One of the things that I have been doing while in Brunei is pouring over the map. No! I am not kidding. The reason why I keep doing that is because I want to explore it and to go off the beaten trails since it really does have a lot of gorgeous locations to see. That is how I found out about Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park. Shawn asked around in office (I’ve been known to take him on wild goose chases and not find geese!) and someone had heard of it and been there as a kid. That’s how we found ourselves driving to it on one Sunday.
LOCATION OF TASEK MERIMBUN HERITAGE PARK
Tasek Merimbun Heritage park is located in the Tutong district of Brunei. When I say Tutong, I don’t mean that it is close to the city. You still have to drive a good deal of way till you reach the park. One thing that is good is that the roads are decent. Don’t turn on Google navigation though or you may go on a wild goose chase. The main roads work fine and while they may be a longer route, they are the better way to get there.
To be more specific, Tasek Merimbum Heritage park is 85 kilometres away from Kuala Belait and takes a little over an hour to reach. It is closer to Bandar at 60 kilometres approximately depending on which route you take and where you start. We made our way to the park from Kuala Belait after a quick stop in Seria for breakfast at the famed Universal Café.
TIMINGS OF TASEK MERIMBUN HERITAGE PARK
Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park is open daily. The timings however are variable depending on the time of year that you visit and the time of day. That is why I thought that I would just add the timings here so that you can take that into consideration when planning your trip.
Sunday to Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday: 9 am – 11:30 am and then it reopens between 2:30 pm – 5 pm
Saturday: 9:45 am – 5 pm
Time for visitors during the fasting months.
Saturday to Thursday: 9 am – 3 pm
Friday: 9 am -12 pm
The museum will be closed on public holidays.
The entrance to the park will be closed 30 minutes before visiting hours end.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN TASEK MERIMBUN HERITAGE PARK
To tell you the truth, we did not expect much after looking at the photographs on Google. The park however surprised us and we almost missed a number of the sites worth seeing there. As it is, we were tired from our 9 hills trek in Bukit Shahbandar Forest Recreation park (…) the previous day so we did not embark on some of the trails. Needless to say, we plan on going back! Anyway, here are the different aspects to the park that you should see other than just the wooden bridge on the lake.
- The wooden path on the lake
- The trail around the lake
- The Merimbun Botanical Trail
- The Banunh Trail
- The Butterfly Garden
Another gorgeous view of Lake Merimbun.
Merimbun lake is the star attraction of the park. It has a small cabin and a wooden boardwalk that extends through its centre going as far as the island on the other side. The boardwalk however is dilapidated and I wasn’t feeling brave about finding myself in the crocodile infested waters below so we did not cross. Plus the midday heat was rather unbearable. I chose to sit in the shade and watch the birds in the lake. Soothing is the word that I would use to describe the experience.
THE TRAIL AROUND THE LAKE
The walking trail along Lake Merimbun.
While we noticed that there was a cemented area where many of the motorized boats were docked. Out of curiosity, we headed that way and discovered that there were public toilets (which were clean!) and a trail that took us through the forest around the park. The trail was well paved and easy. It has shade and it meanders around the lake so it has a good view. We spotted a number of people just sitting and enjoying the view. A couple of teens even had a portable stove and were cooking ramen which was so so cool! The trail isn’t long and it comes to an end at a hall which was closed.
THE MERIMBUN BOTANICAL TRAIL AND THE BANUNH TAIL
I was a bit too tired to do these trails and we do plan on going back just to check them out. I did manage to gather some information about them while we were there. The Merimbun Botanical trail is the longer of the two at 1050 metres while the Banunh trail is just 650 metres. Make sure that you have good footwear. Unlike the trail around the lake, these ones are a bit more uneven and definitely not paved.
THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN
Inside the butterfly garden in Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park.
Another attraction that we almost missed along with the trails is the butterfly garden. Both these two are located on the other road entering the park. The butterfly garden is a small enclosed place which is remarkably well maintained. We found no one at the entrance but we signed the register and entered as indicated. One of the first things that you will notice is the that there is a glass enclosed structure where you can watch the incubated pupa hatch and grow into butterflies which is so cool. A pamphlet at the entrance will help you pinpoint which butterfly you are looking at. We sat there and watched the butterflies for a long while.
I did not expect much from Tasek Merimbun Heritage park. I thought that we would visit a quaint little lake and that was it. The drive was what we were looking forward to. Tasek Merimbun Heritage park however surprised us. Sure the boardwalk through the lake could do with some maintenance but despite that, it still remains a great place to visit for a quiet day in nature. Just remember to carry food and water as there is nothing around for miles.