Had a lovely 2-day, 1 night stay at Ulu Ulu. Nature in Temburong is fantastic, unspoilt. The river is magical. The sights are awe-inspiring.
Pick-up at our hotel was almost an hour late. Guide said he called and asked the hotel to inform us, but we were never informed and were wondering if they had forgotten us. Whether it was the hotel´s mistake or the guide actually never called, I will never know, but they should be more careful with that. The bus ride to the pier is short. The boat ride to the national park is long. Boats are old-ish and not that safe looking, but that just adds to the adventure. Then the traditional long-boat up river to the resort is where the magic starts. Wonderful views. The lodge (more than a resort, it is actually like a huge lodge) itself seemed clean and nice, albeit with a lot of wasted space. The different activities organized for us were all interesting and fun. I would only like to comment on our guide, and then again only to aid in improving the wonderful experience that they offer, not wishing to do him any harm (which is why I will not mention his name). We were never given any sort of introduction, which would have been nice. Once the whole group was at the lodge, he should have gathered us and given us some sort of introduction: where we are, the significance of the place, some cultural tidbits, what the activities will be, something about the preservation of this place etc. He did manage to inform us about some of, but in bits and pieces and mostly when asked by someone. I had the impression he has been doing this for a long time and is actually kind of tired of seeing new faces each time and having to give it heart and soul time after time. But that is precisely what being a good tour guide is all about: each time, you have to make your guests believe that you are completely passionate about what you do and about the place you are showing. If you are having a bad day and being sarcastic to your guests, they will end-up having a bad day as well. His description of the early morning hike to see the top of the rain forest was so unattractive that I decided to skip it (it went something like "tomorrow I will wake you up at 4.30am. It is a long hike up a muddy hill, then 850 steps up to the top of the tower, then back again. If you don´t go, then it´s just a waste of your money"), with that sarcasm, I decided to skip it, just to spite him (not that he cared). He just seemed NOT to care about us, his guests. He did not make any effort to get to know us a bit and to tell us a bit about himself. Maybe it was just me...perhaps we just didn´t hit it off. Anyway, despite his attitude, I had a wonderful time and the activities that I DID join were lots of fun. I would go back. The river is worth it.
- 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