A couple of hours journey outside of Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei is a former government scientific research station, turned rainforest retreat. The journey there is terrific, beginning in what is referred to locally as a flying coffin (gulp), a small covered boat that can fit approximately 20 people and whizzes at speed through the murky river waters. At one point through the open window, we spied the eyes of a crocodile, brown and shiny, as we sped by. A quick bus trip in between brought us to a smaller long boat, and my favourite part of the journey. The boat dashed in the open air and the water splashed as we soaked up the views of the lush rainforest and frequent small rapids in the warmth of the sun.
Ulu Ulu stretches along the river, all dark wood and low buildings nestled among the trees. A central restaurant area is surrounded by walkways and rooms (the rooms varying from luxury to more budget options). All rooms felt isolated and private, so after a quick arrival snack (sweet pandan pancake and rice with chicken in a leaf), I stole a few hours to relax. We finished the evening with dinner, which was traditional Brunei fare using local ingredients, some grown at Ulu Ulu itself.Continue reading