Brunei Darussalam is probably the least noticed independent country with a lot of exciting destinations for nature lovers. Brunei is a sovereign Sultanate governed by the Sultan. This country lies between Singapore and Malaysia.
Brunei Darussalam means ‘Abode of Peace’. As the name suggests, its indeed a peaceful place. Its a small country with a handful of cities and population less than 3,50,000. You can see people from different parts of the world, with different culture, traditions and customs.
If you are looking for the interesting places to visit in Brunei, Read on…
1. Kampong Ayer / Water Village
Kampong Ayer is the traditional Brunei village built on Brunei River. There are about 30000 or more people living in houses built on stilts. The tourists can visit the water village with the help of water taxis or boats. It almost feels like the entire village is floating over the river. The residents of this village use boats and plank walkways for transport.
All the necessary amenities like schools, hospital, mosque, post office, power station, work shops have been provided for this village. You can see boats parked in the front yard of the houses and kids swimming playfully. Kampong Ayer was given the name ‘Venice of the East’ by the visitors earlier.
2. Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
This impressive mosque is located at the capital city Bandar Seri Bagwan. It’s built with an outstanding design and extravagant resources from all over the world. There is beautiful lagoon beside this mosque which adds beauty to the symbol of Royal Islamic faith. This is considered to be the largest mosque of South East Asia.
Non-Muslims are also allowed to enter the mosque on prescribed timings. You need to leave your foot ware outside and women will have to wear ‘burkha’, which is available right in front door of the mosque. The mosque maintains a register to track all the visitors and you need to enter your name and country in it. Photography is prohibited inside the mosque, but you are free to take snapshots of the picturesque view outside.
3. The Istana Nurul and Taman Persiaran Damuan – The Royal Palace of the Sultan
The Istana Nurul Iman is considered to be the largest residential palace in the world. The golden domes and vaulted roofs of this palace are built in Malay Muslim architecture. This huge palace claims to have more than 1700 rooms and more than 250 rest rooms. The palace is open to visitors and tourists during the Hari Raya festival which falls in the month of November.
Hari Raya is a Muslim festival of great importance. All throughout Brunei celebrations and decorations can be seen. If you happen to visit the Royal Palace during this season, then you will be greeted by the royal family and staff and goodies are given for kids as a token of love and affection.
4. Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is a magnificent one in the heart of the capity city of Brunei. It has got a sea-blue based roof designs with golden domes. This mosque is considered as the greatest monument of Islamic Values. The architecture and interior design of this mosque is indeed jaw-dropping. It’s situated over a huge area of landscaped terrain with beautiful foundains and garden. Visitors are allowed to enter the mosque to get the feel of this breath-taking fine artistry.
5. Jerudong Park Playground
Jerudong Park is a huge playground which was built in early 90’s over 1 billion dollar. The park is meant for amusement and there are quite number of rides for you to have. Carousel, race tracks, giant drop, dancing fountain, haunted house, kids bouncers, shooting centre, electric train and scooter, bumper cars, go-karts and boat riding are some of the exciting surprises here.
The Jerudong park playground was losing people’s interest mainly because the rides were either shut down or closed for maintenance. But recently, there have been a total revamping for the whole of park and it’s likely to bring back more visitors.
A huge 5D amphitheater is also planned in coming days.
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