The sultanate's full name is Negara Brunei Darussalam, the "Country of Brunei, the Abode of Peace", and peaceful is a fair description of the state.The tiny but thriving Sultanate of Brunei perches on the northwestern coast of Borneo, completely encircled by the East Malaysian state of Sarawak. It has a population of 323,000, which enjoy a quality of life that is quite unparalleled in Asia. Education and healthcare are free; houses, cars, and even pilgrimages to Mecca are subsidized; due to the huge income the country makes from the oil industry. You can visit sections of pristine rainforest like Ulu Temburong National Park in eastern Brunei. Travellers overnight in Malay and Murut kampungs (villages) and Iban longhouses. This opportunity to share in rural life is gaining popularity. Add to this the fact that the capital Bandar Seri Begawan is an attractive city, with two exquisite mosques and the fascinating Kampung Ayer stilt village, and a stop-off in Brunei is a more appealing proposition than ever before.
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