Inside the surreal capital city of Brunei, a tiny nation of unimaginable wealth where oil money pays for everything and half the population lives in a floating ‘water village’


brunei mosque

Brunei is tiny, but it’s one of the richest countries in the world.
Its wealth is on full display in its capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, where oil money pays for glittering mosques and extravagant architecture.
Much of the city’s population lives in a floating village, where the houses, schools, and restaurants are all on stilts.

Brunei is one of the smallest countries in the world — at 2,200 square miles, it’s smaller than Delaware, and its population is lower than that of Omaha, Nebraska.

Yet the Southeast Asian nation is also one of the richest in the world, with a higher GDP per capita than countries like the United States, Germany, and Japan.

Brunei’s wealth is on full display in its capital city Bandar Seri Begawan, where grandiose mosques and extravagant buildings dominate the townscape and tributes to the country’s mega-rich sultan lie around every corner.

But Brunei’s capital is also a city of contrasts. Despite its flashy architecture, the streets of Bandar Seri Begawan are eerily quiet, and after dark, the lack of nightlife and bustle turns the mood downright surreal.

Even stranger, nearly half of the city’s population lives in a floating village where houses, schools, restaurants, and police stations all rest on stilts in the middle of the Brunei River.

Here’s what it’s like inside the capital of city of one of the most enigmatic countries in the world:

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Bandar Seri Begawan is the small but flashy capital of Brunei, a tiny country on the island of Borneo. Bandar means “city” in the Malay language, while Seri Begawan is a royal title held by the sultan of Brunei’s father.

Source: Oxford Business Group

Brunei’s economy is almost entirely dependent on crude oil, which has paid for some of the most glamorous buildings in Southeast Asia.

Source: Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

The Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is a particularly stunning example.

Source: Royal Brunei

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Source:: Business Insider

      

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