A place famous for its legends and myths but do you know that Bukit Tempayan Pisang Recreational Park is also a great location for hiking?
The 722 metre-high hill is located at the village of Kapok and has a simple infrastructure of a carpark, walkways and concrete paths. For hiking enthusiasts, the park is famous among the villagers for its old myths for its two caves located at the hills.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO THERE! : You would be surprised that Brunei has their own sets of local legends and the Bukit Tempayan Pisang is one of them.
According to the local legend, it was once believed that Bukit Tempayan Pisang located in Kampong Kapok was inhabited by several Bunian princesses. During the full moonrise on the 14th and 15th day of each month, the supernatural princesses are known to play with ‘kemala’ stones that emitted bright light and is said to contain celestial powers. It was due to these celestial powers that a feud broke out between the Bunian princesses and the Mount Kinabalu guardian.
In their battle to possess the mystical stones, the guardian of Mount Kinabalu fired projectiles from mortars, while the Bunian princesses retaliated using large earthen jars (tempayan) loaded with only banana stems. It was this weapon consisting of banana stems and earthen jars that led to the hill being named ‘Tempayan Pisang’. After a long drawn out battle, the princesses only manage to keep two out of the seven stones. The remaining five were seized by the guardian and came into their personal possession.
The legend remains up to the 1940s where residents living in the vicinity noticed bright lights coming from Bukit Tempayan Pisang. The locals believe that, despite the hardship, the princesses continued to play with the two remaining ‘kemala’ stones during the full moonrise of every month.
Radat Cave was named after a brave and supernatural resident of Kampong Serasa called Awang Radat. It was well believed that Awang Radat would often visit the cave, particularly on the night of a full moon, to meet with a Bunian princess. The princess was eventually swept away to be his bride.
Harimau (tiger) Cave, as its name suggests, was once believed to be the home to two ferocious tigers. According to a local legend, an infamous tragedy had struck on two newlywed couple, Awang Mawar and Dayang Mawar during their journey to Tanjung Kemuning. During their crossing of Bukit Tempayan Pisang, the wife had to make a stop but insisted that her husband carried on and she would later follow suit.
A while later, Awang Mawar noticed that his wife have been gone for far too long. Worried that his wife had failed to catch up, he back-tracked on the trail only to find his wife’s shredded clothes, droplets of blood and paw prints on the ground – the prints undoubtedly belong to a tiger. He followed the paw prints to a cave where he witnessed two tigers devouring his already lifeless wife. Driven by rage and anger, Awang Mawar succeeded in slaying the tigers. However, his shame and guilt over his wife’s death were far too great for him to handle which eventually led to his suicide.
Indeed, the story of these legends and beliefs made the park a fascinating destination for many some folklore and myth experts as well as hiking enthusiasts.
At the summit of the hill also provides a great view of Serasa beach, Muara port and the bridge to ‘Pulau Muara Besar’.
HOW TO GET THERE: A car is needed if you want to get to the park as it is located deep inside the village of Kapok but you can find it here on Google Maps
EXTRA TIP! : While it is not a hard climb to the summit of the hill, it is recommended to bring someone along if you are not used to hiking and best to hike with someone familiar with the park.