Situated in eastern Asia, on the northern edge of the island of Borneo, Brunei is one of the tiniest countries in the world. On the north it is bordered by the South China Sea, and enclosed by the Sarawak state of Malaysia on all other sides. The state also divides the country into two parts. It became an independent nation in 1984, and offers its citizens one of the highest living standards in the world, without the obligation of paying any taxes due to its large reserves of oil and gas.
The country is made up of narrow coastal plain with dense forests, extensive swamps and mangroves. Roughly twenty percent of the land is protected and houses a rich wildlife with varying species of birds, reptiles and monkeys.
The economy of Brunei is mainly dependent upon petroleum and natural gas. While rice is cultivated, it is not enough to even meet the country’s own needs. Additionally, rubber, pepper and animal hides contribute towards the economy to some extent. Brunei is highly dependent on imported goods to meet most of its needs.
The cuisine of Brunei is highly influenced by the countries in its vicinity including Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. One of the most popular dishes includes nasi lemak, a rice dish made with coconut cream and served with boiled egg, peanuts, dry fish, cucumber and a spicy sauce. Beef rendang, a type of curry is another popular dish as is ambuyat, a sticky, starchy ball that is consumed by dipping into a sour fruit sauce. Durian is a common fruit along with a jungle vegetable called long bean.
Being a predominantly Muslim country, the western style of nightlife is limited with no official nightclubs. As a result people tend to organize events on their own and throw a lot parties. There is also an option of joining numerous societies to meet likeminded people. There are a number of good cinemas frequetly running the latest Hollywood movies. Restaurants are a common form of outings and all types are found to suit every budget. If that is not enough, then crossing the border into Malaysia is fairly easy for more liberal rules regarding alcohol.
National Name: Negara Brunei Darussalam
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan,
Government type: constitutional sultanate
Total Area: 2,228 sq mi (5,770 sq km)
Currency: Brunei dollar (BND)
Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese
Ethnicity/race: Malay, Chinese, indigenous
Religions: Islam (official religion), Buddhist, Christian