Although it looks like a blip on the map of Borneo, Brunei is not as tiny as you might think. At over 2,000 square miles, it doesn't even make top 15 of the world's smallest countries. Nevertheless, Rob and I thought it was one country we could miss. It's surrounded on three sides by Sarawak, so we didn't think Brunei could offer anything of durian interest that we couldn't find in bordering Sarawak.
Our decision not to go was solidified when we met a traveler whose reason for going was: "Well, I heard it's really Muslim. Like, really really Muslim." We don't have anything against Muslims (except the 5 AM morning prayer call - unforgivable) but we've been in Indonesia and Malaysia for almost 6 months. We get the Muslim thing. So we happily crossed Brunei off our list of places to go and focused on researching durian hotspots in Sarawak. But then I came across a study titled "Collection, Establishment, Conservation, and Documentation of Durio Species of Brunei Darussalum" by a Mr. Jumat Haji Alim, and actually managed to get Mr. Jumat to agree to meet with us. Could Brunei hold some durian secrets?