Having moved 45 times in my 47 years, there are very few places that I would consider to be home, other than the current roof over my head. This attitude changed when I spent 8 years in Brunei Darussalam. Brunei for short, and no folks it is nowhere near the Middle East! This idyllic abode is a tiny nation on the tip of Borneo on the South China sea, aptly named the Abode of Peace.

Brunei is a Sultanate run by the Sultan of Brunei – Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The main language is Malay, Chinese and English. The currency is the Brunei $ which is pegged to the Singapore $. The main economy is from Oil and Gas in the South China sea.


Now some may think that I like this place because this is where I met the love of my life, and that may be partly true, but this is the first place I have ever felt at home and comfortable. Alcohol is forbidden, gambling is forbidden and there are no taxes. The local markets, eateries and jungles are wonders to explore.


Brunei is not the traditional tourist destination because it has no real “resort” type places and it doesn’t have the inevitable hoards of Western tourists, a la Phuket and Bali, bringing their behaviours and attitudes down upon the locals. No Brunei is relatively unspoilt by these types of things. Just another thing to love about the place.


Here are a few things that are worth a look if you are ever fortunate to go there –


Kampong Ayer – Literal translation is the Water Village, and this is exactly what it is. For $10 or $20 Brunei you can take a water taxi around and get a thrill and an interesting insight to a different way of life.


Kampong Ayer, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Daru...

Kampong Ayer, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Empire Hotel – A six star luxury hotel with some rooms at $20000 Brunei per night.


Freshwater Pool, Empire Hotel, Brunei

Freshwater Pool, Empire Hotel, Brunei (Photo credit: Don Shearman)


Istana – The Royal Palace – Especially when the Sultan has a meet and greet.

Royal Palace

Royal Palace (Photo credit: gordontour)

There are flights on the national airline too and from many countries, as well as other major airlines. A few days should be enough of a taste. Be warned you may just fall in love with the tranquility and the local lifestyle.