Origin of Tasek Merimbun

Tasek Merimbun is probably one of the more internationally known park in Brunei. It is the only one in the country to be declared an ASEAN National Heritage Site way back in 1984. The park has a total area of about 8,000 hectares. Two rivers flowed through to the lake named Sungai Meluncur and Sungai Bang Oncom. If you have ever been to Tasek Merimbun, the waters from the two rivers are fairly blackish as they flowed through swamp forests full of peat.

The lake and its surrounding area is very beautiful. But I have to admit I haven't been there in ages. The last time I went there must have been about 15 years ago and at that time, the road going there was still sandy but I have been told that the road has been surfaced and it is a beautiful drive to get there. I remembered it took my wife and I more than 2 hours to get there but it is not as long anymore.

How does Merimbun gets its name? According to sources, Merimbun has been inhabited by the Dusun people more than a few hundred years ago. The Dusuns said that the area was discovered by someone named Imbun said to be the son of a Ketua Kampung from Merangking in Ulu Belait. It is said that while hunting, he reached this beautiful lake. He discovered that the place had plenty of food - fish in the lake and wild animals in the nearby forest. He brought his family and several of his fellow villagers followed suit to build a new home there. Over time, the Tasek and its surrounding area is called Tasek Merimbun, as a tribute to the founder, Imbun.

However, another version of how the name Merimbun is derived is also interesting. It is said that after the area was settled by the Dusun people, traders would come to bring goods to the area. One such trader was a Chinese man named Eng Boon. It is said that eventually the name Merimbun came from this Eng Boon.

Well, we will never know how the name Merimbun came about. But the first one is more likely as in the older days, many people went travelling and pioneering new settlement areas. In an earlier blog, I talked about how Keriam gets its name - from someone called Sirium and hence Merimbun from Imbun is also quite likely.


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