Brunei: A Day Trip to the "Green Jewel of Brunei" Ulu Temburong National Park - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Brunei: A Day Trip to the "Green Jewel of Brunei" Ulu Temburong National Park

During our stay in Brunei the most exciting experience we had was when we went for a day trip to Brunei’s first National Park called Ulu Temburong. This area is a part of the Batu Apoi Forest reserves and it has been under protection as a safe haven for nature since 1991. In fact, up until revent years it was only accessible for researchers. These days the area is also open to low impact Eco-tourism, so if you're interested in a unique glimpse into the life in the jungle this is definitely something for you. In addition to the jungle adventure we also stopped by a long-house, the authentic home of a family in the local Iban tribe. You can read more about this in my next post, but without further redo here's a short introduction to our jungle adventure.
We got picked up at the hotel in the morning and after a short drive down to the Kianggeh Jetty it was time for the adventure to start. In order to get to the national park we first had to take a 45-minutes water-taxi ride from the center of Bandar Seri Begawan, a boat ride that took us through the mangrove forest past a network of rivers and channels.
Above: Bangar Town seen from the river
After the boat ride we arrived at the capital of Temburong District, a small town called Bangar. But we were still far from the national park; the trip continued by car to Batang Duri where the road ends and the real jungle adventure begins. In fact, the center of the park can only be accessed by boats. We got into the longboat you can see in the picture below, and a local Iban guide steered the boat upstream through the jungle.
On our trip through the jungle our Iban guide told us that their people used to be headhunters, and that it was common for a man wanting to get married to get asked by the potential father-in law to bring back a couple of human heads in order to prove his worth. These days the Bruneian government provides basic school education to the local tribes and these kinds of traditions are no longer practiced, but it was still quite fascinating to hear about their not-too-distant past. 
Above: Jambatan Gantung Kerung suspension bridge
After arriving in the middle of the jungle it was time to begin hiking. In the past this part of the adventure included walking across a suspension bridge called Jambatan Gantung Kerung, but the bridge has been closed down for a while now as it is in need for restoration. 
Above: A huge jungle worm. Wow!
Our first stop during the jungle treck was a canopy viewing walkway where you can climb to a hight of 50 meters and get a stunning view of the nature around you. The walkway is built with steel, and until recently it was only used by researchers for bird watching.
Those who wanted to see the view of the jungle could choose to climb to the top of the tower. Of course we decided to go for it, but although the tower seemed to be sturdy enough I still felt rather shaky while climbing the stairs.
But it all paid off when we got to the top and could take in the marvellous sight of the surrounding jungle. Just trees and nature as far as the eye could see! If you can take the hight I would really recommend climbing to the top of the tower, although you might want to avoid looking down on the way up there.
I did take a video of the climb, and if I get time I'll add it to this post later.
Finally safe back on the ground we continued our jungle adventure to the next highlight of our trip; a picturesque waterfall in the middle of the jungle. We were the first ones to arrive at the waterfall this day, and luckily for us we could thus spend some time in tranquility by the waterfall before the other groups got there.
In addition to enjoying our quiet surroundings we also had the chance to get into the small pond there before everybody else. We soon discovered that the water was filled with small fish of the type that will clean the skin on your feet, known as Doctor Fish. I once tried this out at a shopping mall in Malaysia, but getting the real deal out in the wild jungle was a much more exciting experience.
While we were sitting with our feet in the water enjoying our natural foot spa the number of other tourists groups started to increase. Good timing for us to move on! It was already time for lunch, and the last jungle activity included floating down the river on a tire tube to our lunch place for the day. 
Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to take any pictures from this part of the travels, but I can tell you it was also a really fun part of the trip. You're pretty much left to yourself floating downwards the river without any safety equipment, so if you're not used to rivers and swimming you might want to opt out of this part. The second part of the day we went to visit a Iban family's home, which you can read more about in my next post.

That's all for now, but hopefully my series of posts about Brunei can be of help to some of you out there considering a visit to the country.

 Basic Info
  • The Ulu Temburong National Park
  • Tour Operator: Borneo Guide

Related blogposts

Recommended Hotels in Bandar Seri Begawan

The Empire Hotel and Country Club
The Empire Hotel
 → review
The Brunei Hotel
The Brunei Hotel
Star Lodge
Star Lodge
Palm Garden Hotel
Palm Garden Hotel
→ review

This page contains affiliate links, and if you follow a link and make a hotel reservation through these links you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

Author Image

About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

  • 0Disqus Comment
  • Facebook Comment

Leave your comment

Post a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
・Read more →

Recent Posts


Random Posts