Bandar Seri Begawan & Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

I was quite excited after I secured my flights to Bandar Seri Begawan, capital city of the Sultanate of Brunei. It is one of these small forgotten countries some of us had heard of before, barely knowing where it exactly is. A mosque with a dome covered with pure gold? Even the Sultan’s toilets are made of gold? Whoa, I really had to see that. The mosque, anyway.

But Bandar Seri Begawan isn’t all about that mosque. The best way to start the day is to have a stroll at the market, not far from the river. Its pleasant little market under big umbrellas and all kinds of vegetables, fish, potted plants and other things are sold.

But yeah, let’s get to the famous mosque.

That mosque I’m talking about is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, and it is the most famous landmark of Bandar Seri Begawan and Brunei. Its a bit like a lavish mountain of Italian marble and gold put in the middle of muddy swamps close to the river. It’s not extremely big, but its architecture is for sure beautiful.

I highly recommend having a walk around the mosque at sunset!

Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures inside, otherwise I would have made another panorama there!

A Cool Photo Spot

In case you are looking for a way to take less ordinary photos of Bandar Seri Begawan and its main monument,  you can obtain a quite unusual angle from the Sungei Kedayan Bridge, north of the mosque. At sunset, the light is very special. This viewpoint is great to get an overview of the majestic mosque surrounded by villages on stilts built over the swamps and the river just like Kampong Ayer, the “Water Village” on the opposite bank of the river.

These rustic villages can be found in the immediate proximity of the mosque, which is a quite stunning contrast. Marble and gold on one side, wooden houses over the mud on the other side…

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