Brunei Commonwealth Walkway

Brunei / Asia

BRUNEI Brunei is a state on the north-west coast of Borneo, surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak on its landward side, and by the South China Sea, which divide the state into two unequal segments. The rest of the landmass belongs to Indonesia.  Geographically Brunei is west of Malaysia and Singapore, northeast of Indonesia and Australia and south-west of Vietnam and Cambodia.  It is avrich country due to its offshore reserves of oil and natural gas, first discovered in 1929. Supreme power is vested in the Sultan, one of the world’s richest men.  The Sultanate was a powerful state in the 16th century with authority over Borneo, the Sulu Islands and the Philippines.  Gradually their power waned and by the middle of the 19th century, it was reduced to its present size.  Its western segment is the larger of the two and this contains its capital city: Bandar Seri Begawan. In 1847 the then Sultan entered into a treaty with Great Britain to further commercial relations and to suppress piracy.  In 1888 Brunei was placed under Great Britain’s protection by a further treaty.  In 1959 the Sultan promulgated a new constitution, but in 1984 the Legislative Council was dissolved and the Sultan assumed supreme political power.  In 1979 there had been negotiations which led to Brunei becoming a fully sovereign and independent state on 31 December 1983. The Prince of Wales represented the Queen at the Independence celebrations in February 1984.  The official National Day which celebrates the country's independence is held annually on 23 February.   Brunei is renowned for its protected rainforest and beaches. Two-thirds of its population is Malay.  For this reason, the official language is Malay with English as the second dialect. Brunei’s population is predominantly Sunni Muslim, although the Chinese (one-tenth of the population) usually follow Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, or Christianity. Since 1929 the people of Brunei have enjoyed considerable benefits.  They benefit from healthcare, state education system and a housing scheme which provides citizens with affordable homes.  Brunei is noted for the happiness and welfare of its people, who live in an atmosphere of relaxation and calm. The present Sultan is Hassanal Bolkiah (born in 1946). He is the 29th Sultan and also acts as Prime Minister. He assumed office on 5 October 1967 on the abdication of his father. He celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 2017. He is an honorary Admiral in the British Royal Navy, an honorary Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force, and holds an honorary GCB, and an honorary GCMG.   Capital Brunei’s capital is Bandar Seri Begawan which is home to two-thirds of the country’s population. It is also Brunei’s largest urban centre.  Bandar Seri Begawan is located 9 miles from Brunei Bay on the Brunei River.  Life in Bandar Seri Begawan is centred around two pastimes: eating and shopping. There are a few museums as well as the biggest water village in the world. Fun Facts
  • Although there is no nightlife, Bandar Seri Begawan enjoyed a unique love of karaoke.
  • Brunei has an entire settlement supported by stilts on a river.
  • Brunei is the first Asian country to ban shark finning.
  • Brunei is home to Southeast Asia’s biggest and most expensive amusement park. 

1.9 miles / 3 kilometres

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