Greetings from the heart of the Temburong District in Brunei. As I write this its pounding rain so hard on the tin roof that if I was to talk to you on the phone you would absolutely not hear me, or I would have to scream! We drove for 45 minutes on narrow winding roads – using both sides of the road at times as the road was well flooded in places, our van bottoming out in the water.
There is a film crew from Hong Kong here – 9 men and one woman. Odd combination of sexes, so I started asking questions. Turns out she’s the star of an International travel show in Hong Kong and they are here filming about Brunei. Her co-star Sunny Wong is a prolific traveler, over 100 countries and he has his travel books at most of the bookstores in Hong Kong.
From Bandar Seri Begewan I hoppped on a blue and yellow speed boat (the locals dub these “flying coffins”) along with 20 or so other locals. We weaved our way from narrow channel to narrow channel zipping along the brown water ever so often opening up into a large bay and then shooting into another chanel. Finally we reached Bangar Town which appeared all of the sudden. This is fairly small town, seemingly in the middle of nowhere and I was surprised to see a large ad for Lexus hanging from one of the local bridges! The rainforest in this area has not been cleared; in fact much of Brunei is covered with virgin rainforest. Much of the agricultural products are imported from nearby Malaysia.
I took a walk for several hours high into the rainforest – it was pouring for about 1/2 of this time yet I was never wet because the canopy was so thick and high above the ground. At one point a flock of colorful hornbill’s flew overhead and landed squawking in the trees above me, it was still pouring but rays of sunshine were peaking down through the green canopy…the quintessential rainforest moment!