When in Brunei: Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Visiting a Muslim country like Brunei is not complete without seeing a mosque. The experience makes one understand Islamic culture even more. Talking about mosque must-visits, the popular Sultan Omar Ali Saiffuddien Mosque is obviously given, but this other mosque also deserves a mention.

In fact, this Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, also locally known as the Kiarong Mosque, is the biggest mosque in Brunei. It was built in 1992 to commemorate the 25th year of the sultan’s reign in Brunei.
The mosque consists of 29 golden domes (and they are said to be 22-karat gold!). They represent the current sultan as the 29th ruler. 



Going around the complex made me feel like being in a set of some majestic Disney movie like Aladdin. In general, the exterior definitely looks elegant. I almost felt under-dressed! I must have worn something more sophisticated =p

Look closely at the escalator in between the two white staircases. That escalator is exclusive to the Royal Family only and nobody is allowed to use it anytime.

The outside is as grand as the inside too. Taking pictures inside is not allowed though but it’s worth seeing it.
Dress code is observed but in case you are improperly dressed, you may borrow and wear a long black vestment to cover up at the entrance. You also have to remove your shoes before going inside.

Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is located at Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Highway in Kampung Kiarong. It is open from 8am-12pm, 2-3pm, and 5-6pm. It’s closed on Thursdays and Fridays.

I went here by car, thanks to a former colleague who lives in Brunei. Bus system in Bandar Seri Begawan is quite a challenge since there are only a few public buses and there is no fixed schedule. Nevertheless this mosque can be accessed by taking bus number 1 and a one-way ride costs around 1 USD. 



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