TRAVELLER’S GUIDE

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Published on August 03, 2014 with No Comments

 

Brunei Visitor Information

Visas* Austrian, German, Malaysian, Singaporean, British nationals with the right of abode in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and New Zealand nationals are exempted from the requirement to obtain a visa for visits not exceeding 30 days. American passport holders can enter Brunei Darussalam for three months without visas. For nationals of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Republic of Maldives, Norway, Oman, The Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and The Principality of Liechtenstein — visas are waived for 14-day visits. Nationals of Australia are issued visas on arrival at the Brunei International Airport for visits not exceeding 30 days.

All other visitors entering Brunei Darussalam must have visas obtainable from any Brunei Darussalam diplomatic mission abroad. These visas are normally issued for a two-week stay but can be renewed in Brunei. Visitors must hold onward tickets and sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country.

N.B. For more details, please contact your nearest Brunei Embassy or diplomatic representative.

Currency Bearer Negotiation Instrument Declaration Passengers entering or leaving Brunei who carry physical currency or bearer negotiable instruments valued at BND15,000 or more are required to complete a declaration form and submit it to a customs officer (if arriving in Brunei) or an immigration officer (if departing Brunei).

Duty-free Allowance* The import of the following products is subject to restrictions imposed by Brunei’s Customs and Excise Department.

Cigarettes: Passengers will be charged duty on cigarettes of $0.25 tax per stick, equal to $5 per pack of 20 sticks of cigarette, and $50 for one carton of 10 packs. Other tobacco products – Import duty on other tobacco products has increased significantly. Passengers will be charged duty for the import of tobacco products.

Alcohol: Non-Muslim passengers may bring in two bottles of liquor plus 12 cans of beer for personal consumption only; and a reasonable quantity of perfumes.

Transportation The airport is about 11km from the capital. Taxis, car rentals and buses are available.

Currency The Brunei dollar is on a par with the Singapore dollar, which is also accepted in Brunei. Banks, hotels and many department stores will cash traveller’s cheques.

Language Malay is the official language but English is widely used. Other languages include Chinese and its dialect variants and other indigenous dialects. Although the official religion is Islam, other faiths including Christianity and Buddhism are practised.

Clothing Light clothing is advisable as the climate is generally warm and humid. Women are requested to dress modestly in keeping with local customs.

Health Doctors provide private medical services for a nominal charge. There are a number of state health clinics and hospitals.

Credit Cards Hotels, department stores and other major establishments generally accept all internationally known credit cards.

Tipping Optional. Some hotels add a 10 per cent service charge to their room rates.

Telephones Overseas calls can be made from hotel rooms through the operator, or via international direct dialling (IDD). There are also coin and phonecard operated public telephones.

Utilities Power supply is 220 – 240v, 50 cycles. The PAL and NTSC systems are used by local television. Tap water is generally safe to drink although some take the precaution of boiling it.

Media Radio Television Brunei has nightly news bulletins and a range of popular entertainment in both English and Malay. Cable network and Malaysian television programmes can also be received. There are three local daily newspapers namely: Borneo Bulletin (English), The Brunei Times (English) and Media Permata (Malay). Other regional and international publications are also available at newstands.

Food For the adventurous, the food stalls offer Malay favourites, such as satay (barbecued meat on a skewer) and local dishes prepared with curry or coconut milk. Chinese, European and Indian cuisines are also available. All F&B businesses, including hotel restaurants, close for Friday prayer 12pm to 2pm. For hotel guests, room service dining operates as usual.

Hotels Accommodation in the capital ranges from international standard to middle range hotels. Service apartments are also available at reasonable rates.

Shopping Department stores and shops offer goods ranging from cosmetics and stereos to local handicrafts such as the keris (an ornamental dagger), miniature brass cannons, and kain tenunan, a cloth woven with gold or silver threads.

Festivals and Celebrations National Day, 23 February, Hari Raya, the end of the Muslim fasting month, and His Majesty The Sultan’s birthday, 15 July. Other public holidays include Chinese Lunar New Year and Christmas.

Customs and Courtesy
• In mosques, visitors should remove their shoes and should not pass in front of people at prayer. A woman should ensure that her head, knees and arms are covered before entering mosques. Robes are provided at the entrance to the mosque.

• A Bruneian shakes hands lightly and brings his hands to his chest. Members of the opposite sex do not shake hands.

• It is impolite to point with the index finger (use the right thumb instead) or to beckon someone with fingers and palm facing upwards. Instead the whole hand should be waved with palm facing downwards. The right fist should never be smacked into the left palm.

• Gifts, particularly food, are passed with the right hand.

* The visa and duty-free allowances are provided as a guideline and may change without notice.

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