Known for its rolling terrain of various trails with different levels of difficulty across 11 hills, the Bukit Shahbandar Recreational Park is popular among hikers ranging from beginners and casuals to veterans.
Spread over 70 hectares of land, the park is especially popular during early mornings and late afternoons, the coolest times of the day and perfect for hiking. The park also features an observation tower at the highest point of the hills. Reach the top and treat yourself with a stunning aerial view of the forest park.
One of the oldest recreational parks in the country, Tasek Lama Recreational Park offers a challenging hiking trails, a playground, an outdoor gym and a Japanese garden. This multifaceted park attracts adventurous hikers as well as leisure guests. Nestled within the compound is a picturesque waterfall to admire and immerse yourself in nature.
While at the park, visitors can also delight in the diverse flora and fauna, including its cheeky full time resident, the macaques. Situated two kilometres away from the capital, this park is perfect for those looking to escape from the urban hustle.
Spread over 348 hectares of land, Berakas Forest Reserve Recreational Park features camping grounds, barbecue and picnic areas that can accommodate social gatherings and other events. This park is also especially known for its diverse range of trees.
While dominated by Kerangas trees, the park also hosts a unique range of flora such as the ru runang (casuarina sp.), sindoksindok (endospermum spp.), and selunsor (tristania sp.). Stands of trees such as acacia mangium, jagus, Klinkii Pine and Kapur bukit (dryobalanops sp.) can also be found.
Located in Mukim Kilanas roughly 1.5 kilometres off Jalan Tutong, Wasai Kendal is best known for its charming waterfall, wide trails, picturesque pools and beautiful blooms. The waterfall attracts nature photographers eager to capture its impressive scenes, but it is also the perfect respite for those looking to spend time away from the city.
Home to Brunei’s largest black water lake, this 7,800-hectare site was declared the 11th ASEAN Heritage Park on November 29, 1984. Encompassing a peat swamp forest, freshwater lake and grass marsh habitat, the park is home to a vast diversity of flora and fauna. The park is located roughly 27 kilometres away from Pekan Tutong.
With a total land area of 220 hectares, the lake sustains a large range of marine life, including 50 species of freshwater fish, while its surroundings accommodate over 200 bird species and 83 types of mammals. Examples include the red leaf monkey and gibbon, white-collared fruit bat and clouded leopard. Its diverse flora includes the rare tiger orchid and carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant. While the park has nature trails that allow guests to enjoy the park by foot, the park also provides a lake cruise, allowing guests to truly experience all that Tasek Merimbun has to offer.
Lined with Casuarina trees and with a gorgeous view of the beach, it is unsurprising why it is a popular recreation retreat. Mostly packed during the weekends and public holidays, it comes equipped with barbecue stations, food kiosks, playgrounds and changing rooms. Seri Kenangan Beach is located at Kampong Sengkarai
Considered the district’s hidden treasure, this park was officially opened in March 1989, making it one of the Forestry Department’s oldest recreation parks. Located along Jalan Labi with an area of roughly 14 hectares, this park is equipped with hiking trails allowing easy access into the forest as well as walking tracks.
The park is a popular educational destination for students and researchers due to its variety of trees – some of which are labelled with information pertaining to the specific species of plants. These guests, as well as domestic and international tourists, professionals and scientists make up the park’s recorded 10,000 monthly visitors.
Located near the edges of Belait District is the aptly named Bukit Teraja, one of the tallest hills in the Labi area. Conserved as a recreational area, the paths are well-marked. However, trekking in groups with an experienced guide is highly encouraged. Trekkers who reach the peak are treated with stunning views of the Baram valley to the north and Gunung Mulu to the south. A quick visit to the hill’s stunning wasai or waterfall is also recommended.
Another one of Belait District’s hidden treasure is the Wasai Wong Kadir, nestled within the Rampayoh Forest in Labi. While it may not be as well-known as its counterparts in other districts, the place is a great option for Belait residents, offering facilities such as picnic huts and shelters for gatherings and events, while the stream near the park’s entrance is great for a refreshing dip. The park’s centrepiece however is the 12-foot waterfall, a reward for hikers after a strenuous 30-minute uphill hike.
Found further along Jalan Labi and part of the Labi Hill Forest Reserve is the 270-hectare Luagan Lalak Forest Recreation Park. A network of wooden walkways with shelters along the way is spread across the alluvial freshwater swamp or “empran”, which may look like a lake during wetter months.
During the drier months, the water level in the swamp decreases significantly to reveal sedges mainly of the Lepironia species. The park has been identified as a tourist attraction, and the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism aims to utilise the park as well as other features within the Labi area to further emphasise Belait’s potential as a top ecotourism spot.
Dubbed the ‘Green Jewel of Brunei’, the Ulu Temburong National Park is Brunei’s only national park, a successful exam ple of the Sultanate’s forest protection policy. Spread over a whopping 50,000 hectares of land, the rainforest plays resident to the ever elusive Proboscis monkeys and thousands of other unique species of flora and fauna.
To get to the park, visitors have to ride a water taxi from the main jetty in the capital to Bangar in Temburong. To properly experience the park, visitors are encouraged to stay overnight at the Ulu Ulu Resort – conveniently located in the middle of the park – for an early head start: itineraries in the park often start with an early morning canopy walk to enjoy views 180-feet above the jungle floor.
Apart from a stunning bird’s eye view of tree tops and Bukit Belalong in the distance, lucky visitors may also spot swinging gibbons, hornbills flying overhead or even flying squirrels. The resort also organises jungle hikes towards waterfalls and kayaking down a river.
Situated in Batang Duri, Sumbiling Eco Village is a nature lodge. The lodge, also a dropping off point for longboat rides taking visitors to Ulu Temburong National Park, is located right on the banks of an upstream section of the Temburong River. The lodge is distinct for its minimalist design and structure, with huts built with bamboo in addition to a mix of recycled and new wood.
Apart from well-furnished rooms, the lodge also provides riverside tents set up using eco-friendly wood suitable for “glamping” – glamour camping. The tents are equipped with comfortable amenities for a good night’s sleep and provided are properly-walled, common bathrooms. Additionally, the lodge organises optional excursion including a night walking tour, a daytrip to the Ulu Temburong National Park and a Rainforest Discovery trek at the nearby forest.
The Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre (KBFSC) is a research platform incepted when Universiti Brunei Darussalam along with the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), London carried out a joint jungle expedition into the Belalong forest back in the early 1990s. Through the centre, over 70 researchers of various fields and backgrounds conducted research in Kuala Belalong. Furthermore, the centre has been conducting educational programmes for students of various levels as well as government sector employees since 1992. KBFSC has hosted groups of study exchange students from other countries such as Japan and Malaysia to explore and learn about the rich biodiversity of the rainforest.
KBFSC’s core mission is to generate, describe and disseminate knowledge in science and education related to the vast diversity of Brunei’s tropical rainforests, including all the varied life forms and ecosystem processes. Research professionals with an interest in the rainforest are welcomed to the centre.
Opened in 1993 and situated within the Temburong Civic Centre Padang is the Kuala Belalong Mini Park. This mini park features a waterfall, a beautifully landscaped garden and a natural pond mainly used for radio-controlled boat racing. Huts are peppered throughout the park displaying photos of His Majesty’s visit to Temburong as well as findings from the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre. Universiti Brunei Darussalam has often used the mini park to conduct field research as the park is a key rainforest research centre.
Situated within the Peradayan Forest Reserve – a reserve 15 kilometres away from Pekan Bangar – is the Bukit Patoi Forest Recreational Park. The park covers a land area of 1,070 hectares and encompasses predominantly primary lowland dipterocarp and kerangas trees. A diverse range of wildlife unique to Borneo such as gibbons, silver langurs, mouse deer (kancil), civet cats, several species of hornbills as well as a myriad of rainforest birds claim the park as their residence.
The park features a 1.6-kilometre trek that winds up and down Bukit Patoi’s mountainside to the peak, where visitors can find an open and flat rocky summit that can double as a helipad at 310 metres above sea level. Trekkers are also rewarded with stunning views of the lush green tropical jungle, a mountain range in the distance, the South China Sea, villages and sprawling agricultural lands.
Located southeast of Brunei Bay and on Temburong District’s most northern tip is the Selirong Island or the Selirong Forest Recreation Park. The park covers 2,566 hectares of predominantly unspoilt mangrove forest of the rhizophora (locally referred to as bakau minyak) genus. Distinctively known for its massive root systems which slow down tidal water, the park’s environment is conducive for oysters to flourish.
Primates such as macaques and the colugo – an arboreal gliding mammal unique to Southeast Asia – as well as a variety of bird species and mangrove snakes call the mangrove ecosystem its home. The deep mangrove channels accommodate a variety of fish, crabs, prawns, cockles, barnacles, mud-skippers of above average sizes and monitor lizards.
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