Hiking in Brunei Darussalam: Bukit Shahbandar Trail Map

Hiking using smartphone GPS real-time navigation added. See post updates!

In the year and a half that I’ve been hiking the hills, both solo and group, there were three separate occasions involving 6 visitors that had lost their way in the Shahbandar forest. Since then, there have been more reports (along with cases that went unreported) of hikers getting lost within the 10 km trail. Together with my hiking buddy Rizan, founder of the Beach Bunch and Shahbandar Volunteer Group, we took on the task of mapping the established trails that connect the entire Bukit Shahbandar, for the purpose of providing all visitors access to accurate and reliable map. I highly recommend anyone planning a trip for the first time to download this map to their phones either as a JPEG image or a PDF document, or print a copy in colour in A4 size to ensure legibility. We understand that the Ministry looking after Bukit Shahbandar is in the process of updating their map so until the new one is available, this is probably the best one you have immediate access to. Created for hikers by hikers — it’s our way of giving back to the community :)

Download in PDF formatBukit Shahbandar Trail Map
See also: Aerial View of Bukit Shahbandar | How much water should you drink?


A second extended trail is indicated by the lighter red line  to the left of the map. This trail runs over 2 kms, connects the Menara (tower) to P8 and P6 huts, and is largely unmarked. Until the trail gets useful directional markings I do not recommend exploring this part of the forest, solo or otherwise.

 See more photos from our Bukit Shahbandar hikes.

Here’s an aerial map of the Shahbandar trails to give you a better idea of its vastness and proximity to neighbouring roads and landmarks such as The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Jerudong Beach, etc.

shimworld-brunei-bukit-shahbandar-google-mapHiking with GPS aided navigation Here’s something even better than a paper map if you had it printed, or a static map if you downloaded it as an image to your phone. I’ve been tracking my workouts using MapMyHike for Android for nearly two years but it was only yesterday when I discovered and tested the app’s GPS navigation capability — in the context of Bukit Shahbandar, I include two mapped trails below from a previous hike (regular and extended distance) of which anyone can choose to add to their app to enjoy a GPS guided hike without getting lost in unfamiliar territory.

The left screenshot shows an extended trail of Bukit Shahbandar (approximate distance of 6.21 km) before you start your hike. The right screenshot of a trail in Sungai Liang during a hike shows a GPS assisted directional arrow, indicating that I was going the right way.

Goes without saying that you need to download and install the MapMyHike app on your GPS capable smartphone before you can enjoy hiking with GPS navigation. Once the app is installed, you have two ways to register: create a new account or sign in using your Facebook credentials. Choose the trail map below (will be adding more) you want and click Send to Phone

Bukit Shahbandar 9 Pondok Trail (3.2 km) | Bukit Shahbandar Extended Trail (6.2 km)

If all goes well, you should receive the following email message. Click OPEN ROUTE and within seconds you should see your selected route appear in MapMyHike mobile app (as shown in image immediately above). Also see Facebook post.


Last but not least, SHOES. I have gone through a few pair of shoes to know which ones are most suited for the trail conditions at Shahbandar. I have hiked and I have run the trails on both dry and wet days, regardless of weather, you want to be wearing shoes with good traction.

My current pair is a New Balance MT610v3 — phenomenal traction, long wearing (208 kms in 3 months and counting of punishing terrain abuse, at time of this post) and most surprisingly of all extremely affordable. I think I’ve pretty much covered all bases for a great outdoor adventure. STAY SAFE AND HAPPY HIKING :)

Hiking the Bukit Shahbandar “14 Hills” Extended Trail

17/4/2015: I’ve included a complete trail map of Bukit Shahbandar at the end of this post. If you’ve stumbled across this page looking for a map to hike the hills, feel free to scroll right down.

We’ve lost count the number of times we had hiked up to this Pondok 4 guide pole, started at it for a moment and succumbed to defeat by mere threat of the distance, time and effort it would take for us to complete. Yet on the morning of October 27th the morning when we were only going to hike the usual 9 Hills trail we started at this pole again, the three of us briefly looked at each other — we’ve done this many times except on this day, none of us was going to back down. So here I am, on the eve of my second 14 Hills hike tomorrow, writing about my epic first attempt. Tomorrow’s hike is going to be our largest group hike yet — a total of 13 members.


More pictures from our first 14 Hills hike on Facebook

It took the three of us 4 hours to complete 7.39 kms burning 2000 calories along the way. It would have taken a slightly shorter time had Eric and I not stopped between Pondok 8 and 9 for a 15 minutes photography lesson using his Samsung Galaxy S4.
My morning fuel before the 14 hills hike — two eggs, 4 broccoli flowerets, smoked beef, smoked salmon and MrBaker’s delicious Muesli 80% wholemeal bread along with all the healthy grains. Not pictured is my usual shot of CBTL espresso
The trail between Pondok 4 and 5 poles normally takes no more than 5 minutes. The extended loop between them is a whole different story — distance itself measures longer than the usual 9 Hills.
Eric snapped this photo of my wife and I as we reached the first of a series of poles on the extended loop. 370M to head back to Pondok 4 and be on the way out or soldier on.
Once on the extended loop, a view from across the green landscape is the red soil vista from where we had taken numerous group photos, giving us a sense of scale and distance somewhat.


There are three wooden crossings like this on the extended loop unlike the bridges you’re accustomed to seeing on the 4 and 9 hills trail.
Eric had asked me many times since we first met more than a year, maybe 2, earlier to give him lessons to improve his photography. No better opportunity and timing to learn and have some fun right at Shahbandar. More on Facebook.
My lunch at MOD in Jerudong after 4 hours of intense hiking had left me with a significant increase in appetite — Thai cuisine (chicken basil rice and broccoli mixed vegetables).
Updated 13/04/15 — Bukit Shahbandar trail map covering extended trails that connect the entire forest. Click on map for more information.

Stop Facebook from Flooding Your Google Calendar with Birthday Notifications

If you use Google Calendar on your Android smartphone like I do on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and have been victim to Facebook making a mess of your Calendar more than once, here’s a fix. Buried in the depths of obscurity is a Facebook Birthday notification feature that is the root cause of randomly corrupting my Calendar. Before this solution I have had to uninstall/reinstall Facebook app — it had happened numerous times since I got the phone. At the same time I have Google Calendar and Facebook app installed on the iPad 2 and have never seen this happen so I got curious and began comparing setting after setting until I came across the Mobile Push setting.


A common reaction to this problem is to disable Facebook Sync — this does not work!


What finally worked — uncheck Birthday Reminder option that’s buried under several menu settingsFacebook-Android-1

Go to Account Settings



While I was here earlier, I also unchecked Gifts, Activity You’ve Missed and Application Invites .