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Brunei Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Negara Brunei Darussalam
Capital City: Bandar Seri Begawan
Language Spoken: Malay (official), English, Chinese

Brunei Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

4 30 N, 114 40 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m

Land boundaries

total: 381 km border countries: Malaysia 381 km

Natural hazards

typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, timber

Land use

arable land: 2.08% permanent crops: 0.87% other: 97.05% (2005)

Environmental current issues

seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia

Climate

Very hot, humid tropical climate most of the year. Heavy rainfall in the monsoon season, November to December. Average temperature is 28°C (82ºF). Required clothing Lightweight cottons and linens. Waterproofing is advisable all year.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+8

Population

379,444 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 28.1% (male 54,411/female 52,134) 15-64 years: 68.8% (male 138,129/female 123,017) 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 5,584/female 6,169) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 27.4 years male: 28 years female: 26.7 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

1.87% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

18.79 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

3.45 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.12 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female total population: 1.09 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.01 years male: 72.57 years female: 77.59 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Suits are recommended. English is widely spoken, however Bruneians adhere to the practice of using complete full names with all titles, including the title Haji (for men) or Hajjah (for women) for those who have made the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. Office hours are usually 0745-1215 and 1330-1630 Monday to Thursday and 0900-1200 Saturday. Government office hours are 0745-1215 and 1330-1630 Monday to Thursday and Saturday

Crime

The crime rate in Brunei is very low, and violent crime is almost unheard of. There are occasional incidents of petty crime against tourists. Take particular care of your passport; avoid carrying anything you are not willing to lose; and do not leave possessions in unattended vehicles, even if out of sight in a locked vehicle.

Hotels

Outside the main towns, accommodation is not available. The one hotel of international standard in Bandar Seri Begawan is the Sheraton Utama Hotel. Other hotels in the capital include Terrace Hotel, Riverview Hotel, Capital Hotel, Jubilee Hotel, Brunei Hotel and the Centrepoint. Hotels in Kuala Belait are the Sea View Hotel and Sentosa Hotel.

Communications

Full telephone IDD is available. The country code is 673. The outgoing international code is 00. Public telephones are available in most post office branches and main shopping areas and there is a private internal service. The post office's hours are 0745-1630 Monday to Thursday.

Electricity

is 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are either round or square 3-pin. Electricity 220/240 volts AC 50Hz. Plugs are either round or square three-pin.

Plug Types

G

Food And Dining

European food is served in hotel restaurants, along with Malaysian, Chinese and Indian dishes. Local food is similar to Malay cuisine with fresh fish and rice, often quite spicy.

National specialties:
? Daging Masak Lada Hitam, spicy beef with potato beans.
? Udang Sambal Serai Bersantan, prawns with chilli and coconut milk.
? Serondeng Pandag, chicken fried with garlic wrapped in pandan leaves. Things to know: Alcohol is prohibited, although it may be imported in certain quantities if reported to Customs. Most restaurants are open until 2100 or 2200 although this varies at the weekend.

Tipping:
Most hotels and restaurants add 10 per cent to the bill.

Entry departure requirements

Restricted entry Nationals of Israel may not be granted entry to Brunei.

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months from date of departure required by all. Travelers must be entitled to return to home country.

Visas

Required by all except the following:
(a) 1. nationals of the USA for up to 90 days for social and business visits;
(b) 2. nationals of the United Kingdom holding full British passports, and nationals of Germany, Ireland (tourist purposes only) and The Netherlands (tourist purposes only) for up to 30 days;
(c) nationals of Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore and United Arab Emirates for tourist stays of up to 30 days;
(d) 3. nationals of Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary (tourist purposes only), Italy, Luxembourg, Poland (tourist purposes only), Slovak Republic (tourist purposes only), Spain and Sweden for up to 14 days (nationals of other EU countries do require a visa);
(e) 4. nationals of Australia are advised to obtain visas before arrival although it is possible to obtain one at Brunei International Airport for a stay of maximum 14 days (a visa is required for longer stays);
(f) 5. nationals of Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Maldives, Norway, Peru (tourist purposes only), The Philippines, Switzerland, Thailand and Vietnam for up to 14 days.

Note

A return ticket is necessary for visa-free trips. All visitors must possess sufficient funds to support themselves whilst in the country and a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers aged one year and over who have visited infected or endemic areas within the previous six days.

Types of visa and cost

Short Visit: US$17 (single-entry); US$26 (multiple-entry). Cost changes frequently and depends on prevailing exchange rate.

Validity

Single-entry: three months. The validity of multiple-entry visas is at the discretion of the Consulate.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy or High Commission); see Passport/Visa Information.

Application requirements

(a) Passport valid for six months from date of departure with at least four blank pages. (b) One passport-size photo. (c) Application form. (d) Fee, payable by cash, bank draft or postal order, payable to the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam. Personal cheques are not accepted. (e) A letter from employer and invitation letter from business counterpart in Brunei Darussalam, both stating purpose of visit if on business. (f) For social visits: if staying with Bruneian friends or relatives who work for the Brunei Government, an invitation letter is required. (g) For students in the UK, a letter from school or university confirming status and duration of course. (h) Proof of hotel booking. (i) Evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of stay, eg recent bank statement or traveller's cheques. (j) Stamped, self-addressed envelope for postal applications. (k) Confirmed onward or return tickets (copies of flight itinerary or travel agent?s booking confirmation).

Working days required

Three. Applications which need to be referred to Brunei can take up to two months for processing.

HIV entry requirements

Test required for anyone applying for a work permit

Departure tax

Br$5 for flights to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching; Br$12 (just over ?4) for all other destinations. This is payable in local currency in cash, at the airport check-in desk.

Embassies

High Commission of Brunei Darussalam in the UK

19-20 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PG, UK
Tel: (020) 7581 0521 (ext 111/137 for consular section).
E-mail: [email protected]
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1300 and 1400-1630.
Also provides tourist information.

Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in the USA

3520 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 237 1838.
Website: www.bruneiembassy.org

Travel Advice

Most visits to Brunei are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Travelers should not become involved with drugs of any kind: possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

Brunei Dollar (BND; symbol Br$) = 100 cents. Notes are in the denominations Br$10,000, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in the denominations 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cents. The Brunei Dollar is officially on a par with the Singapore Dollar.

Currency restrictions

The import of local currency is unlimited. The export of local currency is limited to Br$1000 in notes. The Singapore Dollar may be imported and exported up to the equivalent of Br$1000. Indian banknotes may not be imported. Free import of other foreign currencies, subject to declaration. Export of foreign currencies for foreigners is unlimited up to amount imported and declared.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1500; Sat 0900-1100.

Currency exchange

Foreign currencies and travelers cheques can be exchanged at any bank.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are generally accepted by hotels, department stores and major establishments. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.

Travellers cheques

To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. Hotels and many department stores will also cash travelers cheques.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Brunei / Muara2+ 6 digits
Kuala Belait3+ 6 digits
Temburong5+ 6 digits
Tutong4+ 6 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Emergency and routine care is available, however specialist work can not be provided

Medication Availability

Supplies of international medications are generally available in Brunei

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Brunei

Medical facilities

There is adequate care for basic medical conditions in Brunei; however, due to unpredictable shortages of materials and uncertain support staff, any elective surgery or complicated care is best obtained in Singapore or elsewhere.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Japanese Encephalitis: Consider vaccination if staying a month or more, especially if travel includes rural areas. Also consider if staying less than 30 days and at high risk (in case of epidemic outbreak or extensive outdoor exposure in rural areas). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: considered an important cause of disease in this area. Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Encephalitis (Japanese type) - occurs (sporadic/endemic countrywide) Filariasis - prevalent in rural areas Typhus (mite-borne) - occurs in deforested areas Food-borne and water-borne illness: these diseases are common. Cholera - occurs Dysentery (amoebic and bacillary) - occurs Fasciolopsiasis (giant intestinal fluke) - occurs Hepatitis (viral) - occurs Melioidosis - occurs Typhoid Fever - occurs Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas or who have passed through partly or wholly endemic areas within the preceding 6 days.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Gleneagles Jerudong ParkMedical Centre (Cardiac Centre) Jerudung Park BG3122 Darussalam
Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital (RIPAS)RIPAS Hospital Kg Kiulap Bandar S Begawan 1710

Media

Brunei's media are neither diverse nor free. The privately-owned press is either owned or controlled by the sultan's family, or exercises self-censorship on political and religious matters. A press law provides prison terms of up to three years for reporting "false news". The only local broadcast media are operated by the government-controlled Radio Television Brunei. Foreign TV stations are available via a cable network. Access to the internet is said to be unrestricted.
Press: The only independent English-language newspaper is the daily Borneo Bulletin; Media Permata is a Malay-language newspaper. Television: State-controlled Radio Television Brunei broadcasts in Malay and English.
Radio: State-controlled Radio Television Brunei broadcasts in Malay, English, Mandarin Chinese and Gurkhali.

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