Ulu Temburong National Park is located in the small Southeast Asian Nation of Brunei in its Temburong District, surrounded by Malaysia on its three sides. It’s Brunei’s first national park established in 1991 and has been quite famous for its unspoiled jungle wilderness, which has been rightfully coined as The Green Jewel of Brunei.
Ecotourism in Ulu Temburong National Park is thriving with tours showing the beauty of the park has to offer are highly considered as one of the best things to do when visiting Brunei. This is precisely what we did. We joined a great tour by Pan Bright Travel Services called Ulu Temburong National Park Day Trip.
It was a seven-hour long tour exploring most of what the beautiful park has to offer, with only a fraction of the entire park being accessible to travelers and visiting the Sumbiling Eco Village. It was a day trip that, in many ways, reminded me of home while simultaneously discovering new exotic experiences in the lush jungle.
START OF THE TOUR
The tour guide picked us up early in the morning; the tour is said to start at exactly 7:15 am when they picked us up at our hotel. Once we settled in the tour vehicle, they drove us to a place Bumbungan Dua Belas Jetty, where we were transferred to this cool speedboat. Once in the speedboat, we were on our way to Temburong National Park.
The ride on the speedboat was quite pleasant. There were a lot of mangrove trees on the waterway during the speedboat journey making for a lot of scenic forest views. Out first destination was this Eco Village called Sumbiling within the Temburong District just a five minutes walk away from the Ulu Temburong National Park and other nearby forest reserves. Our tour guide said that the Sumbiling Eco Village is the ideal base point if travelers like us want to see more of Temburong’s forests for more than just a day.
We reached the port and got out of the speedboat about an hour later. The trip was quite relaxing with all the scenic river and forest views. We got out of the port of Bangar Town and passed through its market on our way to Sumbiling Eco Village. We got the opportunity to try out local snacks and fruits. Most of them were quite similar to what we have here in the Philippines, but it doesn’t hurt to try and os we did. We had something that looked similar to the fruit called suman in the Philippines, but they called it wajit here.
After we finished our small fruity snack in the town market, we hopped on a bus heading to Sumbiling Eco Village. It was our official first stop for the day tour, and we finally arrived after 20 minutes on the road.
SUMBILING ECO VILLAGE
Sumbiling Eco Village’s location is surrounded by jungles and its very near Ulu Temburong National Park. The eco-village has an excellent policy in the way they run their operations.They have a very dedicated team of experts that allows them to cater to travelers in sustainable ways that don’t negatively affect the Burneo ecosystem. They place a huge emphasis on living in harmony with the environment and run their entire operations with that in mind. They offer tours and a variety of activities to guests, including teaching traditional dance music, how to use a blowpipe, night walks, cooking sessions, and more.
In the Sumbiling Eco Village, we learned how to make chicken cooked in bamboo, which reminded me of the activities of Ethnic Adventures by Mad Travels in the Philippines. I would’ve loved to spend a night in one of their huts to get the full jungle experience that they offer.
From there, we took a longboat our guide called a “temuai” and it took us upstream for about 45 minutes, where we passed more mangrove trees and scenic river views.
We arrived at finally arrived at Ulu Ulu Resort, where we had to register to finally enter the Ulu Temburong National Park and have access to its canopy walk.
The canopy walk in the Ulu Temburong National Park is probably its main attraction. It’s a huge walkway up above the trees where guests have a 360-degree view of the surrounding jungle below. After we registered, it’s up to the canopy we go.
We followed this dirt path up and crossed a hanging bridge to the stairs to arrive up at the canopy. Depending on who you asked, there were about 700 or 800 grueling steps up the stairs you’ll need to climb to reach the canopy walk.
I think that that so many steps were quite daunting for some people that most of them stopped at the hanging bridge to soak in the view, but knowing me, I went on my merry way and climbed up those 700 or 800 steps. There were only about three of us that took on the challenge. There were about four huts or rest stops that greeted us throughout the stairs. So when we reached the canopy walk, I was allowed to soak in the surrounding greenery with not many distractions.
Once up there, we saw a towerlike structure that we climbed straight up and was rewarded by fantastic views of the jungle canopy of Ulu Temburong National Park.
When we climbed back down to regroup with everyone else, we passed by a waterfall where we saw a pool full of small fish that will nibble at your dead skin if you dip into the pool. We finally went back to Sumbiling on a boat ride for lunch, which was good.
And it’s finally the end of our tour. We traced our way back on our journey and return to our hotel.
This was an amazing day tour in Brunei’s Ulu Temburong National Park. We didn’t get to see much wildlife except for the fishes, but the river and forest views were stunning enough to make the tour all worth it. I would have loved to have at least stayed overnight at Sumbiling Eco Village to immerse more in the jungle experience. Still, nature lovers like me would find this day tour by Pan Bright Travel Service to be a fantastic experience.