Top 7 unforgettable experiences tourists can do on the tropical island of Borneo

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Borneo is a stunning tropical island located in the territory of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Nowadays, the island attracts a large number of visitors each year with its pristine forests and rich culture.

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Overview

Located in the southeastern of Malaysia and southwest of Philippines, Borneo Island is primarily mountainous wit dense areas and rain forest. The highest peak in Borneo is Kinabalu standing at over 4,000m. The island has hot and humid climate with the average annual rainfall of about 3,000 – 5,000mm. Due to the large amount of rainfall, the fauna and flora in the island is very rich and diverse. It is home to approximately 15,000 flowering plants, 221 terrestrial mammals, 420 bird species and 440 freshwater fish species. The island also features the world’s oldest tropical rainforests which, until a few decades ago, completely covered the island.

Borneo Island (via WisataHiburan.com)

Dive with sea turtles in Sipadan

Imagine you are kneeling on the golden sand, watching the turtles, only an arm’s length away. This is an exciting experience that every tourist should try while traveling to Sipadan Island, Borneo. Not only having the chance to watching turtles, you also can dive around the shallow reef of plateau on the eastern tip of the small island. Snorkeling to deeper waters, you will meet jacks, barracuda, tuna and even giant Napoleon wrasse.

Conquer the highest mountain in Southeast Asia

Kinabalu Mountain (via ThoughtCo)

Located at the altitude 4,095 meters above sea level, Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. This is also an ideal destination for trekking with well-maintained roads. The sauna and flora in the mountain are very rich and diverse; besides insect-collecting plants, there are about 1,200 orchid species living in the cool and humid climate. This is also home to frogs that are tiny as your fingernails.

Although it only takes about 1 day to conquer the mountain, most people stay overnight at Laban Rata, situated at an altitude of 3272m before keeping on to see the sunrise and conquer the mountain. You also do not forget to visit the Poring hot spring to relax.

Head up river

Kinabatangan River (via Mygola)

Kinabatangan River is considered as the route through the tangled interior of Borneo. This is home to elephants, proboscis monkeys and tribes people. To experience all the exciting things in here, let’s take a boat trip at the sunrise or sunset to discover the river and enjoy delicious local specialties. You can take a stroll in the forest at night with guides and discover things that you have ever seen before.

Enjoy the rich cuisine

Borneo’s cuisine is influenced by Indian, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine. Moreover, local people in here also love to marinate food with spices from the forest, so you will be tasted the flavors that cannot be found in nowhere else.

Make music in rainforest

Sarawak Cultural Village (via Pelancongan Merdeka Sdn. Bhd)

Situated deep in the Borneo’s forest, Sarawak Cultural Village specializes in performing and preserving the cultural life of the Borneo tribes. It is also the place holding the annual World Music Festival of Rainforest, a three-day event that attracts around 24,000 participants. You will not only have chance to listen music played by top musicians in the world but also can experience local life, learn more about customs, dances and traditional long houses at the foot of Santubong Mountain.

Watch monkeys with locals

If you have a chance to come to Borneo, you are going to see Orang Utan – the old man of the jungle. When the environment is severely damaged, the Sarangak Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers in Sarawak and the Orang Utan Environmental Rehabilitation Center in Sabah will give you the opportunity to see Orang Utan at close distance and learn how to protect them.

Picnic with the Penan people

Picnic with Penan people (via Picnic with the Penan – WordPress.com)

For a genuine experience with the jungle and local people, try the following suggestions. The Penan people were a nomadic tribe, they know exactly how to live in harmony with the jungle.

You need to take a helicopter to Long Lellang located deeply in the forest, and take a canoe to visit them. Here you will see how people get their food, water, baskets, bracelets, and even bamboo instruments. This is a beautiful area you definitely should not miss.

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