Asia and Oceania

Brunei Flag of Brunei

Still current at: 11 June 2008
Updated: 23 April 2008


This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Health section (HIV and AIDS). The overall level of the advice has not changed.  

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country


Travel Summary

  • Most visits to Brunei are trouble free. The main type of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in Brunei in 2007 was for replacing lost or stolen passports.

  • You should not become involved with drugs of any kind: possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty.

  • There is a low threat from terrorism in Brunei.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • If you plan to travel to the Malaysian State of Sabah, you should be aware that we believe terrorists and criminal elements are continuing with plans to kidnap foreign tourists from the islands and coastal areas of Eastern Sabah. Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets.   See the Terrorism section of this advice for more details.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.  See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.

Safety and security

Terrorism
 
There is a low threat from terrorism in Brunei.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.  For more general information see Terrorism Abroad.
 
If you plan to travel to the Malaysian State of Sabah, you should be aware that we believe terrorists and criminal elements are continuing with plans to kidnap foreign tourists from the islands and coastal areas of Eastern Sabah. Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets.  If you wish to visit resorts on, and islands off, Eastern Sabah, you should exercise extreme caution.  For more details you should see our Travel Advice for Malaysia; and that for Indonesia, if travelling through Borneo/Kalimantan further afield
 
Crime
 
Crime levels are low in Brunei, but there are occasional incidents of petty crime against tourists.  You should:
 
  • take particular care of your passport;
  • when going out avoid carrying valuables with you;
  • not leave possessions in unattended vehicles, even if out of sight in a locked boot.
For more general information see Victims of Crime Abroad.
 
Local Travel 
 
Road Travel
 
From October 2007 vehicles not registered in Brunei can only purchase motor fuel at 10 designated filling stations throughout the country, to a maximum of B$6 for diesel (19.4 litres) and B$10 for petrol (18.9 litres) per day. 
 
Additional information on these measures is available on Brunei’s official websites www.up.gov.bn or www.petroleum-unit.gov.bn
 
You can drive in Brunei with a UK driving licence as long as it is endorsed by the Brunei Land Transport Department in the Ministry of Communications.  Alternatively, you can use an International Driving Licence.
 
If you are involved in a road accident as a driver, you should not leave the scene until the police have attended.
 
For more general information see:  Driving Abroad
 
Trekking
 
It is easy to get lost when visiting the rainforest.  You should use recognised and well-known guides, and be sure to stay on the footpaths.
 
Air Travel
 
The revised aviation security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 were also implemented in Brunei in October 2007. For more details about this please see:   Dft: Airline Security
 
A Departure Tax of 12 Brunei Dollars (about £4) is payable for most departing passengers from Brunei.  This is payable in local currency, in cash, at the airport check-in desk.

Local laws and customs

Local laws reflect the fact that Brunei is a Muslim country.  You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. 
 
You should respect local social conventions.  You should dress modestly, especially in or near places of worship.

Possession of pornographic material is illegal.

Homosexual activity is illegal.

Any public criticism of His Majesty The Sultan or other members of the Bruneian Royal Family is strongly discouraged.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences in Brunei including, in some cases, the death penalty.  The legal system in Brunei is partly based on Sharia law and can, in certain circumstances, apply to non-Muslims including visitors.

The sale of alcohol in Brunei is prohibited.   Non-Muslims over 17 years of age may import duty free, two bottles of wine or spirits and twelve cans of beer on entry into Brunei, but must declare them to Customs on arrival.  There must be at least a 48-hour gap between each import.  Keep the Customs slip in case of inspection.
 
For more general information for different types of travellers see Travel Advice Relevant to You. 

Entry requirements

Visas 
 
British passport holders do not require a visa to enter Brunei as tourists for stays of up to 30 days, penalties may be imposed on those who overstay.  You should ensure that the entry stamp in your passport indicates the validity of stay.  Visas for longer stays or for non-tourist purposes must be obtained from the nearest Brunei diplomatic mission before travel. 
 
Passport validity
 
You will normally be refused entry to Brunei if your passport has less than six months’ remaining validity.
 
Travelling with children
 
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. They may want to see birth certificates, a letter of consent from the other parent or some evidence as to your responsibility for the child.

Health

The standard of healthcare in Brunei is generally better than in many countries in the region, though basic hospital supplies can run low from time to time.  There is only one significant medical facility: the Government General Hospital (RIPAS) in Bandar Seri Begawan.  Should complications arise, medical evacuation to Singapore is necessary so you should ensure that your insurance covers this.  
 
Good dental care can be found either at Jerudong Park Medical Centre or from local private dentists.  Most branded pharmaceuticals are also readily available, including condoms.
 
Brunei has periodic problems with air quality reaching hazardous levels because of smoke haze.  For the latest information on air quality in Brunei see: Bruneian Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation
 
Dengue fever is common to Brunei. A number of cases were reported in Brunei in late 2005. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is also common to Brunei and an outbreak in early 2006 closed kindergartens and junior schools for a short period.  There were also outbreaks in the British Garrison and Seria area in early 2007.  HFMD is a communicable disease, which affects all age groups, but children are particularly vulnerable.

You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Brunei and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date.  For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
For more general health information see Travel Health.
Avian Influenza
 
There have been no reported cases of avian influenza (Bird Flu) in Brunei during the current series of outbreaks.  But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed cases elsewhere in the region.
 
You should read this advice in conjunction with Avian and Pandemic Influenza, which gives more detailed advice and information. 

General

Insurance
 
We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before leaving UK. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake, including cover for medical evacuation by air ambulance particularly if you plan to engage in adventure sports.   See Travel Insurance.
 
If things do go wrong when you are overseas then this is how we can help.
 
Money
 
Credit cards are accepted at most major establishments.  Travellers’ cheques can be cashed at banks or major hotels.  Singapore Dollars may also be used in Brunei and are of the same value as the Brunei Dollar.  Most other major currencies are convertible at banks, hotels or official moneychangers.
 
Consular registration
 
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.  More information about registering with LOCATE can be found here.

Travel advice for this country

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contacts

Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan, British High Commission

Address:

British High Commission
2.01, 2nd Floor, Block D
Kompleks Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah,
Bandar Seri Begawan
BS 8711
Brunei Darussalam

  • Postal address:
  • PO Box 2197
    Bandar Seri Begawan BS8674
    Brunei Darussalam

Telephone:

(673) (2) 222231/223121 Switchboard
(673) (2) 226001 Consular/Visa

Fax:

(673) (2) 234315

Email: mailto:http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/brunei

Office hours:

Local:
Mon-Thurs: 0830-1700
Fri: 0830-1230
Local Time = GMT + 8hrs

Website: http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/brunei