Borneo Travel Guide
Borneo has it all — wildlife, adventure, culture and some of the best beaches in Asia. Along with its swathes of protected rainforest, the island boasts record-breaking caves, impressive climbs and treks to suit every ability. Visitors can access the ancient tribal culture with relative ease, and the coast offers world-class marine life and superb resorts. Add an excellent infrastructure (it’s easy to travel in Malay Borneo by either road or by using short flights) and you’re looking at a phenomenal holiday experience.
Where to travel in Borneo
Both Sarawak and Sabah states have excellent opportunities for adventure and tribal encounters, but Sarawak is especially good for adventure. Having spent a day or two around its capital, Kuching, head off to camp in the rainforest with Iban tribesmen in Sarawak's Batang Ai region, and find great climbing in Gunung Mulu National Park, where you can also explore the record-breaking Mulu Caves.
Sabah is stronger for wildlife, with Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve all offering near-guaranteed sightings of wild elephant and orang-utan, while Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary is a lovely chance to see conservation in action. The state is also famous for Mount Kinabalu, which is the highest mountain in Malaysia, but a surprisingly do-able climb.
Once you’ve had your fill of adventure, head to the coast for a relaxing spell on the beach, with many great options to choose from, even in the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu. We especially love Gaya Island, just off the north coast in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Its resorts balance luxury with a responsible approach to the rich marine life that makes this place so special. Guests can snorkel over the thriving reefs, and help out at the coral nursery.
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Population: 18.6 million
Capital: Kuching & Kota Kinabalu
Perfect straight ‘off the peg’ or as a source of inspiration allowing us to start with blank canvas. You decide.