Borneo exudes the feeling of a less explored destination with hidden eco treasures. The virgin and secondary forests that dotted the mainland are vitally a sanctuary for the dense wildlife populations – some endemic to Borneo. The orangutan, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, proboscis monkeys are among the welcoming faces you can see if you pay a visit to their natural habitat – yes, eco-friendly trips are available. The world’s third largest island after Greenland and Papua New Guinea is no longer a mystery, but increasingly recommended by travelers as an emerging holiday destination. The island is shared by 3 countries, with the largest portion owned by Indonesia (Kalimantan) followed by Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) and Brunei.
Essentially, Borneo will be in the radar of avid divers who anticipate a historic dive in the midst of a luxurious underwater world. Sipadan Island and the surrounding dive sites such as Mabul and Kapalai are rated the best diving hotspots in the world due to the diverse marine life. As for adventure seekers, conquering Mount Kinabalu, the roof of Borneo is the ultimate challenge on par of scaling other peaks around the world. Being the highest peak between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea, this 4095m tall giant usually expresses her majestic disposition with coats of cloud in the middle.
Surrounded by azure blue oceans, Borneo is fringed by long stretches of white sandy beaches. Amusingly, there are a numbers of tranquil islands studded amidst the oceans near the coast. They are conveniently accessible and the most notable being Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Marine Park off Kota Kinabalu and the world renowned “Survivor Island” called Pulau Tiga.
Borneo also boasts the largest cave system in the world. Mulu National Park in Sarawak, a World Heritage Site is deemed as the paradise for the physically prepared travelers to confront the eco challenge and alternatively, to indulge in the opulent cave ecology – exceptionally the sights of bat exodus or exploration of the four show caves.
Whenever you visit to Borneo, you get a chance to meet the locals and observe their distinctive cultures. Borneo is the home to a medley of indigenous groups, the likes of the Dayaks and Kadazandusuns. You can meet them up close when you visit their tribal long houses in Lemanak, Skrang or Batang Ai in Sarawak and Kudat in Sabah or through homestay visits. Although the people of Borneo comprises different background and they practice different customs, most of them live in harmony – an assurance that Borneo is a peace and safe place for visits.
Aside from the spectacular destinations that Borneo offers, you too can enjoy exhilarating activities such as sightseeing, white water rafting, riding antique train, golfing, shopping as well as sampling delectable local food and rice wines. All these activities can be arranged with your travel agents or accommodation operators.
To get to Borneo is easy. Borneo is conveniently located in South East Asia and well-connected with numerous international and domestic flights. In addition, there are several direct flights that link Borneo for example, the Perth-Kota Kinabalu, Tokyo- Kota Kinabalu, Hong Kong-Kota Kinabalu, London-Bandar Seri Begawan and Singapore-Kuching. Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Bandar Seri Begawan are also served by various flights from the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Some airlines to look for are Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Airasia and Dragonair.
Just like other destinations elsewhere, a stay in Borneo is as delightful with the options from 5-star to budget accommodations, where most of these operators accept bookings online and some are highly rated in travel portals like Tripadvisor.