Built in 1958, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is a spectacular representation of the Islamic culture in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Its exquisite décor of Italian marble, golden domes, stained glasses, and carpeting proudly showcase its religious significance and beauty. With such a profound appearance, the mosque attracts daily visitors who become hypnotized by the exquisite architectural design and ambiance so sacred you are required to wear a robe before entering its massive halls. For this reason the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is one of the most stunning mosques in the world. This unique structure is an accomplishment of the importance of modern architecture and the religious role it plays in Bandar’s unique civilization.
Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital city and host to Brunei’s economic and cultural center. Populated with over 60,000 inhabitants, the city is an important producer of furniture, textiles, and handicrafts. Bandar Seri Begawan offers a pleasant combination of natural beauty and striking attractions that manifest its rich history and heritage. The Royal Regalia Museum is draped marble and decorated with royal artifacts like crowns, a throne, and gold armory worn by Brunei’s sultan. Home to Brunei’s sultan and seat of the government, the Istana Nurul Iman is an elaborately designed and largest inhabited palace in the world. Kampong Ayer is a water village and an impressive display of houses floating on water. The Brunei Museum is also a popular tourist attraction with exhibitions of Islamic artistry. The city is filled with different facades of culture that are seen dotted along its flat landscape.
Bandar Seri Begawan is also a shopper’s paradise. Vibrant markets and boutiques offer a plethora of merchandise specifically sold in Brunei. In addition the city is home to the magnificent Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex, which is the largest shopping mall in the country. Its futuristic design contains many department stores and shops where visitors can grab the latest trends and authentic souvenirs. The popular Hua Ho Department Store is where you can find everything from name brand products to groceries. Shop til you drop at the Taman Bandaraya, which is a busy market that remains open at night. By night the city transforms into a lively disco where tourists and locals are able to mix and mingle while listening to music and watching live shows.
Feast your senses on the gastronomy that Bandar Seri Begawan has to offer. The streets are painted with chic restaurants offering an array of delicious dishes from traditional foods to multicultural specialties. You cannot truly experience the culture of the city with sinking your teeth in staple Indian foods richly flavored in spices and ingredients that will definitely delight your pallet.
Bandar Seri Begawan experiences a tropical rainforest climate. In the warm season (April-June), the temperature average between a daily high in the 90s to the 70s. During the cold season (December-February), the weather fluctuates from the high 80s to mid 70s.
Brunei International Airport is the city’s main entrance to major cities around the world. For about $1.00 you can catch Bandar’s purple buses to various locations within the city. The bus also provides long distance transportation to Seria and other cities in Brunei. The water taxis are commonly used to sail along the Brunei River to tour the water village (Kampong Ayer) for $0.75. Although taxis are scarce, there are still meter taxicabs available that will take you to your desired location. You can also enjoy the weather and scenery by strolling along the vibrant streets.