“A unique experience - really gets you back in touch with nature but with some modern day comforts”
The Ulu Ulu National Park Resort is a privately run facility located fairly deep in Brunei's rich rainforest, the Ulu Temburong National Park. Briefly, the resort offers all-inclusive stays offering modern-day comfort deep in pristine jungle. It's a unique concept and over the 4 years since the resort opened in 2008, visitation numbers have been growing largely thanks to positive word-of-mouth.
The Ulu Ulu Resort is remote though and it has enough rooms to accommodate around 50 guests at any one time. So expect a fairly long (but memorable) journey there and of course, not many people. It's a sense of tranquility that's increasingly harder to find these days. So although the rooms are air-conditioned and hot water runs from the taps, there isn't a television in the rooms, no WiFi access, no shops (except a small gift shop), and cell reception is spotty at parts and out of range in others. Be prepared to be disconnected (it can be unnerving).
I was there and back within a day so it was quite a packed schedule. Basically, my Ulu Ulu experience consisted of:
10 minute van ride from the hotel to the pier
45 minute high speed boat ride to a small town
20 minute van ride to a river outpost
45 minute motor powered open top long boat ride to the resort
60 minutes of exploring the resort facilities
90 minutes of river tubing and a short trek
60 minutes for lunch
then 120 minutes for the return journey, same way we came
Pictures will paint a better story so check out my blog at http://www.danjumbuck.com/2012/07/hotelattraction-review-ulu-ulu-national.html
Generally, the resort has a good range of facilities from diverse room arrangements to large communal spaces. Everything is done in minimalist timber-rich themes with fits the space well.
Some parts of the resort are open to the public and there are signs to show the way. It's quite an expansive place covering fairly hilly terrain.
I was really impressed with the rooms (I was expecting more 'basic' accommodations). I did not spend the night but I did check out the accommodations on offer. There are various types of rooms from fully decked out couple rooms, to larger family rooms, and some dormitories. Most rooms are air-conditioned though (which is good to know as it can get sweltering and humid) and hot water is available in all bathrooms.
After touring the facilities, it was proposed that we try tubing. I have to say I was very hesitant. It was after all a fairly wide river, with strong currents, and numerous inhabitants (although I was assured that there aren't crocodiles and leeches). Since everyone was doing it though I caved in. Overall, it was an interesting experience - water was cold and fast moving in some parts. I got stuck in a couple of eddies and took me awhile to break free from a current to get to shore. Definitely a memorable experience.
After tubing, we had a short trek through a stream to come to a waterfall. In the pool there are little fishes who are more than happy to nibble on your feet. The fishes are not as plentiful as those you find in the 'fish spa' places but if you sit still, they'll come. The challenge though was walking on these pebbles - mostly smooth, some sharp, some slippery - barefooted. We did not bring sandals and did not want to get our shoes wet so it was quite painful walking on the rocks. Reaching the waterfall and soaking your feet was such a relief.
Just as we finished the trek, it started to rain. A quick hot shower and a big lunch later, and we were all set to go. The rain lightened up but did not totally let up. So it was a wet journey back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.