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Thứ 6 - 26/02/2016
Vietnam - Laos relations: the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation
Celebrating the 132nd Birth Anniversary of Ho Chi Minh President ((19/5/1890 – 19/5/2022)
Celebrating the Labour Day 2022
Celebrating the 47th Anniversary of the Liberation of the South and the National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975 - April 30, 2022)
Celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Traditional Day of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (November 17, 1950 - November 17, 2021)
Brunei - The country, people and culture

Brunei is located in the northern coast of the island of Borneo - the only island in the world owned by 3 countries (Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia). Brunei territory consists of two separate parts located within the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Except for the North bordering the East Sea (161 km of coastline), the remaining three sides share a border with East Malaysia state of Sarawak (381 km). Brunei has large oil and gas reserves. Crude oil and natural gas production accounts for nearly half of gross domestic product (GDP). The prosperous economy is mainly based on exports of crude oil and natural gas. Brunei has large revenues from foreign investment and from domestic production. Brunei is one of the least populous but one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Currently, Brunei is a major creditor of many major powers. As the third largest oil and gas producer in Southeast Asia and the ninth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world, Brunei's per capita income in 2011 was nearly $50,000, which is the fifth highest income in the world and much more than that of other countries in the region.

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Photo: Brunei territory consists of two separate parts located within the Malaysian state of Sarawak (Source: Internet)

Brunei, formally Brunei Darussalam (Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: نڬارا بروني دارالسلام,) with the meaning "'Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace" - one of the smallest countries in the world with an area of ​​​​about 5,700km2, population of only about 400 thousand people and tropical forests covering 75% of the whole country. Therefore, the landscape of this country is very poetic and beautiful and also possesses a lot of pride: one of the richest monarchs on the planet (with an estimated fortune of more than 20 billion USD), one of the 5 countries with the highest per capita income in the world (according to IMF statistics). The country perfectly preserves the natural environment and is home to some of the most magnificent and majestic cathedrals in the Asia-Pacific region. The role and power of the King is paramount. The King is also Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and Finance Minister and decides on most major issues of the country. With huge oil reserves in Brunei, this country has created a "Golden kingdom" as well as a peaceful small kingdom. Every Brunei citizen right from his/her birth is automatically guaranteed a happy and prosperous life.

The country ensures a prosperous and happy life for its people

Before 1929, Brunei was very poor and backward. Its economy is mainly based on a small source of rubber with low output. Since 1929, the discovery of oil and gas has brought wealth to this country. Currently kerosene and gas account for 80% of total domestic income and 90% of export income, contributing 39% of the country's GDP. Brunei is the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia and Malaysia with an average of 180,000 barrels per day. Brunei is also the fourth largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world.

Brunei has a small but quite prosperous economy. Industry accounts for 46%, agriculture accounts for 5% and services accounts for 49% of GDP. Brunei's GDP per capita is much higher than that of other countries in Southeast Asia in particular and the world in general. With a huge income from oil and gas exports and a very small population, the Government of Brunei has the conditions to implement a number of high social welfare policies for the people.

- Commitment to health: all citizens receive full health insurance benefits, from common illnesses to serious ones. Patients will be transferred to Malaysia or Singapore for treatment if domestic conditions do not meet the treatment regimen. All expenses for the patient and accompanying caretakers are paid by the government.

- Commitment to education: every citizen has the right to study and go to other countries for higher education. The government funds all tuition fees from primary school to university or even graduate level. Parents only have to pay a small fee to purchase pens and blank notebooks.

- Commitment to housing: everyone can own a house, if they do not have enough conditions to buy a house, the government will have public housing projects and sell them to people in installments with the amount of 1$B/month.

In addition, the cost of living in Brunei is extremely cheap. With only 2$B - 3$B you can have a hearty lunch with chicken thighs, rice, green vegetables and drinking water. This is also one of the rare countries where gasoline fuel prices are cheaper than bottled water (1 liter of bottled water can buy nearly 4 liters of gasoline) and the people are hardly taxed, so a mature person often owns more than 2 cars…

A land of luxury with a unique culture

Bruneian culture is predominantly Malay culture, with major influences from Islam. The Malay culture originated from the Malay Archipelago has influenced the culture of Brunei. Four periods of cultural influence have taken place in Brunei's history, namely Animism, Hinduism, Islam, and Western civilization. Islam has a great influence, and becomes the ideology and philosophy of Brunei. Brunei is a country that enforces Sharia law, which prohibits the overt sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Non-Muslims are allowed to bring in a limited amount of alcohol from outside for their own use.

With more than 100 large and small mosques, Brunei is known as the land of mosques. The typical architectural feature of the cathedrals is the pyramidal roof with two colors white - yellow. Visitors will be impressed by the splendor of the mosques with Arab carpets, European brick walls, gold inlaid everywhere and crystal chandeliers weighing several tons. Besides, Brunei also contains a lifestyle that is not in a hurry, people are gentle, friendly and love peace. This little paradise includes easy-to-find attractions like the petite capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, which is perhaps the loveliest capital in Southeast Asia with its green, fresh air and hasn’t been put on impact of crowds, traffic jams, pollution, noise like regional capitals.

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Photo: the view of Bandar city (Source: Internet)

Bandar Seri Begawan, often simply referred as Bandar or BSB, is very proud of the largest village on the water in the world; Kampong Ayer, where about 20,000 people still live in wooden stilts, use boats to travel inland and combine a traditional lifestyle with modern conveniences and the prosperity of the nation. Kampong Ayer is one of the architectural wonders of the area, built in 1958 by the predecessor of the Sultan of Brunei. It is a very beautiful sight, especially at sunset when the sunlight is gradually disappearing and the prayers spread their sounds from the towers throughout the village and downtown area.

Along the river, we will encounter the magnificent Istana Nurul Imam palace of the King. This is considered the largest palace in the world with 1,788 rooms, stables, polo field and private helipad. The palace is only open to residents and visitors once a year during the Hari Raya festival that marks the last day of Ramadan.

In addition, Bandar and its surrounding areas are home to a multitude of museums, including the Royal Regalia Museum which gives an overview of the royal family of Brunei, as well as day and night markets, numerous parks and protected nature reserve, numerous restaurants, cafes, shopping areas, department stores, for example the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah area in central Bandar or the commercial district of Gadong. Bandar is located in Brunei - Muara, one of the 4 districts of Brunei, is the smallest but most populous district in Brunei. Outside of Bandar, visitors are easily attracted by the cultural and natural beauties such as: Meribun - a remote forest surrounded by a black lake, regarded as a tranquil paradise and a national heritage sites, or traditional vernacular homes near Libya, as well as the oil-producing areas of Kuala Belait and Seria, and a variety of natural reserves everywhere.

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Photo: Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park (one of the top protected areas in the entire area) (Internet source).

Nature lovers will cross Brunei Bay to the Temburong district, which is separated from the rest of Brunei by the Limbang area in Sarawak in Malaysia. Temburong is the least populated place, at the highest point and mostly covered with jungle. It is where many native residents live, and is also home to some of Asia's best wildlife research centers and reserves such as the world-famous Ulu Temburong National Park and the Wildlife Research Area Kuala Belalong. Visitors will enjoy adventure activities, ecotourism, primeval forests, coral reefs, riverbanks and tree-covered islands, easy access to nature reserves with a multitude of attractions of rare and precious birds, native plants and trees, insects, animals and plants, and primative ecosystems.

Because of the prosperity of Brunei as well as restrictions on religion, on the types of food of Muslims, Brunei does not exploit the forest for wood and most of the inhabitants do not have the habit of hunting wild animals or burn forests for land. The State always tries to preserve the primeval environment, creates environmentally friendly development in promoting economic diversification.

This also means that Brunei is unpolluted and unaffected by industrial fumes. And Brunei is always proud of the country's fresh air. With the unremitting efforts of the private and public economic sectors, Brunei is trying to transform itself into one of the most beautiful ecological attractions in the world.