Located just a short walk from the heart of the city, Tesek Lama Recreational Pak is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike in Brunei’s capital of Bandar Seri Begawan. Locals sometimes refer to the park as the Waterfall Park. It may be hard to believe that such a pretty and peaceful park exists within the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, but when you visit you are sure to enjoy the calm and serene atmosphere, not to mention the varied activities, fresh air, and nature-spotting opportunities.
A great place to unwind and escape city life for a while, it is better to visit the park in the early morning or late afternoon when the temperatures are a bit cooler; you don’t want to be walking around outdoors in the blazing heat of the day!
Not just a pleasant place for leisure activities, the park also contains a reservoir that supplies a lot of the drinking water for the Bruneian capital.
A perfect place to take the kids, you’ll find a few different play areas complete with play equipment, such as swings and slides. The kids can run around and have fun whilst you relax on a nearby bench.
There are several jogging and walking trails if you are feeling active, some on the flat and others that give you more of a workout on an incline. Surrounded by tropical jungle, the leafy trees provide some welcoming shade and you are likely to spot an array of flora and fauna as you explore the park. Watch out for cheeky macaques swinging through the trees! There are many colourful flowers and interesting plants to admire, and dignitaries from other countries come to Tasek Lama Recreational Park in order to plant small trees as a symbol of strengthening relationships with Brunei.
The main walking trail, which leads uphill slightly, leads you to one of the park’s highlights, a small but charming waterfall. There may only be a small amount of water flowing in the hot season, but it is still a pleasant sight. The water flows over a flat rock, landing in a murky pool at the bottom. A wooden platform allows you to gaze upon the waterfall and spend some time enjoying the tranquil air.
The wide walkways are good for people who want to do a variety of sports; you may see people kicking a ball around, for example, or having a light-hearted game of tennis. Gym equipment is ideal for exercise junkies. Are your feet feeling a bit tired and weary after exploring the capital? If so, look out for the reflexology areas. Smooth stones of different sizes have been set into the ground for people to walk on for a DIY reflexology foot massage. Take your shoes and socks off and let the stones work their magic as you walk over them with your bare feet. Do not, however, that if you have not tried this activity before that the smaller stones can actually be quite painful!
With seating areas throughout the park, why not pack a picnic and spend a few hours in the great outdoors? If you just want to visit the park, without picnicking or doing any sports, an hour is probably ample. A few vendors sell drinks and snacks in front of the park’s main entrance. There is no admission fee for Tasek Lama Recreational Park.
/// Written by Sarah-Jane Williams, Thailand