Borneo Forest and Other Highlights in Brunei

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Borneo Forest used to cover the entire island of Borneo. The population growth of the island has started to transform the forest into major cities. 

Borneo is the third largest island in the world located in Southeast Asia. It’s so large that it’s divided up amongst three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Only Brunei has its entire nation located on the island. There is still a vast forest region on the island. A large part of Brunei is located in the forest region. 

The forest is a great place to start to see the vibrant ecology of Borneo before checking out the other highlights in Brunei.

Borneo Forest

Borneo Forest has a rich wildlife, and it's the only place in the world where you can find the natural habitat of orangutans.

The Borneo Forest is considered the richest rainforest in the world. There is such a wide range of plants and animals that can be found here. 

It’s also the oldest forest in the world, dating back over 100 million years. Brunei is located in the northern region of Brunei. A significant portion of the country is covered in the forest. 

Read more: My Journey Through SEA Islands and Peninsulas

The diversity of plants is one of the reasons for visiting the forest. There are over 10,000 different species of plants, the most in the world in just one location. 

It’s also a lot of different animals that you can discover here. It’s home to the world’s smallest squirrel to the Asian Elephant, one of the largest mammals in the world. 

You can also find many species that are endangered here. This forest is one of the only places where you can discover Orangutans naturally in the wild.

Tours can be found that will take you to various parts of Borneo. These tours vary from wildlife safaris to ecotourism. Any tour will give you a chance to explore through the thick rainforest and see its amazing ecosystem.

Bukit Pagon

Bukit Pagon is the tallest mountain in Brunei; it's not a popular tourist destination, so it's full of untouched nature!

Another feature of the Borneo Forest is the elevation. A mountain range exists along the Brunei border with Malaysia known as Bukit Pagon. The rainforest covers this mountain all the way up to its summit.

Bukit Pagon is the tallest mountain in Brunei. Even though it’s the highest point, it’s not a very frequent destination for visitors. The good news is, those who do come, get to experience the untouched landscape of the forest. 

It’s a popular site for hiking and climbing. The climb usually takes a couple of hours to reach the peaks. Trails have been established by previous climbers or by organized tours. 

This entire journey is done through the rainforest where you can find some unique wildlife and plants. As you reach the top, the forest clears out to give you great views over the Borneo island.

It is an excellent place to go to see the sunrise or sunset. All of the journeys to the top of this mountain must first begin with a vehicle trek around the base of the mountain before your actual hike.

Istana Nurul Iman

Istana Nurul Iman is the largest palace in the world, and its architecture literally shines!

The Borneo Forest isn’t the only place that’s breaking world records in Brunei. Brunei is also where you can see the world’s largest palace. 

Istana Nurul Iman is located just outside of the capital of Brunei. It’s the current residence of the Sultan of Brunei. This palace has close to two thousand rooms, courtyards, and a hall that can hold 5,000 guests.

Istana Nurul Iman is more than just the royal residence of the Sultan. It’s also a prominent political site. Various functions are held to host guests from the government such as formal occasions and events. 

Read more: Visit Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

The Palace is known for its architecture. It’s a great example of Bruneian architecture. There are also some religious influences in the design of the palace. 

The most distinguishing features are the golden dome, the towers, and the mosque.

A perfect time to visit this palace is during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, a major Islamic holiday. That is the only time that the palace is open to the public to enter. It’s also open on certain days to Muslims. 

Royal Regalia Building

Royal Regalia Museum was built to commemorate the Sultan's rule over Brunei, and it's full of items connected to his reign.

The Royal Regalia Building is a highlight of Brunei that gives another glimpse into the Sultan’s lifestyle. It was built to commemorate the Sultan’s rule over Brunei. 

It’s located in the middle of the capital. The unique design of the building makes it an iconic landmark with its gold dome and marble exterior.

A variety of exhibitions cover twenty-five years of Sultan rule. These exhibits include many personal items that were collected to showcase the royal lifestyle. 

Each of the exhibits are arranged to walk the visitors through his life. The Sultan’s story is told through various artifacts and photos. 

Some of the major items on display at the Royal Regalia Building is an actual chariot used by the Sultan in a parade. Also, some costumes were worn by the Sultan for various ceremonies.

Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

Omar Ali Saifuddien is the most famous mosque in Brunei, and it has a symbolic golden dome that will amaze its visitors.

There are two national mosques in Brunei: Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque and the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. 

Omar Ali Saifuddin is the most famous of the mosques. It’s a major tourist attraction located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. It was built along the Brunei River.

Omar Ali Saifuddin is known for its golden dome and white walls. It’s often considered the most beautiful mosque ever built. The mosque is definitely the most prominent example of Islamic architecture in Brunei.

Visitors are welcome to this site. Anyone can admire the exterior of the building. 

The inside of the mosque is only open for prayer. The interior design is just as detailed and noteworthy as the outside. A special surprise lies within the mosque’s minaret. 

It’s the tallest structure on the site. There’s an elevator that takes visitors to the top of it. Here, you are greeted with panoramic views of the entire city.


The Borneo Forest is the main highlight on the entire island of Borneo. It has received a lot of attention for preserving the rainforests. The island has begun to be developed as the cities continue to expand. The forest has a lot of resources that are useful to the island environment of Borneo. Brunei is the only country entirely located on the island. The forest covers a lot of the landscape of Brunei. It’s surely one of many highlights to visiting Brunei.

Bryan Shelmon a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
The best part about travelling is experiencing completely different ways of living that make you appreciate life even more.