In Search of Proboscis Monkeys

Picture of proboscis monkey.

A proboscis monkey stares at us.

Courtney, John, and I decided to hire a boat taxi on our last afternoon in Brunei. Because BSB is built along an estuary, with tens of thousands of residents living on the water, there’s a large network of boat taxis that will take you wherever you want. We walked down to the shore and immediately were able to secure a ride for a couple hours. Our driver was quite knowledgeable of the area, and this ride turned out to be the highlight of our entire time in Brunei.

Our first stop was the Sultan’s palace. It’s the largest residential palace in the world, and it’s just outside the city. It’s surrounded by forest, so we only got fleeting glimpses. For a few days during Eid, the Sultan makes himself and his palace available for the public to come and say hi. If you’re looking for somewhere to crash, I’m sure he’d love to have you as his guest.

After seeing the palace, we headed up the estuary, far outside the city, to an area thick with jungle and free from palm trees. We pulled up to some mangroves and primary forest, and there they were! A troupe of at least a dozen proboscis monkeys was right in front of us, even closer than the monkeys we had seen on the Kinabatangan. These guys weren’t shy, either – they ate and played as if we weren’t even there. Later we headed to a new location and saw a second troupe, along with a couple of monitor lizards. We were enamored and could’ve stayed for hours, but the setting sun left us no choice but to retreat to the quiet capital.

Here are some of my photos from the ride:

Picture of proboscis monkey.

About to jump.

Picture of proboscis monkey. Picture of proboscis monkey family.

The whole family is together.

Picture of proboscis monkeys. Picture of baby proboscis monkey.

Always looking up.

Picture of monitor lizard with moon in background.

This monitor lizard was relaxing on a dead tree as the moon was coming up.

Picture of mother and baby proboscis monkeys.

Mother and baby.

Picture of baby proboscis monkey.

Eerily human-like.

Picture of shouting proboscis monkey.

Hey you!

Picture of proboscis monkey.

Staring into each others’ eyes.

Picture of proboscis monkey. Picture of monitor lizard.

Another monitor lizard joins the party.

Picture of boat ride at sunset.

The ride back to BSB.

Picture of Istana Nurul Iman.

Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan’s palace, is the largest private home in the world, with over 2 million square feet of floor space. It has 1788 rooms, including 257 bathrooms.

Picture of palace.

Part of the palace.

Picture of birds.

Slightly fewer birds than bathrooms.

Picture of egret.

A single egret.

Picture of Sunset.

More photos from the ride

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