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Bangladesh: The Best Shopping Brunei Has To Offer The Best Shopping Brunei Has To Offer - Bangladesh

The Best Shopping Brunei Has To Offer

In a Sultanate that is small, but very wealthy thanks to natural gas and petroleum resources, what would you expect to buy? If oil is not ranking highly on your list of things to purchase on your trip, what is?
brunei palace
Firstly, a few things about Brunei that you should know:
  1. Brunei is officially an Islamic state, with any large beautiful mosques across the country
  2. Brunei Darussalam has one of the highest standards of living in the world
  3. "Abode of Peace" is the literal translation of Darussalam
  4. Sale of alcohol is banned – which means in the absence of bars, food, films and shopping are a regular part of Brunei’s nightlife

Quite simply, Bruneians love to shop. Shopping malls and centres continue to sprout up across the country to cater to this growing demand. What are they buying, you ask? Living cost are kept to a minimum in Brunei as education and healthcare are provided free, along with sport and leisure centres, subsidised houses and cars, short working weeks, and the highest minimum wage in the region. So it comes as no surprise that otherwise glamorous purchases from Versace, Guess and the like are quite common.
To satisfy the ever-growing market, a wide range of goods are imported and sold alongside many local products. International brand names can be bought in exclusive boutiques and enormous shopping complexes, all at competitive and highly conducive prices.

The Best places to Shop?

 Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
Yayasan,as it is called in short, is a picturesque, upmarket shopping centre and a foundation initiated by His Majesty the Sultan to generate revenue for the welfare of the Bruneian people. It is located near the Bandar Seri Begawan (lovingly referred to as BSB) waterfront, and is home to the four-storey Hua Ho Department Store, a few fancy boutiques and powerful air-conditioning.  Yayasan is the place to go for big brand names as well as high-end local boutiques selling fabrics and jewellery.  Or go to join the locals who often wander the shopping complexes to escape the sweltering heat of Brunei and to peruse the stores in comfort - which in daytime comes as a definite advantage over the street markets.

The Mall 

This well-loved shopping district is in Gadong, 3km northwest of central BSB. As the most frequented fortress of air-conditioned retail outlets, the Mall is almost always crowded. Venture here for an incredible number of stores that retail high-end products as well as plenty of places selling traditional delicacies.

Kota Batu - Arts and Handicraft Training Centre 

On the river east of BSB, those looking for something unique can always seek out the 'Jong Sarat' - a traditional hand-made Brunei woven cloth known for its exquisite quality and fine workmanship. The authentic method for creating the ‘Jong Sarat’ is passed down through the generations and it is often worn during formal and special occasions. This lavish gold or silver-threaded material can be purchased from the Arts and Handicraft Training Centre at Kota Batu, the Brunei International Airport, or from the producers' outlets themselves.

At the Arts & Handicrafts Training Centre you will also find locally made textiles, silverwork, carved wood, ‘kris’ (a traditional dagger) and ceremonial swords , although they are somewhat pricey. Just east of downtown BSB at Tamu Kianggeh, a sprawling outdoor market you will find locally crafted souvenirs at much better prices.

Bandar Seri Begawan - Kg Kianggeh Open Air Market 

Brunei has literally hundreds of cafes – but to sample authentic Malay delicacies, the night market hawker food stalls in and around BSB offer a gastronomic smorgasbord for the taste buds. The night stalls, or ‘Pasar Malam’, provide a range of Malay dishes such as pais – fish or beef grilled and barbecued in banana leaves – all sorts of satay, fried rice and an assortment of cakes and biscuits to tickle your fancy. And if during your stay you fancy doing your own cooking, along Tutong road you will find Pasar Borong Kilanas which is a wonderful wholesale market.
Whether you are staying for business or leisure, with all this shopping action you will need to book some comfortable accommodation in Brunei, and to find the most comfortable central hotels you really need to be in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Then you can breathe out, explore and soak up the unique atmosphere of Brunei.
Featured images:
Alise loves to shop around, and hopes to share her favourite shopping secrets from her worldwide shopping tours.

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