Although Brunei is in Borneo, some people think it’s all about the city and overlook its pristine rainforests. So what better, undiscovered place for backpacking in Southeast Asia?
Freme is Brunei’s largest travel agency, and the Freme Rainforest Lodge in Batang Duri has launched many a tour of the lush Temburong region, exploring its rivers, waterfalls, mangroves and national parks. Its backpacker lodge is now open and has everything you need for an unforgettable experience. Why? It has:
1) Lots of Backpacker Activities
Noorlina Zaihal (Brunei): “Really enjoyed the waterfall and the Flying Fox”
Sumithri Rekha (Singapore): “Everything was great. Water activities were super fun.”
After all, backpacking isn’t just walking! The lodge is set in Brunei’s best outdoor adventure park, where you can hire a canoe or kayak and explore the stunning River Temburong, complete with rapids and beautiful mangroves. If you prefer dry land, hire a bike and cycle your way through the rainforest, feeling the rush of untouched jungle air on your skin. Or try the obstacle course for a fun alternative to the gym!
That covers land and sea, but what about air? There’s the Flying Fox zipwire, and the 10m high Gibbon Tower – the largest of its kind in Borneo – where you can test your climbing prowess.
Another advantage of being high up is you can see a lot more.
2) You’re Closer to Nature
Mrs. S J McCann (UK): “The longboat ride was great fun with the driver and guide pointing out interesting animals, trees… the views from the top of the viewing platform of the canopy were amazing.”
Instead of the roar of traffic or cacophony of crowds, at the lodge you’ll wake up to the fizzy, shimmering song of the rainforest, peppered with the distant creaking of bird calls. The soft sigh of waterfalls, a natural foot spa, and Ulu Ulu and Ulu Temburong national parks are just a long-boat ride away, where you have the chance to spot exotic animals like the colourful pit viper and flashy hornbill.
There are gorgeous vistas from the suspension bridge, Canopy Walkway and 40m high “Crow’s Nest” observation tower over the green bouquets of treetops. At ground-level, sunrise and night-time jungle treks are perfect for seeing and hearing wildlife you may not find anywhere else in the world – 7 of the 8 hornbills in the national parks, and the rare proboscis monkey, are only found in Borneo, and isn’t seeing things few other people see one of the best parts of backpacking?
Sometimes you have to “rough it” to do this, but not so at the Freme Rainforest Lodge.
3) You Can Still Have Comfort and Convenience
Mrs.S J McCann (UK): “The environment at the lodge was very good! Created by very friendly staff and the surroundings were meticulously clean and tidy”.
As great as it is to be on the road, the odd home comfort never goes amiss! The lodge has hot showers with wet and dry areas, comfy wooden bunks, and the all important air con and wi-fi. Food is of course on offer, but there is a microwave and tea and coffee-making facilities if you’ve brought your own snacks. There are secure lockers to stash your stuff, male and female bathrooms, and multilingual staff available 24/7 in case you need anything.
As an extra plus, the lodge has its own towels and bed linen, so feel free to leave your sleeping bag out of your (already hefty!) pack.
Best of all, you get a free local breakfast, and, to rest your legs for your other adventures, free air conditioned transfers to and from the jetty at Bangar.
It can be tiring trekking and backpacking through the wilderness, but as well as getting some well-earned rest, you can also take some time to reflect with your fellow travellers.
4) Socialise Online and Offline
Another great thing about backpacking is meeting people on the same journey, both literal and spiritual! Chill out in the hangout area or coffee shop, catch up on the outdoor terrace over delicious local food, or bond over board games. Or, if you’re missing home or want to be the envy of your friends, use our free wi-fi to tweet your experience, the views, or message people stuck in the daily grind while you relax in lush natural surroundings.
But it’s not just fellow backpackers that you’ll meet.
5) Get a Taste of Local Life
Ms. Hannah Rush (UK): “The staff were so friendly, helpful and made me feel like part of the family. The food was delicious.”
You can’t beat the authentic, real experience you get from backpacking in another country. The staff of the Rainforest Lodge are all from the local area, so they’re a mine of information about rainforest living, local foods and customs, and where to spot wildlife. The lodge itself was built from low impact, eco-friendly local materials from the surrounding forest, and matches traditional decor too.
Not enough? There’s a tour to a working Iban longhouse, and you might even have the chance to meet one of Borneo’s last “medicine men” on one of our jungle treks, and even taste his signature dish of bamboo chicken!
Freme Rainforest Lodge in Brunei has you covered for adventure, nature, comfort, fun and amazing experiences:
Janet Leong (Malaysia): “…will definitely recommend my friends and family… If I am to come to Brunei for any outdoor trips I will look for Freme.”
Paul and Ali (Australia): “Such a nice and relaxed tour! Thank you…We will recommend to Lonely Planet and our friends and family”.
Victoria (Singapore): “I love the tour guide! Well, I love all the places that we went. So I would just like to say: I LOVE Brunei!”
So why not take a walk on the wildside with Freme?
This article was originally published on Freme’s Brunei tourism website.