Brunei Darussalam

read story on BT online

Brunei Darussalam recently secured a place in the Guinness World Records (GWR) for the “largest serving of grilled satay in the world”. The record of 1,184 kg of satay was verified by the GWR at the Royal Brunei Polo Club in Jerudong on Feb 23, a day which also marked the 25th Silver Jubilee celebration of the Brunei National Day. Read more

Did you know that apart from this, the Guinness Book of World Records had for a number of years listed Bukit Thompson in Panaga Golf Course, Seria as the World’s Lowest Hill? It’s true. The first time I came across this entry was in the first copy of Guinness Book of World Records I ever bought at least 11 years ago (I think it was the 1998 or earlier edition) followed by the only second copy I own today, the Guinness World Records “holographic” 2007 edition. For some reason, this record vanished after 1999 edition I think (any one care to confirm this?).

© Guinness Book of World Records 1984 Edition
At no time was this page torn or removed from the book (simulated torn effect)

For the past 3 days, I searched the entire house for the “earlier”edition to no avail. I may have given it away to someone or donated it to a clinic, I don’t remember so this morning, I visited three public libraries in Kuala Belait and Seria (how about that for a record?) and located a copy as early as 1984—my imaginary drums rolled as I flipped the pages and there it was on the Index: “Hill, lowest 69, steepest 230

Good old library versus Google. It’s not as though I hadn’t used Google when my search for the book quickly descended from confident to disappointment when after 3 days, the book was nowhere to be found. Besides, we’re talking about information that belonged to the pre-Google era and even Guinness World Record’s website lists archives dating back to 2006 only. I found no information online pertinent to Brunei ever possessing this record whatsoever. It was one trip to the library (or 3 libraries for that matter) well worth the curiosity and investigative effort—”The World’s Lowest Hill” entry, for the record, is now listed on Google 🙂

Gorgeous sunny morning. Yes it was. I dropped by the Panaga golf clubhouse to enquire the possibility of visiting Bukit Thompson and just when I presumed people had forgotten that such a record existed, the helpful lady not only knew of the name but said to help myself. And help myself indeed to the smell of freshly cut grass in the mid morning heat.

The landscape almost resembles a Windows XP wallpaper—calming greens, clear blue skies, puffy clouds and the holiday sun!

Here’s a view of the golf course overseeing Hole 12 or 13 or some other number I couldn’t tell from the top of the 15 ft hill. 🙂

I’m not going to argue the merit and justification of this record but I revel in the fact that it had been officially documented for a number of years far longer than most people would have cared to remember. I am however curious who it was named after and I’ll venture a guess that it’s the name of then Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd. One can easily catch a side view of Bukit Thompson as you’re driving along the Panaga road from Seria heading towards Kuala Belait, you’ll see it on your right hand side before the E1 junction.


  1. 這是真的嗎?我還是第一次聽到,感謝分享。PS:照片拍的很鮮艷奪目,這是你一向來的風格,繼續努力。


  2. Wow, I pass the world famous ‘hill’ everyday without knowing it. Jan, a favour to ask, can you contribute the photo for the Penan cards for the charity cause? I am sure I will open another market for the Panaga golfers who will proudly says, ‘I tee off’ here.

    On another note, the cards with your photos are all sold out and people are asking for more. Thanks again for yur kind contribution.


    1. Yeah it’s quite funny too. About a year ago, my wife and her sister made an attempt to climb Asia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu and successfully accomplished the mission. A year later, I’m standing on the World’s Lowest Hill which sorta left me rather lost for words 🙂

      I don’t know why the record was removed entirely. There just isn’t a Hill entry anymore so for what it’s worth, I managed to resurrect a dead record (who said that wasn’t possible). I’m more than happy to add one of the pictures (with an appropriate caption, of couse) to the Penan charity cards.

      If however knowledge and sale of Bukit Thompson leads to a sudden and unexplained love for golf, an increase in club membership or merchandizing, I think we should talk about a Royalty programme 🙂


    1. I wouldn’t count on that. I wrote to them requesting for information regarding an old record and I have not yet received a reply since. Perhaps they are attempting to break their own record—the number of emails ignored record! 🙂


  3. I have known it from my local friend when I started playing golf and since then I always mentioned it to my friends about this lowest hill which most golfers called it madona 🙂


  4. Jan shim , I came across your Blogsite and it brought back memories when i was in the Army, I had sat on that Hill on the Panaga golf course, the year was 1962.


  5. Woaaah… i just know about it! Mostly everyday i pass that road… hahahha …so embrassing orang kb saja but dont know such a femes hill hahah…thanks for the info..


  6. I do remeber this. When i was in the primary school at seria in the 80s i look at this guiness book of records and thaught.. and ofcourse at that time i searched for the wealthiest man in the world😁. But then i saw about this lowest hill in the world is in brunei??? Woah


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