Borneo is the third largest island in the world and divided between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. The part of Borneo under Indonesia is known as Kalimantan. Malaysia occupies the rest of the island along the northern edge. Malaysia has two states namely, Sabah and Sarawak with their capitals being Kota Kinabalu and Kuching respectively. The island is popular for its long stretches of rain-forest, its numerous species of plants, and a variety of wildlife that guarantees nothing short of adventure. There are numerous reasons to visit the Malaysian Borneo. Here is a travel guide to help make your visit worthwhile and exciting.
Apart from Sumatra, Borneo is the only other place in the world where the endangered Orangutans can be viewed in their natural habitat. These are among the smartest primates with the ability to craft tools, make medicine, and exchange gifts with tourists. However, due to human encroachment into their habitats, a number of centers have been set up to safeguard the few that are remaining. The best place to view these wonderful creatures is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in East Sabah. Another option is the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in the outskirts of Kuching, both offering visitors a glimpse at the native Oranguatan's.
Borneo has the best places for diving, giving you the chance to enjoy not only the natural attractions on land but also the beauty that lies beneath the sea. Though not cheap, its turtles, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, and the macro life will give you value for your money. Some of these sites include Sipidan and Mabul. In fact Sipidan has become so famous that only 120 permits are issued daily in a bid to preserve the fragile coral reefs.
Located in Sabah, this 13,435 feet mountain is the tallest in Malaysia and third highest peak in southeast Asia. To climb this peak does not require technical equipment. All that is needed to reach the summit is the will to do so and stamina. It takes two days to complete the grueling task.
The Kinabalu National park is also an ideal place to wind up after the climb. The 300 square-mile park is home to an estimated 4,500 plant species. The flora and fauna is beautiful and mind-boggling.
From the fascinating canopy walk matrix, offering a bird's view above the dense trees, to the encounters with monkeys, snakes, waterfalls, and hidden beaches, trekking in Borneo's rain-forest is the real deal. This comes after a tour of the well manicured botanical gardens to equip the visitor with the knowledge necessary to tackle the forest.
The Kinabatangan River:
Flowing through Sabah state, the river is the highlight for most visitors. The quiet approach from the boats gives one a chance to view the endangered proboscis monkeys, pythons, crocodiles and elephants. The nearby village of Sukau has many different accommodations and something for every visitor.
A visit to Malaysian Borneo is incomplete without spending a night or two in an Iban longhouse and experience the culture of the indigenous people. From their authentic food to the traditional dance performance, these people welcome vacationers with open arms and warm hearts.
This travel guide should help when making decisions on what to do and see when visiting Borneo. With plenty of options to choose from, this place has something for everyone.