Negara Brunei Darussalam, to give Brunei its full title, is located on the island of Borneo (the third largest island in the world), but Brunei is a mere speck, surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea. Although very small, the sultanate of Brunei is one of the world’s richest oil states. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is quite a wealthy man too, once topping the world rich list with an estimated fortune of a $40 billion. Brunei, the gateway to Borneo, is a tea-total, alcohol-free country, so if you fancy a tipple you’ll have to pop across the border into neighbouring Malaysia. Jerudong Theme Park is the most commercially developed tourist attraction but if you want to get away from it all, the Belalong National Park takes some beating with its jungle and rainforest walks.
Despite its diminutive size, Brunei has six golf courses from which to choose and most are set against a rainforest backdrop or the glistening South China Sea (or both). Royal Brunei Golf & Country Club is the “Augusta of Asia”, according to Ronald Fream its designer and the Pantai Mentiri Golf Club which overlooks Brunei Bay is a nice test. Golf was first played in Brunei at Panaga in the 1920s, although the golf club was not inaugurated until 1934. The pick of Brunei's courses is the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout at the extravagant 5 star Empire Hotel & Country Club, which is a rather impressive “monument to luxury”.