If you’re looking for a place to immerse yourself in nature, you’ll love Luagan Lalak Forest Recreation Park. This park is part of the Labi Hills Forest Reserve, a protected area that preserves the natural beauty and diversity of Brunei’s flora and fauna. The highlight of this park is Luagan Lalak, a freshwater swamp that fills up with rain water. The name ‘Luagan’ means ‘non-flowing body of water’ in Malay. The water is home to the Striped snakehead fish, a delicacy among the locals who believe it has healing and anti-inflammatory properties. But don’t be tempted to swim or boat in these waters, as you might encounter a saltwater crocodile lurking under the surface. There are plenty of signs to warn you of the danger, so stay on the shore and enjoy the view.

Exclusive ALiexpress Deals

As you stroll along the banks of the lake, you might catch a glimpse of some of the rare and elusive mammals that live in this park. The Sunda pangolin, the red langur or red leaf monkey, the colugo or flying lemur and the Horsfield’s tarsier, are all residents of this lush, untouched forest. If you’re a bird lover, you’ll be in heaven here. The lake attracts both endemic and migratory birds, and you can spot some amazing species like _Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Black-and-red Broadbill, Green Broadbill, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, _Garnet Pitta, Argus Pheasant, Storm Stork, Bornean Bristlehead, Trogons, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Slaty Woodpecker, Crested Fireback, Red-billed Malkoha, Common Kingfisher, Buffy Fish Owl and more. On a sunny day, you can relax in one of the gazebos and watch the birds fly and feed. Bring some snacks and drinks, and enjoy the serene atmosphere as you wait for the sunset.

Luagan Lalak is a photographer’s dream, as it changes its appearance throughout the year. In the early morning before sunrise, the lake is shrouded in thick fog, creating a mystical and magical scene. In the dry season, the water level drops significantly, exposing islands of Lepironia sedges or purun, a versatile reed that the locals use for various purposes. The lake then looks more like a meadow with ponds than a swamp. In the rainy season, the water rises and covers all the plants, forming a dark-water lake that reflects everything above it. You’ll see different landscapes depending on when you visit. At night, the park becomes a stargazer’s paradise. As it is far from the city lights, the sky is clear and dark, and you can see the Milky Way’s core from March to September. You’ll also have a chance to see the constellations and take stunning photos of the stars.

The park has recently been upgraded with 72 new signages that make your visit more enjoyable and informative. Some of these signages are useful tips to help you navigate and use the park, and others have fascinating facts to teach you about the wildlife and plants of the park. These new signs are part of the Forestry Department’s mission to make Luagan Lalak both fun and educational, and to promote an appreciation of the flora and fauna that are part of our rainforest’s eco-system.

As you wander along the paths, keep an eye out for the ground signages. If you’re curious about some of the vegetation and lifeforms that you’ll see along the walking trails on the banks of the lake, these handy signs on the ground with the common and scientific names can help you identify them and learn some basic information. You can discover things like ferns, termites and various local plants such as tongkat ali, rengas, kulimpapa and simpur, Brunei’s national flower.

There are 15 signages attached to the handrails of the walkways that have interesting details about the animals and birds that are commonly seen in the area: where they usually live, what they eat, how they look, what they do, and how they communicate. You can learn that the red leaf monkey is also called a cikok in Brunei and their diet includes fruits, seeds, leaves and flowers, and that they spend most of their time in the treetops of dipterocarp trees; and flying lemurs don’t really fly but they glide with their patagium (the membrane between their limbs) for up to 200 metres between trees. The bird signages even have the specific sounds that the birds make so you can listen for their calls and try to recognize their species. You’ll definitely learn a lot on a walk around the lake.

As with all protected places, enjoying these spaces comes with responsibility – a mindset that is essential for the conservation of the environment and the inhabitants of this park. Some important signages are there to remind you of the simple ways that you can help. Litter, especially single-use plastics, thrown away carelessly, not only spoils the park’s natural beauty but also harms the animals, and makes conservation harder for the park authorities.

Beyond Luagan Lalak, you can explore further south along Labi road to the Teraja or Mendaram Iban longhouses for a cultural immersion or hike to the waterfalls in the area and discover the natural wonders of the Belait countryside.

Write A Comment