Among the four districts in the country, Brunei-Muara is the most populous district despite being the smallest at 571 square kilometres. It is home to over 300,000 residents, more than two-thirds of the total population. It houses the nation’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan where the country’s government and economic activities are situated.
The district contains important landmarks and points of interest such as the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, the Royal Mausoleum, Lapau (Royal Ceremonial Hall), Dewan Majlis (Parliament House), Brunei Museum, the Royal Regalia Museum, Kampong Ayer and the Dermaga Diraja. The Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah, Brunei’s largest mosque, is situated in Kiarong.
Not far from the capital is the Istana Nurul Iman, official home to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. It is the world’s largest residential palace. Other notable suburbs in the district are Gadong, Kiulap, Kiarong, Berakas, Jerudong and Muara.
Gadong and Kiulap are prominent commercial centres. These areas accommodate a large concentration of businesses such as banks, shopping malls, clinics, car workshops, car wash centres, laundry services, restaurants and bakeries.
Brunei International Airport is located in Berakas, with popular shopping centres Times Square, The Airport Mall and Citis Square nearby. Located southwest of the district and 24 kilometres away from the capital is Jerudong. While mainly a residential area, it also houses the Jerudong Park Playground as well as three medical facilities, hotels, country clubs and an equestrian centre.
Muara plays resident to the Muara Port, Brunei’s only deepwater port. Also located in the area is the Muara Naval Base, headquarters of the country’s naval defence force, the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN). Muara Beach is one of the main attractions among locals and tourists, stretching along the coast of South China Sea.
Tutong is 30 minutes away from the capital and is the country’s most ethnically diverse district. It is home to four Bornean ethnic groups: Tutong, Kedayan, Dusun and Iban. Visitors often flock to the district for its impressive destinations which exhibit natural beauty such as Tasek Merimbun, Seri Kenangan Beach, Bintudoh Greenspring Resort, Ukong Sago Factory, Wasai Batu Mapan Recreational Park and Bukit Ambog.
Brunei’s largest district, Belait, is the source of the Sultanate’s wealth and prosperity. Most of the country’s petroleum industry runs in this quiet oil district, situated roughly 100 kilometres away from the capital. Seria and Kuala Belait are the district’s largest towns. Notable landmarks and attractions include the Seria Energy Lab, Teraja Waterfall, Belait District Museum and the Billionth Barrel Monument in commemoration of the billionth oil barrel in Brunei.
Temburong is the second largest district with a population of more than 10,000, separated from the other three districts and sitting adjoined to Sarawak, Malaysia. The Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SHOAS) Bridge, opened to the public in 2020, was constructed to facilitate the movement of people delivering goods and services between Brunei- Muara and Temburong district. The district is densely covered with lush rainforests, making it a hotspot for eco-tourism. The Ulu Temburong National Park and the Sumbiling Eco Village are some of the district’s points of interest.
Copyright 2019 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2019 All rights reserved.