Ulu Ulu Resort: Close to Nature with Comfort
Some people said if you have never been to Empire Hotel and Country Club, you would have never been to Brunei. Some locals would suggest a visit to Jerudong Park or the Water Village instead and of course it depends on individual’ preferences. While the luxurious 5-star Empire Hotel and Country Club is highly recommended for a visit due to its palatial design,many people are not aware of another gem hidden deep in the dense rainforest of Brunei. It is none other than the magnificent Ulu Temburong National Park.
The national park is Brunei’s pride – in fact, one of the last remaining well preserved rainforests in the world. One might ask what is so special about the place and the resounding replies are always about how pristine the rainforest is. The water in the Temburong River is almost turquoise green and clear. The welcoming sounds of rainforest serenade visitors, and a hike to the canopy walkway for the panoramic view of rainforest is absolutely fabulous! Not to mention a few mini waterfalls nearby which visitors could explore. Fish massage is one of the fun things to do there as the small fish nibble our tired feet.
You would appreciate a longer time spent at the Ulu Ulu Resort. With overnight stay, you will get to do guided jungle walk along the frog tail. It is a fantastic experience to search for frogs, insects and also nocturnal birds at night. Some of the unique and rare creatures that we have spotted include the lantern bugs and Bornean horned frog.
A longer stay like 2 or 3 nights would allow you to try more fun-filled water activities. River tubing and kayaking are the highlight and of course for safety reason, these activities are recommended for those that can swim only.
It is not a bad idea if you choose not to do much physical activities there. Within the resort, there are sun lounge and hammocks to lie down, rest and enjoy the sights of the tranquil river. Board games, books and a pool table are available for guest to spend their leisure time. The guide would also ask if the guests would be interested to try stone painting using pebbles collected from the nearby river. It’s a great way to unleash our creativity or express our message on a pebble! The resort is also introducing wood craft where in-house guests are guided to prepare small and adorable handicraft. Some even preferred to watch movie at the theatre room at night where they could select a wide collection of movies to watch.
Although it seems like we are detached from the modern world due to remote location and lack of digital connections, we were actually recharged, much less, having a very comfortable rooms to sleep. There are spacious and comfortable deluxe rooms, or budget wise, you can opt for lower category rooms such as superior room and dormitory style standard room. All rooms are air-conditioned and well maintained to provide maximum comfort.
Most of the guests at the resort would tell you they enjoyed the resort’s food! Ulu Ulu Resort serves set meals but the taste is so good! The Resort Management insist to serve only fresh and health-oriented food in the resort thus cutting down usage of recycled oil, MSG and other processed food. They even grow their own vegetable at the resort and that’s why they are so fresh!
The Resort is gaining reputation to be a top spot for bird watching in Borneo. In 2014, it was selected as one of the venues for the Borneo Bird Race. Birders claimed that the national park is a haven for hornbills where several species like Rhinoceros Hornbill, Wrinkled hornbill, Black Hornbill, Asian Black Hornbill, Bushy-Crested Hornbill, Helmeted Hornbill and Oriental pied Hornbill were spotted there.
This resort is committed to its environment policy and just to state a few, they provide free stainless steel bottle for overnight guests so that they could refill water at the resort. This is to reduce wastage of plastic bottles according to the Resort Management. Another example is using eco-friendly shower and head shampoo as well as introducing food compost.
There are a lot more to write about this magical place but it is best to leave them as it is as a surprise when you visit this National Park. Ulu Temburong National Park is definite worth a visit when you visit Brunei Darussalam!
By Willie Ki