Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brunei's Belait District boasts of beautiful recreational spots

By Sham

Even though it is just a small country with a relatively small population, Brunei Darussalam has quite a number of interesting places for people to visit. Beautiful places where families can take a break and enjoy themselves.

Brunei-Muara, being the most populated and also the country's main district, has countless number of famous and attractive places. Some of them are the Shahbandar and Tasik Lama Recreational Parks and also the two famous beaches of Muara and Serasa.

Meanwhile, Tutong District has its own Bukit Basong Recreational Park and the Seri Kenangan Beach, including the Tutong town waterfront whereas the Temburong District has its own well known Taman Peranginan Batang Duri as well as the Ulu Belalong Forest Reserve.

Belait District, the biggest of the four districts in the country, also offers a number of beautiful spots for the public to visit, most of which are located in and around the Kuala Belait town area.

One of these places is the Taman Jubli. Practically located at the Belait beach, it is one of the oldest yet most famous parks in Kuala Belait.

The park had a facelift and was officially opened by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on October 24, 1992. Until today, the park continues to go through continuous maintenance. In the centre of the park, stand proud a monument symbolising a gift to His Majesty the Sultan from the citizens of the Belait District in conjunction with the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of His Majesty on the throne. Numerous rides, colourful playhouses, new shelters and gazebos have been provided by the relevant authorities for the visitors.

After the extensive renovation which was completed some few years back, the river-view of Jalan Sungai, located at Kg Melayu Asli in Kuala Belait town, is another recreational spot in town which has quickly become one of the choices for many residents in the area. Located in the heart of the Belait town, this picturesque area has turned into another fascinating location with a great view in town. This was after so many years without any considerable upgrade. Along the freshly-painted steel fence barrier running along the river bank, a new and wider pavement made up of neatly-laid tiles has been build to replace the old grass-covered sidewalk. Apart from this, several new electrical lights, with an elegantly-designed post, replacing the old ones has also been added to provide better lighting to the area during night times.

Jalan Sungai is also well-known as a fishing spot, especially during the night when scores of enthusiastic anglers can be seen spreading along the stretch of the river. Some also make use of the old wooden shed as their spot. The wooden shed also served as a pick-up point for the residents in Kg Sg Teraban, across the river, who decided to use boats as their mode of transportation to travel between their village and the mainland. Occasionally, it also becomes a meeting point for some residents in the village.

Meanwhile, the row of fishermen's wooden and fibreglass boats lining up along the river, on the other hand, added a truly classic landscape to the already stunning view. Now well-known for residents in the nearby area to spend some time with families and friends, the sky during sunset is renowned to be quite spectacular when viewed from here. As the distance of Jalan Sungai from end to end is considerably good enough for a jog and brisk walk, it has turned into a perfect place for the health-conscious citizens to carry out their exercises.

In addition to the Jalan Sungai river-view and the Jubli Perak Park, Belait town also boasts another park which is also a very prominent and distinctive landmark, known as the Menara Cendera Kenangan. Although perhaps not as frequently visited as the others, this park still receives visitors on daily basis. This majestic memorial tower was built as a gift from the residents and the people in the oil district of Belait to His Majesty the Sultan in conjunction with the 50th birthday celebrations of the caring monarch which fell in 1996.

The tower, standing tall right next to the Belait River, which by the way is the longest river in the country, was designed in such a way that it symbolises every aspect and characteristic of the country and its people. Each part of this soaring structure, the umbrella at the very top of the tower, the column, its 29-metre height and its Air Mulih Design, each and every one of it has its own meaning and individual representations. Despite other attractions found at other places in the district, lots of people can still be seen spending some time at this tower, which is located, quite literally, a stone throw away from the decade old Kuala Belait Boat Club.

Apart from the public parks, some of the housing areas in the town also happen to have its own recreational park and one of them is the Perpindahan Kg Pandan. The park, which boasts a huge lagoon, has provided the much-needed spot not only for the residents in the neighbourhood, but also for those around the town area.

Everyday after working hours, countless number of parents with their kids, individuals as well as group of youngsters can be seen enjoying themselves at these recreational places.

The latest attraction to be added in the district is the Belait waterfront and foodstalls. First constructed on May 2008, it was completed more than a year later and was finally officiated by the Minister of Home Affairs in January this year. Located just a few minutes away from rows of shophouses at the town centre and right next to the Belait River providing visitors with scenic view, this waterfront is complete with concrete benches, lamp posts and neatly laid-tiles. In addition to that, it also boasts a stage for performance, parking space and a decorative landscape.

In addition to that, all these places have also boosted the profile of the district. Apart from those coming from the town area, visitors to these beautiful parks also include those from outside the Belait District which, in some ways, has supported the authorities' campaign towards promoting the domestic tourism.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Sunday

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