The capital city of Brunei is Bandar Seri Begawan which is located in the north of the country, and part of the town lies on the banks of the Brunei River. The original name of the city was "Bandar Brunei", which translates to "Brunei Town". This was changed to the current name on 5 October 1970. Settlement of the city and surrounding areas can be traced back to the seventh and eighth centuries with an old fishing and trading port located close-by. The area was later settled by the British in the 19th Century, and modern development of the land began in 1906. Bandar Seri Begawan was granted city status in 1920 and was invaded and occupied by the Japanese Army during World War II.

The estimated populace of the city is 100,000, but the surrounding areas also include some 180,000 people, giving the area over half of the nation's population. The majority of the people of the capital city are of Malay ethnicity and the second most prevalent ethnic group is Chinese. Several smaller ethnic groups exist such as the Bisaya, Belait, Dusun, Kedayan, Murut and Tutong. There are also many foreign workers from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and India.

Bandar Seri Begawan is home to many museums and other cultural installations, but one of the most famous attractions is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque which was constructed in 1958. This mosque is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. The city also offers excellent parks and nature walks with great park facilities available. Kampong Ayer is a fantastic city that is based on the Brunei River on stilts. Founded over 1,000 years ago, the 'Venice of the East' has 2,000 homes and 30,000 residents.

The climate of Brunei is classed as a tropical rainforest environment which means hot, humid temperatures as well as being relatively wet. The year-round average high temperature is usually more than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and the average low temperature at any time throughout the year is about 23 degree Celsius (73/74 degrees Fahrenheit). The best time to visit Brunei would be February or March as the average days of rain is only 12 and 11 days per month compared to November and December which have an average of 23 and 21 days of rain per month. The country is subject to both the Northeast and Southeast Monsoons which contribute significantly to the overall climate of Brunei.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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