Brunei Darussalam has plenty of sports and recreational activities available, ranging from badminton and swimming to horse riding, mountain biking and paintball. Keep yourself active and let off some steam with some of the highlights below.
Formerly known as Royal Brunei Recreation Club, Peak Performance Sdn Bhd (PPSB) is open to members and walk-ins. Its facilities include a football field, a swimming pool and a multipurpose hall for tennis, badminton, basketball, netball and squash. Their dance studio is used for ballet, hip hop, yoga and zumba.
PPSB also offers fitness programmes including muay thai, yoga, calisthenics, spinning and total body resistance training. Coaching programmes include archery, football, futsal, swimming, tennis and fencing.
Located in Kuala Belait is the Brunei Shell Recreation Club, equipped with tennis courts, swimming pool and gym. The club is known for its horse riding activities open to the public, tailored to beginners as well as intermediate and advanced riders. Pony rides are also available for children.
Thrill seekers who crave for strategic and tactical teamwork are encouraged to try out the Paintball Arena in Jerudong, managed by Royal Brunei Technical Services. There are short breaks in between the rounds to reload the paintballs and discuss tactics among the teammates.
Recreational activity packages are also available, and these can be ideal to explore the country while keeping yourself active. Ride an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to explore the jungle beside the Tungku Beach and enjoy the stunning scenery on the headland. You can also tour the agricultural park at Kampong Katimahar, which boasts excellent off-roads tracks and a wide variety of flora and fauna. You may come across a water buffalo along the way, a charming reminder of the traditional village life away from the city centre.
For an unforgettable biking experience, there are tour and training packages suited for riders of varying levels and interest to explore the local trails and lush jungles of Borneo.
Brunei’s waters are located in the outskirts of the Coral Triangle, hosting 4,500 hectares of untouched coral reef. Deep beneath the waters are shipwrecks, some from World War II, as well as sunken oil rigs. Some wrecks are only accessible for technical divers due to their depths, rendering them unsuitable as recreational diving spots. While the diving scene has garnered growing numbers of local and international divers, these dive spots are a great option for those who wish to beat the crowds in other diving hotspots.
Brunei’s dry season is between March and October, when diving is highly recommended. During these months, the sea is calm and divers are likely to encounter deeper underwater visibility. Brunei’s water averages 25-28 degrees Celsius, a warm tropical temperature ideal for diving. These conditions coupled with exotic marine life in vast quantities are perfect for macro photography, attracting underwater photographers. Examples of these marine lives include the largest species of nudibranch, leopard shrimps, lionfish and some of the world’s largest concentrations of allied cowries.
Two of the most prominent diving operators in the Sultanate are Oceanic Quest and Poni Divers. Both are situated in the Brunei-Muara District around the Serasa area.
Golfing is one of the nation’s favourite sports, with multiple championship-grade golf courses scattered throughout the country. Brunei Darussalam’s warm sunny weather with clear blue skies easily encourages the popularity of this outdoor sport for those looking to wind down on weekends.
Situated within this luxurious hotel’s compound is this world-class 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, a legendary American golfer. Renowned as one of Asia’s finest and ranked among Asia’s leading golf courses in the World Travel Awards, The Empire Brunei is well loved with its immaculate landscape and elaborate greens from the surrounding rainforest. The course also treats players with a gorgeous view of the South China Sea. The golf course has hosted royalty and heads of states from around the world. It also played host to prestigious golf tournaments including the Asian Tour, Aberdeen Senior Masters, Brunei Open and the Royal Trophy.
Location: The Empire Brunei, Jerudong
Tel: 241 8222
Designed by Ron Fream, a world-renowned American golf course architect, this golf course is one of the best in the world. Fream described it as the ‘Augusta National of Asia’ due to its reputation of being one of the best manicured golf courses in Asia. Nestled within a jungle landscape, it is distinctive for its narrow, tree-flanked fairways, leading to relatively small greens; this gives players’ short game skills a real challenge.
Location: Jerudong Park, Jerudong
Tel: 261 1582
With greens among the best in Southeast Asia, the Pantai Mentiri Golf Club is a 6,105-metre, par-72 course suitable for seasoned golfers and professionals. The golf course is peppered with water hazards throughout its compound, offering a challenge for golfers who wish to prove themselves to be among the best. Golfers with a handicap of 10 and above will struggle to achieve a net par score. In 1999, the golf course played host to the golf event during the 20th Southeast Asian Games, as well as a slew of other amateur and professional tournaments throughout the years.
Location: Jalan Kota Batu, Bandar Seri Begawan
Tel: 279 1021
Brunei’s first 18-hole public golf course is located near the Brunei International Airport and designed by world-renowned golf architect Max Wexler. The golf course features a flat terrain with lakes spread throughout the course serving as irrigation. The golf course is considered challenging for golfers due to the preservation of its original vegetation as well as the addition of the lakes.
Location: Brunei International Airport, Berakas
Tel: 234 3724
Managed by the Panaga Club, this golf course is located along Jalan Utara, with Brunei Shell Petroleum’s headquarters not far off. Its close proximity to the sea in combination with its low-lying lands means the course’s ponds and ditches are susceptible to be filled with seawater when a high tide occurs. In 1978, the golf course hosted the widely successful Brunei Open. It also conducts the annual Panaga Open, a local golfing event.
Location: Panaga Club, Seria
Tel: 337 2265, 337 5754, 337 2234
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