Lest We Forget

DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH BORNEO BULLETIN ARCHIVES

Compiled by Chan Chee Khiong

Cool Green jewel of Tutong

Abang Jit Manis

June 14, 2010 – Tired of travelling abroad? Why not visit some waterfalls in Brunei for a change?

Brunei has few waterfalls, which are popular as picnic destinations.
Most of these waterfalls are located in the interior areas of the sultanate.

One such refreshing waterfalls is Wasai Bedanu inTutong District.

Recently I had a chance of visiting Wasai Bedanu, which is located in
Kampong Kiudang.

To get there all you need is to enter a junction in Jalan Lamunin and drive straight along this road until you arrive at Kampong Kiudang.

The journey from the junction of Jalan Lamunin to Kampong Kiudang takes less than 10 minutes.

In Kampong Kiudang you would see a signboard of Wasai Bedanu at a junction on the left side of the road.

Just enter this junction and drive straight ahead without entering into any other junctions. But be careful of the humps on the road. You should drive slowly because of these humps. After nearly 10 minutes driving on asphalt road, you would meet a gravel road. The road is so small that it only can accommodate one car at a time. The journey is still far deep inside the jungle.

The writer with the traditional music instrument. PHOTO: ABANG JIT MANIS

One would see thick green forest with groups of monkeys hanging on the trees. There is a hilly road about quarter kilometre from the Wasai Bedanu area.

I’d recommend using a four-wheel drive vehicle if one were to visit Wasai Bedanu.

Less than one minute after climbing the hilly road I saw a signboard with the words Selamat Datang Ke Taman Rekreasi Wasai Bedanu.

Don’t be surprised if you receive SMS on your mobile phones. The SMS is not a welcome greeting to Wasai Bedanu but it is an SMS from a telecommunication company from neighbouring country saying ‘Welcome to Malaysia’.

Now I realise that the Wasai Bedanu is not far from the border of Malaysia. At last, I arrived at the Wasai Bedanu car park. There were few traditional huts in the area. I managed to climb into one of the huts named ‘Pondok Bedanu’. At this hut I found a traditional music instrument called ‘Sedaman’. It was made of wood from the nearby jungle. I tried to play it and found that indeed it had a unique sound.

Then I continued my journey down to the waterfall.

The journey to Wasai Bedanu is about 200 metres downwards. The trail was a very slippery slope as it had rained the night before.

I managed to arrive at the waterfall in less than 10 minutes. But someone told me the real challenge was the return, as it would take some 30 minute to go up if you are not in a fit condition.

There were so many people at the area. Some were swimming in the waters. There were also huts where the visitors could rest as well as barbecue their food.

There are three levels to the waterfall. The first and second levels are less occupied by visitors. The third level was the most crowded.

A wooden bridge was connected to the other side of the waterfall. I saw the wooden bridge as quite old and needing to be replaced. The water is cold and clear. Everyone seemed to enjoy swimming and relaxing under the shady trees. Some of the boys tried to dive high up from the top of the cliff into the water.

Wasai Bedanu is not only visited by locals but also foreigners.

Some of them had brought along their whole family and were enjoying the natural scenery. Strangely the climate in the area was quite cool even at noon. This was because the area was thickly covered with jungle. Rare species of plants could be seen around the area.

Jungle trails were everywhere, but it was advisable to bring along your mobile phone in case one got lost. I followed the trails but they seemed to have no end.

I decided to come out of the forest and join the other people at the waterfall.

The area of Wasai Bedanu is too big to explore and I didn’t have extra energy to do it. At 1pm I decided to head home.

As someone told me before, the journey to the top was most challenging. It proved to be true as I was exhausted in the middle of
the journey.

I sat down, closed my eyes and relaxed for about 15 minutes. The cool breeze and the sound of birds revived me. Then I got my energy back I walked to the parking area.

While driving home I realised that Wasai Bedanu could be a tourist attraction in Tutong District. It needed a lot of improvement such as widening the gravel road and covering it with asphalt. It should have forest rangers or security guards in case of difficult situation. But overall, Wasai Bedanu was indeed the ‘Green Jewel of Tutong Disrict’.


Public reminded to get H1N1 jab

Azlan Othman

June 15, 2010 – The Ministry of Health has informed the public that H1N1 vaccination programme still on and the public is urged to get the H1N1 jab, which is free for citizens and permanent residents.

It is available at eight vaccination centres throughout the four districts.
In Brunei-Muara, it is available at the indoor stadium in Berakas, Berakas ‘A’ health clinic, Ong Sum Ping vaccination clinic and Sengkurong’s Silver Jubilee Health Centre.

In Tutong, it is available at Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Hospital while in Belait, the vaccination centres are at Suri Seri Begawan Hospital and Sungai Liang Health Centre.

Meanwhile, in Temburong, it is at Pengiran Isteri Hajjah Mariam Hospital.

The ministry also said cases of H1N1 were still being detected in the country. Since January 2010 till June 13, 2010, a total of 1,752 cases have been reported while 72,147 people have been vaccinated from December 2009 to June 12, 2010.

Besides getting the vaccination, the public is also urged to practise self-cleanliness to counter the spread of the virus.

For further information and enquiries on H1N1, the public can contact 145 during office hours or 7180991 outside working hours.

Official guide map to Brunei launched

Ivan Teo

June 15, 2000 – Minister of Development Pengiran Indera Wijaya Pengiran Dr Haji Ismail launched ‘A Guide to Brunei Darussalam Official Map’ yesterday at the Ministry of Development. The map is primarily intended for APEC 2000 and shows the road networks and highlights places of interest in the country.

The map is a collaboration between the Survey Department and Cityneon Displays and Construction Sdn Bhd, a local private company.

Some 32 companies in Brunei have contributed to the success of this
guide map.

Pengiran Indera Wijaya Pengiran Dr Haji Ismail said during the launching that: “There will be several APEC meetings throughout this year and the highlight will be in November. Brunei is opening its doors to the world with ‘Visit Brunei Year 2001’.

“With these golden opportunities, we can introduce and promote Brunei Darussalam by giving them an insight to our country’s history and culture.

“A map is a necessity for any country which wishes to promote tourism. Every visitor or tourist will need an accurate guide, so the official maps will be distributed free of charge and can be obtained in places such as, the Brunei International Airport, hotels and shopping complexes.”