Visiting Brunei Darussalam-Complete Guide

Brunei doesn't appear in the bucket-list of most tourists- it is a small but rich country which isn't dependent on tourism unlike its neighbors. But if you're planning to visit Brunei here's a complete guide if you're planning to visit Brunei

Brunei Tourist Visa
Indians and most nationals will need visa to visit Brunei Darusssalam, the old fashioned way. There’s no e-visa provision, no online process, No visa on arrival even if you have US/UK visa etc. In India Brunei has an embassy in Delhi and visa applicants can reach there. If you’re in other cities you’ll have to avail services of an agency to send your application, passport and get it back with visa. Process is fairly standard. I was told by agency Brunei tourist visa processing takes 5-7 days, but it took almost 3 weeks for me to get my passport back. So I suggest initiating the process about one month before travel date. Visa was single entry, valid for 3 months. Of course you can ask for multi entry visa if you have a justification or need (for example, you may wish to visit Kota Kinabalu from Brunei)- Multi entry visa fee is a few hundred rupees higher. Single entry visa cost me 2700 Rs including agency charges.
Flight to Brunei from India
There’re no direct flights between India and Brunei. Air Asia, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines have one stop flight to Brunei via their respective hubs. My return ticket on Air Asia cost me only 7800 INR, but it was booked 15 months earlier on a Big sale. You will not get such low fares all the time. Expect to spend about 15-20k INR minimum, 30-40k in full service airlines without any offers.

You may also visit Brunei from Bali, Manila or other nearby cities-Royal Brunei airlines flies to most of these popular destinations from Brunei. But Royal Brunei airlines is a full service airline and your ticket may not be much cheaper, compared to say flying there from India on Air Asia. [more details]

Brunei budget:
Brunei’s local currency is BND or Brunei Dollar, which is of value almost similar to USD. Below are how much various things cost in Brunei
  • One cup tea- 1 to 1.5 BND
  • One tender coconut: 2 BND
  • One plate vegetable biriyani in decent restaurant- 3 to 4.5 BND
  • Proper meals for one person (couple of items)- 7 to 10 BND
  • Hotel stay: 40 BND onwards per night
  • Boat ride across Brunei river: 1 BND each way
  • Bus ride: 1 BND per ride
  • Taxi from Airport to Bandar Seri Bagawan (12-15kms): 30-40 BND
  • Street food- possible to get stomach full for around 5-6 BND or less
  • Half day city tour (Bandar Seri Begawan and Water village)- 40 BND +
  • Day tours from city: 65 to 130 BND per person depending on destination and other factors
Bus network/public transportation in Brunei
Check this post

Trip Duration
How many days to spend in Brunei?
I would recommend minimum 3-4, maximum 6-7. Brunei is a small country with limited attractions. So soon you will exhaust your options.

What to see/Planned itinerary
Below is what I would recommend as an itinerary while visiting Brunei
  • One day for Bandar Seri Begawan local attractions. If you’re arriving early or returing late evening you can explore them on your arriving/departing day. If you have two half days you can split and explore city attractions on these days.
  • One day for Ulu Tamburong National Park
  • I don’t think it is really worth it [details here] but almost all visitors to Brunei take  day tour to Ulu Tamburong national park, spending upwards of USD 125+ per person
  • One day for Seria town visit- popular for oil fields
What’s unique about Brunei? Why should we visit?

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