Don’t be a Borneo tourist, be a Borneo traveler!

Don’t be a Borneo tourist, be a Borneo traveler!

Don’t be a Borneo tourist,

be a Borneo traveler!


November, 2017

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Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Borneo, is the third largest island in the world, after Greenland and New Guinea. It is divided into three states, which are Malaysian Borneo (Sabah & Sarawak), Indonesia, and Brunei. In addition, Borneo Island is dominated by one of the oldest tropical rainforests (estimated about 140 million years old), making it home to many rare species of wildlife and plants. Being an island that has an abundance of natural wonders, it is not a surprise that Borneo Island has become one of the favorite holiday destinations for many people from around the globe.

Before visiting Borneo Island, think over your purpose to visit Borneo Island. Are you going for hiking to Mount Kinabalu and see Orangutans in Sandakan? Or are you going to discover and learn the diverse culture in Borneo? If you are only interested to go for popular sightseeing in Borneo island, then you are considered as a Borneo tourist. In contrast, if you are keen to experience the culture and seeking for off-the-beaten-track in Borneo, then you can consider yourself as a Borneo traveler. Both trips provide the clarity and refreshment for your trip to Borneo, but have different ways of travel approach.

So, what makes Borneo tourist and Borneo traveler different from each other?

1) Group/ Solo travel

Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Borneo tourist usually will travel in a group, while, Borneo travelers will travel solo

News flash! If you are traveling in a large group or with families/friends, then you are a Borneo tourist. While, traveling solo or with one other person, you are considered as a Borneo traveler. Traveling in an organized group can be daunting, as you may not have any privacy while traveling, or clashing personalities and self-interests for you to deal with. For example, you want to taste out the delicious noodle that you’ve seen from other travelers posts, but you have to follow the majority’s decision to go to a specific restaurant to eat. In contrast, being a Borneo traveler, you are the BOSS! You can decide where and what you want to eat while traveling in Borneo.

Being a Borneo tourist, you will always travel in your own circle and eventually restrain yourself from asking locals or random person for any piece of informations. While, being a Borneo traveler is fun as it can ‘force’ you to engage conversations with locals, as well as sharing personal experience or hobbies together.

2) Sights/ Attractions in Borneo


Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Borneo tourist visit the popular attractions, while, Borneo travelers will go for non-touristy part in Borneo

A Borneo tourist doesn’t go on trips to experience something new or unknown places. They will be very comfortable with a guided tour in Borneo, and simply just stick to places that are popular attractions in Borneo. In addition, if you are a Borneo tourist, you may not get the chance to meet different people or locals except those who you were traveling with. A Borneo traveler will also go to see some of the main attractions in Borneo, but they tend to seek more than the usual attractions in Borneo. They will be looking for more authentic Borneo culture, non-touristy part of destination, as well as to discover local stories that they won’t find in any travel guidebooks. Therefore, a Borneo traveler will know that the locals are the best tour guide to explore some of the off-the-beaten places in Borneo. 

Related article: 5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations in Borneo

3) Food in Borneo

Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Both Borneo tourist and Borneo travelers tasting the local dishes in Borneo

Travel to Borneo will offer you a chance to taste some of the dishes that you won’t taste in your hometown. Apart from that, having taste the food in Borneo will give you an insight of history and cultures in Borneo. Both Borneo tourist and Borneo traveler will go to eat some of the local dishes of Borneo in a local cafe. However, some Borneo tourist will prefer to eat the dishes that are familiar to them. While, some of them who are adventurous enough, they will tend to taste the exotic Borneo dishes once in their life. Meanwhile, a Borneo traveler, seeking to learn more on Borneo’s culture, is always ready to challenge themselves, to step out from their comfort zone, stay at the homestay and try out some of the exotic dishes that are served in the homestay.

Want to know what kind of exotic and traditional dishes offers in Sabah Borneo? Read our blog entry here.

4) Languages in Borneo

Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Borneo tourist will not speak with locals as they will be on a guided tours, while Borneo travelers will ask the locals for directions

Being a Borneo tourist, they will be always in a guided tour, making it hard for them to get the chance to speak with locals and learn some of the local languages in Borneo. While being a Borneo traveler, they are free to go anywhere they want. Therefore, they will need to learn and know at least a few phrases to use to communicate with locals while traveling in Borneo Island. The main language that is spoken in Borneo will be the Malay language. So, learning to say simple things like “Selamat Pagi” (Good Morning), “Terima Kasih” (Thank You),“Di Mana” (Where),“Berapa” (How much), and many more, can make a difference when trying to communicate with locals. Borneo locals tend to feel nervous when a visitor trying to communicate with them because not all of them can speak English very well. Therefore, if any visitor could speak with them in language that they are familiar with, they will feel at ease to converse with them and eventually this will develop into friendship.

Check out this information for you to learn one of the Sabah Borneo’s colloquial terms – “Bah”.

5) Packing Style

Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Borneo tourist will pack a lot of things to travel, while, for Borneo travelers, they chose to pack light

Here’s one quick question for you. Have you ever pack a lot of unnecessary stuff, such as extra clothes, jeans, shoes, electronic gadgets, toiletries, travel guidebooks, and more before coming to Borneo? If your answer is YES, then you are a Borneo tourist. In addition, you should know that not every item in your bag are needed for your trip to Borneo. It’s better to lighten your load by removing some of the unnecessary stuff so that you will feel the ease and flexibility while traveling to Borneo.

When it comes to packing for Borneo travel, a Borneo traveler will pack as light as possible. They would only need to bring their camera and few necessary items for their trip. Apart from that, Borneo traveler will not only pack comfortable clothes, but they will choose the best outfit that can match in any destination. For example, packing practical pants for trekking, hiking, or even walk in the park that suits the climate in Sabah Borneo.

Check out our tips for packing when traveling to Borneo :

6) Buying Souvenirs

Don't be a Borneo Tourist, Be a Borneo Traveler

Borneo tourist will buy souvenirs at the souvenir shop, while, for Borneo travelers, will take small things (eg: entrance ticket) as a memento

A Borneo tourist will be easily drawn to the awe of the local souvenir shops, which some of the souvenirs tend to be overpriced! Although from the outside, you may think that the souvenir shop is the perfect place to find some of the unique items that you can bring home, wait until you see the souvenirs’ price. Moreover, the same souvenirs are often available in other souvenir shops but with a different price. For Borneo travelers, they will be looking for smaller items ( because they want to avoid heavy baggage!), but with great memories to cherish. For example, keeping entrance tickets from Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre or Kinabalu National Park, they will either frame it or stick it into their travel journal. Apart from that, Borneo travelers will choose something that is not more than their budget for souvenirs, knickknack of any sorts such as keychains or seashell bracelets.

After reading this, which one of the categories that you think you fall into? Whichever it is, being in both of the categories will also grant you the chance to enjoy your trip to Borneo. Being a Borneo tourist will also give you a memorable experience that you will not get from anywhere. In addition, it would be a double bonus for you if you can meet an English-speaking local that can provide you with some good advice and tips for your travel in Borneo. Apart from that, don’t stop being a Borneo traveler. Continue to learn more about Borneo culture, develop friendships along the way, as well as seeking some of the off-the-beat destination that can be found in Borneo!

Planning to travel Borneo in 2018? Check out our Travel Hacks to Borneo!

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Discover the Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018

Discover the Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018

Discover the Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018


November, 2017

Borneo Tour Packages
Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Kiulu Quad Biking 

Who doesn’t love to travel? We all love to travel and we crave for the adventure to explore new places in the world. It is in our nature to travel. However, we are looking forward to traveling with less money spent, not overpack, and every trip in Borneo is running smoothly. So, to make our travel to Borneo easier by 2018, here are some of the travel hacks that I would like to share, which is very useful especially to those who plan to travel to Borneo in 2018. 

1) Use incognito window or clear cache/ cookies when online booking

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Choose incognito windows for ticket online booking to avoid increase in price

This is my personal experience, I was told that if we book our flight ticket online, the travel sites could track our visits and increase the pricing rate! Any booking sites will often use cookies to provide users a more personalized experience. So, if a user searches multiple times for a certain flight, the price rate will be higher than before. Unbelievable but it’s true. Hence, private browsing or clearing cache/cookies in the browser could save us some money to purchase flights or hotels at the best price. This has saved me about MYR 80 when I was purchasing my flight ticket to Kuching last June.

2) Don’t forget to inform your preferred bank before travel

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Don’t forget to inform your bank to unlock the card for international transactions

Whenever we travel, we always thought about travel with safety. However, we tend to forget one small but crucial step to do before travel abroad, which is to notify our bank. Imagine if we forget to notify our bank before traveling to Borneo, the bank will immediately block the debit/credit card and shut our account when they detect transactions in an unfamiliar location. Oh, bummer! This is because the bank is actually protecting us from identity theft. So, it is always a good idea to inform our bank before traveling to Borneo and prevent from getting a headache if we find out our cards are canceled or blocked.

3) Travel Insurance is a MUST!

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
CFill in the Travel Insurance application form before travel to Borneo

Before traveling, it is recommended to get travel insurance. Travel insurance is an essential part for any travel plans, as it helps to ensure our safety, well-being, and financial security from any unforeseen event happening before depart or while away from home. Apart from that, getting travel insurance will provide us some peace of mind for it can let us reimbursed for any losses and expenses, especially to cover our delayed, stolen, lost or damaged luggage.

4) Bring own water bottle

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Bring own water bottle for traveling

Keep the water bottle empty and put into a carry-on backpack, fill the water into the bottle after passing through a security check. Having done this can eventually help us to save some money rather than buying bottled water at the airport vendors, which isn’t cheap. This is a lesson that I have to keep in mind while traveling internationally, as I always purchase bottled water at the airport vendor and it really cost loads (Oh snap!). Some say we can also bring the water bottle and pass through the airport security if we freeze it! Good tips, but maybe we can try it soon (hahaha…) Moreover, bringing our own water bottle not only saves the environment, but it also saves us from spending money over buying mineral water and keeps us hydrated at all times.

5) Use Google Maps to look for interesting places in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Lookout for some interesting places in Kota Kinabalu city, Sabah Borneo

While traveling in Kuching, Sarawak Borneo, Google Maps was my lifesaver to go around the area. Just download the Google Maps application to mobile phone and it can show some of the destinations for food, bars or shopping malls. Apart from that, I have read in one article that we can use Google Maps offline in order to reach any specific destination that we want. We only need to download the destination in Google Maps, we can simply use it to navigate us to the destination, without using any internet access. How cool is that? This can help us to save from spending extra charges on mobile data and data roaming while traveling in Borneo!

6) Ask locals while traveling in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Get to know and spend time with Borneo locals

No matter if we are on a short break or a long trip in Borneo, there’s no better way of getting to know Borneo than talking to the locals. Locals may know some of the off-the-beaten-places in Borneo, the do’s and don’ts, great places to eat, and more. In a nutshell, the locals are the best tour guide anyone could ask for! As a Sabahan, I will not know any best places to go in Sarawak Borneo. Hence, asking the locals during my Kuching trip really helped me a lot to know some of the hotspot places in Kuching. Apart from getting to know some of the places in Borneo, we can also create friendship through talking with locals. So, don’t get shy and start to mingle!

Want to know some of the Sabah Borneo’s colloquial terms – “Bah”? Click here.

7) Look for some local activities in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
A glimpse of tamu or local market view in Donggongon

There is no better way to get the feel of Borneo than taking public transportation. Skip the flight, let’s get on the bus or a van to go Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu city. This is a perfect opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of the locals, as well as appreciate the scenic view along the way. An opportunity to experience local’s daily routine is not something that is commonly offered to any tourists. Hence, a tour to the “tamu” or local market is the best way for us to mingle around with the locals and a perfect chance to scoop some special items that can serve as a memento or souvenir in our Borneo travel.

8) Bring Power Bank/ Portable Charger while traveling in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Bring powerbank to charge your phone while traveling in Borneo

Smartphones have quickly replaced the need for several gadgets and most people ( including us) would always have a phone attached to our hand. Having a smartphone could help us a lot, especially when we are travelling. A smartphone can be a backup camera, if we forget to bring our camera, to capture the moments in our Borneo travel. Apart from that, it can provide us the travel information or places of interest in Borneo too. Unfortunately, using smartphone most of the time could consume a lot of battery. A battery running flat while traveling is not fun which we all can probably relate to, especially when spending a long time on a train/plane/bus/car and we might not have any access to a power outlet point to recharge our phones. Therefore, bring a power bank / portable charger while travel in Borneo, so it can give our phone extra juice to last the day.

9) Rubber Shoes or Adidas Kampung for jungle trekking

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Can you see the four yellow-stripes on the shoes, which made it similar to Adidas brand

Although the name itself seems weird to all of us, these shoes are the best when going for trekking expedition in Borneo Jungle. It is made in Malaysia and has been used by generations of locals, especially among rubber tappers and estate workers. Apart from that, rubber shoes or Adidas Kampung are 100% made out of rubber, it is cheap, easy to carry, fully water-resistant and easy to dry, making it even more useful when using it to venture into Borneo Jungle that is constantly wet and humid. Wearing rubber shoes/ Adidas Kampung could provide us a good grip for trekking, its thin soles also give us a good reflexology to the feet especially trekking on a muddy terrain, river crossing or mountain climbing. Therefore, to avoid any unexpected injury, it is best to wear the rubber shoes/ Adidas Kampung for any trekking expedition in Borneo Jungle.

10) Bring a neck pillow or inflatable pillow for Borneo travel

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Sleeping comfortably with neck pillow during flight

Going for a long-haul flight or long bus ride will make us feel uncomfortable in our trip, especially when we are trying to get a good rest throughout the journey. The uncomfortable seats, cramped conditions, unyielding hard armrest, and head banging against the window shade, eventually leads to a restless situation (Not forgetting, a sore and stiff neck) in our trip. Hence, bring a neck pillow or an inflatable pillow. At first, I admit bringing a neck pillow for a trip can be troublesome, because it took some space in my backpack and feeling dorky ( hahaha…!), but it actually helped me a lot to feel comfortable on a long-haul flight. An alternative to neck pillow would be the inflatable pillow, where we can just easily put it inside the backpack when not in use. I can say that neck pillow or inflatable pillow is the perfect travel companion to any travelers. Not only can it make us feel comfortable in our plane flight or bus trip, it can be as our pillow when camping in Borneo, in a hostel dorm that doesn’t have pillows, or airport floor.

11) Ziplock Bags 

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Keep your things dry in ziplock bags

Experience the exotic beach getaway in Borneo can be remarkable fun, but keeping the important things, such as camera, passports, or extra clothes dry would be very hard. Hence, use ziplock bags. It is truly a lifesaver when going for a beach getaway in Borneo. Apart from that, ziplock bags could help us to save an amount of packing space and keeping any liquids from leaking all over to our other belongings. In addition, using ziplock bags to keep your gadgets or miscellaneous items dry is the cheapest way!

12) Check out some of the travel hacks for packing in Buzzfeed

I love watching Buzzfeed especially getting ideas or coolest travel hacks, such as:

  • Roll clothes instead of folding to save space
  • Use dryer sheet in the luggage to keep our smelly clothes smelling fresh
  • Put underwear and socks in shoes to save space
  • Dirty shoes, rather than put in a plastic, wrap it with a shower cap to prevent other stuff in the luggage getting dirty
  • If you’re bringing some accessories such as necklaces, it’s best to wrap it flat with a plastic wrap to avoid it from getting tangled
  • Use a plastic straw to fill shampoo, conditioner, sunblock, and others. Don’t forget to label it!

I hope these travel hacks that I provide will help ease your burden before traveling! Trying to decide whether to backpack in Sabah Borneo? Read our tips for backpacking!

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Best Staycation/ Resorts in Sabah for Luxury Borneo Holidays

Best Staycation/ Resorts in Sabah for Luxury Borneo Holidays

Best Staycation in Sabah for

Luxury Borneo Holidays


October, 2017

Borneo Tour Packages
Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Kiulu Quad Biking 

Sabah Borneo is known for its massive rainforest, a land of biodiversity, and an area where Borneo wildlife is endemic. Apart from that, Sabah Borneo is a place where you can experience cultural delights, unspoiled beaches, and some of the best staycation for Luxury Borneo Holidays. These staycation are perfect for you to spend for a honeymoon, family vacation, or just a weekend getaway from the hustle bustle of the city. Therefore, we have listed few staycation that is best for you in Borneo Luxury Holidays.

1) Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa

Best staycation in Sabah Borneo for BorneoLuxury Holidays
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa

Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa are located about 10 minutes from Sabah Borneo’s capital city, Kota Kinabalu city. A stunning location, which is close to the idyllic beaches, and a perfect spot to see the spectacular sunset view from the Sunset Bar, whilst listening to the live band music. Apart from that, enjoy soaking in the swimming pool, and ride water slides at the swimming pool area that is suitable for adults/children. Not forgetting as well the luxurious private spa, treat yourself to a relaxing spa session using traditional Asian healing treatments. If you are in Kota Kinabalu city, be sure to drop by Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru for a weekend getaway with your loved ones.

Related articles: Raise your to glass to Sunset in Borneo

2) Gaya Island Resort

Best staycation in Sabah Borneo for BorneoLuxury Holidays
Gaya Island Resort

Allow yourself to feel the breeze from the white sandy beaches in Gaya Island (one of the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman) and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Mount Kinabalu on a clear day. Hop on for a fifteen-minute speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu city and you will reach Gaya Island Resort, which is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. There are plenty things you can do in Gaya Island Resort, such as going for a guided jungle walk to experience wonderful nature and if you are lucky, you can spot the long-nosed Proboscis Monkey too! After a tiring jungle walk, Gaya Island Resort also offers a unique Spa experience for your relaxation in Borneo holidays. Moreover, it is also a snorkel haven for snorkelers to see the amazing underwater marine life.

3) Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan

Best staycation in Sabah Borneo for BorneoLuxury Holidays
Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan

One of the comfiest stays in Sandakan, Sabah Borneo, will be Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan. Why is it considered a comfy stay? It offers the luxury and comfortable room to sleep. Nestled within the city area and also a central hub for you to experience the exotic wildlife adventure in Kinabatangan River. Apart from that, staying in Four Points offers you a chance to wake up and witness the Sandakan Bay through the window from your hotel room. One of the highlighted activity in Four Points would be swimming at the pool, where you can just chill with your drink and see the amazing view of Sandakan town. If you are in Sandakan for your Luxury Borneo Holidays, here are some of the things you can do in Sandakan city.

4) Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Best staycation in Sabah Borneo for BorneoLuxury Holidays
Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

One of the best staycation experience in Sabah Borneo is to stay amidst the Borneo Rainforest alongside the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is an amazing staycation for wildlife spotting and jungle trekking. It is located in Abai Village, which is about 40km or about an hour’s boat ride from Sandakan harbor. Being away from the crowded city makes it perfect for nature retreat in your Borneo Holidays. Upon reaching the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, be amaze with the rustic feeling as you see the lodge are all built with local hardwood material, making it more unique and blending in with the natural ambiance. Remember, the mobile network coverage will be very limited there, but you’re there for the wildlife as well as relaxing time with your loved ones! Apart from wildlife river cruises, you can also go for a jungle walk, morning or night walk, to spot more flora and fauna within the area.

5) Mabul Water Bungalows Resort

Best staycation in Sabah Borneo for BorneoLuxury Holidays
Mabul Water Bungalows Resort

Want to get away from the city life? Take a 45-minutes boat trip from Semporna town to reach Mabul Island, which is also about 15-minutes away from the world’s top diving spot – Sipadan Island. Mabul Water Bungalows Resort is a floating dive-resort, meaning you’ll be going to sleep in the chalets or villas that are built over the water! Interesting isn’t? Apart from that, you can also go for unlimited diving activities at the Mabul Island. Imagine yourself waking up to the sound of waves and amazing sea view in the morning, surely you will not want to be missing out on a luxurious holiday at the Mabul Water Bungalows. There’s nothing better after a long day soaking up the sun and diving, you can go for a spa treatment to soothe away the sore muscles and sunburnt skin.

6) Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

Best staycation in Sabah Borneo for BorneoLuxury Holidays
Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

Just a few minutes away from the Sipadan and Mabul Island, lies the luxurious holiday destination at the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort. It was built on sturdy stilts at the shallow sandbank of the Ligitan Reefs. This resort offers the perfect Borneo Luxury Holidays especially for honeymooners, for their romantic and private getaway. Sunbathing is one of the main things to do at the resort while admiring the brilliant blue/turquoise color of the sea water. Moreover, the underwater scenery at the resort is so tempting, surely you will not resist jumping quickly into the water. Although in Sipadan Island offers you a greater chance to see the beautiful array of marine life, you can also dive in the resort area for macro and tiny underwater life.

There are many more luxurious places to visit and stay at around Borneo, if you’re planning to visit one of the places above or others that aren’t mentioned, do let us know, and we’ll plan it for you! You can read also our picks of leisure activities that you can do in Sabah Borneo!

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Make Your Borneo Holiday EPIC with These Awesome Activities in Sabah Borneo

Make Your Borneo Holiday EPIC with These Awesome Activities in Sabah Borneo

Make your Borneo Holiday EPIC

with these awesome activities

in Sabah Borneo


October, 2017

Borneo Tour Packages
Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Kiulu Quad Biking 

Sabah Borneo is known to have a great treasure of nature, Borneo indigenous wildlife, one of the world’s top diving spots, along with diverse cultures, making Sabah Borneo a popular destination for travel. If you are planning to visit “Land Below The Wind” in Borneo Island, as a local myself, here are some awesome activities that I recommend to do in Sabah Borneo, to make sure your Borneo holiday will be epic!

1) Borneo River Cruise

Borneo River Cruise to spot some of the Borneo Wildlife

Break your regular National Geographic wildlife channel session and enjoy river cruise to see Borneo Wildlife in their natural habitat. You can bring your families or friends to experience a unique river cruise while searching for Borneo Wildlife such as Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Crocodiles, Snakes, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, and loads of bird species (eg: Kingfishers and Hornbill). Plus, you can get to enjoy a magical night witnessing the Fireflies as they slowly light up and decorate the mangrove trees (if weather permits).

Interested to learn more? These are some of the best things you’ll see on a Borneo River Cruise.

2) Quad Biking

Experience the exhilarating activity of Quad Biking in Kiulu, Sabah Borneo

Quad Biking, also known as ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) is a must-do outdoor activity during your Borneo excursions. You can unleash your adventurous spirit and be able to enjoy the scenic ride. Before that, you will be given a safety briefing and some practice to get a hang of riding the quad bike. Then, your two-hour adventure begins! This may not be an average trip in your Borneo holidays as you ride on the ATV, see the beautiful countryside and experience the local’s daily lives. In addition, a local guide will point out the type of plants found in the area and share the history of the local living in the area. Learn more on our experience of Quad Biking!

3) White Water Rafting

Face your fear and paddle all the way…

A must for anyone traveling to Sabah Borneo! It’s time to challenge yourself on riding the waves from the rapid whitewater river… Don’t forget to paddle! There are two types of white water rafting you can do in Sabah Borneo, which is Grade 1-2 at Kiulu river and Grad 3-4 at Padas river. Don’t worry, there will be an experienced rafting guide who will be helping you to maneuver during the water raft. Challenge yourself with these exciting, adrenaline pumping, and wild fun rides of water rafting which will leave you wanting more!

4) Cooking Traditional Ethnic Food

Hands-on traditional dishes cooking class in your Borneo Holidays

If you want to learn more about Sabah Borneo culture, the best way to understand the culture is through its own food! Apart from tasting the food in Sabah Borneo, you can also participate in the cooking class for a chance to learn the local’s way of preparing and cooking traditional food in your Borneo holidays. A suitable trip for you to bring your family or friends to join this activity, and experience a unique kind of cultural experience like you never been before. Moreover, you will get to learn more on Borneo culture through conversing with the local family while preparing the dishes, as well as to see some of the exotic vegetables at the local market or “tamu”. Want to know what kind of traditional food that you should try in Sabah Borneo? Then, you should read this articles for your information before visiting Sabah Borneo.

5) Diving

Awesome activities in Sabah Borneo
Dive in to see the beautiful array of marine life in Sabah Borneo

Did you know Sabah Borneo has some of the best diving sites in the world? Most divers from around the globe visit Sabah Borneo to experience the amazing wonders in the underwater world. When you are diving in the waters of Sabah Borneo, be prepared to witness the macro life to pelagic fishes, a chance to capture underwater macro photography in muck dive sites, the coral gardens teeming with rich diversity of corals and fishes, Green and Hawksbill Turtle making its appearance and even a variety of shark species too! Want to make your Borneo holiday more epic? You should enroll yourself to become PADI certified diver which runs at most of Sabah Borneo’s dive resorts, for a chance to witness an awesome array of underwater marine life through the course.

6) Birding

Awesome activities in Sabah Borneo
Sabah Borneo is home to many species of birds, which makes it one of the best places for birding

Borneo is known for its rich tropical rainforests, home to a diversity of flora and fauna. Apart from being home to Borneo’s mammals, there are also several endemic species of birds, which makes Sabah Borneo one of the best places for birding activity. There are various areas in Sabah Borneo that you can go for birding activity, which are Mountain Range ( Eg: Kinabalu National Park), Lowland Forest (Eg: Rainforest Discovery Centre, Danum Valley Conservation Area), and Freshwater (Eg: Kinabatangan River). Birding activity is the safest and most relaxing activity that you can do, as you will not need any lengthy training or complicated equipment. All you need to bring is a good camera and tripod, binoculars, as well as a good field guide that can point out to you the species of Borneo Birds. To make your Borneo Holiday epic, you can check out Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah Borneo, an event where you can experience more on the birding activity.

7) Tandem Paragliding

Awesome activities in Sabah Borneo
Fly “high” with tandem paragliding

Challenge yourself to fly like a bird on a tandem paragliding in Sabah Borneo. Feel the thrill and a sense of freedom, while gliding across the clear blue sky amongst the breathtaking scenery of the Borneo Rainforest. There are two places in Sabah Borneo where you can go for tandem paragliding, which is in Ranau, or Kokol Hill. Fret not, you’ll be in the safe hands of a qualified instructor as they take you on your first flight of soaring high above the sky!

Looking for tips before going for tandem paragliding? You can read here for tips before going for tandem paragliding.

Are you getting excited like we are? Pack your bags now and bring your travel buddies to experience these awesome activities in Sabah Borneo like no other!

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Best Places to Explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part II)

Best Places to Explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part II)

Best places to explore in

Malaysian Borneo (Part II)


October, 2017

Borneo Tour Packages
Long Pasia trekking expedition

zipline and white water rafting adventure

Best places to explore Malaysian Borneo p1

In our previous blog post, we’ve shared with you some of the best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo. Can’t get enough? Don’t worry…For this second part, we will continue to share with you other best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo.

1) Long Pasia, Sabah Borneo

Maga Waterfall in Long Pasia

Adventure in the heart of Sabah Borneo, surrounded by lush rainforest of Borneo, you will enter into a small Lundayeh (one of Sabah Borneo’s minor indigenous tribe) village. Get an insight of the authentic culture and the treasures of nature in Long Pasia jungle. Your visit to Long Pasia will never leave you bored. Long Pasia is rich with plant diversity and historical treasures. You can see there are many cultural sites which include rare burial ground, and ancient burial jars. While enjoying the Long Pasia trekking expedition, you will pass beautiful waterfalls and a hidden lake deep in the forest which holds many of the local stories, beliefs, and legends. There will be a local native guide, together with you trekking into the Borneo jungle and giving the explanation on the endemic plants, history, and information on the flora and fauna that you will encounter.

2) Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP) Islands, Sabah Borneo

Swim and relax in Manukan Island

A visit to the capital city of Sabah Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, is never complete without dropping by to TARP’s group of islands. The marine park consists of Gaya Island, Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Mamutik Island, and Sulug Island. These islands are only a short boat ride away from the Kota Kinabalu city, and it is a popular destination for locals and tourists. There are few resorts and basic accommodations within the marine park, either you can choose to stay in the islands or pop over for a day trip.

Most day-trippers will choose to go Manukan Island and Sapi Island, as both of these islands are most developed and popular among the visitors for diving. There are many activities that you can do in TARP Islands such as island hopping, parasailing, zip coral flyers, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more. If you are looking for more exotic beach island getaway, you can read our top 5 islands in Sabah Borneo, or 6 hidden islands for your exotic beach getaway, and plan your next getaway!

3) Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Sarawak Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part II)
This mature female Orangutan sits quietly while eating her banana. Photo By: Chew Eng O

Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is located about 24km from the capital city of Kuching, Sarawak Borneo, and was established in 1975. In addition, Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is the largest Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sarawak Borneo, which is more than 700 hectares in size and home to Orangutan that are of varying ages. Most significantly, Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre serves the same purpose with Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah Borneo, where Orangutans are rehabilitated at the center and teach them some “habitat survival skills” before releasing them to the wild. This is one of the conservation methods to preserve the dwindling numbers of Orangutans in Sarawak Borneo.

In Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, you can get the chance to see Orangutan up close especially during their feeding times (9 am and 3 pm). If you are lucky, you might encounter the Orangutans emerging from the wild during feeding time or maybe even spot the Orangutans while you are walking in the jungle.

Planning to visit Kuching, Sarawak Borneo? Click here to know places in Kuching city that you can visit by foot.

4) Kudat, Sabah Borneo

Kelampunian Beach, Kudat

Kudat is a town in Sabah Borneo, which is located about 3-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu City. On a map, the state of Sabah Borneo resembles to a dog’s head, and Kudat lies on the northern tip of Sabah Borneo, which forms the left ear of the ”dog”, namely as “Tip Of Borneo” by the locals. Surrounded by beautiful beaches and surf spots, it’s no wonder “Tip Of Borneo” is one of the up and coming attractions for visitors in Kudat.

Kudat area is inhabited mainly by Rungus people (one of Sabah Borneo’s indigenous tribe), which some of them are still living in longhouses. The Rungus people are known for their excellent weaving skills, beadwork, and intricate beadwork for their traditional costume. A visit to Kudat should not be missed out in your travel itinerary because there are a lot of activities and places you can go in Kudat. You can enjoy surfing, beach camping, a visit to Honey Bee farm, experience culture in Kampung Bavanggazo (Rungus Longhouse), a tour to Gong-making village, or just laze around at Kudat beautiful beaches.

5) Batang Ai National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part II)
Experience the authentic feeling of living in the Iban Longhouse

Batang Ai National Park is located in Sri Aman, Sarawak Borneo, which officially opened for public in 1991. It covers 24 square kilometers of vast Borneo Jungle and home to some rare or protected Borneo Wildlife. It is also home for one of the Sarawak Borneo indigenous tribe, the Iban tribe. Batang Ai National Park is a great place for you to experience the authentic Borneo Jungle, a chance to witness Borneo Wildlife (eg: Orangutans, Gibbons, and Hornbills) in their natural habitat, as well as learning about the Iban cultural traditions by participating in the homestay program for your Borneo Holidays.

To reach Batang Ai National Park, you will need to hop on the longboats and cruise by the Batang Ai River to reach your accommodations. There are a few accommodations available within the Batang Ai National Park, which are Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat, Nanga Sumpa Lodge, or simply spend the night in “real” Iban Longhouses.

6) Poring Hot Spring and Nature Reserve, Sabah Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part I)
Poring Canopy Walkway

Poring Hot Spring and Nature Reserve is located about 13 kilometers from Ranau Town and it is part of Kinabalu National Park. Poring Hot Spring and Nature Reserve was first developed by the Japanese during World War II, and it has become one of the top weekend getaway destinations amongst foreigners and locals alike. A must do activity will be soaking in the hot spring that could help to relieve stress and alleviate all the sore and muscle aches after climbing Mount Kinabalu. The hot spring contains high sulphuric minerals that is widely considered to have special healing properties.

In addition, you can challenge yourself by taking a stroll up to the canopy walkway amidst the lush Borneo Jungle. The canopy walkway is over 175 meters long and 41-44 meters in height; higher than an 8-storey building! Be amazed at the exquisite view of the Borneo Jungle surrounding when you are above the canopy. Apart from the hot spring and canopy walkway, you can also visit the butterfly farm, the Poring orchid conservation center, the tropical garden and Rafflesia flower blooming sites.

If you want to know more places of interest in Ranau or Sabah Borneo, click “Don’t miss this when you’re in Ranau” to know more interesting places to go when you visit Ranau, Sabah Borneo.

7) Kiulu, Sabah Borneo

Moderate adventurous (grade 1-2) in Kiulu Water Rafting. Photo by : dannychan_sg

Kiulu is a small valley that is located in the District of Tuaran, and it is about 1-hour 30-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu city. Agriculture is the main source of living for the local communities within Kiulu. There is much agriculture such as rubber plantations, fruit orchards, paddy fields (rice), and vegetable farms. Take some time to visit Kiulu in your Borneo Holidays to experience the living culture of the locals there.

The area has other activities such as water rafting that is suitable for beginners (grade is between 1 to 2) at the Kiulu River. After that, you can also enjoy the Zip Borneo Adventure Centre which offers several thrilling activities on sites, such as Zip Line, Wall Climbing, High Rope Challenges, and Abseiling. Moreover, you can also go for the thrilling experience of Quad Biking in Kiulu, where you can witness the scenic view of Kiulu villages, river, paddy fields, and more.

8) Ba’kelalan Mount Murud, Sarawak Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part II)
Misty morning view at the Ba’Kelalan village

Ba’kelalan is a small village located on a hillside with an altitude of 1,500 feet above sea level and 4 km from the border of Kalimantan, Indonesia, as well as about 150 km from the nearest town of Lawas. Ba’Kelalan is home to the Lun Bawang tribe (one of the indigenous group of Sarawak Borneo). In addition, Ba’kelalan is known for being the origin of wet paddy farming before it was extended to Bario, Long Semadoh, and other areas on Borneo Island. The unique rice is popularly known as “Bario Rice” which can be found only in Kelabit Highlands. In Ba’kelalan, you can experience the lifestyle of Lun Bawang community with Homestay program, jungle trekking to reach salt spring, and exploring the surrounding area by visiting rice fields, apple farms, as well as the organic research farm.

Most travelers will go to Ba’kelalan as a starting point to climb up the highest mountain in Sarawak Borneo, Mount Murud, which is about 2,423 meters above sea level. It is a serious expedition hence, you will need to hire a guide or porter in Ba’kelalan in order for you to safely reach the summit. Many locals regard Mount Murud as a sacred location especially for the Christians so any alcoholic drinks and smoking is prohibited.

If you are up for the challenge to climb Mount Murud, be sure to spot some of the unique Borneo plants that you can see while trekking, such as Pitcher Plant species (Nepenthes Murudensis) and wild orchids.

Looking at all the best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo, are you ready to plan for your Borneo holidays? If your answer is YES, here how you can visit Borneo and at the same time saving your travel money too!

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How to Avoid Borneo Leeches while Jungle trekking

How to Avoid Borneo Leeches while Jungle trekking

How to Avoid Borneo Leeches while

Jungle Trekking


October, 2017

Borneo Tour Packages

Venture into one of the oldest rainforests in the world, estimated to be around 140 million years old, Borneo Rainforest is the place that every traveler should go for trekking at least once in their life. Click here to see Borneo Map, to know where is Borneo situated. Jungle trekking activity through Borneo wilderness will truly capture any traveler’s’ imagination. However, there is one insect that could scare the life out of some traveler, which is the Borneo leech. This tiny wiggly worm is waiting to crawl onto your naked skin for a feast! (Yikes..!)

Therefore, here are some tips for travelers, especially for avid jungle trekkers, on how to avoid leeches while trekking in Borneo Rainforest.

Before that, what is Borneo Leech?

Borneo Leech is a parasite that sucks blood and lives in mostly damp areas, such as streams and rainforests. It is a type of segmented worm, which has many similarities to the common earthworm from the backyard garden. There are two main types of Borneo Leeches, which are Tiger Leech and Brown Leech. Brown Leech is small and usually at the ground level with any wet leaves litter, while Tiger Leech is bigger than Brown Leech and it usually can be found from the ground to any bushes that are about human’s waist level. Fortunately, Borneo Leeches are less dangerous as they do not carry any diseases. Borneo Leech typically sucks the blood of their host till their full and fall off from its victim. However, different individual’s body will react differently causing itchiness and inflammation, causing the leech wound to heal in a period of a week or less.

But that shouldn’t stop any travelers from trekking in Borneo Rainforest. After all, to know a thing or two about Borneo Leech and how to avoid it can be a new experience to any traveler. They also make for a great story to tell after having the experience to encounter Borneo Leeches while trekking.

How to avoid Borneo Leeches and protect yourself?

There are many ways that travellers can do in order to avoid Borneo Leeches. When a Borneo Leech is attached to one’s body, it is recommended not to pull, pluck or squeeze the leech out, as some parts of its mouth might remain under your skin and leave a slow healing granuloma or lump. Best to just leave the Borneo Leech to fall out off on itself once full, but to others, they find it is slightly nasty. Hence, these tips are useful for travelers before planning for trekking in Borneo Rainforest.

Get yourself a pair of anti-leech socks

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Anti Leech Socks. Photo by: Lonely Planet

Travellers can wear the anti-leech socks just like any ordinary socks. Simply just tie it below the knee, to prevent leeches from getting into the toes or feet. Anti-leech socks have become a standard outfit for Borneo trekking activity. 

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Football Socks can be an alternative to anti-leech Socks. Photo by: Shaun Davies

*Note: Wearing long football socks as an alternative to anti-leech socks, which can also use to prevent from leeches latching on the skin. It is readily available and cheap, as well as tight weaving makes it hard for leeches to get in.

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
This is how you should wear to avoid from Leeches coming to the skin

Wear long pants and shirts

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Wearing long pants and shirts for jungle trekking. Photo by: Aris Yanto

Travelers should cover themselves by wearing long pants and shirts while trekking in Borneo Rainforest. Tuck the shirts into the pants, and squeeze the pants into the anti-leech socks/ football socks. This will keep any travelers free from the leeches during Borneo Trekking activity.

Bring a small bag of raw tobacco leaves and cigarette along

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Bring along tobacco leaves or cigarette when you enter Borneo Rainforest.

Travelers can find the tobacco leaves in any local market in Borneo. Simply just soak the leaves inside the water and transfer it into a small bottle to carry around. Then, spray it onto your clothes and pants. The smell of the tobacco could slow down the Borneo Leeches from getting into the skin and eventually can kill the leeches.

*Note: If the leech bites, use cigarette ash and put directly on the leech which would kill it immediately.

Bring salt or vinegar

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Bring along tobacco leaves or cigarette when you enter Borneo Rainforest.

Yes, salt or vinegar! Although it is for cooking purposes, both of it also helps any travelers to prevent from a leech attack. Just sprinkle directly over the leeches and it can kill it almost immediately. In addition, rubbing the vinegar all over limbs, thighs, and soles of the feet, could help to avoid from Borneo Leeches latching unto the skin.

Spray insect repellent onto your clothes and shoes before trekking

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Mosi-guard insect repellent can also repel leeches.

Look for an insect repellent (with eucalyptus extract) which is available in most local pharmacy or drugstore in Borneo and spray it to the shoes and socks. The smell of the insect repellent has a very peculiar smell, which makes the leeches not attach themselves to whoever uses said insect repellent.

Drink Alcohol

How to avoid Borneo Leeches while jungle trekking
Drinking alcohol best to get rid of leech

If any travelers spot a Borneo leech feeding on them, then this might be a good time to have a can of beer to drink. Drinking alcohol is the best way to get rid of a leech or putting on alcohol-based sanitizer works well too!

Borneo Leeches, in general, are less deadly, they can just leave you to bleed for a while and leave you with some itch. We hope these tips will help many travelers to be ready and deal with the leech problems before trekking into Borneo Rainforest. Read here for our tips on how to save some money while backpacking to Borneo.

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