Monday, June 10, 2013

Brunei: A Kingdom of unexpected treasure Day 2

Rise and shine in another country, on a huge and comfy bed. I was actually awaken through the morning call by the hotel's reception which i requested the night before i fell asleep. All i remember was myself in the hot bath tub watching Hell's kitchen on my iPad, packed some of my luggage and fell asleep only at 1am+. Fact about me: I LOVE buffet breakfast so i was really looking forward to having my first buffet breakfast at Rizqun international hotel in the morning!

The hotel offers quite a wide variety of items for their buffet breakfast. You can expect different types of bread, muffins, croissants, cereals, porridge, egg stations and if you are those who are into heavy breakfast type, there's also full courses of rice/ noodles with dishes such as curry chicken, beef rendang etc available. Not bad i would say...

Out of the 3 meals in a day (not including supper, LOL) Breakfast would be my favourite meal but the thing is, normally on non working day, i would sleep all the way till noon and miss breakfast timing - which is also the reason why i love Brunch so much. Now with complimentary hotel breakfast overseas, i would definitely be waking up for it! HAHAHAHA

One round of breakfast which includes Cereals,  porridge, prata, a sunny side up, omelette and orange juice!

Headed back up to my room to do some last minute packing and checked out of the hotel!

Our destination for Day 2 would be Ulu ulu Temburong where we would be in touch with the nature and begin the adventure that we read in our itinerary! We had to pack a day bag with the essentials that we need for a night (and it includes extra clothing because we will be getting wet!) at the nature resort. Estimate time for our journey: 2 hours.

Arrived at the Jetty where we would take a speed boat to Bangar Town before we move on to the rest of the journey.

The moment when Tom told us it's gonna be the last hour we are going to receive phone reception, LOLOLOL

Did our last few social media updates and announcing to the world that we will be unreachable till the next day when we return back to mainland, and off we board the speedboat which is a 45 mins journey to Bangar Town for transit further!

A group photo of us which includes Anthony, the managing director of Sunshine Borneo tours.

Photo with a new friend, Jai. He was sitting opposite me with his friends and decided to strike a conversation. He initially thought i was Korean (*shy* AHAHAHA!) and we chatted along the way throughout the boat ride and i explained my purpose in coming to Brunei to him. Hello Jai, do drop a comment below on my blog if you are reading this okay! :D

Saw this cat at Bangar Town and i had to seriously take a photo of it!!! Sitting like a boss, LOLOLOL

We were told by Tom that there is a shop along the way to the other jetty that would be heading to that sells local produced wet shoes at a cheap price. We were like, "We want to go there!!!" Mainly because we were told our shoes are definitely going to get wet and muddy based on the activities that we will be going so instead of risking our sports shoes (which i was quite prepared to throw it away) we bought a pair at the shop at just $5.50! Best buy in Brunei.

Had this local glutinous rice snack that Tom bought for us. Very fragrant and nice!

Wasn't really expecting to be taking these long boats for the next half of the journey to Ulu ulu.

Look at how bright we were smiling! We are calling it the "digital detox", away from technology

Here we go again but this time not on the speed boat. I was totally enjoying the whole journey, the feeling of being away from the city, away from stressful work, away from technology. Just me, a bunch of new friends and the nature.

Malcolm was browsing through the photos on my camera and came across this photo above. I remember him commenting my camwhoring skill is a whole new level because i can take photos of myself as if someone is taking the photo for me!

The water gets really shallow at some parts of the route with big rocks protruding out of the water but the skipper was really familiar with the way and knows when to bring up his propeller on shallow waters so that it won't be damaged. And if the water level gets really low, we can expect to get out of the boat and help push the boat to deeper waters! :O

After about 20 mins or so (if i remember correctly) we finally reached the entrance of Ulu Ulu National Park Resort!

Had to register and we had to fill in our address. Being bloggers, we wrote our blog link down! LOL

Welcome to Ulu Ulu Temburong National Park!

Welcome gift from Tom and Anthony. Something which is gonna be really useful during our stay - a water bottle!

Was treated to welcome drinks and some local snacks upon arriving. The cold lemon grass drink was really refreshing and we were introduced to 2 snacks - The Kuih Kosui and Pulut Panggang. The Pulut Panggang was unexpectedly delicious. It's basically prawn paste in sticky glutinous rice, wrapped up with banana leaves and then slightly barbequed. Everyone of us was commenting on how delicious it tasted and all wanted to have another one! You all should try it one day!


We were then brought on a tour to visit the different types of room they offer in Ulu Ulu Temburong National Park. Within the resort are 17 rooms carefully decorated and fully equipped with air con, ceiling fan and water heaters. The above collage are example of the family suites and superior accommodations. An hidden resort within the nature.

We had the privilege of choosing which room we want for the day and i chose the Verandah suite (see above collage) all for myself! What i really love about my suite is the day bed with a small portable fan that is right outside my room!

Lunch before any activity. A dish of sweet and sour prawn specially prepared for us! THE PRAWNS WERE HUGE!

Lunch was buffet style prepared by their in-housed chef!

A simple meal with curry chicken, fried fish and vegetables by the river.

After i got my food, i returned to our table and before sitting down, i spotted a twig beside my chair and wanted to flick it away but upon closer look, i realised it's a stick insect! It's the first time i've seen one so closeup and when i told everyone, they started whipping out their camera to take photos of it before Tom took it away somewhere, LOL

Along the river were a few of these little cabanas for travelers who just wants some time for themselves, perhaps to take a rest and to enjoy the peaceful surrounding while listening to the water flowing along the river. Serenity.

Photo opportunities can happen at anywhere, anytime for bloggers like us!

Someone came up with a silly idea of someone taking a photo of someone taking a photo. #photoception

Even though my room is huge and fully air conditioned, i would still love to take a rest on the day bed outside my room while editing photos on my iPad during free times. I should replace the iPad with a book instead, LOL #digitaldetox

Took a short rest after lunch and Tom informed us that our first activity in Ulu ulu would be Tubing (which i have totally no idea what is it about initially...) Nevertheless, we were told to change to our wet attire and shoes, and off we go!

Apparently Tubing is a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube and on water, it's known as River tubing. In our case, we are to sit on the tube and flow along the river with the currents all the way back to our resort and go pass it to this so called "Fish Spa Waterfall"! For safety reasons, we had to wear our life jacket and put on the helmet! This activity wasn't reflected in our itinerary but nevertheless, we were all super duper excited to start!
We all took quite awhile to get into the freezing cold water, LOLOLOLOL
This is something that i have never experienced before and i bet most you reading this have never experience it before as well! At some point along the river, there was almost no current and we had to frantically flap our arms to move our float. It felt like white water rafting except that we were doing it individually w/o paddles. We were all screaming and shouting to one another, it was so much fun and definitely an experience of a lifetime. I wouldn't mind doing it again!

It started drizzling towards the end of our activity but we didn't mind the rain since we were already wet from tubing!
Did a bit of trekking on foot to what Tom refers as the "Fish Spa Waterfall" and why is it called the Fish Spa Waterfall? We went into the waters to find it out for ourselves. Apparently after awhile, i felt a tingling sensation at my foot and those were little fishes nibbling on the dead skin of my foot! It's all natural unlike those like in tanks! Unbelievable.
See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil. LOL
Went back to the resort to wash up and gathered at the dining hall for dinner!
Dinner was western mixed grilled with lamb, chicken and beef steak prepared by the chefs!

After dinner, we changed to our wet shoes and still went on for a night jungle walk! No photos as none of us brought our cameras along as it was really dark. Never saw so many stars in my life before, it was a really amazing feeling staring at the sky. In the jungle, we spotted different types of Spiders (even saw a tarantula!), bright coloured frogs which i only saw photos in encyclopedia, it was quite an eye opener because you don't expect to do this in Singapore at night.

Went back to freshen up and had supper with just simple Milo and biscuits while we shared more about ourselves with one another, which i really enjoyed because we had so many things to talk and share about! We really bonded well for 6 people who have never met before until this trip. Till today, i still remember some of the jokes and secretly laugh at it!

Lost track of the time and we had to wake up at 4.30am the next morning! Till the next post.
This sponsored trip to Brunei is made possible by Royal Brunei Airlines and Brunei Tourism.

Brunei Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3-1 | Day 3-2 | Day 4