Brunei Darussalam, a gem of a destination for those looking to experience nature at its finest. With its lush tropical rainforests that make up more than 70% of the country filled with a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, serene lakes, and waterfalls, one could say that you haven't been to Brunei until you’ve witnessed the natural wonders of Brunei Darussalam.
Here are eight natural attractions in Brunei Darussalam that you must visit to fully experience the wonders of nature that Brunei has to offer.
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The renowned Ulu Temburong National Park is located between the Temburong and Belalong rivers and has an area of about 50,000 hectares of pristine rainforest, preserved and undisturbed. This national park, sometimes referred to as Fathul Park, was the first national park established in Brunei and has been protected since 1991.
At the Ulu Temburong National Park, you can cruise down the river by boat, to witness several waterfalls within the park. Alternatively, you can visit the Canopy Walkway, which rises more than 60 meters above the surrounding trees. From there, you can observe one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems first-hand, while also taking in the stunning views that await you at the top of the canopy.
On the canopy walkway, you will have to climb approximately 1,260 steps to reach the top. Along the way, it is not unusual to find some forest animals—such as deers, hornbills, and any other local wildlife that call the rainforest their home.
One of the best times to visit the Ulu Temburong National Park is before dawn because that’s when you’ll be able to spot birds and many other wildlife creatures out foraging for food. You will be able to truly take in the atmosphere of the wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
To get to this amazing place, you will need to take a speedboat for 45 minutes down the river and then proceed by bus for about 30 minutes. You will then have to take a traditional boat to reach the final destination. It is a journey that’s well worth the rewards.
Just a 30-minute boat ride away from the city is an island tucked away in Brunei Bay, known as Selirong Island. A mangrove wonderland, known for its pristine mangrove forests teeming with life. The island is home to a diverse range of plants, including mangrove trees that tower over 40 meters high.
In addition to the impressive vegetation in this breathtaking forest, you’ll also have the opportunity to spot some rare and exotic wildlife that calls this pristine mangrove forest their home. Selirong Island is home to many wild animals, such as the flying lemurs among many others. The mangrove is also a popular destination for bird-watchers, as it is a nesting ground for some migratory birds.
The Teraja Waterfalls in Labi is another must-see natural attraction that cannot be missed when in Brunei Darussalam. The trek towards the Teraja Waterfalls is an attraction in itself. Connect with nature and enjoy a peaceful trek through the unspoiled rainforest to then be greeted by the waterfalls of Teraja.
Take a dip and unwind in the inviting, calm, and clear waters of Wasai Teraja as you surround yourself with the breathtaking natural scenery of the waterfalls and rainforest. Or just rest and relax by the waters and observe the local wildlife around this slice of heaven on earth.
Visiting the Teraja Waterfalls also serves as a unique opportunity for you to mix with the local Iban tribe as the trek to Teraja Waterfalls starts at the Teraja Longhouse - home of the Iban tribe. You may opt for the local Iban guides to escort you on the 3-kilometer trek to the Teraja Waterfalls.
One of the hidden gems in Brunei Darussalam, Luagan Lalak Recreation Park is home to an alluvial freshwater swamp renowned for its picturesque mirror-like waters that perfectly reflect the view of the open sky. A spectacular natural phenomenon that’s unique to Borneo.
Depending on the season, the water levels will rise and fall which makes for a different ambiance and flavor from season to season. During the dry season, the water gives way to the patches of reeds and sedges, a sight to behold. While in the wet season, everything is submerged. Take a stroll along the wooden walkways to the gazebos or the 200m wooden bridge, a great spot to snap some Insta-worthy shots.
Another reason to visit Laguan Lalak Recreation Park is the famous sunrise you can catch there. Watch as the sun peeks over the treeline while the morning mist rolls over the waters of Luagan Lalak, truly an extraordinary sight.
The Luagan Lalak Recreation Park is about an hour's drive from Bandar Seri Begawan and is not far from the Labi Forest Reserve.
If you’re looking for an authentic farm stay experience, then Eco Ponies Garden is the place to be. What started off as a simple cottage on a farm is now a unique lodging where you can be surrounded by nature. A true farm-to-table experience, sample local cuisines made with organic and fresh ingredients cultivated from the farm itself.
Eco Ponies Garden is a place that carries the theme of connecting back with nature. Celebrate the pleasures of nature by living off the land and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, devoid of the noise, hustle, and bustle of everyday city life.
Located in Lamunin, Tutong, Eco Ponies Garden is about an hour's drive from the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. You may choose to stay overnight with the community there by renting out a tent or one of their cozy cabins that are beautifully arranged in a rustic style. Come for the peace and serenity of rural life, and leave with valuable knowledge of nature, farming, and other sustainable practices.
Not far from Ulu Temburong National Park is Sumbiling Eco Village, an eco-lodge in the heart of nature’s playground. The thought behind Sumbiling Eco Village is to promote sustainability and the rich cultures of the indigenous tribes of Borneo that call the area home, precisely in the Temburong District of Brunei. Experience the serenity of nature and learn the culture of the community at Sumbiling Eco Village.
This location is perfect for those who want to unplug and escape everyday life. Don’t worry, you’ll be more than happy to leave your devices with the number of activities on offer there. Go foraging for wild vegetables with the locals or take in the sights and sounds of the forest on their sunrise and night walks or even go river tubing! The activities there are sure to enhance your experience of nature and the local culture.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy nature in Brunei Darussalam. Escape to the sanctuary of the Abode Resort and Spa, a luxurious resort in the untamed rainforests of Brunei near the waters of the Labu river. Your conscience can rest easy as the resort is also eco-friendly, running on 100% renewable energy, and was even built using recycled materials!
The Abode Resort and Spa brings glamping to the next level with its tented villas surrounded by the tranquility of the lush forests and waters nearby. A unique way to experience nature while also pampering yourself with the comforts of civilization.
Other than glamping, you can also join in the list of activities offered at the resort. Take a cruise down the Labu river or get your hearts racing and ‘fly’ through the mangroves with the Kelicap Bakau Zip-Line and many more activities that’ll let you experience nature in a different way. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
After exploring the mangroves and rainforests, why not pamper yourselves with a visit to the Spa & Wellness by Cantik Spa in the Abode Resort. Rest and rejuvenate with their range of massages on offer, right in the comfort and privacy of your villa.
Dive in deep blue and discover the treasures in Brunei’s waters. Other than the rainforests, Brunei Darussalam is also blessed with beautiful corals and a rich array of marine life. Dive sites like Abana Reef, Hornet’s Nest, Pelong Rock, and many others are all just waiting to be discovered by you. You can even dive and see over 30 shipwrecks of historic ships in the sea!
If you’re looking to stay ashore but long to explore the waters around Brunei then the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum is the place to visit. Located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum is home to 13,261 artifacts excavated from Brunei's most important shipwreck in three different galleries. One of the main attractions in the museum is a shipwreck that was found in 1997, containing artifacts dating back to the 14th and 17th centuries - reflecting the long history of Brunei Darussalam.
You can also check out our previous article "Mosques & Islamic Heritage Sites of Brunei Darussalam: Islamic Landmarks You Shouldn’t Miss in Brunei Darussalam"!