The Borneo jungles are some of the oldest undisturbed areas of rainforest in the world. Some of the best and most spectacular areas of rainforest have been incorporated into National Parks, which to some extent, are a good enough reason to make the effort to visit Borneo.
The Bukit Shahbandar Forestry Recreational Park covers an area of 70 hectares, located about 15km from Bandar Seri Begawan via the Muara-Tutong Higway and about 30 km from Tutong town. It has a number of beautiful spots worth visiting. Complementing the natural kerangas forest are rows of Caribbean pine and Acacia mangium trees planted decades ago.
Aside from facilities including shelters, fish ponds, forest trails, a multi-purpose open arena (which can be used for top spinning, remote control car racing, outdoor games etc.), and picnic grounds, an observation tower at the summit of the hill provides a panoramic view of the South China Sea and the coastline to the north, Bandar Seri Begawan and to the southeast, the Istana Nurul Izzah and Jerudong Park to the west and wide tracks of green land(kerangas forests, belukar forests, farmland) elsewhere.
This tower has such a clear and expansive view that it is used for the official sighting of the new moon to confirm the months of Ramadhan and Syawal.
The Tasek Recreational Park is one of the oldest recreational parks within the city centre is the Tasek Recreational Park.
With its natural waterfall and lake, the park features a beautiful garden of trees and flowers. For those who want to get away from noisy traffic of the city, this park is an ideal place to spend some quite time. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the park from Lapau.
The Luagan Lalak Recreational Park is about 25 km from Sungai Liang along the Labi road, this park covers an area of roughly 270 hectares within the Labi Hills Forest Reserve. A rare and interesting place, it features an alluvial freshwater swamp or empran. During rainy periods it fills up like a lake, and in drier spells the waters recede and the valley becomes covered with sedges- mainly of the species Lepironia. There are shelters, footpaths and a 200 meter wooden walkway, which spans most of the lake.
The Anduki Jubilee Recreational Park is located about 80 km from Bandar Seri Begawan. It was opened by His Majesty, the Sultan and Yang Di-pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam, in 1992, a contribution from Brunei Shell Petroleum to commemorate the Silver Jubilee. The park has general recreational facilities and an attractive lagoon of blue water. A very popular spot for families.
The Silver Jubilee Park is situated in Jalan Maulana, facing the South China Sea and about 1 km from Kuala Belait town. It has an area of 12,679 hectares. The park was built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty’s accession to the throne, a gift from the people of Kuala Belait. Apart from the pintu gerbang and the monument, there are exhibition huts, shelters, toilets and a children’s playground.
The Sungai Basong Recreational Park lies just short of Tutong town centre along the Muara-Tutong Highway. It is one of the most popular sports in the district for picnickers. The park includes a mini-lake, platforms, shelter huts and open activity areas. From the town centre, Sungai Basong Recreation park is just a 5- minute drive.
The Pinnacles at Mulu National Park are a collection of 45 metre high, limestone needles that cling to the side of Gunung Api (Fire Mountain). They form a forest of silver-grey stone encircled by thick green vegetation.
A trekking trail leads to a small viewpoint overlooking the Pinnacles and the ‘Pinnacles Summit Trek’ is one of most popular treks in the park.
The view of the Pinnacles is truly spectacular and a just reward for those who opt for what is a tough and challenging mountain climb.
The Kinabalu National Park main attraction of the park is of course Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South-East Asia at over 4100 metres. The granite massif dominates the surrounding landscape. The park is a paradise for naturalists, botanists bird watchers and those who admire nature. There are 11 km of marked and graded trails at the Park Headquarters, many of which cut across the mountain forest vegetation. The higher you climb, the less dense the forest becomes.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a state park located in Gaya Bay, 3 kilometres offshore of Kota Kinabalu. Named after Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, it was gazetted in 1974 as Sabah’s second national park. The park covers an area of 50sq kilometres comprising five islands.
The name of the islands are symbolic of their history and early discoverers. Pulau Gaya (‘big’), Manuka (‘fish’), Mamutik (‘for shell collection’), Sapi (‘the sound of a mowing buffalo), and Sulug (commemorating the ancestry of the Sulu peoples of Sabah).
The Tawau Hills Park was gazette in 1979 to protect the water catchments for the people of Tawau and the Semporna Peninsula.
It covers an area of 27,972 ha. The Tawau River flows through the Park and the attractive Table Waterfall with a natural deep water swimming pool nearby is a popular picnic spot for visitors. Nature trails lead further into the forest to the gently bubbling Hot Springs, a three-hour walk to another waterfall or a half-an-hour to the top of Bombalai Hil1 (530m.) and a panoramic view over the BAL (Borneo Abaca Ltd.) plantations to Tawau town and across the Sulawesi Sea.
The Pulau Tiga Park lies 48 km. south of Kota Kinabalu and the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. The Park which covers an area of 15,864 ha. is primarily a marine research centre.Pulau Tiga’s curious attraction to visitors are the existence of mud volcanoes on the island. In fact, Pulau Tiga’s three low, forest-covered hills are largely the result of the mud flows from the mud volcanoes that have built up the island. All the volcanoes are now largely dormant with emissions of bubbling gas and splutter of cold mud every few hours.