14 Things to do in Brunei

I found the following descriptions of 14 things you can do while in Brunei from the Travellers Worldwide website. Interestingly enough, not all the things to be done are in Brunei and I am not sure about the legality of one or two of the suggestions:-

Island Getaways:
If you want to be ahead of the backpacker crowd and head out on your own there are islands around Brunei where you can veg out for a weekend or longer on a low budget. If you are truly intrepid, our organisers can arrange for you to visit a deserted island (with equipment, of course) and pick you up the next day or longer if you wish. You must demonstrate basic first aid, consideration for the environment, basic camp craft and be able to light (and put out) a fire.

Pulau Labuan is a small duty-free island about an hours' boat ride from the mainland. This island, part of Malaysian Sabah, is popular with local Brunieans who go there for tax free shopping and, if they are not Muslim, to stock up on alcoholic drink to take back with them to Brunei.

On the way to Labuan small boats can stop at the picturesque island of Kuraman. This tiny idyllic paradise island has a handful of guest rooms for the use of tourists but is mostly inhabited by local families. The small fishing community that live here are very friendly and will call out "orang-putey" (westener) at you as they smile and laugh! A truly magical place to visit.

"Next morning us Gap students as we are called headed off to the island of Kuraman (an hour on a speed boat). We were greeted by 3 dogs that followed us everywhere. This is a malaysian island so they can serve tiger beer. After a few beers we walked around the island with snorkel gear and went in the HOT sea from shore. A bit of coral and a few fish. Then we carried on walking around and came across lots of villages not sure if they were Malay or from the Philipines. They had shacks!! We walked past some who were chopping up coconuts and they offered us some. There was even a tiny little girl with a knife practising.

Then the next village (about 5 huts) starting screaming with excitement as we walked passed and they all came running down smiling. We got our cameras out and they all jumped in for a photo. We for a night snorkel about 8 and it was brilliant, we had torches." Christina Taylor on her visit to Kuraman Island, Brunei

Sailing: By special prior arrangements volunteers are able to use the facilities of the Royal Brunei Yacht Club which come is very useful after dives and for enjoying a sunset dinner or Sunday Roast lunch. If you are able to sail and can prove it, you can go further and join as a temporary member which would entitle you to sail in the weekend club dingy sailing.

Regatta and Passage Keelboat Yacht Racing: If you can't handle a dingy but are keen then we suggest that you think big and crew on a racing yacht and work your way down! Depending on the season you may have the opportunity to crew on a yacht doing the Borneo Cup Yachting Challenge. This involves a week of regatta racing with a passage race in the South China Sea in the middle much like doing a marathon between sets of sprints. The experience of racing at night by the stars while flying the spinnaker is quite memorable. Cruising back after the race is even better in some people's mind.

Canoeing: Sit on top canoes can be obtained at the RBYC for no charge if you are eligible to use the facilities.

Temburong district is a beautiful area of unspoilt jungle, located just 2 hours away from the capital city. Reachable by a combination of boat, car and boat, the Ulu Temburong National Park is a wonderful haven and an incredible place to experience the rainforest. The cacophony of sounds that you can hear will amaze you! Visitors here can climb a nerve wracking canopy walk that will take them high up to the top of the rainforest for some of the most stunning views across the trees.

The Northern Interior: The Northern Interior of Borneo is one of the great places for exploration with many areas uninhabited and practically unknown. While you are unlikely to make any major discovery, new species are being discovered on a weekly basis. Our managers in Brunei occasionally arrange trips in this area for their own staff or for school and corporate clients such as the Headhunter's trail to Mount Mulu or to long houses in the Upper Baram. You are welcome to take part in such excursions during your visits, but there will be an additional charge.

Riding: Riding is available at the Trijaya Equestrian Centre, set in the grounds of the Jerudong Polo Club. If you can play polo, or wish to learn, that can be arranged.

Parasailing: Parasailing can be done at the Marine Centre at the Empire Hotel & Country Club.

White water rafting / kayaking: White water rafting in rubber rafts can be done on the Padas River (Grades III/IV). Rafting is open by anyone of average fitness but Kayaking is available only by prior arrangement and you must have current White Water certification and experience. Our managers in Brunei occasionally bring corporate or expedition groups to the Padas and may invite you to come along as a paid logistics assistant if they think you are suitable. Otherwise you would be encouraged to do the Padas after climbing up Mt. Kinabalu.

Mountain Trekking: Nearby Sabah is home to Mount Kinabalu (4000m) and Kinabalu Park offers many opportunities to walk around the lowland and upland forest. The summit can also be attempted without technical equipment. This climb is very popular and sometimes booked up far in advance. If you want to climb the mountain speak to us before your departure and we can assist you in making a preliminary booking.

Pulau Ranggu: Situated in the middle of the river near the Sultan�s Palace is Pulau Ranggu. Here you can see the Proboscis monkey, with its large nose and rounded stomach! A water taxi will take you along there river where you can look out for these amazing creatures living amongst the trees. Particularly impressive as the sun is setting.

Jerudong: After a trip to Disneyland the Sultanate of Brunei decided to build his own amusement park in Brunei as a playground for his family! Also open to the general public, this park is large and impressive with a collection of rides for both old and young. It's also usually deserted due to the limited number of tourists in this country, hence, this really is disneyland without the queues! Right behind Jerudong amusement park is Jerudong beach - alive with fish stands and surrounded by cliffs. Brunei also has numerous natural waterfalls, coral reefs, hot springs, fresh water swamps, beaches and forests in one of the richest cross-sections of tropical biodiversity in the world.

Diving: If you are a suitably certified diver and would like to do scuba diving you can go out with the Brunei Sub-Aqua Diving Club on their weekend dives. This long established club has a large 11m catamaran that takes 16 divers and the focus is on wreck diving. The Brunei Sea has some of the best wreck diving in the South China Sea with several modern and WW2 wrecks to explore. All are quite 'atmospheric' in different ways and visually exciting. If you can't dive, you may want to consider taking a scuba course during your placement, which can be arranged locally.

Oil Platform Diving: Brunei is the only place in the world where you can dive (legally) on operating oil production platforms without being a commercial diver. Decommissioned rigs exist in California and the Gulf of Mexico but being under a working one and hearing the pressurized oil rushing up the 'risers' (pipes that bring the oil above the sea bed) and feeling the heat warm up the risers is a unique experience. Contrary to popular belief, diving on platforms is quite safe since you are diving inside an enormous steel cube and there is little chance of getting lost.

Described as cathedrals of steel and light, platforms are home to a variety of soft corals and other animals, including a myriad of fish from the very small to the very large, which are protected by the 500m exclusion zone around platforms. You must be an Advanced Open Water diver to take part in this activity.

Jungle walking: Over 70% of Brunei is covered by forest so there are lots of opportunities for jungle walks, lasting for a few hours or days. The terrain is varied but always interesting and challenging. Many walks take you up ridges followed by descents into ravines and crossing streams. If this appeals to you take a good pair of walking boots on your placement!

Hashing: If walking is too sedate for you then we suggest that you get on the hash. This is not an invitation to break the law but to join in one of the great traditions left behind by the departing British. Brunei is home to the third oldest hash chapter in the world and the source of several of the rituals of this jungle paper-chasing sport.


Jewelle said…
I was intrigued by the diving at OPERATING oil platform too.

I was told that there used to be a decommissioned rig near the Panaga shore and perhaps this was what they meant?
heisbaolah said…
During my time working offshore on the drilling rigs, there is no way a recreational diving allowed at the oil platform.

Even the fishing boats are not allowed within 500 m of any offshore oil installations.
Z.M said…
We've been to Kuraman! =)
Click HERE to see some pics ;)
Btw, who owns Kuraman Island? Brunei or Malaysia? =/
Jasmine Taib said…
Dear Mr BR
Maybe you should update the bit you wrote about Jerudong Park, we live just round the corner from here and all the rides have been dismantled, leaving lots of empty rides stations without the rides. What is left is the kiddies playground which is not in prime condirion, the carousel, the Go karts which seem to be in operation at certain times of the day and the musical fountains. Sometimes I see lots of tourist coming down from a bus taking pictures of the structure with the "diamond" and even that has gaping holes on it! We are hoping the place might be turned into a wet and wild park!! Buleh?!!
Rozi said…
Only way to dive at the oil rigs is if you're with the Shell diving group.

Whenever I'm on my dive trips heading out from the Muara side, we'd stop by an island near Kuraman, we avoided Kuraman cos it just got too touristy for us, and this island only got two houses with a family each inhabiting it. Really great to stop over for lunch and a picnic. Other times are when we'd buy fish off the fishermen in the middle of the sea, it was strange seeing money in transaction in the middle of no where, just between two boats, and with the fish we'd head to a near by island and start up a barbeque.

Diving in Brunei waters are fantastic. It's a great way to have a mini break without going far.

That's how I spend my sundays :-)
Unknown said…
It's really great post, I hope every one in the future will adopt these information while Brunei and for details about other sports adventure click on ATV Sports. Thanks for sharing..

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