Shoppers from all over the world come to Singapore for cheap quality shopping and a ton of fun shopping experience. However, the most experienced shoppers don’t stop in Singapore; they go to the nearby Muslim nation of Brunei Darussalam. Shopping in Brunei is a perfect follow-up or detour since the values of the Brunei and Singapore dollars are exactly the same and both may be used in either nation.
Bruneians love to shop that it is considered a national pastime. They move from one available shopping area to another but sadly there are only a few in this tiny country. Negara Brunei Darussalam or simply Brunei is a small Muslim sultanate found in the island of Borneo, not very far from Singapore.
Brunei is a wealthy Southeast Asian country and its citizens enjoy a high standard of living. They get free education, free healthcare, free use of leisure centers, house and car subsidies, pension, and enjoy income-tax-free jobs. So what would people spend their money on? They go shopping for the most expensive international brands such as Guess, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, and so on. Below are tips on where to shop in Brunei.
One of the most popular shopping areas is the picturesque Kompleks Bangunan Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Jalan Pretty in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. The 4-hectare-wide Yayasan is home to high-end shops, boutiques, and jewelry stores. People love coming here to check out all the available items and simply to hang out.
Also widely popular is the bustling night market called Pasar Gadong, located at Lorong Sultan, Gadong. It is a huge shopping complex with street vendors that sell all kinds of delicious local delicacies. Locals love munching barbecued chicken wings, barbecued fish or satay (marinated meat either skewered or grilled) while shopping. Pasar Gadong is often jam-packed with local and foreign shoppers checking out the food, handicrafts and unique souvenir items.
Meanwhile, not far away is a large air-conditioned mall simply called “The Mall”. With a huge number of stores (about 150) to choose from, The Mall is famous for selling traditional treats and high-end items. This 8-storey mall also has cafes, restaurants, a spa center, food court, a fully functioning hotel, and movie theaters among other amenities.
With shopping centers as big as Yayasan, Pasar Gadong and The Mall, there is no limit what to buy in Brunei. Tourists will surely have a heyday shopping.
In addition to these major malls, Brunei also has a number of tiny shops, private boutiques and roadside stores. They sell imported goods and locally manufactured products at very competitive prices. The most popular hand-crafted or hand-woven souvenir items are sold at Jong Sarat. For those interested in souvenir items made from gold and silver, the place to go is the Arts and Handicraft Center or within the Brunei International Airport. Three largely popular silverwares are the “kris” (traditional dagger), canon replicas and gongs.
There are other places to go shopping such as Kiulap, Jaya Hypermart and the First Emporium, as well as other items to purchase such as electronic items, textiles, carpets, books and pieces of furniture. But what’s really amazing about shopping in Brunei is the absolute safety of shoppers. Brunei is very peaceful. Pickpockets and car thieves are unheard of.