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Home » Travel Tips

Five reasons to visit Borneo

Submitted by on 07/01/2014 – 12:41 pmNo Comment
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Photo from Flickr by @Doug88888

Photo from Flickr by @Doug88888

If you’re planning a trip to Borneo, it’s likely that you’re planning to see the orang-utans, but while you shouldn’t miss out on seeing these fascinating and gentle creatures, there’s so much more to Borneo that you could see while you’re there.

Borneo isn’t all about eco tourism, there are plenty of other attractions to this beautiful island. To get the most out of your visit, it’s a good idea to split your time in Borneo between the national parks with their amazing flora, fauna and wildlife and the fantastic beaches where there are plenty of activities to get involved in.

Be physically challenged

There are lots of outdoors activities to do in Borneo, but one that will make you feel like you’ve done something really spectacular is to climb Mount Kinabalu – the tallest mountain in South East Asia. To reach the summit (and come back) will take a two day, one night hike. The view at the peak (4,095m) is breath-taking. On the descent, there’s the option to cross the world’s highest via ferrata, where you make your way across a cliff face, clutching on to the metal brackets as you go.

Beach life

There are some beautiful beaches in Borneo. You might choose to spend your time on the beach just drinking in the scenery and enjoying basking in the sun, but if you want to get active, there are plenty of water sports to get involved in. Diving is just one example. The waters around Sipidan Island are renowned as being a diver’s paradise and it’s not unusual to see hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and manta rays here. Due to the popularity of these waters, only 120 permits are issued per day, so book ahead if you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Wild life and national parks

Of course, it would be unthinkable to visit Borneo without going to see the orang-utans. The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is located in the Sabah Rainforest and you can get the chance to see an orang-utan up close and personal and find out how the centre works to protect them. While you’re there, you should also make time to go to the moon bear sanctuary. Nearby is the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), which is a great starting point for exploring the rainforest.

If you like visiting caves, then take the time to see the world’s largest cave chamber in Gunnung Nulu National Park, where there is an amazing display of stalactites and stalagmites.

Borneo tribespeople

It’s possible to visit different tribespeople in Borneo, and this is a great opportunity to see what life has been like for hundreds of years in these remote forest communities. One such tribe is the Penan people, who once lived a nomadic lifestyle. Getting to visit the tribe is an adventure in itself – you’ll have to take a light aircraft to Long Lellang and then a journey in a dug-out canoe to reach the home of the Penan people. There you’ll be able to see the Penan taking place in fascinating customs like the hornbill dance.

Awaken your taste buds

Food in Borneo is always interesting as it has influences from India, Malaysia and China. The locals will flavour dishes using rainforest spices that you will probably have never heard of, let alone tasted, before. Street hawkers often sell the most interesting snacks and it’s great to eat on the move between sightseeing spots rather than having to take time out for a sit-down meal. One fruit you shouldn’t miss out on trying is the durian – although it’s a good idea to peg your nose when you are near them. The smell they emit is indescribably bad, and the only good news is that they taste better than they smell!

Before you head to Borneo, as with any travel destination, it’s worth reading up on exactly what there is to see and do, and planning your trip to include a variety of experiences, so that you can come away feeling that you really have had more than just a taste of Borneo.



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Blanche has written 758 articles. +Aaron Bradford is the leader, mentor and chief geek of HappyTimeblog. He put together the crack team of writers known by codename “The Firm“. He's a permanent traveller and a lifestyle hacker. Wanna know more? Check out my Bucket List or my About page... I'm here to show you how to live a Life Less Ordinary

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