When it comes to South East Asia, well Brunei is probably the least budget friendly. This wealthy little nation has little tourism, and little need for it. But despite the lack of competition for tourism services, you can still score some pretty good deals.
Budget Accommodation in Brunei
Before arriving in Brunei we were visiting Kuching in Sarawak. Our private room in clean, family run hostel cost us $12 per night. Let’s just say, there are no $12 deals in Bandar Seri Begawan. In fact, there are very few deals in Brunei. There are very few hotels even.
Most of the foreign visitors to Brunei are business people, and the hotels in the city centre cater to that market. It’s not a budget market. There are a few budget options that are outside of the city centre, but what you save in accommodation you lose in taxi and transport fares.
We ended up staying at the Jubilee Hotel Brunei which is walking distance to the centre of Bandar Seri Begawan. We booked the cheapest standard room that came with breakfast and were absolutely awestruck at the room we received. It had a balcony, a huge bathroom with a bathtub, a separate bedroom, a sitting room, and a kitchen table. It even had laundry rack on the balcony for drying clothes. It was only slightly smaller than our apartment in Melbourne. And that was the smallest room. The room cost us about 80 Brunei dollars per night.
Budget Transport in Brunei
If you follow my suggestions above, and book a hotel walking distance from the city centre, then you won’t really need any transport at all. The capitol of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan is tiny, and if you only plan to visit the city centre then walking power will get you everywhere you want to go.
Cheap things to do in Brunei
We recently wrote a post with our suggestions on how to spend a day sight seeing in Bandar Seri Begawan. Everything on that itinerary is free, with the exception of the boat tour. The boat tours are run by local boat men, and just by simply walking to the waters edge you will get several offers of tours from local entrepreneurs. Use your bargaining skills to score a decent deal, or join some other travellers and split the cost to save a bit of cash.