Brunei

Driving Directions Brunei

BRUNEI is a sultanate located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is bounded on all sides by the Malaysian state of Sarawak, which splits the country into two separate parts. Broad tidal swamplands cover the coastal plains, and inland Brunei is hilly and covered with tropical rainforests.

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The climate is hot and moist, with plenty of rainfall all year, especially from October to March. Political power in the sultanate (formerly a British Protected State until independence declared in 1984) resides in the person of the Sultan of Brunei who is believed to be one of the top three most wealthy men in the world.

The main crops grown are rice, vegetables, and fruit, but economically the country depends on its oil industry, which employs 7 percent of the working population. Oil production began in the 1920s, and now oil and natural gas account for almost all exports. Cloth weaving and metalwork are also small local industries. Other minor products are rubber, pepper, gravel, and animal hides.

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Brunei consists of distinct eastern and western segments, separated by Malaysia’s Limbang River valley, but linked by the waters of Brunei Bay. The terrain in both the eastern segment (the Temburong District) and the more populated western segment is composed of a coastal plain rising gradually to hills and cut through by rivers running north to the sea.

Brunei is strategically located on shipping lanes linking the trade routes of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean through the South China Sea. The precious hydrocarbon deposits produced by Brunei’s petroleum export boom lie mainly under the South China Sea off Brunei’s coast.

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Brunei’s ecologically intact peat swamps (rare in north Borneo) are found in western Brunei.

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