Devoid of skyscrapers, Bandar Seri Begawan is a quaint and unassuming capital of Brunei Darussalam. What it offers instead are golden domes, elegant architectural details and world-class infrastructure that makes it a leading model city in the ASEAN along with city-state Singapore.

This tiny oil-rich country is home to less than 500,000 Bruneians, including some Filipinos we met while there. This is the Brunei I saw in a two-hour tour, before going to its beautiful airport for our flight back to Manila, after a day of successful 8th ASARC Meeting where we relayed Tagum’s readiness to host the 6th ASEAN Scout Jamboree.

There are direct flights from Manila to Bandar Seri Begawan. Travel time is only two hours from Manila. You can take the bus from the airport, but the public buses seldom make the trip to the airport terminal. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch the bus (if the driver will let you board), otherwise, you’ll have to walk to the nearest bus stop. The alternative is to take a taxi to the city at a flat rate of BN$30 to Bandar Seri Begawan.