Rich also bored
Years three years ago Life in the Sultanate Brunei beat the key. The Sultans ruled Borneo Island and the Big Chunk of the current Philippines, fought with the neighbors, pirate in the surrounding seas. As a result of such activity, the territory contemplated by him was compressed as shagreen leather. And already in the 20s of our century, when Brunei was almost nothing left of the former majestity, there were oil there. Since then, the Sultanat has become a very boring state. It is so rich that there is nothing interesting.
Today’s Brunei is two shoes of the Borneo coast. Their area is separated from each other, which stronger neighbors have time to grab from the Sultanate before the start of oil boom. By origin and language, the Brunez is close to residents of neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia. And on the style of life, the country resembles the Emirates of the Persian Gulf.
This is a country without income tax and almost without public transport (why – after all, everyone has cars). Luxury state and public buildings are always deserted. They are too high for 260 thousand people. Even greater similarity with the emirates of the bay Bruneje give street signs written by Arabic Vysu. Bruneitsa is said in almost the same language that Malays and Indonesians, but if the neighbors write in Latin letters, then the Brunetsev has two equal graphics systems – Latin and Arabic.
Officially, the country is called Brunei Darussalam ("Refuge of the world"), and the Bruneitsa, really, live very peacefully. They do not drink alcohol, the sale of which is prohibited here since 1991. In schools, it is mandatory studying "Meliya Islam Beradeja" – National ideology, superozing the dignity of Malay Culture, Islam and Monarchy. (This subject is very similar to the theory "Orthodoxy, autocracy and nationalities", Which in our country introduced the Minister of Enlightenment Count Sergey Semenovich Uvarov in the 30s-40s of the last century). Opposition parties are not prohibited, but somehow do not cause interest in apolitical citizens.
To the capital (and the only city) of the Sultanata – Bandar Series-Begavan – aircraft from Moscow do not fly. To get here, you need to make a transplant in Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. Stop in one of these cities, it is also necessary to get a Brunei visa. Embassies in Russia at Sultan no.
As for money, it is worth taking a plastic card with one of the international payment systems. Payment for them is accepted in the Sultanate everywhere. With a card in the bruner you can do without money exchange and in general without cash.
By the way, local banks are also not very fond of paper bills. When exchanging cash foreign currency pay percentage of 10 less than for traveler checks.
Official Monetary Unit Brunei – Brunese dollar (b $). He stands exactly as much as Singapore dollar. The latter turns to Brune along with the national currency. All other denucleists, including US dollars and Ringitta neighboring Malaysia, here you need to change to local.
Of course, no "Black" There are no market in this superbustic country. The only place where money change here is banks. The official rate of the Brunese dollar last week was 1.4085 for one US dollar.
Government agencies in this strict Muslim country are closed on Fridays. But commercial firms adhere to "European" Working week. In particular, banks are open from 9.00 to 15.00 from Monday to Friday, and up to 11.00 – on Saturday. Cash on credit cards can be obtained through the operator in a bank or through a network of round-the-clock ATMs owned by Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank.
In Bandar Series-Begawan, the Bank is easiest to find on Pemancha Street. By the way, it is quite close to it one of the most wonderful structures not only Brunei, but also the whole Muslim east. This is a huge modern mosque named after Omar Ali Simipudin – Father of the current Sultan. Sultan Omar citizens Brunei should be deeply grateful for the fact that in 1963, when the neighboring Sultanati Borneo united with Malaya to the Federation of Malaysia, the ruler was prudently abstained from participating in this project. He will be done otherwise, Brunei oil revenues would have to share for 19 million Malaysians, and how to know – perhaps, the benefits of natural wealth Brunez would have no more than the inhabitants of our Tyumen region. But Omar retained the treasure in the hands of his tiny population. And today, his son is the ruling Sultan Hassanal Bolkhah Muizaddin Waddaulh – is considered the owner of the largest personal state in the world, and the rest of the citizens of the Sultanate do not complain. But do there, by and large, nothing.