| Aziz Idris |
BRUNEI is one of the few places in Borneo which boasts abundance of greenery teeming with wildlife, making it an attraction among nature lovers.
With this in mind, 75 nature enthusiasts organised a weekend jungle trek to Bukit Bujang Pahang in Kampong Menunggol recently to enjoy the beautiful scenery and at the same time practise a healthy lifestyle. Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) students also joined the adventure.
The group gathered at the jetty in Bandar Seri Begawan at 7am to catch a 15-minute boat ride to Kampong Menunggol.
Excitement and anxiety filled the air as some had never rode on a boat before. However, that quickly disappeared as the boat set off and group members enjoyed the morning breeze and the view of the mangrove and the water village lining the river.
A fresh ‘kampong’ like atmosphere welcomed the group as they warmed up with a short brisk walk to the starting point at the foot of the hill.
A Doa was recited to bless the journey. The group engaged an experience team of avid hikers to guide them through the three-kilometre uphill climb to the top of Bukit Bujang Pahang.
Along the way, they encountered unusual species of flora and fauna as well a carved bamboo-built structures that pours natural spring water downhill.
Further along, a sign read Menuju Kelubang Arang, directing visitors to the site of an abandoned coal mine.
After nearly an hour, the group reached the peak of Bukit Bujang Pahang which overlooks the Brunei River. For safety reasons, only several hikers are allowed at the peak at a time, allowing others to relax in the shade and take in the breathtaking scenery.
The group continued and soon discovered another spectacular natural structure – a stone cave opening. It was just before noon that the group arrived back at the foot of the hill, where they were picked up by a chartered bus taking them to the residential area of Kampong Menunggol to catch a boat ride back to the mainland.
Avid hikers are advised to familiarise themselves with the trails in the jungle before entering Bukit Lalah, and to always travel in groups. The track is ideal for amateur hikers, however, it is important to bring along a basic first-aid kit as a precautionary.
The group encourages the public to participate in healthy outdoor activities, to explore such nature spots in the country, to always practise safety and be kind to the environment.
Upcoming trail activities for February include a six-kilometre expedition to Wasai Bukit Silat and a 10-kilometre jungle trek to Bukit Ambog.