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“Ulu Ulu Amazing Rainforest Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ulu Ulu National Park Resort

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Bangar | Temburong, Ulu Temburong National Park BE1518, Brunei Darussalam   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Ulu Ulu Amazing Rainforest Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

Just returned from a 2 day/1 night stay at the Ulu Ulu Resort in the Temburong rainforest. The adventure of getting to the resort and living deep inside the jungle was quite an experience. I would highly recommend the trip for those that are located in SE Asia although not something I would recommend to those coming from afar.

The journey began from our hotel in BSB where the resort shuttle took us from our hotel to the jetty in about 2 minutes. I expected a resort boat but my friends and I were put on a regular speedboat along with some locals, groceries, supplies, heavy machinery, and underground piping. The trip was a bit claustrophobic as you are sitting close to others with a very low ceiling surrounded by a bunch of randomness. The 45 min journey took us through the mangrove forests and into a smaller port city where we disembarked and got onto a waiting van. The group was driven about 20 minutes to a local dock where we boarded a long tail boat. It was pouring rain (so dress accordingly) but the guide provided us with ponchos and covered our luggage with garbage bags. As a side note, I would highly recommend that you pack VERY lightly. The long long tail boat ride up the river into the rainforest in the pouring rain was a highlight. We arrived at the resort 40 minutes later soaking from the rain but with big smiles on our faces.

After check-in we rested, had a surprising good BBQ meal and headed for our night hike with our guide. We followed a small river off the main river to look for wildlife. Unfortunately, we didnt see many 'exotic' animals, just insects, frogs, fireflies and some small guppy fish. We then headed back to the resort to rest up.

Our group of 8 people were put in one lodge set up like a college dorm. Four rooms with 2 bunk beds in each and shared bathrooms for the boys and girls. The rooms were decently clean, but the beds were comfy and the A/C strong. There are bugs/flying insects in the main area of the room but it was separate from the bed rooms so we didnt mind.

The next morning we were woken up at 4 AM to hike up to for the Canopy walk to see the sunrise. This hike was more difficult than we had expected but not what i would consider hard. The guides told us it was a walk on the board walk but in reality it's about a 1000+ step climb to the top that takes about 45 minutes, all in all a good work out.

Once you get to the top, we saw the 5 canopy stations. Climbing up to the top was scary! You have to climb up smalls steps snaking your way up to the top. It was very much worth it though as the stations let you see the vastness of the rainforest in all directions. We stayed for about 1.5 hours and headed back to our hotel to catch breakfast.

After breakfast we did the waterfall hike. This was also harder than expected as you have to navigate some slippery slate rocks. Many of us slipped and fell on the rocks or into the water. On person was holding a camera that got wet and unfortunately broke. We were told it was ok to wear flip-flops but that is HIGHLY not recommended. Wear water shoes with traction! Once we got to the waterfall, everything was worth it. We were able to scale halfway up the waterfall and at the end slide down the rocks. Be careful for leeches though, one member of our group found one when she got back to the lodge!

All in all a great experience being away in the jungle. The reason I am hesitant to recommend this experience to those traveling far is because Brunei itself is not a happening place. The capital has nothing going on (go to the nightmarket though) and we didnt see or experience anything out of this world. Those coming from America are better off heading to Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic to see the rainforests there.

Here are the bullet points:

+
friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff
resort beds were clean
isolated location away from it all
food was surprisingly okay
very few mosquito bites
no cell/internet service

-
no exotic animals seen
no cell/internet service
you will get wet - dress/plan accordingly

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UluUluResort, Sales and Marketing Executive at Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Dear jjyw,

A very warm hello from the Ulu Ulu Resort! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your time at Temburong, it is a great place- I think for both people coming from near and far, there is something here for everyone to discover! I do apologise if you weren’t expecting to be put on a public boat, and I will make sure visitors in the future are made aware. I agree that visitors should pack lightly and we’ve now put weight limits on luggage going up. This varies by length of stay but usually 7-10KG is average.

From the sounds of it, you were assigned the 3Generation villa, which is where we usually put large groups. I do apologize sincerely for the presence of bugs and we do endeavor to make sure all rooms are bug-free and clean.

It is a bit of a trip to the canopy top and can be scary I agree, but it is worth the time, especially the sunrise option  I also agree flip flops are not an advisable footwear for the waterfall and we now sell rubber shoes at the resort for those who have forgotten to pack a pair. I don’t advise guests to bring valuables such as cameras, jewelry or phones with them on the hikes (unless they are shockproof/waterproof) as nature is unpredictable and it can often lead to things being broken or lost!

While we are different from a normal resort where there are many distractions such as TV or internet, I really wanted guests to connect with the beautiful surroundings, and to encourage them to understand this importance of primary rainforests like these. It’s a gamble but I hope it paid off and that you enjoyed yourself nonetheless!

Thank you for staying with us and I look forward to welcoming you back to Ulu Ulu again.

Warm Regards,

Anthony Chieng
General Manager
The Ulu Ulu Resort
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69 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Metro Vancouver
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

Our five day tour in Brunei with Sunshine Borneo Tours included an overnight stay at the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort. Our tour guide for our entire stay, Tom, picked us up in the early afternoon from the Empire Hotel and after arriving at the jetty, took a water taxi, van, and long boat (temuai), before finally arriving at the resort. We weren't sure how our kids, both aged 8, would react to such a pristine jungle setting.

Upon arrival, we headed to the dining room for a lemonade and snacks, but the kids were already noticing the various flying and crawling insects. The background noise from the cicadas took a few minutes to get used to. The kids brightened considerably when they saw the kids' room of our 2-bedroom family suite - there were a few animal stuffies and bean bag chairs. They settled into the bean bag chairs right away to read their books after commenting on the huge bathroom in the parents' room. The parents' room was well appointed and more than we had expected in such a remote setting; the air conditioning was welcoming and my daughter was thankful the only animals we saw in our rooms was a small lizard.

Dinner was BBQ steak and chicken, but the kids were bothered by the fruit flies, and so didn't eat much beyond a few bites of their chicken and fruit for dessert. In addition to our family of four, there was one couple, two tour guides (the second guide for the couple), and a staff of 5-7 at the resort. Sunshine Borneo Tours runs the accommodations and tours at the Ulu Ulu Resort for the Brunei Forestry Department.

After dinner, at 8pm, it was time for our night walk with Tom. Armed with one flashlight each (bring your own), we proceeded by long boat to a small stream off Sungai Temburong which ends at a spa fish waterfall. You literally walk in the stream, which is ankle-deep in spots. At one point, under the dense forest canopy, we switched off our flashlights to observe the fireflies. It was pitch black, even though our eyes were already adjusted to the darkness. The animal sounds coupled by the short ranges of the flashlights could be a problem for those of us with over-active imaginations! We saw a small frog, milliped, slepping bird, sleeping butterfly, spiders, and fishes. Did you know a gecko can sound like a dog's bark?

Tom came up the next morning to wake us up at 430am for our canopy walk! This was after we had gotten to bed at 10pm the night before. It was a good thing it was dark still and we needed our flashlights because had the kids seen the number of steps to climb in the light, they would have opted to go back to bed. The walk to the canopy walk is mostly wooden boardwalk and low-riser stairs, with frequent resting areas. There is one area at the beginning where to cross the Sungai Belalong, there are high-rise concrete steps. Other than the 1200 or so steps up, it was easier than walking in the stream. By the time we got to the end of the boardwalk, the sun was rising and we no longer needed our flashlights to climb up the towers.

There are five metal towers, with walkways between them. After the first three levels of tower 1, there are cages on the outside so it was safe. The kids had no problems with the stairs or climbing the towers. We climbed to the top of tower 1 for some great views above the mist, before climbing back down to the walkway to tower 2. At the top of the towers, you can feel some slight swaying. My husband has a fear of heights and while he had the white-kuckle grip, still enjoyed the view. From tower 2, you climb a little more to tower 3 and so on. It wasn't easy with noisy kids but we did manage to spot a macaque monkey. On our trek down, Tom pointed out the various types of trees we had passed in the dark. Towards the end, he ran ahead to put in our egg orders for breakfast.

After breakfast, we went by longboat up Sungai Belalong to a different waterfall. This walk was a more challenging as the final third of it had slippery mossy spots and water that went up to our knees in spots. Because of the running water, it was difficult at times to see where to step. Our kids needed help in some of the spots and was thankful our longboat man had come along. Our daughter had a small leech on her thumb which was removed right away. The waterfall at the end was beautiful and a great photo opportunity if you sit on the rocks at the bottom.

Lunch back at the resort featured local dishes. The star bean and achovies dish was my favourite whereas my husband enjoyed the sweet and sour fish best. The other two dishes were pumpkin and chicken curry. After lunch, we re-traced our steps back through Batang Duri and Bangar, back to Bandar Seri Begawan.

Our stay at the resort was excellent. It was a great way to show our kids a rainforest jungle without sacrificing creature comforts. There was surprisingly few mosquitoes, and the fact that Brunei is malaria-free, makes this a great choice.

Room Tip: The Family Suite is the way to go when travelling with kids. One bedroom for the parents with a hug...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012 via mobile

We met our friendly guide (Aziah) picked us up and we were transported by water bus, road and longboat (wow) deep into Temburong National Park to Ulu Ulu resort. Everything about it was wonderful, from the accommodation, to the warm welcome from all the staff. We went on a fascinating night walk - our guides were expert - and we saw frogs, a HUGE tarantula, fireflies, land lots more...we got up v early to climb the many steps to the tower in the canopy, but watching the sun come up over the trees with the mist over the jungle and the many jungle calls was really special. We trekked to a waterfall and saw a whole family of monkeys swinging through the vines...I think I took over 200 photos in 2 days! It was amazing...well worth it.

Stayed March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UluUluResort, Sales and Marketing Executive at Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Dear Ann1e1,

Thank you so much for your kind words on the Ulu Ulu resort, and for making the trip to stay with us! I love the night walks because every night is a new opportunity to discover more about the beautiful surroundings, and don’t worry, I take a TON of photos too every time I go up. It’s impossible not too.

I’m so happy to hear that you had a great time and I do hope you’ll come back to visit again- there are lots of new things in store for 2013!

Warm regards,

Anthony Chieng
General Manager
Ulu Ulu Resort
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Driebergen, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

This is a very nice resort in the middle of the jungle. The journey towards the resort is exciting and in three parts (water taxi, car and longboat). We loved the view of the sunrise from atop of the canopy. Also the falls were very nice, but be careful if you go there, since the walk is sometimes a little bit tricky. Anyhow it's worth it.
We were accompanied by a very enthusiastic young guide Chris, who did everything possible to let us have a great visit to Ulu Ulu Resort. It's a very nice and pleasant place to stay a couple of nights. We did 3 nights and that's fine.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ulu Ulu National Park Resort

Address: Bangar | Temburong, Ulu Temburong National Park BE1518, Brunei Darussalam
Phone Number:
Location: Brunei Darussalam > Temburong District > Ulu Temburong National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Ulu Temburong National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ulu Ulu National Park Resort is the only rainforest resort in Brunei Darussalam, situated at the edge of 50,000 hectares of pristine rainforest of the Ulu Temburong National Park. A perfect destination for nature lovers, retreats, rejuvenation, meditation, team-building and personal growth programs, bird watching. The resort does not have mobile or internet reception and is void of these modern gadgets so our guests can have a total peace of mind experience to connect personally with one another. The resort also banned disposable plastic bottles replacing them with the non-profit sale of stainless steel water bottles at the resort, to minimize plastic pollution. The "must do" activities include the Sunrise Canopy Walk, the Waterfall Trek, and Night Frog Trail. Unexpected comfort in the heart of the Rainforest, at the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, Temburong. ... more   less 

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