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The month of April is when the summer holiday season kicks in. It’s time to take a trip to an unknown destination and add new adventures to your bucket list. If you love spending time in the nature we suggest you visit Borneo, it is the world's third largest island and is divided among the nations of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak are in the Malaysian part of the island, Kalimantan is on the Indonesian side of Borneo. The sultanate of Brunei is a separate country between Sabah and Sarawak. What makes the travel special here is unapparelled exposure to nature and adventure, exploring the caves, meeting orangutans, soaking in the wilderness in wooden canoes and the pristine ecosystem.
We make your travel easy by giving you a quick low down on the culture, places to see, visas, tips to manage your expenses and of course things to do.
Borneo is one of the most diverse countries in South East Asia. Apart from Malay, Chinese, Muslim, Indian, Europeans, Americans and other cultural groups and you will see a huge number of native groups belonging to small tribes like Orang Ulu, Murut and Iban (also known as the head hunters of Borneo).The indigenous tribes make Borneo really famous, while some of these tribes have been exposed to the outside world they continue to be rooted strongly in their culture and heritage. To know more about the local culture you can visit the open air museum of Sarawak’s cultural village. This museum has been set up to teach the history and cultures of the native people. Learning a little about age old traditions and cultures will truly enrich your experience and stay in Borneo.
While travelling from India make sure you have a visa to travel to Malaysia/Brunei, visa for Indonesia is free for 30 days. Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan have their own immigration process every time you cross the border as even though they are a part of Borneo they are all semi-autonomous states in their own individual rights. This process goes for Brunei too.
Before travelling make sure you have taken your routine vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, chicken Pox, typhoid and tetanus. Consult your family physician and carry some medicines along with the prescription. Carry a lot of mosquito repellents.
Places to visit and things to do:
Semenggoh nature reserve:
Semenggoh nature reserve protects and rehabilitates wild animals that have been injured, orphaned animals. It is here that you can observe the Orangutans in the wild. This place is also a home to a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. We recommend Semenggoh over Orangutan rehabilitation places in Sabah as tourists have limited viewing times and the aim here is conservation and not tourism.
Kuching is a paradise for cat lovers, this quirky city has cat statues welcoming you. It is quite urban in nature and upmarket and will surprise you with its ambience.
Danum valley will delight you with every sight. It boasts some of the world’s richest and complex ecosystems. You can spot a variety of endangered species here, including the clouded leopard, the Asian elephant and the Sumatran rhino, the Danum Valley is nothing less than paradise. You need to sort your accommodation and treks before entering Danum Valley and remember you may or may not spot wild life here as it is a jungle out there.
Tanjung Puting national park:
Tanjung Puting is on the Indonesian side of Borneo and is on the tip of Kalimantan. You can spot Orangutans and other animals in their natural environment if you sail on the house boats down the banks of the Sekonyer river. Put on your adventure shoes and trek through the jungles here. Take organised treks if you don’t want to get lost or hurt. Set out on an adventure trail based on your fitness level. Some of the treks are easier than others and all require a reasonable level of fitness. No matter what, get immersed in natures sauna, surrounded by lush, botanical wonders and mysterious wildlife. It will be a lifetime experience that you will always cherish.
Malaysian ringgit is a widely accepted currency in Borneo. In Sarawak and Sabah you can transact in Malaysian ringgit and transact using the Indonesian Rupiah in Kalimantan and Indonesian Borneo. The standard of living is not very expensive in Borneo, explore the local cuisine and eat at local stalls, undertake lot of organised tours and activities.
Accommodation is quite easy to find and pocket friendly in Sarawak, while Sabah is a little expensive. Hostels or cheap guesthouses can be found and you can get luxury hotel rooms too.
Local transport is the best and everything is well connected. However, if you explore the off- beat places in Kalimantan, it can get slightly expensive. Hotels also organise group tours in mini buses.
Set aside a chunk of your monies for activities, be it trekking, diving or visits to national parks and museum.
Borneo is a tropical paradise from jungles to coral reefs and to mountain tops where whatever you look at seems to be surreal. You might just pinch yourself to make yourself believe that what you are looking at is for real. Now that you know where to go, what to do, immerse yourself in the incredible flora, fauna and human cultures of this exotic island while we help you manage your Forex needs.