Brunei Risk Report
Security travel advice for Brunei
Threat level: Low-medium
The general threat of terrorism directly to Brunei is relatively low however travellers are advised to remain vigilant to the wider threat of global terrorism, particularly aimed at the western population.
Whilst the crime levels in Brunei are little to worry about, you should be wary of petty crimes such as pick pocketing. This is especially popular on public transport. Theft of valuables from cars have also been reported, ensure that you do not leave any valuables in your vehicle at any times.
Recent security events
There have been some reports of Brunei being used as a transit point for drug smuggling across Asia. Bruneian authorities do not take this lightly and anyone caught attempting to bring drugs into the country can face the death penalty.
Although rare, political demonstrations can occasionally break out but most remain peaceful. There have been some anti-Western demonstrations triggered by international events. It is advised to stay away from any demonstration or large gathering.
The sale of alcohol in Brunei is prohibited. Non-Muslims over 17 years of age may import duty free two bottles of wine or spirits and twelve cans of beer on entry into Brunei, but must declare them to the customs authorities on arrival and consume them in private. There must be at least a 48-hour gap between each import. Keep the customs slip in case of inspection. Tourists should respect this and do not attempt to bring more that the stated allowance into the country.
Homosexuality is illegal in Brunei which can be punished as severely as the death penalty. Be wary of this and act with discretion when visiting the country.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has ruled Brunei since 1967, making the country one of the wealthiest in the world. Brunei has close ties with the United Kingdom, much of its laws are based on British laws; the British Military has a presence in Brunei and its jungles are a regular training ground for British Special Forces.
Driving regulations in Brunei are often ignored and road users can be reckless and drive fast, paying little attention to traffic lights and pedestrians. You should be extremely cautious both operating a vehicle on the roads and using them as pedestrians.
Be aware that there are only 10 filling stations across the whole of Brunei and there are limits of filling up to 250 litres of fuel. If you have a foreign car it is more expensive to fill as fuel does not include government subsidy. You should ensure you have adequate fuel supplies before embarking on any journey during your stay.
Providing your license is authorised by the Brunei Land Transport Department in the Ministry of Communications, you will be able to drive in Brunei using your national license. Alternatively, an International Driving Permit can be purchased.
Currency: Brunei Dollar
Time now in Seri Begawan:
British and U.S visitors can enter Brunei for up to 90 days without a visa. For further advice can be found here: Visa advice Brunei
It is advised that visitors to Brunei are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations.
Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in Brunei, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of the disease, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
Medical care varies greatly out of the main cities and large towns and all medical treatment must be paid for on the spot. Make sure you keep all records and receipts as payment can be claimed on insurance where valid.
The viral illness Dengue Fever and Malaria which are both transmitted to humans by mosquito bites could be an issue in Brunei. There is no vaccine for Dengue Fever and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. You should take normal precautions to prevent Malaria such as taking anti-malaria tablets and using mosquito nets at night. For more information on Dengue fever, see: Dengue Fever facts
U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan
Bandar Seri Begawan
PO Box 2197
Telephone: +673 238 4616
2.01, 2nd Floor, Block D,
Kompleks Bangunan Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, ,
Bandar Seri Begawan
PO Box 2197
Telephone: +673 222 2231
Other useful info
Police emergency: 993
Fire emergency: 995
Medical emergency: 991