4 Essentials To Remember When Traveling To Brunei

1) Phone Coding System – I was somewhat perplexed when my friend and I tried to call someone from Brunei using the local phone booth and mobile phone. None of them worked. At first we thought maybe the phone booth is spoiled and oh maybe something is wrong with our mobile phones too. Until we learned that when calling someone the area code has to be deleted otherwise, you won’t be able to reach the person you’re calling. For example, +673 7163 123, the country code +673 has to be omitted. While if you are overseas and wish to call Brunei you have to first dial 001 + the country code + the 7 digit numbers and that’s how it works. But nobody told us that. Things does work in Brunei quite differently :-).

2) Use of ATM Card – I learned that if your card does not have that small gold color chip which being use for swipe, you won’t be able to withdraw to any ATM machine. It was my very first travel overseas where I found out I don’t have any cash with me! I just realized when I was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for my en route to Brunei. I totally forgot to withdraw some cash while at Changi Airport as I was in a hurry to catch my flight. Having the same branch of bank in Brunei did not help at all. I was not able to withdraw cash over the counter as the teller says they have no direct link to Singapore. The only solution was to call the bank in Singapore and help them unlock my account and finally enable to withdraw cash over ATM machine.

3) SMILE 😀 – A simple smile with gesture of nod slightly tilting head up and down to locals will go along way. Brunei people are friendly and very helpful. I had a friend who followed me to Brunei from Kota Kinabalu, ended up hitchhiking when a local from Muara ferry terminal offered a ride going to the city. I was at the bus terminal when a stranger sitting at my right side offered his phone to let me be able to call someone from Brunei. And it was all because of a simple smile. So never underestimate the power of your smile, it will definitely go along way! 😀

4) Airport Tax – There is a departure tax amounting to B$12 dollars. I had not expect it, good thing I have some extra Brunei currencies left since I can still use it back in Singapore. There is no airport tax upon arrival.


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