During all my travels in South-East, somehow I'd never managed to visit Brunei - despite Brunei being an ideal transit stop, as well as being an excellent place to visit as part of a longer itinerary. In fact part of the reason for not visiting Brunei sooner was the complexity of the visa procedure for Russians, even for a transit layover. Yet eventually the rich heritage of this beautiful Asian country won through - and it turned out that this was a very different Asia to the one I'd seen elsewhere. Brunei is more European - everyone feels that they are a citizen of the country. I'm certain this is because the State provides for the basic infrastructure services - education, health, and housing. Almost no-one in Brunei lives below the poverty-line - I only wish that were the case in other parts of Asia. Even the water-houses ‑ which would typically be the homes of the very poorest elsewhere ‑ are affluent, and go for high prices. My advice to anyone intending to travel to Brunei is to broaden your focus from just visiting the alluring tourist spots of the capital in Bandar - and leaven this experience with a visit to at least one of the other major areas of the country. You can help conserve tropical rainforests by taking a trip, ideally, to the Temburong National Park - and spend a night or two there.