Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei. Image courtesy of Brunei Tourism.
What You’ll Get
A 6-day, 5-night jaunt between worlds: Bandar Seri Begawan’s bustling urbanity, Ulu Temburong’s deep rainforest experience, and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park’s pristine seascape
Upon landing in Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan, you’ll start straight off tasting unique flavours at a local restaurant, before gazing upon Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque and breathing deep in the atmosphere of Gadong Night Market.
The next full day lets you explore Bandar Seri Begawan’s key highlights: the Tamu (Open Market); notable museums like the Regalia Centre and the Malay Technology Museum; and the Kampong Ayer (water village) where you’ll sit down to local cakes and tea in a house after a water taxi ride.
After a tour of Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, the capital’s newest house of worship, you’ll wind up the day shopping for Brunei souvenirs at Rahmans.
Heading off to Ulu Temburong National Park the next day requires an early start: by 7am, you’ll be speeding down the river to Temburong District, into Ulu Temburong and right into wild Bornean rainforest, best seen from the top of Ulu Temburong’s Canopy Walkway.
Next, you’ll fly across the border to Kota Kinabalu, and take a ferry to the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Sabah. Your time on TARP’s Sapi Island will be quite leisurely: go swimming or snorkelling off the dazzling white beach, then enjoy a barbecued meal al fresco.
On your last day, leave for Mari Mari Cultural Village near Kota Kinabalu. Set deep in a Borneo jungle, the village hosts five different ethnic tribes – the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun – and showcases their cultural traditions, each one a breathtaking departure from the “civilization” far behind you. Hands-on demonstrations of cultural arts – from tattoo-making to blowpipe-making – immerse you in the local culture as no other experience can.
Temburong canopy walk, Brunei. Image (c) Brendan / Creative Commons
Sapi Island, Sabah, Malaysia. Image (c) Adib Wahab / Creative Commons.