Although Borneo isn’t the first place that comes to mind when people think of Malaysia, it definitely should be: the wonderful island deserves to receive much more attention from experienced travellers than its cousin. Travelling to Borneo will bring you up close and personal with some of the world’s most fascinating flora and very welcoming people. The following are 8 top things you should do on our first trip to Borneo.
1. Visit Kota Kinabalu City
This is a cool metropolis that is near Mt Kinabalu and many beaches which makes it the perfect starting point for visitors. Spend time exploring the city by eating lots of fresh seafood, strolling along the waterfront, and checking out the street markets. Thinking of learning to dive during your holiday in Kota Kinabalu, you can do a PADI open water diving course in Malaysia Take your first step in learning to dive in the tropical waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu – we can not think of a better place for you to learn to dive!
2. Hike up Mt Kinabalu’s Summit, Malaysia’s Highest Mountain
Mount Kinabalu is considered to be a highly revered area for the dead and allegedly protected by the locals’ ancestors spirits. Hiking up the mountain isn’t an easy feat, but the views you can experience from the summit definitely make it worth the trek. In order to protect these paths from being overused, Malaysia’s government has established strict regulations and rules about how many people can climb the mountain per day and who can.
3. Learn About Borneo’s History
Borne’s story is a very interesting one and forms an intricate tapestry of the exploration and trade of humans. After being a critical trading post for both the Chinese and Indians for centuries, it later was controlled by the British and Dutch. Borneo currently belongs to Malaysia. However, the states of Sabah and Sarawak, which are independent but also located on Borneo.
4. Visit One of The Mud Volcanoes.
The island of Palau Tiga was created out of a volcanic eruption. This island is home to numerous mud volcanoes.y It is an absolute must to visit and soak your body in the mineral-rich mud. They are said to contain skin-beautifying properties. In addition to the island’s beautiful beaches, you can visit Snake Island nearby as well as Sand Island. For those television fans, Borneo is very appealing due to it being the location of Survivor’s first season.
5. Meet the Sabah People at Tamatuon village
You can take a hands-on cooking class taught by locals, to learn about the flavourful Sabah cuisine. The dishes coming from the indigenous roots of the Sabah have Chinese cuisine influences due to the two cultures long trading relationships.
6. Watch the Orangutans.
Although it is never guaranteed that you will see an orangutan, you will greatly increase your chances of seeing one if you visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Unfortunately, orangutans are seriously endangered and are threatened in Borneo, given that the palm oil industry has encroached on its habitat. They are poached as well for the illegal pet trade. Orangutans are known as the “people of the forest” by Borneo’s Indigenous people and play a critical role in the country’s natural ecosystem and its health.
7. Check out Mulu National Park.
This park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its karst rock formations and extensive cave systems are protected, and it also features a very rich equatorial forest. Mulu has very impressive cave system, and they are believed to contain the world’s largest cave by volume. When you explore these caves it provides you with a true sense of adventure as you are trying to avoid the bats that are flying overhead (as well as the guana – or bat poop – on the ground).
8. Visit Libarian Island
You see can baby turtles hatch on the beach here. The preservationists living on Librarian Island do everything they can to ensure that the hatch safety of the baby turtles is protected so that they can make their way safely to the sea and hopefully develop into mature adults. The individuals who dedicate their entire lives to ensure as many baby turtles as possible make it int the see is as inspiring as actually watching the turtles being born.