Bangar is the administrative centre of the Temburong District of Brunei. The quiet small town is relatively isolated as Temburong is separated from the main part of the country (where the capital Bandar Seri Begawan is located) by Sarawak's Limbang district. The town centre is on the downstream banks of the Temburong River. The market food hall, mosque, and community centre are on the west bank and the government centre, grocery store and hospital are on the east bank.
Temburong is not very developed and still has a lot of pristine rainforest. The Ulu Temburong National Park and the Batu Apoi Forest Reserve are excellent for experiencing the jungle.
Speed boats between Bandar Seri Begawan and Bangar run from 7AM to 5PM. One way fares are $6 and the journey takes 45 minutes. The boat ride is a highlight, as the boats weave through the many river channels at the mouth of the Temburong and Brunei Rivers. Boats dock at the main jetty in town while in Bandar, they leave from the jetty near the foodstalls at Jalan Residency just east of the city centre across the Sungai Kianggeh bridge. You'll briefly pass through Malaysian territory, but there are no checkpoints of any description.
As Temburong is separated from the rest of Brunei by Sarawak, you will have to go through Malaysian territory (and pass through four immigration checkpoints) to travel from Bandar Seri Begawan to Bangar. A main road runs from the Sarawak border at Puni (Pandaruan on the Sarawak side) in the west through Bangar (Puni to Bangar: 5 km), to the Labu border crossing in the east (Labu to Bangar: 20 km), where the road continues to Lawas. At Puni, there is a ferry bringing vehicles (RM8 or B$4) across the Pandaruan River to the main road to Limbang 14 km away. From Limbang, you can proceed to Bandar Seri Begawan via the Kuala Lurah-Tedungan border checkpoint.
Immigration formalities for those coming from Bandar Seri Begawan and Limbang have become easier with the opening of the Malaysian immigration checkpoint at Pandaruan near the ferry landing since June 2007. Previously, you had to get your Malaysian exit stamp at Limbang Wharf before going to Pandaruan. The Brunei checkpoint is about 600m from the ferry landing, and occupies a wooden one-storey building on the right (south) side of the road.
If coming from Lawas, you will have to get your Malaysia exit stamp at the Mengkalap Immigration and Customs office at Trusan before proceeding to the actual border about 8 km away. The immigration office is located at a shoplot off the main road just east of the Trusan River ferry. Brunei's Labu checkpoint is at the actual border.
A bridge connecting Temburong with the rest of Brunei is under construction and expected to open in 2019.
- To/from Bandar Seri Begawan or Limbang: If you must take the bus (there are direct speedboats to Bangar from Bandar), you will have to take the bus from Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuala Lurah (see Brunei | Get in section for details) and the catch another bus to Limbang. From Limbang, take a Pandaruan bus which will bring you to the border. Cross the Pandaruan River by ferry or boat and proceed to Bangar by taxi. You can get your Malaysian exit stamp at Pandaruan and your Brunei entry stamp at the Puni immigration post.
- To/from Lawas: A local bus is supposed to go from Lawas to Trusan in Sarawak. This is as close as you will get to Temburong by bus and from there, you will have to take a Malaysian taxi to the Brunei-Malaysia border at Labu, and then change to a Bruneian taxi to Bangar. Get your Malaysian exit stamp at Trusan. The Bruneian entry stamp can be obtained at the border.
Like buses, strict Bruneian laws prevent Malaysian taxis from bringing passengers into Temburong. From Limbang, you will have to catch a taxi to Pandaruan, cross the river by ferry or boat, then catch a Bruneian taxi to Bangar. If you are coming from Bandar Seri Begawan, you will have to find your way to Limbang first. Coming from the east, taxis run from Lawas to the Labu border checkpoint via Trusan (where you have to get your Malaysian exit stamp). Change to a Bruneian taxi at Labu to get to Bangar.
Bangar is small enough for you to walk around, although it could be quite a hike in the hot sun to get to the administrative offices across the river from the commercial area.
Temburong basically has two main roads, one stretching from its eastern border with Sarawak at Puni, through Bangar, to the western border, again with Sarawak, at Labu, a total of about 25 km. The other main road runs south from Bangar to Batang Duri.
You will have to resort to taxis to move around in Temburong if you do not have your own set of wheels. There are no buses. Taxis can cost a bit - Bangar to Labu is about B$30.
You can also hire bicycles from the Maryani Camping Shop at Bangar for B$30 a day.
- 1 Ulu Temburong National Park. 8am–6pm. The Ulu Temburong National Park is located in the remote part of the Batu Apoi Forest Reserve. The park covers 550 square kilometers of unspoiled rainforest, the vast majority of which is set off for protection, so visitors are allowed to visit only a small piece. Thanks to Brunei's successful forest protection program, the rainforest in the park has never been deforested. There are no roads, so access is only by long boat. Highlight of the Ulu Temburong National Park is the Canopy Walkway, which stands 50m tall while set on a treetop. Visitors are only allowed to enter the park on guided tours, which you should reserve in advance as they fill up, especially in the high season. Tours generally leave from Bandar Seri Begawan. More expensive than Malaysia's national parks, but one of the most popular attractions in Brunei.
There are three ATMs in town, that accept international cards.
There is a small marketplace and shops.
- 1 Restaurant Hijrah. Located within the row shops. Proper style restaurant with a good mix of Chinese and Malay flavors. Restoran Hijrah specializes in udang galah (river prawns) and steamboat meals. At least BN$12 to BN$16.
- Pusat Belia: is a youth hostel. An immaculately clean and affordable hostel.
- 2 StoneVille Hotel, Lot 1532 Jalan Pekan Bangar, Kampong Sungai Tanam, Mukim Bangar PA2351. King or Twin for BN$65 Superior for BN$75.