The next thing is to find a suitable site for the eco-village. I have already visited several locations. What I need is a rural setting near to a rainforest and close to a water source (but not the sea). The three that I had in mind in no particular order are:-

1. Temburong

I fell in love with Temburong immediately when I went to stay there with my family back in 2015. It is by far the most romantic location. The land is separated from the rest of the country by Malaysia and Brunei Bay. Fortunately you can travel right into the heart of the rainforest with River Temburong providing the access. Before the SHOAS bridge was built (2020) the easiest and quickest way was by riverboat. You are picked up from the Brunei River jetty in Bandar, then out to Brunei Bay across Limbang before entering via River Temburong. Approaching Bangar the river meanders erratically and narrows considerably allowing you get very intimate with the mangrove swamps! From Bangar it is another 15 minute car ride before you board another boat to continue further upstream as the road ends here! This one has a slightly different construction. A flatter bottom boat to help navigate during the dry season when the river dries up and sometimes you have to get out of the boat and push otherwise the boat will scrape on the riverbed. In some parts the water is so shallow that the outboard motor cannot be used and you have to paddle. The further upstream you go the cooler and clearer the water becomes. You are now right in the cleanest, most unpolluted part of the rainforest. Because of the bridge it is now no longer a great distance and travel time to Bandar.

2. Labi

This is another remote area that is heavily forested and unspoilt. There are already several commercial farms owned by local supermarkets and I hate to say timber sawmills. The land is fertile however the main road (Jalan Labi!) from Sungai Liang is not well maintained and it could take 2 hours to reach Bandar. Deep in Labi are a few waterfalls which feed into Sungai Beliat so a source of water is not an issue here.

3. Kasat

This seems to tick all the boxes. There is a vast area of untouched rainforest, all the way South to the Malaysian border, with the benefit of it being in a conservation area as well as within touching distance of Bandar due to the recently opened RIPAS bridge (2017). With Bukit (Hill) Saeh and Buang Sakar in its vicinity you only need to place yourself in the valley to tap into its abundant supply of spring water. The hilly landscape may lend itself towards certain types of agriculture. I will need to learn more about that if I do end up here.

Brunei is a small country so Temburong and Labi are still great locations. Ultimately where I end up will be determined by what is affordable and available.

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