Brunei, officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and in fact it is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak. It is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo, with the remainder of the island belonging to Malaysia and Indonesia.
Brunei is the world’s oldest reigning monarchy with centuries-old royal heritage. It is one of the only surviving Malay Islamic Monarchy in the world today. Brunei also possesses a multiethnic society with Brunei Malays being the majority.
Brunei shares some demographic similarities with the other Bornean states of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan. The Dayak, Penan, Kadayan and Bisaya people are also found in Brunei. Nonetheless, there are also several ethnic groups which are found exclusively in Brunei such as the Tutong and Belait people.
Despite being a small country, Brunei is also blessed with wonderful pristine rainforests, unspoiled coral reefs, mangrove-dotted islands, as well as gorgeous white beaches which are the signature of Borneo as a whole. For the nature lovers who are keen to experience ecotourism, Brunei has several nature reserves such as the Ulu Temburong National Park and the Kuala Belalong Field Study Centre which promise some exciting adventure.
Take your time to be intimate with nature and visit the beautiful lakeside walkways of Tasik Merimbun. For a solitary treat or just a dose of peace and tranquility, pack your picnic basket and head to Muara Beach. Unlike the beaches in Australia, Bali or Krabi, Muara Beach is rarely crowded with people. Excellent for those who are looking for some seclusion.
At the end of the day, no travelling experience will be complete without a gastronomic adventure. Brunei food mainly resembles those found in other South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, especially in terms of its predilection for rich and spicy food as well as staples such as rice and noodles. However, be sure to sample foods which are uniquely Bruneian such as the serondeng pandag, mangoes with sticky rice, daging masak ladah hitam, spiced fruit salad and black rice pudding.