The Sultanate of Brunei is located in Southeast Asia. A
small-sized state is located on the island of Kalimantan, washed by
the South China Sea. It borders only with Malaysia.
Brunei is an oil-rich sultanate of relatively small size with a population of 450,000 as of 2016, strategically located on the South China Sea, close to the vital shipping lanes connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its oil resources brought great wealth to the Sultan and some of the locals, and the palaces and mosques are the best proof of this. However, many Brunei, including those who live in the village on the water (Kampong Ayer), still have a relatively simple, albeit comfortable, livelihood.
The description of an "oil-rich sultanate" might conjure up images of Dubai or Qatar, but travelers with such expectations are likely to be disappointed. Brunei doesn't have many grand man-made attractions, and while great diving and jungle trekking is available, it doesn't have the mind-blowing natural parks of the neighboring Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Many people who visit Brunei are really only doing so for the sake of the "country collection" or "passport.
Administratively, Brunei is divided into four districts (daera):
Temburong - the district has no land border with other districts, the territories are connected through the bay
Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital and largest city of the country.
Forest Park Peledeyan
Jungle Park and Research Center Kuala Belalong
Batan Duri Park
Ulu Temburong National Park
Merimbum Historical Park
Seri Kenangan Beach and Recreation Area
Sungai Basong Recreation Area
Tamu Tutong - traditional handicrafts market
Berakas Forest Park and Recreation Area
Bukit Shahbandar Forest Park and Recreation Area
Tasek Lama Forest Park and Recreation Area
The official language of Brunei, as well as the surrounding Malaysia, is Malay, English and partly Chinese are widely used.
The country's currency is the Brunei dollar (BND).
The international dialing code for Brunei is +673. Country internet domain .bn
Brunei was founded by Awang Alak Betatar, who converted to Islam in 1363 and became the first Sultan of Brunei under the name Muhammad Shah. According to legend, Awang Alak Betatar discovered the mouth of a previously unknown river while traveling and exclaimed "Baru nah!" (usually translated as "here!"), from where the name of the river, and later - the sultanate, came from. Subsequently, the name was transformed into "Barunai", possibly influenced by the Sanskrit word "varun" (वरुण), which means either "ocean" or the mythological "lord of the ocean". In the country's full name, "Negara Brunei Darussalam" (Arabic: دار السلام), "Darussalam" means "abode of peace" while "Negara" means "country" in Malay.
Physical and geographical characteristics
Brunei is located in Southeast Asia, on the northwestern coast of the island of Kalimantan and consists of two separate areas separated by approximately 30 km of Malaysian territory. In the north it is washed by the South China Sea. The sea coast is heterogeneous, in the northeast there is Brunei Bay with many islands, in the west a sandy sloping coast prevails.
Relief and geological structure
Western Brunei is a rolling lowland, foothills are located in the south. The eastern part consists of the coastal plain, which is heavily waterlogged. The highest point is Mount Bukit Pagon, 1850 m.
There are no large lakes and rivers in the country. Among the medium-sized lakes is Merimbun, which is an integral part of the wildlife sanctuary of the same name. The rivers Brunei, Tudong, Temburong and Belait flow from the hills of the southern part of the country to the north, flowing into the South China Sea.
The climate is humid, equatorial. It is subject to strong influence of monsoons from the waters of the South China Sea. There are earthquakes. Small rivers flow from the highlands and hills north to the sea. The air temperature throughout the year fluctuates around +26 °C. More than 75% of the territory is covered with tropical rainforests. Also in the high tide on the coast of Brunei, mangroves are common.
The first states on the territory of Brunei were created by the Malays at the end of the 1st millennium BC. At the beginning of our era, the territory of modern Brunei became one of the centers of international trade. In the Chinese chronicles of the 6th-7th centuries, it is mentioned under the name "Polo", "Po-li", "Bun-lai". Islam became the state religion of Brunei in the 14th century.
In the 16th century, Brunei was a powerful feudal state that occupied a significant part of the island of Borneo and some neighboring islands. So it was seen by the sailors of the expedition of Fernando Magellan, whose ships visited here in 1522.
In 1839, the British adventurer James Brooke, who was in the service of the Sultan, suppressed a Dayak uprising that threatened the position of the Sultan, and received from him "as a gift" for the service of land in the north of the country (Sarawak) and the title of "Raja". The dynasty of "white rajas" (Bruks) ruled there until the Second World War, during which the territory of Sarawak was occupied by Japan. After the end of the war, Sarawak came under the direct control of the British crown, and in 1962 became part of Malaysia.
In 1888, all of Brunei became a British protectorate. In 1959, after a series of uprisings, Great Britain granted autonomy to Brunei in matters of internal self-government. Plans were made for Brunei to become part of Malaysia in 1962, but an uprising led by the Brunei People's Party (BNP) thwarted these plans. The uprising was brutally crushed by British troops. The Sultan, whom the British suspected of sympathizing with the PNB, was subsequently forced to abdicate in favor of his son. On January 1, 1984, full independence was proclaimed.
In 1992, the concept of "Malay Islamic Monarchy" was adopted. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah pursues a policy of cautious modernization of society. Brunei has had diplomatic relations with Russia since 01.10.1991.
The form of government in Brunei is an absolute theocratic monarchy with some outward signs of a constitutional monarchy. The political regime has a patriarchal-authoritarian form.
The head of state and government is the Sultan. He is also the Minister of Defense, as well as the religious leader of the country's Muslims. The government consists mainly of his close relatives.
After a state of emergency was introduced in 1962 in connection with an attempted armed uprising in Brunei and the Legislative Council was dissolved, the Sultan almost single-handedly rules the country through his decrees. The state of emergency is renewed by the Sultan every 2 years. Advisory bodies under the monarch have limited rights. The Sultan personally appoints the members of the Privy Council, the Religious Council and the Council of Succession (of the Throne), and since 1970, the Legislative Council.
The Brunei National United Party is the only political organization in the country. Supports the monarchy. Created in 1986