit and what to wear to respecting local customs and trying delicious street food, we’ll cover it all.

Our article is designed to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate Brunei like a pro. So, read on and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this beautiful and culturally rich country.

What do you need to enter Brunei?

To enter Brunei, you’ll need the following:

  1. Passport Validity: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your arrival date.
  2. Blank Passport Pages: You need at least one blank page for the entry stamp. If you’re applying for a visa, ensure you have six blank visa pages.
  3. Visa Requirements: Most travelers require a visa to enter Brunei. In some cases, you may be able to obtain and pay for a visa on arrival. However, it’s advisable to check with the nearest high commission or consulate of Brunei for the latest details.
  4. E-Arrival Card: Before arriving in and departing from Brunei, you’re required to complete an E-Arrival Card online. This applies to air, land, and sea routes.
  5. Vaccinations: No specific vaccinations are required for entry.
  6. Currency Restrictions: Be aware that there’s a currency restriction of BND 15,000 for both entry and exit.

Things To Do In Brunei

Brunei offers a mix of rich Islamic culture, lush rainforests, and stunning architecture. Here are some top things to do:

  1. Explore the Heritage: Visit the Royal Regalia MuseumBrunei Museum, and Malay Technology Museum to delve into the sultanate’s history.
  2. Admire the Mosques: The Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien and Masjid Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah are must-see for their majestic architecture.
  3. Visit the Palace: The Istana Nurul Iman is the world’s largest residential palace and a sight to behold.
  4. Connect with Nature: The Ulu Temburong National Park and Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park offer ecotourism and adventure activities.
  5. Recreational Parks: Enjoy the beauty of Tasek Lama Recreational Park and Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas in Bandar Seri Begawan
  6. Cultural Sites: In Muara, see The Big Mural of Dewan Bahasa and Cendera Lambang Kenangan

What is the best month to go to Brunei?

The best time to visit Brunei is between January and May. During these months, it’s the dry season, and the weather is not excessively hot, with temperatures ranging between 23°C and 31°C.

However, if you prefer a more vibrant atmosphere, consider visiting from June to September, which is the high tourist season in Brunei. Keep in mind that Brunei has a tropical climate, so it remains hot and humid throughout the year.

What to wear when visiting Brunei?

When visiting Brunei, it’s important to dress modestly to respect the local Islamic culture. Here are some guidelines:

  • For Both Men and Women: Wear clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Opt for loose-fitting clothes in breathable fabrics like cotton or linen.
  • For Women: Avoid revealing clothing such as sleeveless tops, shorts, and low-cut outfits. While a headscarf (hijab) is not mandatory for non-Muslim women, wearing one can be seen as a sign of respect in religious sites.
  • Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or sandals are recommended. Remember to remove your shoes before entering homes or mosques.
  • Weather Appropriate: Brunei has a tropical climate, so light and airy clothing is ideal. Carry an umbrella or raincoat during the rainy season.

What is Brunei best known for?

Brunei is best known for its vast oil and gas reserves, which have given it one of the world’s highest standards of living. The country is also famous for its royal family, particularly Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who possesses a significant private fortune.

Culturally and historically, Brunei is recognized for its beautiful Islamic architecture, such as the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the Istana Nurul Iman Palace, the latter being the world’s largest residential palace. Additionally, Brunei’s virgin rainforests and the world’s largest floating village, Kampong Ayer, are major attractions.

For those interested in nature, Brunei’s Ulu Temburong National Park offers a pristine ecosystem largely untouched by human activity. The country’s commitment to preserving its natural and cultural heritage makes it a unique destination in Southeast Asia

What is the coldest month in Brunei?

The coldest month in Brunei is January, with an average temperature of 82°F (approximately 28°C). Although Brunei has a mainly tropical rainforest climate, January experiences relatively cooler temperatures compared to other months. If you’re planning a visit, this time of year offers more comfortable weather for outdoor activities.

How long is the visa for Brunei?

The tourist visa for Brunei is valid for 90 days. It typically allows a single entry and a stay of up to 30 days, although this duration may vary based on your nationality and the issuing embassy. The cost for a tourist visa is approximately 20 BND (around 15 USD). Remember to check the specific requirements and validity based on your nationality before planning your trip!

What are the transportation options in Brunei?

Getting around in Brunei is relatively straightforward due to its small size. Here are the transportation options:

  1. Rental Cars: You can cruise down the highways connecting Brunei’s districts in a rental car. It’s a convenient way to explore the country at your own pace.
  2. Water Taxis: For a unique experience, take a leisurely meander around the water village in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, using a traditional water taxi. These boats navigate the waterways and provide scenic views of the city.
  3. Public Buses: Brunei has an urban and interdistrict public transportation bus network. Buses operate based on franchised and commercial services, with stops and interchanges throughout the country.
  4. Taxis and Private Drivers: While Brunei has only a handful of active cabs, you can hire a taxi or a private driver. Keep in mind that taxis can be expensive, so it’s advisable to get the number of a reliable driver from your hotel for emergencies or when you miss the last bus.

Popular restaurants and street food

In Brunei, you’ll find a delightful mix of popular restaurants and street food options that cater to various tastes. Here’s a brief guide to help you explore the culinary scene:

Popular Restaurants:

  • Thiam Hock Restaurant: Known for its local cuisine, this restaurant has a good reputation among both locals and tourists.
  • Gwad Bhasa Arabic Restaurants: Offers authentic Arabian dishes and is highly rated for its flavors.
  • Excapade Sushi: A favorite for Japanese cuisine lovers, providing an extensive menu selection at affordable prices.
  • Charcoal BBQ & Grill Restaurant: Serves American-style grilled dishes in a comfortable setting.

Street Food Delights:

  • Ambuyat: Brunei’s national dish, a thick porridge served with a variety of condiments.
  • Nasi Katok: A simple yet beloved dish consisting of rice, fried chicken, and sambal (chili paste).
  • Roti Kahwin: A sweet and savory treat combining butter and kaya (coconut jam) spread on toast.
  • Soto: A hearty soup that’s perfect for any meal, often featuring chicken, beef, or shrimp.

For a more immersive experience, consider visiting the Gadong Night Market, where you can indulge in a wide range of local street foods and interact with the friendly vendors.


Can I use credit cards in Brunei?

In Brunei, you can use credit cards for various transactions. Here are some details about credit card usage in Brunei:

1. Credit Card Options:

  • BIBD (Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam) offers credit cards with benefits like shopping rewards, points, and discounts. They have different card tiers, including Standard, Gold, Platinum, and Priority Banking cards.
  • Baiduri Bank also provides credit cards, including the Baiduri Visa Classic Credit Card, which allows you to earn bonus points that don’t expire. You can redeem these points at local establishments or convert them to Royal Skies miles or KrisFlyer miles.

2. Benefits and Considerations:

  • Common Benefits: Cash rebates, discounts at merchants (restaurants, cafes, etc.), points for products/services, free/discounted airport lounge access, and travel insurance.
  • Security and Responsible Use: Clear your balance every month to avoid high interest rates. Be cautious about overspending.
  • Merchant Acceptance: Some cards may have issues with certain merchants, so choose based on your spending habits and needs.
  • Overseas Usage: Baiduri is better for overseas transactions, while BIBD may have limitations with some merchants.

3. Specific Banks:

  • BIBD: Good for local benefits but may have issues with certain merchants.
  • Baiduri: Offers RB Air Miles and easier overseas use. Security may be a concern.
  • Standard Chartered Bank (SCB): Secure but has a less favorable points rewards system

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