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Country Reports

Brunei Darussalam Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Travelers to small (population 422,000) but prosperous (large natural gas reserves) Brunei should be aware that the sultanate is strictly Muslim. The consumption of alcohol is forbidden and travelers are advised to dress conservatively in this country, located on the island of Borneo (which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia). Visitors should avoid wearing yellow clothing, as the color is reserved for the sultan. Furthermore, any public criticism of His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, or any other members of the royal family, is strongly discouraged.

SECURITY

Violent crime rates are low; however, since the risk of a terrorist attack is high throughout Southeast Asia, travelers should be prudent, particularly in public places, shops, and at tourist sites. Furthermore, visitors should be aware that certain elements of Sharia law (Quranic law) are applied within the sultanate, especially regarding family matters. Beginning in April 2014, the government will expand Sharia law to include corporal punishments such as whipping, amputation, and stoning.

HEALTH

While hospital facilities provide relatively high-quality basic care, travelers are advised to seek treatment abroad (for example, in Bangkok or Singapore) in the case of more complex medical needs. Finally, cases of dengue fever (epidemic declared in 2010, including in the capital) and foot-and-mouth disease are regularly reported. Agricultural burning practiced by Indonesian farmers on the island of Borneo increases levels of air pollution in neighboring Brunei, which can be harmful to travelers’ health. This often occurs during the summer ‒ especially in August ‒ each year.

NATURAL RISKS

Monsoon season extends from November until March and the country often suffers from floods during this period.

Climate

Brunei's climate is hot and humid throughout the year. Temperatures are generally pleasant (23°C to 32°C). The rainy season begins in September and lasts until January. The dry season (or the drier season), extends from February until April.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 673 Police: 993 Fire Dept.: 995 Ambulance: 991

Electricity

Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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