Your guide to Brunei

17th May 2018

This month marks the beginning of Star Clippers’ new range of sailings in and around the south-east Asian island of Borneo. Departing out of Singapore and finishing in the Malaysian port of Kota Kinabalu, or reverse, these mesmerising itineraries offer a chance to delve into the diverse range of cultures this island has to offer, as well as providing a chance to visit smaller ports and traverse narrower waterways.

Also situated on the island of Brunei is Brunei – one of the smallest nations on earth. Docking into the port of Bandar Seri Begawan, passengers on these cruises will be able to enjoy a unique opportunity to experience Brunei and everything it has to offer. This week, we take a closer look at what you may be able to enjoy during your visit.

Sultan’s Palace


One of the most iconic landmarks of Brunei is the impressive Istana Nurul Iman Palace. Covering an area of 300 acres and featuring a total of 1,788 rooms, it is the largest residential palace in the world that is still in occupation. With glistening white walls and topped with an impressive golden dome, this is perhaps the most synonymous landmark of Brunei. While it is only to the public for three days every year, it is worth taking a moment to admire the exterior design of the majestic landmark.



Another building to feature a golden – and should therefore not be confused with the palace – is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque. Also featuring Italian marble walls and ornate carpets – combining to make what many consider to be one of the world’s most beautiful mosques. It also features a series of tunnels, which are used by the sultan on journeys through the town.

Other mosques in Bandar Seri Begawan that are worth taking a moment to admire include the Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – the largest mosque in Brunei and was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultan’s reign. There is also the Ash Shaliheen Mosque, for which the architecture is thought to have been inspired by landmarks in Saudi Arabia and Cordoba, Spain.



There are a number of fascinating museums worth visiting during your time in Bandar Seri Begawan, offering an insight into the history of this small nation. A good place to start would be the Brunei Museum, which is located on an archaeological site at Kota Batu. It offers an insight into the Islamic and natural history of the area, housing a number of fascinating artefacts.

It is worth noting the UK has particularly good ties with the Sultan of Brunei and this is reflected in the Bumbungan Dua Belas – otherwise known as the House of Twelve Roofs. Situated in the Jalan Residency, it was originally built in 1906 and war formerly the official residence of British residents and high commissioners in Brunei. It is one of the oldest buildings in Brunei and today serves as a gallery.


While Brunei is certainly well-known for its abundance of historical landmarks combined with modern shopping centres, it also offers a range of quieter and greener places within which to relax. A short walk away from the city centre offers the opportunity to explore Jalan Tasek Lama, which is known for its walkways that thread through a small park to a range of relaxing sights including a waterfall and ponds filled with water lilies.

There is also the waterfront – a 4.4 acre site overlooking the historical Kg. Ayer. It was one of the more modern sights in Brunei, having officially opened in 2011 and offers a spot to enjoy a more leisurely pace of life. It is also home to a number of outdoor cafes offering a variety of drinks and authentic Brunei dishes.

As well as being able to visit new and exotic destinations, the tall ships of the Star Clippers fleet also deliver a more traditional sailing experience. Sailing aboard the Star Clipper, Star Flyer or Royal Clipper, these ships offer the chance to relive a bygone era of traditional tall ship sailing.

For more information, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

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