The little nation that packs a lot in…
Famed for its golden beaches, golden mosques and emerald rainforests, Brunei is a tiny Islamic nation on the island of Borneo, occupying two distinct sections surrounded by Malaysia and the South China sea.
Its cultured capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is home to the glittering Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque and its 29 golden domes; Brunei’s ruling sultan resides within the ornate Istana Nurul Iman palace. Brunei is also home to the largest oilfields in Southeast Asia and is famed for the retail thrills (gold a go-go) on offer in its capital (don’t come here expecting booze, though).
There’s plenty of untapped greenery here, too: take a traditional Iban longboat to Ulu Temburong National Park, a 500 sq km swath of pristine wilderness in the country’s south-east. Keep your eyes peeled for crocs, hornbills and monkeys in the mangrove forest, and squirrels and reptiles in the undergrowth. Don’t miss the stilted water village Kampong Ayer, situated over Brunei Bay, where roughly 10 per cent of the nation’s population resides in overwater houses.
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