Go for: A taste of pristine rainforest, a moderate workout and a chance to take an unfettered dip in a waterfall.
An easily accessible and developed destination is to witness unspoilt wilderness in Brunei is to visit Tempurong Ulu National Park. We checked with local organised tour operators for the itinerary. The prices vary depending on where you would liked to be picked up. The tour operator did not accept credit cards so I paid some advance for booking and paid the balance before the commencement of the trip.
We parked our car at Kianggeh Jetty car park and headed down to the jetty point. At 7:45 a.m., the speed boat was on its way to Bangar jetty which is about an hour long journey. The speed boat is public transport and available for $15 return per person. This gives you more flexibility if you wish to take up the organised tour from Bangar town. There were 11 of us on the tour, a nice mix of tourists from all over the world. After about an hour we reached the Bangar jetty where an English speaking guide welcomed us. We were taken by car to Batang Duri, the Sumbiling Eco Village, where those choosing to stay overnight will find their tents. There, we were served tea, coffee and beverages and banana fritters. There are rubber shoes available if you want to change, as well as lockers.
At 10 a.m. we sat in engine powered long boats set in for next destination which was canopy walk. The Temburong river at some points had rapids, at some was shallow and rocky so the boatman had to to take sharp turns and we at times had water sprinkled on us.
On our right we saw extensive network of boardwalks and stairways , where the Ulu Ulu resort is nestled within. Situated here isa registration desk where every visitor disembarks and registers himself before heading to national park.
Next, we are on our way for the canopy walk. There is a 1,000-step hike. It’s good to have bottle of water handy as you climb the steps. The aluminium canopy walkway is about 60 m up supported by five towers, The staircase up to the walkway is safely secured on all four sides by a cage-like structure. I was at first a bit worried about vertigo or getting tired, but the climb is safe and not at all scary. It’s a must.
It feels great that you are on the top of trees themselves as you walk along the walkway.
Then, we go back down the way we came, get back on the boat, and head to a waterfall for a refreshing dip. You can stand under the waterfall and at the same time get a “fish pedicure” where the small fish inside the river nibble the dry skin off your feet.The water is clean — it softened our hair and made it super shiny for a couple of days. Definitely no need to shampoo after.
By 1 p.m. we were back to the place where we had breakfast. A simple but delicious lunch of fish, chicken greens and bamboo shoots tasted excellent. Then, some time to relax, and we head back to Bangar Jetty by car. We had to wait about 45 minutes for the next ferry, but we were back in Bandar Seri Begawan by 4 p.m.