Dear Brunei Darussalam

A stunning image (and article) about the iconic Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

“A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures” is the tagline of the tourism board of Brunei.  I have noticed over the past 6-8 months that I have a steady group of readers in Brunei.  I do not know very much about this country (beyond that Google Images can not find a photo that doesn’t take my breath away… the food, the nature, adventures, coral reef, marine life,  history, heritage, and ceremonies from their exceptional tourism site), but my understanding is that while there is no advisory from the Government of Canada’s travel board (there are trade agreements and investment opportunities between both countries), one should exercise a certain degree of caution in behaviour (ie. dress and act conservatively as in any foreign country – also please forgive my recent blog series) that we might not exhibit in a relatively liberal country like Korea.  Please correct me if I’m wrong!

My understanding is that Brunei is comparable to the fairly recent perception of Laos.  Brunei is a wealthy country (in fact the 4th richest country in the world, whereas Laos is…not), but until now it has been a relatively unknown venture for tourists.  From my research, it seems to be a very modern country dedicated to science and technology.  The country also seems to have a strong commitment to healthcare as well as the welfare of all residents.  I have noticed a steady following of my blog from Brunei (thank you!) and wish that my readers could share with me some tidbits of their lives in what appears to be such a stunning country with beautiful architecture and parts that are relatively untouched nature.  The shopping sounds really extraordinary, and the hawker stalls sound very exciting as well!  I would go for the Mosques (I love beautiful architecture like this) the wildlife, the museums, the beach, the open air markets, and, of course, the Nasi Goreng!

I find this entire country and culture so enticing and exciting, especially because of the ornate architecture and mysterious nature of the Grand Mosques.  I hope that I will have an opportunity to travel to Brunei and see this majestic place once I move to proper Seoul (March 2016!  So soon!).

Additionally, the other Mosque is just as stunning!  Check it out:

Are you interested in teaching in Brunei?  Check out TeachAway’s profile!
Have you been to Brunei?  Are you living in Brunei?  Make sure to email me at with all the details!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. 87pages says:

    Wow, Brunei was never on my list but it sounds like a beautiful place to visit. The Mosque’s are stunning!

  2. Myn says:

    Just stumbled across your blog today – and you’ve found some beautiful pictures 🙂 As a born and bred Bruneian, I can say that the country certainly offers plenty of hidden beauty and culture for travellers but perhaps not tourists. Unlike the mega-cities and tourist-islands (Bali, Koh Samui), I don’t think you’ll find it all laid out for you – useful maps, public transportation, informative posters, signs, audio guides, etc – unless you sign up for a tour group. We’re a small country (population of ~400k) spread out over a fairly large area so transportation will be a challenge, and the country is not pedestrian friendly. In fact, I always say we have ten times more space than Singapore with ten times less people so cars are king! If you keep that in mind and try work around the logistical challenges that we generally take for granted, I think you’ll find plenty to do 🙂 Dress code is honestly not what international media make it out to be; you can wear whatever adheres to basic rules of decency! Shorts and sans-sleeves are fine, except for entry into mosques (where you would need your legs and shoulders covered, but this same rule applies to mosques all around the world and even St Peter’s Basilica). Perhaps avoid anything /too/ risque like crop tops – you wouldn’t get into trouble with the authorities but you may get sidelong stares. The night market (Pasar Malam) is usually bustling with plenty of cheap, local food and cakes to try, the Temburong district is a 1-2 day excursion into the forest by riverboat, Bandar Seri Begawan itself is a very sleepy town with the beautiful SOAS mosque (your first picture) front and centre a short distance from the water village (Kampong Ayer) – hop on a boat, and if you’re lucky the boat driver will point out the Proboscis monkeys. If you do manage to stop over, I hope you have a great time! I travel a lot myself and the main thing I always try to do when arriving at a new destination is to not have any expectations or comparisons to other places – it’s far more rewarding to experience it for what it is, and not for what it lacks. You mentioned Laod, I spent a week there a few years ago and loved it 🙂

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