Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ulu Temburong National Park

Besides wanting to see the opulent mosques of Brunei I also wanted to check out the Ulu Temburong National Park. Going to Mt. Kinabalu was out of the question due to the recent earthquake and I wouldn’t have time to check out any of Sarawak’s parks before my flight out to Bali, so Ulu was going to be my ultimate trek into Borneo’s rainforest.

The only way to actually see the park is by booking a tour, which I did through BorneoGuide. Riza, the lady who helped me at the office in BSB, was super duper nice. I was interested in seeing the park either Friday or Saturday since I couldn’t see myself staying in Brunei that much longer.

No one had signed up for either day and I asked her if she could keep me updated in case anyone were to sign up. Luckily, someone knocked on my door at the hostel a few hours later as I bummed around and watched a movie in order to escape the noon heat.

It was Riza and she had good news form; a very nice Chinese guy had signed up for the tour tomorrow and had pleaded with her to make me sign up for it. Of course now that I had a companion I was definitely going to sign up!

She walked with me to the atm in order for me to pay since it was cash only. The tour is definitely on the higher-end spectrum, coming at a whopping 133 BND ($98.77 USD). I would say that this is one of the few splurges I was going to grant myself for this South East Asia trip.

Around 7:30 the next morning I met up with Riza and my travel buddy for the day, Mr. Danny Cao. He was decked out in a Red Sox shirt and stars and striped board shorts. He looked more patriotic in that exact moment than I ever have in my whole life combined. He was very friendly and funny and I got a good vibe from him. This was going to be a good day :D

The trip started with a 45 minute jetty ride to Bangar. Everyone one on the boat fell asleep while Danny and I chatted the whole time.

Danny broke out his GoPro and began taking pictures from the window using that thingamabob pole. I was worried that it would fall into the water as we whizzed on through but he reassured me that he was being careful.

As soon as we got to Bangar we met up with our awesome guide, Nasri. After a short drive in his car we went to Eco Village where our long boat driver waited for us.

The ride was awesome and we seemed to have the river all to ourselves. I’m not gonna lie I did freak out when Nasri told us that the boat could easily flip over if we didn’t distribute all of our weight evenly. I thought to myself, “What would happen if the boat WERE to flip over? What would I do?” I would most likely try to save my backpack first before saving myself #materialistic

The long boat ride had no disasters and we got to the entrance of the park safely. The regular entrance was closed for some renovation bit, so we had to take an alternative route. Since I didn’t like investing in good shoes for this trip I wore my Old Navy sandals. Riza told me that I would be fine, though I should be careful in case it got slippery. It did. The way up was muddy and I had to hold on to bits of rope on both sides to not fall on my butt. Poor Danny kept looking back to make sure I was alive. I was :D

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Ulu Temburong National Park