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Brunei is best explored by rental car. Carrentals.co.uk has over 1 pick-up locations in Brunei. This means there is always a pick-up location close to your destination.
This pint-sized country’s 100 miles of beach, 193 square miles of sea, lowland rain forests and mountain rainforests are slowly starting to make their way onto tourists’ radars. The stunning natural scenery - the main attraction here - can easily be explored by car. Visitors can drive along the entire length of the South China Sea coastline and into the Borneo rainforest to discover birds, mammals, primates and rich plant life.
The main motorway that runs along the coast offers a quick way to go from one end of this small country to the other. Paved roads lead off of the motorway and into the rainforest, but drivers should take care if driving in heavy rain.
Driving licences: UK drivers need to have their UK driving licence endorsed by the Brunei Land Transport Department to be used here. Otherwise, an International Driving Permit is needed.
Which side does Japan drive on: on the left.
Motorways: 62mph (100kph)
Rural areas: 49mph (80kph)
Alcohol limits: alcohol is prohibited in Brunei so the country enforces a zero tolerance law. Those found driving with alcohol in their system should expect a fine or further action.
Driving age: 18 years old.
Seatbelts: compulsory for passengers in the front seats. Children under the age of 3 must be secured in a government-approved car seat.
Mobile phones and GPS: it is illegal to drive while using a mobile phone. The use of GPS is permitted and is useful, especially in the cities.
Cost of fuel in Japan: a fraction of the price of fuel in the UK.
Car hire and fuel payment: credit card payment is widely accepted at petrol stations though it is worthwhile carrying cash just in case. UK card holders should inform their card issuer that they wish to use their card here beforehand.
Insurance: car hire includes third-party insurance though it is recommended to purchase excess insurance.
Traffic and parking: parking is plentiful throughout the country. Most spaces are in multi-level and covered car parks though on-street parking can also be found. Parking in a prohibited area may result in a fine.
There are no train services international or domestic train services in Brunei.
There are few taxis in Brunei, with the majority waiting at the airport or the taxi stand in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. This means that it is nearly impossible to flag one down in the street. Meters are not used and fares are generally fixed, with the seven-mile drive from the airport to Bandar Seri Begawan costing around £15.
Long-distance buses travel into Brunei from the Sarawak border, terminating at Kuala Belait. There are no other buses running within the country other than inner-city buses in the capital city. These are purple coloured vans that seat around 20 people. Although they are cheap, at around £0.60 a single fare, their routes can be difficult for visitors to follow.
The Serasa Ferry Terminal in Muara receives ferries from destinations throughout Malaysia. PKL Jaya operates car ferries to and from Sabah (Malaysia), which cost around £25 for car and driver. Water taxis regularly run along the Brunei River to areas surrounding the capital city. There are also speedboats that depart from Bandar Seri Begawan for destinations along the Brunei River, in Brunei Bay and south along the Temburong River to Bangar.
Brunei International Airport is the country’s sole airport, with daily flights to London-Heathrow with Royal Brunei Airlines. UK citizens can stay for up to 90 days visa-free so long as they have six months’ validity on their passport. A return ticket is needed to board any Brunei-bound flight. Visitors departing the airport for international destinations are required to pay an international departures tax of around £6.
Bandar Seri Begawan, the country’s capital city, is the main port of entry and where most visitors start their Brunei explorations. From here, it is easy to access all parts of the country as all roads lead out from Bandar Seri Begawan. The capital is home to attractions such as Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the Royal Regalia Museum and Istana Nurul Iman (Palace of the Sultan).
Muara, to the northeast, is home to a beautiful white sandy mile-long beach with crystal clear waters. It is where the country’s main sea port is located.
Another Brunei beach destination is Kuala Belait, the last main town before Sarawak. Here, visitors can relax along the South China Sea’s Silver Jubilee Park, taste local cuisine at the Tudong Saji market or take a boat trip through the jungle to the river town of Kuala Balai.
The Temburong district’s untouched Ulu Temburong National Park is in the Borneo lowlands rainforest and is one of the country’s best eco-tourist destinations. Hike through the park and spot amazing wildlife living among the abundance of rare tree and plant species.
The more popular Sungai Liang Forest Recreational Park in the western part of the country is home to primates, the endangered clouded leopard, the sun bear and a plethora of bird species, as well as canopy walkways, footpaths and unique longhouses.
Underwater enthusiasts will find the diving in Brunei Bay superb, with its four shipwrecks and numerous reefs. Marine life that can be spotted in Brunei waters includes hammerhead, leopard and white tip sharks, and barracuda, rays and groupers.
Brunei has a tropical equatorial climate, with a humid subtropical climate at high altitudes of the rainforest. This means it rains throughout the year, with February and March experiencing the least amount of rainfall. The area around the capital city experiences temperatures from 23°C to 30°C, while the cooler Temburng region usually sees the mercury sit around 20°C. The western part of the country is the hottest and most humid part of Brunei, with temperatures ranging between 25°C to 37°C.