Bandar Seri Begawan

Just a half-hour journey southwest of the port of Muara, Brunei's capital, with only 81,000 residents, has a small-town feel, and yet it encapsulates the cultural mix of modern Brunei that includes Malay Muslims, Chinese, members of indigenous groups, and foreign workers ranging from energy executives to household staff. Although Brunei is an Islamic state and, therefore, alcohol is severely restricted, women visitors are not expected to wear headscarves. For entering mosques, however, women must cover their head, shoulders, and knees, and men must wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants, and everyone must remove their shoes. Mosque interiors are generally closed to non-Muslims on Thursday and Friday.

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