Ulu Ulu National Park Resort — Brunei's 'unexpected treasures'

Breathtaking view: Visitors on the suspension bridge at the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort in Temburong. Pictures: Uaidillah Masli

Monday, May 5, 2008

BEYOND the reaches of the technological arms of mobile network coverage and far enough from the worries of city life, the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort truly lives up to its name.

Ulu Ulu emphasises on the remoteness of the resort, said Kamli Abdul Hamid, director of Business Development for Sunshine Borneo Tours, which recently invited members of the Brunei Tourism board, media and tour agencies to experience one of the package tours of the Temburong resort.Departing from the Sg Kianggeh jetty during the early hours of the morning, the excursion group set off for Bangar Town where a bus awaited to take them to the Kampong Batang Duri jetty.

Upon leaving the second jetty, a fleet of long boats, known locally as temuai, motored the group upstream against the beating currents of the mini-rapids of the Temburong River, heading towards the resort.

Situated at approximately 100 metres above sea-level, the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort is engulfed by the ancient forest reserves of the Ulu Temburong National Park. The highlight of the day trip was the walk to the canopy of the park's rainforest.

Comprising of 1,226 wooden steps, not including the final climb up the canopy viewing structure, the hike is one which requires a certain amount of physical effort from tourists.

However, the view from the top is said to be 'breathtaking', where one can fully appreciate Brunei for all its glory. After the canopy walk and lunch, tourists had the option of cooling off by swimming in the Belalong River or by taking a short kayak expedition up the river, depending on the choice of their package tour.

Zulkefli Jaludin, a licensed nature guide for Sunshine Borneo Tours spoke of his experiences taking tourists up the canopy walk.

"When they reach the top, they are really amazed," he told The Brunei Times.

Zulkefli said that he felt personal satisfaction when the visitors enjoyed themselves on his guided tours.

Depending on the bookings made by the tourists, the nature guide made several trips up and down the canopy walkway, with four trips being the most frequent during a single week. "It keeps me fit," he said.

Zulkefli had been a guide for the past two years and had previously been sent for training at the Niah National Park in Sarawak.

A tourist who was present during the excursion, Turki Al-Mubadal said that he found the experience an 'excellent' one.

The Saudi Arabian civil engineer, who is currently based in Beijing, China was on a three-day holiday in Brunei.

He had been to Malaysia and Indonesia during his previous vacations, but decided to visit the sultanate after reading about Brunei through the Internet.

He said that Brunei had 'more unspoiled areas' than Malaysia. "The people here are very friendly," Turki added.

Previously been on a canopy walk in Germany, Turki said that the one he took at Temburong was more exhausting.

Darryl from Ken Travel and Trading, who was also one of the invited guests to the resort said that he had recently brought a group of government employees who went to the park to conduct a study.

"They enjoyed it very much (and) they want to come back (to the resort) with their families," he said. (ODM1)

The Brunei Times