Brunei is a tiny coastal land, squashed between the Malaysian provinces of Sarawak and Sabah. The country can be technically divided into two main territories: the capital city Bandar Seri Begawan and Bruneian countryside.
The fact that Brunei is part of Borneo indicates equatorial climate – extremely hot in the dry season and tremendously rainy during the monsoon. The regional areas are covered with tropical jungles, waterfalls, abundant wildlife and murky rivers that dramatically grown in the wet season.
Brunei`s countryside is defined by paddy fields, rainforest, swamps, mangroves, floating villages and the traditional longhouses; these are the major attractions.
THE NATURE HIGHLIGHTS OF BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
1.Taman Peranginan Tasek – a pleasant retreat from the city and sightseeing. Close to the city centre, this peaceful park has plentiful walks with waterfalls, a pretty reservoir and lovely picnic area. The central Jalan Tasek Lama has similar features and a nice pond with waterlilies.
2.Taman Persiaran Damuan – an artificially landscaped park with a permanent display of the work of the ASEAN sculptors. There are beautiful walkways through the park, boardwalks over mangroves and shrubs where you can spot some of the endemic monkeys. The park offers the best views of the Istana Nurul Iman Palace.
3.Pulau Ranggu Island – in the middle of the Brunei River, not far away from Istana Nurul Iman, there is a small island that is home to the large colony of the rare Proboscis Monkeys and Macaques.
4.Bukit Subok is a popular recreational with nice wooden boarded walkways area providing great views of the traditional hut in Kampong Ayer.
5.Bruneian Coastline – if you are after some relax and beach the best spots around the city are the Berakas Beach, Serasa Beach, Muara Beach, Jerudong Beach, Manikar Beach, Layang-Layangan Beach, Pancur Hitam and Pohon Batu Beaches. Most of them feature long sand stretches with palm trees, some are decorated by luxurious resorts, restaurants and pretty parks, and they are generally clean and safe for swimming.
TOP NATURAL ATTRACTIONS (WEST OF BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN)
The western regions of Brunei are easily to reach by car. The area offers pristine rainforest, gorgeous waterfalls, natural reserves, decent beaches, traditional longhouses.
6.Tutong Region is known for the Merimbun Lake – the largest in Brunei. Tourists come to the reserve to observe the wildlife and exotic birds from the wooden boarded walkway.
7.Andulau Forest Reserve is another tropical swamp park with good wildlife spotting opportunities and boardwalks.
8.Seria is the famed “oil kingdom” on the southern coast of Brunei with a huge Shell Petroleum installation and the Billionth Barrel Monument.
9.Labi is a good starting point to the indigenous longhouses, and the favourite Rumah Panjang Mendaram Besar, located in in the jungles of Labi Forest Reserve.
10.Teraja is a pristine rainforest from where to enjoy the views of Malaysian Sarawak and the highest hill of Brunei Bukit Teraja. There is a 2-hour easy walk to the hilltop through primary forest and waterfalls.
BEST NATURE ATTRACTIONS IN TEMBURONG (EAST OF BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN)
The eastern part of Brunei – Temburong, is surrounded by Sarawak and it is only accessible by boat from the capital. Daily speedboats depart from Bandar Seri Begawan into the open sea until they reach the milky-brown Temburong River mouth and arrive in Bangar (the ride takes 45 minutes).
11.Bandar-Bangar River Journey – the boat tour itself is an attraction: a labyrinth of mangroves and swamps, virgin rainforest and dense jungles in the background remind of a scene from the “Tarzan” movie. It is a good day trip idea, but you can book a couple of nights at the Ulu Ulu Resort.
12.Ulu Ulu Eco-resort offers various tours and purpose-built attractions; the favourites are river tubing, rafting, jungle trekking, waterfall swimming, wildlife tours and the iconic canopy walk through the thick rainforest of the Ulu Temburng National Park (for more information and prices go to https://www.uluuluresort.com/)
13.Peradayan Forest Reserve is perfect for rafting, kayaking and jungle adventures. The most visited is a 3-hour loop jungle walk to Bukit Patoi, Bukit Berdining and Bukit Peradayan and back (from atop you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Chinese Sea and Sarawak).
14.Batang Duri has an Iban longhouse and a small zoo (it is ideal for families with children).
15.Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre – those who are interested in a more serious, multi-day jungle trekking are advised to stop by at the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre that can arrange a 2-day guided trekking experience into the remote jungles of Brunei
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Brunei is defined by two seasons: dry season (Jan-May) and the rainy season (Oct-Dec). The best time to visit is obviously the dry season. The shoulder season offers lower prices and fewer visitors (June-July) although it gets extremely hot and humid during these two months.
NOTE July is a month of the Sultan`s birthday and there are many festivals and celebrations throughout the whole months which can make it more exciting to visit the country.
HOW TO GET THERE
Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive useful articles and special offers. This monthly email is sent out on the first of every month.