Google maps: Click here
Web: Click here
Opening hours: Monday – Thursday 6.30am – 11pm
Friday – Sunday 7.30am – 10pm (Friday gym closes for Friday prayers from 12pm-2pm)
Price: 20 Brunei dollars (approx £11.50) – Free three day guest pass on website.
Like the look of this gym? If you want to stay nearby then you can check out the links to hotels within walking distance at the end of this article.
Review: Ever since I was young, I have heard tales of the fantastic wealth of the Sultan of Brunei. So much so, that his name is so synonymous with money that it is often used as a shorthand metaphor to describe wealth. But yet, I knew literally nothing about the country and I’ve never even met someone who has been here. So, since we were in the neighbourhood anyway, we decided to make a detour and visit this tiny nation.
Brunei is a Islamic country, who adopted Sharia Law in 2014. It is illegal to buy alcohol or tobacco here. There are no bars, or nightclubs to be seen and many criminal offences will get you the death penalty, such as drugs offences or even adultery. Its an interesting, if not particularly progressive, place to visit. You can read more about Brunei on my travel blog, Quit. Pack. Go.
Finding a gym in Brunei actually proved to be fairly difficult as there aren’t that many gyms here. Many people here live in upscale developments, which include shared facilities such as pools and gyms. In-fact there really isn’t much in the way of public facilities in Brunei at all. The only professional gym in Brunei that I did find was Fitness Zone Kiulap, which actually turned out to be an amazing gym.
Fitness Zone Kiulap is an interesting place. Built around the corner from the Jame Asr Mosque, shown here. The gym is actually owned by a famous Bruneian actor, singer, model, entrepreneur, visionaire, ambassador, youth role model, and health and sports enthusiast, Mr Wu Chun. Mr Chun made his debut with the Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit in 2005. Since leaving the band in 2011, he has returned to Brunei and opened several successful businesses, including Fitness Zone Kiulap.
Everything about Fitness Zone Kiulap screams state of the art gym from the functional strength / cross-fit training room on the third floor, to the group Les Mis spin classes, everything is up to date.
Whilst training here, I got chatting to one of their personal trainers, a mountain of a man called Mr Eddie Chan.
Mr Chan was the heavyweight Mr Malaysia bodybuilding champion in 2014 and he was currently getting ready to compete in the Arnold Classic Asia in Hong Kong in August. He told me that fitness culture was starting to take off in Brunei, but that group classes remained the most popular way of keeping fit.
Brunei is a dry country, meaning that the sale of alcohol is illegal. As such, there are no pubs, bars or nightclubs for people to socialise in. Group classes, therefore, offer a way for local people to come together and interact with each other.
Mr Chan offers personal training for those who want to train on a one on one basis. 10 sessions with him will cost $500 and 20 sessions are $900. This includes a custom diet plan, and a 4 weeks training programme. If you won’t be in town for this long, he is open to shorter courses or even one off training sessions. You can check out Eddie’s Instagram page here. You can contact him through Instagram if you want to arrange personal training with him.
Anyway, back to the gym. Fitness Zone Kiulap is one of the best equipped gyms that I have come across in all my time in Asia. This gym has:
- Dumbbells up to 120 lbs
- Adjustable benches
- Flat barbell bench
- Incline barbell bench
- Decline barbell bench
- Smith machine
- Squat rack
- T bar row machine
- Trap machine
- Fixed straight bars
- Fixed easy bars
- Lat pulldown
- Pull up bars
- Hack squat machine
- Shoulder press bench
- Lower back machine
- Oblique machine
- Pull ups / dips
- Thigh abductor
- Calf raise machine
- Pec Dec
- Pull over machine
- Shoulder press machine
- Seated row
- Legs press machine
- Leg extension machine
- Leg curl machine
- Glute machine
- Vertical traction machine
- Preacher curl machine
- Tricep press machine
- Lateral raise
- Nautilus machines
- Abs machines
- Wobble boards
- Bosu balls
- Cross trainers
- Stepper machines
- Static bike
- Battle ropes
- Plyo boxes
- Olympic Rings
- Medicine balls
- Slam balls
- Kettle balls
In addition to this, the gym has:
- 3 studios
- a basketball court
- Boxing ring
- an automatic climbing wall
- a functional strength / cross training floor
As well as all the equipment, the gym is air conditioned and offers wifi and water fountains. The atmosphere here was friendly and professional. I met loads of lovely people here as Brunei doesn’t get that much tourism, so you kind of stand out as a tourist,
The gym has a small shop in the reception area selling basic gym kit and some supplements, so you might be able to stock up if you are running low on anything. As you would expect, the gym has decent changing rooms, with showers and lockers. There are even free toiletries and a hair dryer, meaning you can get clean after your workout, but don’t forget to bring a towel and a padlock. In addition to this, there is a healthy eating restaurant downstairs if you wanted to grab a meal after your workout.
One unique thing about this gym is that being located in an Islamic country, they cut the music and play the call to prayer, or Adhan, through the speakers when it is time for prayer. This really reminded me of being back in Lebanon or Turkey and felt like a lovely moment of being immersed in another culture.
Within Islam, Friday is considered the day to be spent “in remembrance of God Almighty,” just like Sunday in Christianity. As such, the gym also closes for Friday prayers, or Jumu’ah (Arabic: صلاة الجمعة , ṣalāt al-jum`ah) from 12pm-2pm.
Who is this gym for? This gym really does have something for everyone. Whilst I was training here I saw people of all ages in the gym, as well as men and women training together. In a country where interaction with the opposite sex can be somewhat limited, it was nice to see a mixed sex gym operating so well. The women training here were not only using the classes, but also the free weights, boxing gym and even the basketball gym.
The gym also offers tonnes of group classes, so check out the website for everything from yoga to boxing! I can easily recommend this gym to everyone. Its a great place to train, so go check it out!
Tips: It costs 20 Brunei dollars for a day pass to this gym. However, the gym currently offers a free 3 day pass through its website which means you can basically train here for free if you are only spending a few days in Brunei. You can check out the website here.
$ – Jubilee Hotel: Prices from £30
$$ – Komleks Mohamed Yussaf Hotel: Prices from £45
$$$ – The Capital Residence: Prices from £55