Hidden Treasure - Luagan Lalak Forestry Recreation Park

If you talk about Labi, you talk about the famous Labi oranges. For the diehard naturalist amongst us, they would talk about some of the more famous off the main roads beautiful nature spots. Unfortunately some of them may take a bit of an effort to get to such as Wasai Wong Kadir in Labi which is a 45 minute walk from the main Labi Road. For those who enjoy walking up and down jungle treks including steep ridges, sweating profusely in the jungle humid climate, by all means, this is a fantastic place, so I have been told.

I don't know about you, my preference however, is a more sedate requirement - the much more easy going lifestyle and trekking up and jungle treks come very far down the list. With all the literature on Labi, I thought you can't do that but surprisingly in Labi, you can still do that. About 25 kilometers up the Labi Road, you will come across the Luagan Lalak Forestry Recreation Area. This park covers an area of about 270 hectares of the lush and green Labi Hills Forest Reserve. The forest reserve is on the roadside and you can drive up to the entrance of the park and enjoy the beauty straight away.

My father and I found the place very interesting. Before we arrived we were not sure what to expect but the freshwater lake looks very inviting. We have been told that, it is not a lake. It is more like a swamp but over the last few months, with the heavy rains in Brunei, the swamp fills up and becomes a lake. We have been asked to come back during the drier season to see how the lake will change. You can read more about this type of lake better known locally as an empran at MIPR website.

Around the area, there are footpaths leading down to the lake and also a barbecue place at the top where you can watch the beautiful views. There are also shelters and seats for visitors. At the lake itself, there is a wooden walkway which spans the lake. Unfortunately the wooden walkways are not as well maintained as I had hoped. The shelter in the middle of the lake was inaccessible as the walkway needs repairing. Though where you can walk on, the views are fantastic.

I will tell you a little secret. Don't worry about the restroom facility. Across the road to the entrance of the forest reserve are public facilities. For something which is about miles away from anything, the facilities are well maintained. So come to Luagan Lalak Forestry Recreation Area. Just drive all the way to Sungai Liang and then take the left turn towards Labi and you are on the Labi Road going into the deepest part of Brunei accessible by main roads. Along the way you can see scenic views. Spend your next Sunday morning driving up this road, you won't regret it.


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