Brunei is one of the safest countries in the world to visit, with a very low overall crime rate, but personal property theft and street crime do occur. You should not carry valuables, documents and large sums of money with you, there are hotel safes for this.
Bendar Seri Begawan is a completely safe city, even at night, there is no nightlife here, and most establishments are closed after 21:00, and even restaurants work only in large hotels.
Rules for visiting the country:
There is no need to do any vaccinations to visit Brunei.
Tap water is usually chlorinated and relatively safe, but bottled or pre-boiled water is recommended. Drinking water outside the main cities may be contaminated and not recommended. Milk and dairy products are usually not pasteurized.
Be sure to use protective sunburn creams and drink plenty of fluids, preferably mineral water or fresh juices. On the street, you must use a hat, protect your eyes with sunglasses that do not transmit ultraviolet light. Even under a beach awning, solar radiation, reflected from water and sand, has a fairly high level.
Opening Hours of Institutions, Shops and Museums
Government offices in this strict Muslim country are closed on Fridays. But commercial firms adhere to the non-Muslim workweek. In particular, banks are open from 9:00 to 15:00 from Monday to Friday, and until 11:00 on Saturday.
Large shops and shopping centers are open daily from 10:00 to 21:00-22:00. Private stores operate on an individual schedule.
In order to call Brunei, you need to dial the code: 8 – 10 – 673 – “city code” – “subscriber number”
Codes of some settlements: Bandar Seri Begawan – 2; Kuala Belait, Mumong, Series – 3; Tutong – 4.
Brunei’s telephone system is well developed. International calls can be made from hotels, street pay phones, or Telekom office phones.
Cellular communication of the GSM 900 standard is developed quite well. Operators DataStream Technology (DTSCom) and B-Mobile Communications (3G standard) provide full country coverage around the main cities and coastal business areas, especially in the northwest of the country. You can purchase a local SIM card (DTSCom) or rent a device from a local operator, which requires a credit card and passport. The rental price is 5-10BND per day. Roaming with Russia is available to subscribers of the largest Russian operators.
Ethics of conduct in Brunei
Although Brunei remains a country where Muslim foundations and rules of life are strong, Brunei is generally very tolerant and fairly easy to forgive foreigners for small violations of local norms and customs. However, compliance with local laws only emphasizes the guest’s respect for the culture and customs of this country.
Brunei shake hands, only lightly touching the hands, and then press the hand to the chest. Shaking hands with members of the opposite sex is not recommended. You should also use gestures very carefully here – many gestures that are quite ordinary for a European, such as pointing a finger at something, and even more so – someone, are indecent. You can not hit the fist of one hand into the open palm of the other. To call a taxi or get someone’s attention, you should wave your whole arm with an open palm.
It is considered polite to accept small gifts or treats. If you refuse something, you should lightly touch the proposed item with your right hand and formulate a polite refusal.
Non-Muslims should not be in the company of members of the opposite sex who practice Islam. Sexual contact between non-Muslims and Muslims, and even behavior that hints at their possibility, is punishable up to expulsion from the country.
The country has very strict, up to the death penalty, penalties for the use and distribution of drugs. Also, one should not discuss the policy of the Sultan or himself – in the eyes of local residents, this is a very respected person whose actions cannot be questioned.
There are many forms of polite address to the locals – the most common is awang, which roughly corresponds to our “lady” or “master”.
You can’t touch the head of a stranger, especially a child, touch the Koran, or pass in front of a person bowing in prayer. When visiting a mosque, all visitors must remove their shoes and leave them at the doorstep, and should also act when entering local houses and dwellings.
Women are strongly advised not to wear a provocative dress with open knees and wrists and leave their heads uncovered. Light clothing with long sleeves is quite acceptable, however, when visiting places of worship and business events, you should first clarify all the conditions and rules that are suitable for this particular occasion.
The consumption of pork and alcohol is prohibited in Brunei, but the consumption of alcoholic beverages by non-Muslims in hotels and some restaurants is allowed, and you should not drink alcohol in public and in public places. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims do not eat from sunrise to sunset. Eating or drinking in their presence during this period is extremely indecent. If there are no cutlery at the table, you can eat with your hand – only with your right hand. It is impossible to use the left hand when passing something, this part of the body is considered “unclean” in Islam.