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Bandar Seri Begawan

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Bandar Seri Begawan

Bandar Seri Begawan
بندر سري بڬاوان
From top left: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddin Park, Lapau Diraja, Mercu Dirgahayu and Downtown Bandar Seri Begawan.
From top left: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddin Park, Lapau Diraja, Mercu Dirgahayu and Downtown Bandar Seri Begawan.
Nickname(s): Bandar or BSB
Bandar Seri Begawan is located in Brunei
Bandar Seri Begawan
Bandar Seri Begawan
Country  Brunei
District Brunei Muara
 • City 100.36 km2 (38.75 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • City 200,000
 • Density 1,395/km2 (3,610/sq mi)
 • Urban 276,608
 • Demonym Bandar People (Orang Bandar)
Area code(s) +673 02
Mean solar time   UTC+07:39:00

Bandar Seri Begawan (Jawi: بندر سري بڬاوان ; Malay: ) with an estimated population of more than 200,000 (in 2014), is the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei.


Habitation on the banks of the Brunei River can be traced back to the 8th century where there had been settlements similar to those in Kampong Ayer, located on areas close to the present site of the Brunei Museum.

Seri Begawan was named after the Sultan's late father Omar Ali Saifuddien on 5 October 1970, its original name being Bandar Brunei or Brunei Town. Begawan is a name given to Bruneian monarchs who have abdicated, originally coming from the Sanskrit word for "god": भगवान bhagavān. Seri also comes from the honorific Sanskrit word Sri. Bandar, comes from Persian بندر via Indian languages and originally means "port" or "haven". In Malay bandar has taken on the meaning of "town".

On 1 August 2007, the Sultan of Brunei gave consent for the extension of Bandar Seri Begawan from 12.87 km2 (4.97 sq mi) to 100.36 km2 (38.75 sq mi). For a list of the included villages and mukims see "Expansion of the City" below.


Bandar Seri Begawan is located at 4°53'25"N, 114°56'32"E, on the northern bank of the Brunei River.


Bandar Seri Begawan features a tropical rainforest climate with no real dry season. In fact, the city sees heavy precipitation throughout the course of the year with the driest month (March) on average having 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain per year. October through December are the rainiest months of the year in the city, when precipitation is seen roughly two out of every three days. As is common to cities with a tropical rainforest climate, average temperatures are relatively constant throughout the course of the year, with average highs temperatures of around 32 °C (90 °F) and average low temperatures of 23 °C (73 °F).


The population of Bandar Seri Begawan is around 140,000 and the metropolitan area is 278,000 as for August 2010. The majority of Bruneians are ethnic Malays, with Chinese being the most significant minority group. Aboriginal groups such as the Iban also exist and are loosely classified as Bumiputera. Large numbers of transitory workers are to be found within Brunei, the majority being from Indonesia, the Philippines and the Indian subcontinent.

Places of interest


The Ceremonial Ship beside the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
  • The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque - Built in 1958, it features a golden dome and an interior of Italian marble walls, carpeting and an elevator. It also has tunnels, which are used by the sultan on journeys through the town. This mosque is considered by some one of the world's most beautiful mosques[3]
  • Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque - This mosque is the largest mosque in Brunei. It was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultan's reign. It is locally known as the Kiarong mosque.

Historical sites

  • The Royal Ceremonial Hall or Lapau
Located in Jalan Kianggeh the Lapau (Royal Ceremonial Hall) is used for royal traditional ceremonies. It was here that the sultan Hassanal Bolkiah was crowned on 1 August 1968. The interior of the Lapau and sultan's throne are decorated in exquisite gold. Within the precincts of the Lapau is the Dewan Majlis where the legislative assembly used to sit. Official permission is required by visitors to enter this building. With the completion of the new legislative council building in Jalan Mabohai, the Lapau will soon become a symbol of the sultanate's constitutional history.
  • Late sultan Bolkiah's tomb in Kota Batu
  • Late sultan Sharif Ali's tomb in Kota Batu
  • The Royal Mausoleum (Makam Di-Raja)
Located away from on the banks of Sungei Brunei behind the department store Soon Lee Megamart at Mile One, Jalan Tutong, the Royal Mausoleum and the graveyard have been used by succeeding generations of sultans. Inside the Mausoleum itself are the remains of the last four sultans, Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddin (1950–1967), who died in 1986, Ahmad Tajuddin Ibnu Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam (1924–1950), Muhammad Jamalul Alam Ibnu Sultan Hashim (1906–1924), and Hashim Jalilul Alam Putera Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II (1885–1906). Other members of the royal families from those times are also buried there.


Located on an archaeological site at Kota Batu, Brunei museum is the largest in the country.
  • Brunei Museum (Muzium Brunei) - Located on an archaeological site at Kota Batu about 5 km (3.1 mi) from Bandar Seri Begawan, this museum is the largest in the country. It was first established in 1965 and occupied its present site since 1970. Officially opened in 1972, the museum focuses on Islamic history, natural history, Brunei artefacts and customs, ceramics and the oil industry of Brunei. of oil, process of drilling, refining, the history of the petroleum industry in Brunei and a map depicting current oil fields..
The Malay Technology Museum at Kota Batu.
Front exhibit, Royal Regalia Building
  • The Royal Regalia Building - Located at Jalan Sultan, this museum is devoted to the sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The main gallery displays the coronation and Silver Jubilee Chariots, gold and silver ceremonial armoury and traditional jewellery encrusted coronation crowns. A collection of documents that chronicles the sultan's life up to the coronation together with the constitutional history gallery is also housed in the same building.
  • The Brunei History Center - Located at Jalan Sultan next to the Royal Regalia building is the Brunei history center. The center was opened in 1982 with a brief to research the history of Brunei. Much of that work has been establishing the genealogy and history of the sultans and royal family. The public display has a wealth of information on these subjects including replicas and brass rubbings of tombs. A flow chart giving the entire lineage of the Brunei sultans can be found at the entrance.
  • Brunei Stamp Gallery - The recently opened Brunei Stamp Gallery is located inside the post office building in Jalan Sultan.
  • Bubongan Duabelas - The name which translates to the House of Twelve Roofs is located in Jalan Residency. It was built in 1906 and was formerly the official residence of British residents and high commissioners in Brunei. It is one of the oldest surviving building in Bandar Seri Begawan. It now serves as a gallery that exhibits the long standing relationship between the sultanate and the United Kingdom
  • The Arts and Handicrafts Center - Located at Jalan Residency it was opened in 1980. Brunei's fine arts and crafts date back to centuries and are part of the nation's proud heritage. The Arts and Handicrafts Center conducts courses in silverware, brassware, woodcarving, songkok-making, weaving and basketry.

Istana Nurul Iman

The Istana Nurul Iman palace is the residence of the sultan of Brunei. The palace is located on a leafy, riverside sprawl of hills on the banks of the Brunei River directly south of Bandar Seri Begawan, a few miles outside the city center. Istana Nurul Iman is believed to be the world's largest residential palace of any type. Its name is taken from Arabic, meaning Palace of the Light of Faith. The palace was designed by Leandro V. Locsin, and built by the Filipino firm, Ayala International.

Kampong Ayer

Kampong Ayer.

The city incorporates nearby Kampong Ayer, 'water village', which has houses on stilts and stretches about 8 km (5.0 mi) along the Brunei river (Sungei Brunei). It is a well preserved national heritage site, the largest of its kind in the world with approximately 30,000 residents. The Kampong is over 1,000 years old. The name Venice of the East was coined by Antonio Pigafetta in honour of the water village he encountered at Kota Batu (just east of city's central business district). Pigafetta was on Magellan's voyages in 1521.

Parks and trails

  • The Waterfront
This latest addition to the beautiful Bandar Seri Begawan is strategically overlooking the historical Kg. Ayer. The approximately 1.8-hectare (4.4-acre) site took almost three years to be completed and was officially opened to the public on 28 May 2011. The Waterfront is accessible to everyone as it is open 24 hours where public can enjoy sightseeing and take a break at the outdoor cafes offering varieties of drinks and dishes.
  • Persiaran Damuan
This narrow strip of landscaped park between Jalan Tutong and the Sungei Brunei was created in 1986 as a "Square". It has a permanent display of the work of a sculptor from each of the original ASEAN countries. The 1 km (0.62 mi)-long park has pleasant walkways bordered by shrubs and the mangrove fringed Pulau Ranggu where two species of monkeys live, including the notable Proboscis Monkey only found in Borneo. The park also offers some of the best views of the Istana Nurul Iman.
Brunei Darussalam's sculpture at Persiaran Damuan.
  • Jalan Tasek Lama
Located just a few minutes walk from the city center, this is a popular trekking trail for the local residents of Bandar Seri Begawan. There are well made walkaways through the small park which has benches and picnic spots as well as a waterfall and ponds with water lilies.
  • Bukit Subok Recreational Park
The park offers a great view of the Kampong Ayer and downtown Bandar Seri Begawan. There is a well maintained wooden walkaway with viewing huts along the way. These huts provide a good vantage points of Kampong Ayer and its surroundings.

Bandar Seri Begawan city

Bandar Seri Begawan city comprises the following mukims:

Out of these, the following Mukims are collectively known as Kampong Ayer or Water Village: Burong Pinggai Ayer, Sungai Kebun, Sungai Kedayan, Peramu, Saba, Tamoi

Expansion of the city

The expanded Bandar Seri Begawan will encompass more villages and mukims. They are:

Mukim Kianggeh: Kg Kianggeh, Berangan, Jalan Tasek Lama, Mabohai/Tungkadeh, Melabau, Kumbang Pasang, Padang Baru, Pusar Ulak and Tumasek

Mukim Gadong: Kiulap, Kiarong, Menglait, Batu Bersurat/ Pengkalan Gadong, Mata Mata (which does not include Perpindahan Mata-Mata or Mata-Mata housing scheme) and Beribi

Mukim Kilanas: Madewa, Tasek Meradun, Bunut and Perpindahan Bunut

Mukim Berakas 'A': Pulaie, Manggis I, Anggerek Desa, Pancha Delima, Orang Kaya Besar Imas, Delima Satu, Serusop, Jaya Setia, Jaya Bakti and Brunei International Airport Area.

Mukim Berakas 'B': Manggis II, Madang, Sungai Tilong and Salambigar.

Mukim Kota Batu: Sungai Lampai/Pintu Malim, Kota Batu, Pelambayan, Subok and Belimbing.

Also, areas in Kampong Ayer will also come inside the Bandar Seri Begawan expansion. They are:

1. Mukim Sungai Kedayan: Bukit Salat, Sumbiling Lama, Sungai Kedayan 'A', Sungai Kedayan 'B', Ujong Tanjong and Kuala Peminyak

2. Mukim Tamoi: Tamoi Ujong, Tamoi Tengah, Pengiran Kerma Indera Lama, Pengiran Tajuddin Hitam, Ujong Bukit/Limbongan, Pengiran Bendahara Lama

3. Mukim Burong Pingai Ayer: Burong Pingai Ayer, Lurong Dalam, Pandai Besi 'A', Pandai Besi 'B', Sungai Pandan 'A', Sungai Pandan 'B', and Pengiran Setia Negara, Pekan Lama

4. Mukim Peramu: Peramu, Pekilong Muara, Bakut Pengiran Siraja Muda ' A', Bakut Pengiran Siraja Muda 'B', Bakut Berumput and Lurong Sikuna

5. Mukim Saba: Saba Tengah, Saba Ujong, Saba Laut, Saba Darat 'A' and Saba Darat 'B'.

6. Mukim Sungai Kebun: Setia 'A', Sungai Siamas/Ujong Klinik, Setia 'B' Sungai Kebun, Bolkiah 'A' and Bolkiah 'B'.[4]


The main bus station is located at Jalan Cator.
Water taxis awaiting passengers near Jalan MacArthur.


The capital is connected to Bus of Bandar Seri Begawan the western part of the country by road. To get to the eastern part of Brunei (Temburong) it is necessary to travel through Sarawak which is in Malaysia, via the town of Limbang which is accessed by the Kuala Lurah Bus terminal. To get to Bandar Seri Begawan from the west, access is via Miri town in Sarawak via the Sungai Tujuh Bus terminal and then along the coastal highway.

The main bus station in the city is located in Jalan Cator underneath a multi-story car park. There are six bus routes servicing Bandar Seri Begawan area; the Central Line, Circle Line, Eastern Line, Southern Line, Western Line and Northern Line. The buses operate from 6.30 am till 6.00pm except for Bus No. 1 and 20 which have extended to the night. All bus routes begin and terminate their journey at the main bus terminal. Buses heading to other towns in Brunei such as Tutong, Seria and Kuala Belait also depart from the main bus terminal and Taxicab.


Brunei International Airport serves the whole country. It is 11 km (6.8 mi) from the town centre and can be reached in 10 minutes via the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Highway.


A water taxi service known as 'penambang' is used for transportation between downtown Bandar Seri Begawan and Kampong Ayer. Water taxis are the most common means of negotiating the waterways of Kampung Ayer. They can be hailed from the numerous "docking parts" along the banks of the Brunei River. Fares are negotiable. Regular water taxi and boat services depart for Temburong between 7:45 am and 4 pm daily, and also serve the Malaysian towns of Limbang, Lawas, Sundar and Labuan. A speedboat is used for passengers travelling to Penamdang Ferry Service and from Bangar and Limbang.


The city produces furniture, textiles, handicrafts, and timber. Royal Brunei Airlines, the national airline, has its head office in the RBA Plaza in the city.[5][6]

Gadong is where many shopping complexes located. From the infamous The Mall Gadong to McDonald and locals favourite fastfood restaurant, Ayamku Restaurant are concentrated here. Another shopping complexes located just nearby the International Airport, Serusop.


All levels of education are available in Bandar Seri Begawan from kindergarten to the tertiary level. The Universiti Brunei Darussalam, established on 28 October 1985, only a year after the sultanate regained full independence, is located 4.5 km (2.8 mi) from the city center.[7] It is the oldest and also the largest university in Brunei in terms of student enrolment and curriculum offered. The Sultanate's second university, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali, is also located in Bandar Seri Begawan's suburb of Gadong. It was established on 1 January 2007[8] as an Islamic university.

Higher educational institutes in Bandar Seri Begawan include Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan (Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan College of Science), Institute Teknologi of Brunei (Brunei Institute of Technology), Maktab Jururawat Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah (the only nursing college in Brunei), Maktab Teknik Sultan Saiful Rijal (Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College), Pusat Tingkatan Enam Katok and Pusat Tingkatan Enam Meragang (Meragang Sixth Form Centre).

Schools in the capital include St. Andrew's School, International School Brunei (ISB), Jerudong International School, Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan, and Institut Tahfiz Al Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (ITQSHHB).


The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque facade 
Kampong Ayer 
Memorial depicting 60 in Arabic, to commemorate the His Majesty the Sultan's 60th birthday 
Tomb of the late Sultan Sharif Ali, also known as Sultan Berkat, the third Sultan of Brunei, who ruled 1426-1432 
Street scenery, Jalan Sultan 
Outside view of the Royal Regalia Building 
Sungai Brunei (Brunei river) 
Street in Gadong, the main shopping center of Bandar Seri Begawan 


  1. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Bandar Seri Begawan". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Brunei Darussalam Climate Normals 1961−1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "60 Unbelievable Beautiful Mosques Around The World". DesignFollow. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Brunei Capital To Become Nearly Ten Times Bigger". Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin, BruneiDirect.Com News. 
  5. ^ "Contact Us." Royal Brunei Airlines. Retrieved on 10 November 2010.
  6. ^ "World Wide Offices Brunei." Royal Brunei Airlines. Retrieved on 10 November 2010. "Bandar Seri Begawan Details: RBA Address: Royal Brunei Airlines. RBA Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan BS 8811, Brunei Darussalam."
  7. ^ "UBD in Brief". Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  8. ^ "About Us". Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 

External links

  • Municipal Department Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Brunei Business Directory
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