Interesting facts about Brunei

brunei flag

Brunei is a tiny nation on the island of Borneo, in 2 distinct sections surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea.

The official name of the country is the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace.

The official language is Malay.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Brunei Darussalam was estimated to be 426,444 people.

It is the 164th largest country in the world by area with 5,765 square kilometers (2,226 square miles).

Bandar Seri Begawan formerly known as Brunei Town, is the capital and largest city of Brunei. The city lies along the Brunei River near its mouth on Brunei Bay, an inlet of the South China Sea on the northern coast of the island of Borneo.

bandar seri begawan

Brunei sits mostly within the Borneo lowland rain forests, and its landscape is a fertile, hilly lowland – with the exception being the mountainous areas in the east.

The highest point of the country is Bukit Pagon at 1,850 meters (6,069 feet) along the border with Malaysia.

bukit pagon

Brunei has 161 kilometers (100 miles) of coastline.

Ulu Temburong National Park was the first national park to be established in Brunei, protected since 1991. The park is in Temburong District in eastern Brunei, and covers about 40% of the district in the south at 550 square kilometres (210 square miles).

ulu temburong national park

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is an Islamic mosque located in Bandar Seri Begawan. The mosque is often considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific, it is a place of worship for the Muslim community, a major historical site and a famous tourist attraction of Brunei.

omar ali saifuddien mosque

Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, located in Bandar Seri Begawan, is the largest mosque in Brunei. It was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultan’s reign, and opened in 1994. It is known locally as the Kiarong mosque.

jame'asr hassanil bolkiah mosque

The Istana Nurul Iman is the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, and the seat of the Brunei government. The palace is located on a leafy, riverside sprawl of hills on the banks of the Brunei River, a few kilometers south of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei’s capital city. The palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality.

istana nurul iman

Royal Regalia Building contains the full regalia of Sultan, including the crown and royal chariot, together with the massive collection of treasure.

royal regalia building

The Billionth Barrel Monument was built in 1991 to commemorate the production of the billionth barrel of oil produced in the onshore oil field in Seria, the oil producing town in Brunei. The monument is located near the first well discovered in Seria Oil Field. In the same place where the monument is located, you can also see the nodding donkeys, the instruments that are used to pump oil.

billionth barrel monument

Jerudong Park is an amusement park in Brunei. It is the largest and most expensive amusement park in South East Asia, built and funded by the Bruneian government for $1 billion. It is notable that during its first few years of operation, Jerudong Park featured no admission fees and free rides.

jerudong park

The Sultanate of Brunei’s heyday occurred between the 15th and 17th centuries, when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984.

Brunei has an absolute monarchy and a hereditary nobility, with the sultan awarding titles to commoners.

The Sultan of Brunei is the second richest royal in the world, behind only the King of Thailand. He had an estimated wealth of $20 billion in 2011, according to Forbes.

sultan of brunei

The Sultan also serves as Defense Minister, Prime Minister, and Finance Minister of Brunei.

Rich in oil and natural gas, the people of this Muslim sultanate enjoy high subsidies and generous health care.

The 2015 per-capita GDP in Brunei was US $54,537 — ranking them 10th in the world.

Ambuyat is the national dish of Brunei. It is a dish derived from the interior trunk of the sago palm. It is a starchy bland substance, similar to tapioca starch.

Brunei has one of the highest car-ownership rates in the world. Statistically, there are 2.65 people per vehicle.

Traditionally Bruneians do not shake hands with people of the opposite sex.

In Brunei it is considered impolite to point with one’s index finger. The thumb is used instead.

Brunei passed a law in 2014 making homosexuality punishable by stoning to death.

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