I only spent two days in tine Brunei, and if you are sticking to the capital, well that’s probably all the time you need. Brunei is a country that is gotten rich off the petroleum industry, so tourism is not one of it’s focuses. And from what I saw, there are not a lot of tourists demanding services there either.
Staying in Brunei with a Child
There is not a lot of tourism in Brunei, and therefore, there are not a lot of accommodation options. In fact there are so few options, that don’t expect to get your standard South East Asian accommodation deal. Most hotels cater to business travellers and as such, as not normally cheap or family friendly. We did find one option though. We wanted a room that was walking distance to the city centre, and one that offered airport pick up. Jacob and I arrived late at night at the airport, so having airport pick up was essential.
We ended up staying at the Jubilee Hotel Brunei. 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. Families travelling with more than one child will be happy to know that they even have 2 bedroom suites as well.
Eating in Brunei with Children
I don’t know if we were wandering the wrong streets, or what happened, but we didn’t find too many restaurants or cafes in central Bandar Seri Begawan. There are plenty of malls though, and every mall has a selection of fast food style restaurants. The best thing about these places though, is that many of them come with children’s play areas.
What to do with Kids in Brunei
There are not a heap of tourist attractions in Bandar Seri Begawan, you can probably keep yourself busy for a day or two. We found one tourist attraction that the whole family will love, and that is the guided river cruise. Now this is no organized tour, all you need to do is just get close to the river and you will have boat men trying to get your attention and offer you a tour. Having a private guide allows you to spend more time in the areas that interest you, and gives you freedom to explore other areas. But the best part of the river cruise for kids is searching for wild proboscis monkeys.
We spent at least half an hour searching different spots along the river for monkeys, and I was starting to think our chances were not looking good. We were about to give up, when our guide spotted something blonde. It wasn’t me, it was a family group of proboscis monkeys.