Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sumbiling Eco Village, farewell!

Now that we’ve told you about our two fascinating days of activities in the rainforest of Brunei, we want to show you the equally intriguing eco lodge where we stayed. As we mentioned before, Sumbiling Eco Village is run in cooperation with the local villagers – they are the cooks, the cleaners and the knowledgeable local guides. The lodge is discretely nestled on the banks of the Temburong River a few minutes walk to the village and a short boat ride to the Ulu Temburong National Park.  

Next to the river, there are several tents, a block of 4 bedrooms in a thatch building and two open air shelters where we ate and socialized.  Toss in a few hammocks and a sun deck at the river’s edge and it made for a simple yet serene setting. 

As an eco lodge, the bathrooms came as natural aas possible.  Thinking the worst, we were pleased to find a couple of clean toilet stalls with Western toilets.  The showers however, were au natural – two shower heads behind a cinderblock wall open to the sky above!

Our room in the thatch building was basic, complete with a much needed fan to keep us cool at night and to keep the mosquitos at bay.  One night, however, I did wake up with a scurrying sound overhead.  I was only hoping in the pitch blackness that whatever was making that sound was on the roof outside and not crawling across the inside of our ceiling!

The setting of the lodge was great and we definitely made use of the riverside hammocks after our canopy walk and rainforest adventure.  There were even some rubber inner tubes for use in the river, but we couldn't drag our selves out of the hammock during our down time to try them out.  The days were full of activity which left us in the perfect chill out mood to enjoy the sunsets and watch the forest come alive.  We just sat feet dangling over the river soaking up the ambiance.  The serenity of Sumbiling was only enhanced by the fact that we were the only visitors during our two nights, so it was blissfully quiet, short of the constant buzz of the insects.  I won't talk about them.  Freaky!

So, after two completely amazing days we had to say goodbye to the village and Brunei.  We were off to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur on mainland Malaysia.  Our stopover in Brunei turned out to be an unexpected highlight of our time on Borneo!

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