According to early history, Brunei was discovered by a group of fourteen brothers travelling in search of a new place to live, which would be the beginnings of today’s Brunei.

Early History

When a group of brothers went on a journey for a new place to call home, they came across an area at the Brunei River and settled there because of the flanking hills, the water supply and the generous supply of fish, close to the country’s present capital. One of them was Awang Alak Betatar, who became the first Sultan of Brunei and took on the name Sultan Muhammad Shah when he embraced Islam.

Malay Islamic Monarchy

On January 1st, 1984, Brunei became a new nation, as it celebrated its independence and affirmed its identity as a Malay and Islamic state governed by a monarchy. The philosophy of the Malay Islamic Monarchy, known as ‘Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB)’ in Malay, encapsulates Brunei’s culture and beliefs in a nutshell making it uniquely Bruneian.

Cultural Diversity

Brunei is predominantly made up of Malays (65.8%), with significant Chinese (10.2%), Indian and indigenous populations (23.9%). However, ask a Bruneian Malay what their ethnicity is, and you’ll most likely get either one of seven answers. The Malay population is divided into seven ethnic groups: Melayu Brunei, Kedayan, Dusun, Tutong, Belait, Murut, and Bisaya. (Note that two of them are actually named after two of Brunei’s districts, which gives you a hint as to where most of them live!) Each ethnicity is characterised by distinct aspects of its culture and lifestyle, and possesses its own native language as well as customs and traditions.


Brunei Darussalam boasts a colourful exhibit of fascinating customs and rich nature, with a contemplative respect for religion as well as reverence for its ancient sovereignty, and we’d like to invite you to experience it all, right in the heart of our home!


Things to do

Travellers will find a variety of indoor/outdoor activities.

Places to go

Explore each district and discover what makes it all so unique.

Tour Packages

Essential information before you come to Brunei.

Plan Your Trip

Essential information before you come to Brunei.