On top of the world

Azlan Othman

The number of Bruneians hiking has seen a rise, prompting village consultative councils and individuals to open more trails and recreational venues.

Among the popular hotspots are Bukit Sipatir in Belimbing Subok, Bumbungan Dua Belas, Bukit Kuta, Kampong Batu Ampar in Mukim Pengkalan Batu, Wasai Balik Kanajong at Bukit Silat in Kampong Katok and Ulu Belalong, Temburong District.

The Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College’s (Maktab Duli) Hiking Club organised a hiking trip to Bukit Seri Pandan, Kampong Pudak, Pulau Berambang Pandan recently. This was the school’s first hiking trip since COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Twenty-one students participated in the trip, coordinated by supervising tutor Nor Asri bin Hitam and accompanied by Mark Addy Yong and Nurol Huda binti Haji Seruji.

The activity aimed at promoting the importance of maintaining physical health, while honing team- building skills among the students.

The group gathered at Maktab Duli College and departed at 6.45am. A Doa was recited, led by tutor Arman bin Haji Ahad.

Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli) Hiking Club members in a group photo during the hiking trip. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

Deputy Village Head of Kampong Pudak Shahri bin Haji Durahim and Kampong Pudak Village Consultative Council members welcomed the visitors.

The group, completed the 3.8-kilometre loop track in two hours while complying with the standard operating procedure, during which they were greeted by the scenic view from the top of Bukit Seri Pandan.

Hiking is an excellent low-impact workout and offers multiple physical and mental benefits. It improves fitness which reducing stress and improving brain power.

For beginners, hiking is one way to kick-start an exercise routine to get in shape, but it can be an overwhelming experience due to the countless possibilities. It is best to follow the advice of experienced hikers and doctors to see if the activity suits the physical abilities.

As a precaution, the Fire and Rescue Department advised hikers to be aware of the weather conditions and to not engage in hiking after sundown.

They are also advised not to go alone and to inform family members of their whereabouts. They are encouraged to bring along a whistle, flashlight, mobile phone and water in case of an emergency.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) also issued an advisory requesting the public with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease or diabetes, or who possess risk of high blood pressure, are overweight or have breathing difficulties, to seek a doctor’s advice before going on a hike.

“Start with light physical exercise and increase intensity slowly. If hiking, start slow, preferably on flat ground. Bring equipment and clothes as well as shoes suitable for hiking to avoid injury,” the MoH said.