Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Brunei Share : Bukit Shahbandar Recreaction Park

Bukit Shahbandar Recreational Park is extremely popular with hikers and nature buffs as it is the most accessible rainforest in the country. It spreads over 70 hectares of rolling terrain of a variety of trails with different levels of difficulty, proving challenging to fitness enthusiasts. You can choose to go on a gentle stroll over a couple of hillocks or accept the challenge to take on over eleven hills of varying difficulties.
For nature buffs, patience, binoculars, cameras, and good walking shoes would be the main necessities. Prepare to lose yourself from dawn to dusk in the region?s best-preserved lowland Dipterocarpaceae forest.

When I moved here I imagined I would be spending my afternoons swimming at the beach or walking in the jungle, and that hasn't really happened for me. It's a beautiful day out, 1.30 pm and I am inside hiding from the heat. I've turned into an inside exerciser, afraid of the hot hot hot sun. However, on the odd occasion I have found the outside world, I have throughly enjoyed it and say I will get out there more.

Bukit Shahbandar Recreaction Park, is part of the Forestry Department's collection of recreation forestry reserves. It is 70 hectares of land opposite The Empire Hotel on the Muara-Tutong Highway, just before the Jerudong turn off.

I arrived there at about 5.00 pm and it was busy with walkers and runners. Everyone seemed to be heading to the same place so I followed. I power walked up a large number of stairs and when I reached the top, I wished I had used a little less power and that was just the beginning.

There are maps located at what I imagine are strategic places along the route, but since I wasn't able to understand the map, I don't know. Somewhere all the people disappeared and I followed what looked like the track up and down and up and down and up and up and up and down. There are no indications of timing on the maps, so I was worried about being locked in (the gates close at 6.30 pm). Also it looked like rain, and as you know, if you live here, it rains practically everyday. With those two worries on my mind, I didn't have much of a chance to enjoy the view and the surroundings. It did feel great to be outside though and the jungle does provide a bit of a shelter from the sun.

I was on the track all alone at around 6 pm, thinking "please don't make me spend the night here!". And then I heard an out of breath runner coming up behind me so I put the gas on and followed him as best I could. Which was a fast walk, couldn't do the running up and up, the down was okay though. Luckily for me I followed him out of the jungle and back into the main park area. The route I walked, took me about 1 hour 20 minutes. It is a good cardio workout and sweat, also when you aren't worried about closing time, a great view as well.
I have since been back to walk different areas in the park. If you aren't looking for a climb, then you can walk fairly flat areas around and past the man made ponds. From that area you can also link into the top of the hill via more stairs and walk the track backwards.
There is a big park area for kids, toilets, bbq pits and stalls selling drinks and food. The park is busy early mornings and late afternoons, so basically during the coolest periods of the day. There are also large numbers of monkeys in the main park area. People often feed them and they run and play around.

It is great to get out there, I just need to get out more.

to get the park                              
drive along the Tutong-Muara highway heading towards Jerudong
and it is just before the Jerudong turn of

if you are on the other side of the highway turn off at the Empire
Hotel and come back onto the other side of the highway

the park is about 10 km from Bandar Seri Begawan

opening hours                              
6.30 am - 6.30 pm 
 http://stilltravelling-sarah.blogspot.co.id/2011/04/bukit-shahbandar-recreaction-park.html

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