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Editor’s note: Nazurah Ajimy was among those short-listed for Neue’s “Let The World Know Your Story” outreach programme. You could be next!

Click on the photo if you’d like to see if you have what it takes to write for Neue.

When Aladdin and Jasmine are together, they are usually accompanied by an instrumental cue of “A Whole New World”. (Good luck getting that tune out of your head!)

I’m starting off this story with this intro because I firmly believe that it’s a whole new world right here in Brunei!

Although it may seem ludicrous to think that you’d have the same experience as Aladdin because, well, flying magic carpets and wish-granting genies (that look like Will Smith) aren’t particularly real … I’m writing this article to show you that it is POSSIBLE to enjoy the sights and sounds of Brunei without spending a single cent.

Without further ado, let’s get right to it. These are 5 cool things you can do in Brunei for FREE! Happy reading!

#1. Brush up on your historyGoing on a trip to a museum can be an exciting experience that brings new knowledge and broadens your horizons. After all, where we are today is because of our history.

So why not brush up on your history by visiting places like Royal Regalia and Malay Technology Museum. Both of these are located in the heart of the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

As we get older, there will be changes. That said, it’s comforting to know that you can visit museums to take a trip down memory lane and see how life was like in the past. I think that it’s really cool that we get to see how much Brunei has developed while still holding on to its rich traditions.

One particular museum that I absolutely enjoyed going to was the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum. To me, it’s full of wonder. It honestly has a “Titanic” sort of feel (but in a good way). You also get to learn about some of the shipwrecks that have been uncovered.

#2. Be one with nature

Photo: Muhammad Nazirul Syafiq Bin Shahruddin

It doesn’t cost any money to enjoy a jog or a hike in Brunei. (Well, unless you’re going to buy yourself an ice-cold cup of coconut juice from those stalls that are usually set up near parking lots).

While in Brunei, do check out places like Tasek Lama, Shahbandar, Bukit Silat, Bukit Sipatir and many more!

#3. Unleash your inner touristBrunei is a beautiful country filled with minimalistic yet mesmerising architecture. Grab your cameras (or more realistically speaking, mobile phones!) to snap photos of the many amazing architecture such as the majestic Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

My personal favourite spot has got to be the giant “frame” at the Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas, a riverfront public park in Bandar Seri Begawan. Formerly known as Eco-Corridor Park, the park was inaugurated on October 22, 2017 in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s accession to the throne.

If you haven’t taken a walk around this park, you’re really missing out.

And if you’re not a fan of walking, you can always rent a bicycle. (However, that’ll involve you forking over some cash!)

#4. Earth without ‘art’ is just ‘Eh’Imagine a world without art. (Oh! Perish that thought!)

If you’re an artist or just someone who just appreciates art, do  make your way to the Art Gallery of Dermaga Di Raja (Royal Wharf) in Bandar Seri Begawan. 

From time to time, there are special events that feature works done by local as well as international artists. As the annual Brunei Darussalam Regatta was recently held in conjunction with His Majesty’s 73rd birthday, boats were the main theme of the art gallery.

#5. Explore Islam

The writer in front of the Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

His Majesty consented to name the permanent building of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Islamic Exhibition Hall as Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah earlier this month.

It is here where Muslims and non-Muslims can learn more about the history of the Islamic world. Among the items on display are the cloth of Kaa’bah and a massive sized al-Quran.

Final thoughts

I got to visit all these amazing places without spending a dollar! Who says you can’t have fun without money 🙂

I’m certain that that you yourself would have your own list of recommended places to go. Do drop a comment below if you know of any other things you can do for free in Brunei.

I’d love to read what you have to say.