Thursday, December 14, 2017

Miss Filatelista: Bandar Seri Begawan Travel Guide - What to See, Eat, and Do

Brunei is easily the most underrated destination in all of Southeast Asia. The environmentally and culturally rich kingdom has loads to discover and is sure to thrill any traveler.

Yet, less than a quarter of a million tourists visited in 2015. Most visits to the country call for a few days in the capital of the Muslim state, Bandar Seri Begawan, or BSB as locals call it.

Although there are rumors that the streets of BSB are paved in gold, the world's fifth richest country as of 2016, isn't all that different from its ASEAN neighbors.

Here you can expect to explore villages, eat at hawker stands, discover stunning temples, swim in the South China Sea, and incredible wildlife native of the lush jungles.

The royal family is one of the wealthiest in the world, their private streets may very well be paved with gold as they live at Istana Nurul Iman, the world's largest residential palace complete with 1,788 rooms, a helipad, and five swimming pools.

Afterall Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has ruled since 1984,  is reportedly worth $20 billion. We spent nearly a week in the city – here is our guide to where to stay, what to do, see, and eat in BSB.


We were guests of the princess during our trip to BSB. Well, not exactly. We were invited to stay at the Jubilee Hotel which is conveniently located in the city center within walking distance to most of the below sites and restaurants.

In the rather expensive BSB city center, Jubilee Hotel offers guests a comfortable place to stay with moderate prices with full amenities including complimentary buffet breakfast of western and eastern specialties, a small swimming pool, in-house cafe, and concierge service.

Throughout the property are beautiful vibrant paintings of local flowers, such as this stunning iris.

The rooms and furnishing are a bit outdated but it adds to the charm of what must have once been a very glamorous hotel.

Our room was really large with a super cozy bed. We enjoyed having coffee in our small sitting area each morning and taking in the views of the Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque from our room!

The staff is incredibly kind and they even offer complimentary airport transfers for guests. Jubilee Hotel is an ideal place to stay for a quick visit to BSB!