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Kingdom Culture
 
 
 
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Kingdom, Culture
& Lifestyle

 Bandar Seri Begawan

Bandar Seri Begawan has been the capital of Brunei for hundreds of year.  Originally composed of a community built on stilts over the water, this water village first moved location to get more space, and then gradually expanded onto firm land. 

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Today, the water village is still home to over 20 thousand people. Some live in the traditional timber housing, but a growing number in recently built structures with modern services. Many of the traditional homes have modern conveniences and sophisticated electronics behind the simple facades. 

Originally named Brunei Town, it was renamed as one of the steps towards independence from British Protectorate status in 1982. Bandar Seri Begawan (commonly called Bandar or BSB) is home to all the government ministries, and many of the major government departments, such as Public Works, Education, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Town & Country Planning, Health, Transport and Communication.

The central city area is the traditional shopping and commerce area, with the modern Yayasan shopping mall, traditional shop houses and local markets. The main terminal for local and regional buses - including those to Kota Kinabalu. Miri and Bintulu - is in this central area. 

Centrepoint and the Mall is another large shopping complex and shop house development in the Gadong commercial region. This area includes many cafes, restaurants and the Mall; a complex of shops, movie theatres and eateries; trendy modern and classic local style.

Brunei's important role in the history and development of Borneo, and the role of the Family Monarchy, has been captured in numerous museums. These provide a unique insight into the development of Brunei and it's regional role. 

The relatively high standard of living in Brunei means hunting local wildlife for food is part of history. Therefore is is possible to see some of Borneo's popular wildlife attractions, such as Proboscis Monkeys,  living in the mangrove and jungle areas immediately adjacent to the city.      

Our Kingdom and Culture tours are designed to explore these venues and highlight the unique nature of Brunei.

TOURS:

Cultural Heritage Tour - Half Day 
4 hours
Tour Code:  ITH-C2BS
Starts at:  8.15 am,  9.30 am (with lunch break) & 1.15 pm 
Includes:  Morning or afternoon tea (at water village), experienced guide, transport, local and historical information.
Optional:  Lunch beside the Brunei River OR link with evening Mangrove Safari OR Mangrove Safari with Brunei River & dinner.

Description: This compact tour will introduce you to the Nation, its history and the significant cultural, leadership and religious influences. Visit the Brunei Museum, The Royal Regalia Museum, Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque and the Water Village. Ride a water taxi around the the water village, explore on foot along the walkways, and stop at a water village house for morning or afternoon tea with local cakes, and to discover the unique mix of traditional and modern  lifestyle.  See the previous and current Sultan's palaces to learn about their roles in modern Brunei.  

Cultural Heritage Tour - Full Day 
7.25 hours
Tour Code: IT1-C2BS
Starts at:  9 am 
Includes:  Lunch beside the Brunei River, afternoon tea in the Water Village, experienced guide, transport, local and historical information.
Optional:  Link with an evening Mangrove Safari (see below) to see the local wildlife OR Mangrove Safari with Brunei River & dinner.

Description: This comprehensive tour will immerse you in the history and culture of Brunei, with it's almost 700 year Family Monarchy. The combination of venues and our guide's information provides a unique understanding of traditional and modern Brunei. Visit the Tamau (local market) stalls. Drive to the previous and current Sultan's palaces for a photo stop. Visit the Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque and Royal Regalia, then stop for lunch overlooking the Brunei River.  Visit the the Brunei Museum, Malay Technology Museum, and Arts & Handicraft Centre. Ride a water taxi around the the water village, explore on foot along the walkways, and stop at a water village house for an afternoon tea with local cakes, and discover the unique mix of traditional and modern  lifestyle.  

Brunei River Tour 
5.25 hours
Tour Code:  ITH-H1BR
Starts at: 11 am
Includes:  Lunch beside the Brunei River, experienced guide, vehicle and boat transport, local and historical information.
Optional:  Link with evening Mangrove Safari after the tour 

Description: Waterways have been central to Brunei
's history, habitation, and development. The Brunei River still plays a key role in food cultivation, transport, recreation, and riverside communities. This boat based tour begins at Serasa, near the Brunei River mouth.  Motor past Brunei's modern port, naval base, ferry terminal and yacht club, then visit a fish farm and proceed upstream past islands, golf courses and a modern water village for lunch beside the Brunei River. Travel further upstream past the Brunei Museum, old British Residents quarters, and through the centre of Bandar Seri Begawan to the riverside tomb of the 18th century Sultan. Stop to photograph the present  Sultan's Palace from this best viewpoint on the river, then venture into Bandar's water village. Explore along the waterways and walkways to see how this remarkable community still maintains it's traditional lifestyles amongst modern technologies. Afternoon tea in a water village house. The tour ends in the centre of Bandar Seri Begawan. 

Water Village & Mangrove Safari 
3 hours    (4 hours with optional dinner)
Tour Code:  ITS-D3BR & ITS-D2BR
Starts at: 3.15 pm  or  6.30 am
Includes:  Afternoon or Morning tea (at water village), bottled water and experienced guide
Optional:  Dinner after the tour (Tour code:  ITE-CBBB )

Description: The Water Village is still home to more than twenty  thousand residents. Described as The Venice of Asia, this traditional community and housing now includes modern services and international internet connections. Following a tour by boat and on foot, with afternoon tea in a water village house, the tour proceeds upstream by boat to visit the nearby mangroves. Explore quietly along narrow channels to look for Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques, monitor lizards, birds and occasionally a crocodile. Watch Egrets return to their roost near sunset. On sunset emerge to photograph the Sultan's Palace from this best viewpoint, then motor past the town and water village as the lights begin to illuminate.

Mangrove Safari 
2 hours    (3.25 hours with optional dinner)
Tour Code:  ITS-E3BR or ITE-E2BR
Starts at: 4.30 pm  or  7.00 am
Includes:  Bottled water and experienced guide
Optional:  Dinner after the tour (Tour code:  ITE-MBBB )

Description: The tour proceeds upstream by boat to explore the nearby mangroves. Travel along along narrow channels to look for Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques, monitor lizards, birds and occasionally a crocodile. Our driver/guide will highlight the mangrove ecology and the diversity of wildlife this tangled environment supports. Watch thousands of Egrets return to their roost. On sunset emerge to photograph the Sultan's Palace from this best viewpoint, then drive past the town and water village as the lights begin to illuminate.

Mangrove Safari with Brunei River & dinner 
3.5 hours   
Tour Code:  ITE-H2BR
Starts at: 4.30 pm
Includes:  Bottled water, covered boats for wildlife viewing, dinner at the Mangrove resort, our experienced guide and information.

Description: The tour proceeds upstream by boat to explore the nearby mangroves. Travel along along narrow channels to look for Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques, monitor lizards, birds and occasionally a crocodile. Our driver/guide will highlight the mangrove ecology and the diversity of wildlife this tangled environment supports. As sunset approaches, depart the mangroves and drive down the Brunei River, as our guide points out the features of the river that have been key to the history and development of Brunei.

Stop for dinner at the Mangrove Resort, beside the river, with views of the river, water village communities and mangroves.

Water Village, Mangrove Safari, Brunei River & dinner
3 hours    (4 hours with optional dinner)
Tour Code:  ITE-H1BR
Starts at: 3.15 pm
Includes:  Afternoon tea (at water village), bottled water, covered boats for wildlife viewing, dinner at the Mangrove resort, our experienced guide and information.

Description: The tour begins with the Water Village, which is still home to approximately thirty thousand residents. Described as The Venice of Asia, this traditional community and housing now includes modern services and international connections. Following a tour by boat and on foot, and afternoon tea in a water village house, the tour proceeds upstream by boat to visit the nearby mangroves. Explore quietly along narrow channels to look for Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques, monitor lizards, birds and occasionally a crocodile.

As sunset approaches, depart the mangroves and drive down the Brunei River, as our guide points out the features of the river that have been key to the history and development of Brunei.

Stop for dinner at the Mangrove Resort, beside the river, with views of the river, water village communities and mangroves.

 

Notes: 
1. Malaria was eliminated from Brunei about 30 years ago and public health policies mean Brunei is remarkably free of biting insects, so most visitors do not use any repellent. But some people are more susceptible than others, so please bring your favourite insect repellent that works for you.

2. Intrepid Tours places a high priority on visitor safety. Safety equipment and boating operation procedures are in line with recognised international standards.

3. A detailed Tour Description (in Adobe Acrobat format), with advice on what to bring, wear etc is available for every tour.  Please use the enquiry link (below) to send us your questions.

Update: 9 July 2012

 

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Association of Travel Agents, Brunei (ATAB)
and the
Outdoor Recreation Industry Council of Australia
 

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Bandar Seri Begawan  BS8674
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

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Simpang 158, Jalan Sungai Akar
Bandar Seri Begawan BC3915
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

 

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