Based on the northern-most district in the country, Brunei-Muara is the smallest district in Brunei but by far the most populous with almost three-quarter of the total population. This is where the capital and seat of government and most of the commercial activities are based.
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 and Brunei’s largest mosque Jame’ ’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah. Kampong Ayer (water village) is centuries-old where it is the largest settlement area based on water, where houses on stilts are built on Brunei River and the houses are joined by a maze of inter-connecting wooden walkways.
Not far from the capital is the Istana Nurul Iman, official home to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. It is the world’s largest residential palace. Other notable suburbs that comprise 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 Times Square shopping centre, The Airport Mall and Citis Square Complex 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 medical facilities, hotels, country clubs and an equestrian centre.
The deep water Muara Port based in this district is Brunei’s main port and is the main international gateway for trade of Brunei. Muara Port is positioned by the northeastern coast of the entrance of Brunei Bay at the southeast of South China Sea. 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 the South China Sea.
Tutong District 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. Most of the administration and business activities take place in Pekan Tutong.
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.
Visitors to Belait District are greeted with the sight of one of its most iconic landmarks – a giant teapot monument standing right in the middle of a roundabout. Nodding donkeys can also be seen in various areas. Notable landmarks and attractions in this district include the Seria Energy Lab, Wasai Teraja waterfall, Labi Coffee Farm, Belait District Museum and the Billionth Barrel Monument in commemoration of the billionth oil barrel in Brunei.
Temburong is the second largest district, 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 travel between Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts. The district is densely covered with lush rainforests, making it a hotspot for ecotourism. The Ulu Temburong National Park and the Sumbiling Eco Village are some of the district’s points of interest. Aside from its rainforests, Temburong district is also wellknown for its local specialties such as udang galah (giant freshwater prawn) and wajid (steamed rice cooked in sugar and coconut cream).
Copyright 1993 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook All rights reserved.