The Brunei-Muara District is Brunei’s most populous district out of the four despite being the smallest at 571 square kilometres. It is home to an estimated 300,000 residents. It also 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 Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Taman 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 Waterfront Promenade.
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 that comprise the district are Gadong, Kiulap, Kiarong, Berakas, Jerudong, and Muara. The Jame’Asr Hassanil Mosque, Brunei’s largest mosque, is situated in Kiarong.
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, 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, the Jerudong Park Playground is located here, 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 is also bookended by the Muara Beach up north, facing the South
China Sea and the Brunei Bay down south.
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 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.
Temburong is the second largest district with a population of less than 10,000, separated from the other three districts and sitting adjoined to Sarawak, Malaysia. The district is densely covered with lush rainforest, parts of it conserved in reserve parks, 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 and its main town is Bangar.
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