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Brunei Darussalam

Population: 400,000 Capital City: Bandar Seri Begawan

Located on the northern shore of Borneo in Southeast Asia, Brunei is one of the smallest countries in the world and has a population of approximately 392,000 people. It became a member of the Commonwealth in 1984.

Brunei Darussalam translates into 'abode of peace'. Although the country is home to a blend of cultures and religions, the nation is predominantly Muslim and Islam plays an important part of daily life.

Due to its large reserves of oil and gas, Brunei is a rich country. Citizens have free medical care and children receive free education from the age of five until college or university.

The same sultan family has ruled Brunei for more than six centuries and the country's capital of Bandar Seri Begawan has the largest residential palace in the world – with 1,788 rooms and 257 toilets!

Bandar Seri Begawan is also home to the world's largest water village, built entirely of stilt houses and wooden walkways. It is known as the 'Venice of the East'.

In addition to globally recognised sports such as badminton, hockey and football, Bruneians take part in a number of uniquely Southeast Asian sports. Sepak takraw is similar to volleyball, except the ball is volleyed with the feet rather than the hands.

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