A tiny country flanked between the states of Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia is Brunei.
Their major source of income is the oil reserves, making this beautiful independent country one of the most prosperous countries. Some interesting facts about Brunei Darussalam will help you learn more about this wonderful country.
History of Brunei
Brunei Darussalam was a powerful sultanate during the 14th and the 16th century.
Wars, piracy, and colonial expansion of the European powers led to decline of the Brunei Darussalam Empire by the 19th century.
In 1888, Brunei became an official British protectorate. By 1906, a Residential System was put in place wherein a British Resident was representative of the British government as an advisor to the Sultan in all matters except Islamic religion and Malay customs and traditions.
Brunei Darussalam became fully independent nation on 1st January 1984 and Sultan Pengiran Muda Mahkota Hassanal Bolkiah took over as the head of state, Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Defense Minister, as well as Home Affairs Minister.
Interesting Facts about Brunei Darussalam
1. The complete name of the country is Negara Brunei Darussalam, where Negara means ‘country’ and Darussalam means ‘abode of peace’.
2. Istana Nurul Iman, the formal residence of Brunei’s Sultan is the largest residential palace in the world according to Guinness World Records.
3. The Jerudong Park in Jerudong, Brunei-Muara District is the largest and the most expensive amusement park in Southeast Asia.
4. Being an Islamic country, you will find some of the world’s most beautiful mosques here. Omar Ali Saifuddein Mosque is said to be the most beautiful mosque in the Asia Pacific as well as a famous tourist attraction of Brunei.
5. Brunei’s sultan His Highness Pengiran Muda Mahkota Hassanal Bolkiah is the world’s second longest reigning current monarch after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
6. Brunei is home to some of the rarest wildlife and plant species. This small country has managed to conserve 70% of its rainforest in a developing world.
7. It is the first Asian country to ban shark finning wherein no shark species could be caught or landed in the waters of Brunei as well as sale, import, or trade of any shark products is a criminal offence in the country.
8. Sultan of Brunei is the absolute monarch of the nation and his word is the final word. The law of the nation is based on English common law and Islamic Sharia law.
9. Brunei is ranked higher on the Human Development Index compared to all other Southeast Asia apart from Singapore. It is the 5th richest nation out of 182 according to Forbes as well as public debt at 0% of the national GDP.
10. The country has a high standard of living and Bruneians are provided free education and health care, subsidized food and housing by the government. They are not required to pay personal income taxes as well.
The Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest royal in the world. Brunei follows strict Sharia laws for its Muslim population and some laws extend to Non-Muslims. Cars and boats are the main mode of transport within the country. When visiting Brunei respect the local customs and traditions and enjoy your trip to this beautiful destination.