Sunday, 11 January 2009

Ulu Temburong

Last Wednesday, we went up to the Ulu Temburong National Park together with our guests. We hadn't done this trip before, so we were all very excited as we set off down to the jetty early in the morning.

First we took a covered water taxi from Bandar to Bangar, through the mangrove forests. It took about 45 minutes and was a very nice trip.
In Bangar we were met by our guide, and taken to a little café to have some morning tea, it was all local food, rice rolls, kaya toast and different fruits.
From there we were driven in a mini bus up to the river, since the National Park can only be reached by boat. We boarded a longboat to travel up to the National Park. The longboat fit the eight of us, but we had to sit one by one after each other as they are very narrow.
This was my favourite part of the trip, the jungle was so beautiful and the water so clean. We heard a lot of animal noises and saw colourful birds fly by. Sometimes if tide is low, you can be asked to get out of the boat and push it over the shallow parts, but we were lucky and could just sit and take it all in.

We got off the boat and started our climb up the hill. It was rather steep and very muddy so it was a bit of a challenge. They had recently built some stairs for one part of it, but a huge part was still very "jungly". The kids all did really well - all of them climbed on their own all the way to the top! It was a bit like doing the hash, we all ended up sweaty and dirty!
Once we got up, we were at the bottom of the canopy walk, the highlight of the trip. Emma didn't want to go up, so I offered to stay with her while the others did the walk. (As it turned out, it didn't take them long so I went up too afterwards.)
The walk consist of climbing one big tower and then walking over a suspension brigde to another one, and another one - five in total. Each time you also climb a little bit higher to finally be on top of the rainforest. This steel construction is the highest canopy walk in the world!
You are walking over the tree tops and if you can get over the altitude, you have an amazing view! But it is quite scary too! I sure held on really tight!

After we had done this highlight, it was time for lunch, which was served up on the river bank. Really nice lunch, how come food always tastes best outside? Everybody ate huge portions, even the kids!
Then we walked about 10 minutes along the riverbank to a waterfall where we could swim. It was a bit cold, but very nice at this stage, to wash off all the mud and cool down a bit. The water was full of fish that nibbled on our feet - who needs an expensive spa treatment when you can come here and get them to take care of your dead skin? :)

Then it was time to go back home again. Now we were sailing downstream which didn't take long at all, and then back in the mini bus and the jet boat. Everyone were really tired but happy with their day, it was a fantastic experience - and I'm already looking forward to the next time I will take guests out there again!

Some photos:

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