While Brunei has largely tamed the wild side of its part of Borneo Island, a 500 square metre parcel of the country has been permitted to remain in its pristine, pre-development state. At Ulu Temburong National Park, tourists are only suffered admittance as part of carefully-guided tours, and only then visiting about one square kilometre’s worth of the park.
But even that small taste is more than enough: from the park’s trails, tourists can spot a riotous assortment of jungle life, from butterflies to flowers to the aged dipterocarp trees comprising the thick canopy above. The 60-metre-high canopy walkway, accessible via 20 ladders from the ground level, provide an excellent birds’-eye view of the wild communities in the tree branches, including hornbills and gibbons.
Using the Ulu Ulu Temburong Resort as a jumping-off point, you can also pursue jungle trails that end at waterfalls deep in the forest – bring a swimsuit so you can take a dip in the falls’ natural pools!
Getting to the park is part of the adventure; one does not drive into Ulu Temburong, as there are no roads going in. Instead, you take a water taxi from Bandar Seri Bagawan to the town of Bangar, then drive to Batang Duri where a longboat takes you 12 kilometres down the Temburong River to the Ulu Ulu Temburong Resort in the park premises.
This is as close as you can get to a Borneo safari – a well-preserved virgin rainforest protected from the relentless assault of loggers and farmers. It may not be here forever, so visit the Park for as long as its protection against modernity holds.