| Aziz Idris |
A GROUP of international yachters spent a day trekking through the remote jungle to Teraja Waterfalls in Mukim Labi, Belait District recently.
The group set out on their adventure from Teraja Longhouse, located at the edge of Labi, where each visitor is required to register for safety reasons, prior to entering the jungle.
Teraja Waterfalls is a mild 45-minute trek from the longhouse. Along the trail, the group saw a variety of jungle treats, from wild-rooted plants, colourful butterflies and birds in their natural habitat.
The yachters had to wade through the dense and muddy jungle trails, with natural obstacles and fallen trees, before arriving at the picturesque waterfall.
One of the members commented that after all the jungle trekking, “a plunge in the icy waters at the bottom of Teraja Waterfalls will wash away your exhaustion.”
After spending half-an-hour admiring the scenery, the group went back to the longhouse, where they were treated with cultural performances such as the gulingtangan and tarian ngajat. They also tried their hand at using a blowpipe, weaving and food-sampling the Iban way.
Teraja has received a lot of publicity recently, with the government, through the Tourism Development Department, already identifying the village as a potential site for sustainable tourism in Brunei. Prior to 2011, Teraja was only accessible by 4×4 vehicles. The government has paved a tarmac road and installed direct electricity for the small Iban community living in the six-door Teraja Longhouse.
Local guide, Bohari Abdullah of Sakam Adventures, has been operating tours in and around Teraja since 2017. Since then, he has received more than 5,000 visitors comprising of tourists, conservationists and researchers.
He agrees with the government’s call to promote Labi as the next eco-tourism destination for Belait District, which will emphasise on rainforest and wildlife preservation.
“The vision is creating a sustainable tourism programme for visitors. But to do this, we need the support of the government agencies, local tourism industry, and the people of Brunei who want to learn more about the beauty and history of Teraja,” he added.