Brunei

Bandar Seri Begawan

Bandar Seri Begawan, more commonly referred to simply as Bandar ('sea port' in Malay), is the capital of Brunei and the only place of any real size. Even so, Bandar's population is barely 80,000 and, with most people living in the suburbs or among the stilted homes of the water village, downtown Bandar feels decidedly sleepy. This is no bad thing for the visitor; traffic and crowds are restricted to the suburbs, where most of the shops are located. The streets are clean and spacious, and the only persistent noise is the whirr of outboards, as water tambang (taxis) ferry people to and from the water village.

Bandar sits on a bend of the Sungai Brunei, with the stilted homes of Kampong Ayer (water village) reaching out across the river from the opposite bank. Back on dry land, the dominant feature is the impressive Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque - though the primary point of reference nowadays seems to be the Yayasan Complex, a shopping mall whose two wings are aligned to provide a colonnaded vista of the mosque and the river.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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