Bandar Seri Begawan
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Bandar Seri Begawan, also known as BSB or just Bandar, is the capital of Brunei.
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Points of Interest
- Business object
- Civic property
- Golf course
- Green space
- Historic site
- Interesting place
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Points of Interest in Bandar Seri Begawan
Don't expect to find much tasteful and stunning architecture like you would normally find in Southeast Asia. Here, most of the buildings are just plain and box-shaped. However, an interesting twist to the billboards around here, is that the "Jawi" (Arabicized Malay writing) are prevalent among them. Sometimes, foreign names are translated literally, e.g. "Pizza Hut" to "Pondok Pizza".
- Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is open to visitors when it is not being used for prayers. (Opening times are posted by the gate). The Mosque is very welcoming and you will be given a robe upon entry. Remove your shoes before entering and be respectfully quiet inside as there may be some people there meditating and praying. Consider visiting other mosques too. The mosque is visible from around the centre of the city, but the entrance is located on Jalan McArthur, just south of Jalan Elizabeth Dua.
- Jame' Asri Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is another mosque, that resembles Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. Whereas Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque is built to commemorate Sultan Omar, this mosque is to commemorate the current reigning Sultan.
- Kampong Ayer (the water village). Best visited by taxi boat. It's a beautiful sight to see hundreds of houses seemingly floating on water. The water village people are very friendly and many open up their homes to visitors year-round. Water taxis can be found by walking along the Brunei river or the main market in Bandar Seri Begawan and waving one down. Try to negotiate the price down. You shouldn't pay more than B$30 for an hour-long tour (B$15 for half an hour) of Kampong Ayer. Even though the water taxis are not wheelchair-friendly, their drivers are very willing to lend a hand and even team up and carry a person in a wheelchair on board; ask for a larger boat though. If you'd rather not shell out the dough for a water-taxi tour, consider wandering around the villages yourself. You can start from behind the Sultan's Mosque or from the other side in towns like Batu Satu.
- Royal Regalia Museum (Bangunan Alat Kebesaran Diraja) near the city center displays the royal accessories utilized during the coronation, and gifts received by the Sultan from all dignitaries around the world, and civilians alike. Definitely worth checking out. If you don't have time to visit both, and need to choose between this museum or "Brunei Museum" at Kota Batu, choose this one. The entrance is on Jalan Sultan, next to the Brunei History Centre, between Jalan Stoney and Jalan James Pearce.
- Istana Nurul Iman is the residential palace of the Sultan. It is not possible to enter, yet the huge size of the palace attracts tourists to snap picture in front of the gate. The palace is however, hidden behind the landscapes, so a better picture can be seen in flyers or souvenirs that feature it.
- Brunei Museum on the Kota Batu road has an excellent display in the Islamic Art Gallery. It is highly recommended.
After visiting the Brunei Museum, walk along the road toward BSB to visit two tombs: the first is the Tomb of Sharif Ali, the third sultan of Brunei. The green sign by the road is written entirely in Arabic lettering. Further down the road is the Tomb of Sultan Bolkiah, the fifth sultan of Brunei. Both tombs are in easy walking distance from the Museum.
- Malay Technology Museum (Walk a short distance down from the brunei museum). This place has many exhibits featuring the different style of houses and lifestyle of those who live on the water village. Free.
About Bandar Seri Begawan
- Aminah Arif Restaurant. One of a few local restaurants that features the Bruneian delicacy ambuyat and a pretty good range of other food too.
- RMS Portview, opposite the Yayasan Shopping Centre. The terrace offers a great view overlooking Kampong Ayer, great for cooling down after sightseeing.
- Gerai Makan, on the waterfront in the southeastern corner of the city, just across a bridge. Here there are a number of outdoor restaurants serving cheap and tasty fare. It's a great place to relax and soak in the local atmosphere. Great views of stilt villages and water taxis speeding back and forth.
- PGS Cafe, near the Palm Garden at Kiulap. Charges buffet dining at B$6 per head in a pleasant air-conditioned restaurant.
There are plenty of small local Kedai Kopi (coffee shops) in town that sell simple, cheap and tasty food and are frequented by locals.
- Tagz Lounge, Sheraton Utama Hotel. The closest you can get to a bar in an alcohol-free country, here you can bring your own booze and buy the mixers. Access theoretically only for hotel guests, but getting in is rarely a problem.
- The Mall. Probably the best place to shop. Located in Gadong, it is also combined with the Rizqun Hotel.
- Yayasan. Built by the sultan to support the welfare of the people. Located in central Bandar.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Bandar Seri Begawan on Wikivoyage.