November, 2017

Borneo Tour Packages
Borneo Wildlife Adventure Tour

Borneo Wildlife Tour

At 5am, I woke up and realized in another few more hours, I will be without any source of communication with the outside world. I couldn’t think of another great way of getting a digital detox and at the same time, getting my fix with nature. Score!

I started my way with my trusted driver, Arman, to Telupid from Penampang at 6 am. Since it was a weekday, traffic was already building up and it took us nearly two hours to reach Tuaran where we stopped by for breakfast for the famous Mee Tuaran (Tuaran Noodle). It was absolutely delicious, especially when I already had it in my head that I was going to “roughen it up” in the forest for a couple of days.

We sped through Kinabalu area, it was quite chilly, but fortunately for us, it wasn’t foggy. Mount Kinabalu was awake and smiling at me, wishing me well on my wildlife expedition. I was happy (or probably senile for thinking a mountain can smile and wishing me well). As hours went by, I finally reached Telupid area at around 1 pm, thanks to Arman. I had my last meal (kidding!), at one of the cafes there and waited till 2 pm, where I would be transferred into Deramakot Forest Reserve. I was quite lucky to travel with 3 more travelers, all from the United Kingdom, and all girls. So it was like a girls trip for me (only I didn’t know any of them).

Deramakot , Borneo Wildlife Adventure
Welcomes you with the fresh air of nature in Deramakot

Seeing the fact that I knew a bit about Deramakot, and the driver who brought us into Deramakot was shy, I started talking to the other travelers about Deramakot and other places of interest in Sabah. Deramakot is the longest certified tropical rainforest in the world, since 1997 till today. Deramakot Forest Reserve is over 55,000 hectare, where 90% of the land is set aside for logging production, and the remainder is for conservation as well as community forestry.

What amazed me about Sabah Forest Department is their objective to lessen commercialized logging production, and they have made Deramakot as their “golden child” for this main project. Deramakot Forest Reserve practices Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) which is a collection of techniques combined together to minimize damage to potential crop trees, regeneration and soil to maintain its production capacity, as well as to protect the environment, as quoted from Sabah Forestry Department.

Gravel road before reaching Deramakot
Deramakot lodging area
A basic lodgings for visitors
My place to sleep for my adventure here in Deramakot

As we drove further in from Telupid, we passed by two massive Oil Palm Plantations. After a forty minute drive in, we were finally at the border of Deramakot Forest Reserve, it took us another one hour thirty minutes to reach the base where the Forestry Department had build several lodgings which were quite comfortable I might say. I was actually looking forward to roughing it up by building my night stays out of sticks and leaves, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

I got cosy in my room, which was equipped with water heater, a nice bathroom and washroom, an aircond, a closet with mirrors, and clean sheets. I was like hey, I feel like i’m living like a King here, because days before my trip, I was amping myself up that I was going to be camping in the wilderness, having wild animals come up to my tent, and sniffing out food (probability of me being food was there too!). The whole chalet had three rooms, and living room which you will have the privilege of sharing it with other guests. There were a few chalets scattered around the base, which definitely gives that privacy and feeling that you are in the middle of the jungle (especially at night when walking back to your room).

It was magnificent. The air while the vehicle cruise down the dirt road was cool and refreshing. There weren’t much animal sounds that can be heard during the night, but I was enjoying how our Guide, Mike, was spotting for animals through his “hawk eyes”. It was quite hard to keep up with him, after a few minutes following his spotlight hit each tree trunk along the way, I got dizzy, so I sat back and tried my best to hear for animal sounds instead. I did encounter a few “bug related incidents”, but not as bad as one guest who got her lip stung by a wasp.

Malay Palm Civet. Photo by: Mike
Tarsier. Photo by: Mike
Island Palm Civet. Photo by: Mike
Black Flying Squirel. Photo by: Mike

The first night’s highlight for me was when I saw the Flying Fox; the largest bat in the world! I was amazed by it because of its size. It has a wingspan of up to 1.5 meters, that’s huge people! I wasn’t sure how big was the one I saw, but it seemed quite big from where I was which was about 30 – 35 meters away. I also saw a few Malay, Island Palm, and Small Tooth Palm Civet. The most enthralling one for me would be the Malay Civet (also known as Malayan Civet). They’ve got black spots covering their body and black stripes around their neck and tail. It was a beautiful sight, I nearly mistook it to be the endangered Sundaland Clouded Leopard (one can only dream right?).

Sambar Deer grazing in the middle of night

I also saw a few exciting animals such as the Sambar Deer grazing the tall grasses, Dark Eared Frog, Black and Red Flying Squirrel, and Slow Loris. Towards the end of the Safari, we had a short walk further up to look at frogs. The frogs were mating (only reason why people will walk on a really muddy dirt road filled with carnivorous insects [okay, none when we were doing our walks]) on top of trees! I’ve never heard of such a thing, but apparently they mate on top of trees so when the rain comes, the frogspawn will slowly fall from leaf to leaf, reaching closer to the ground. So by the time it reaches the ground, the frogspawn is ready to hatch into tadpoles! Oh how beautiful Mother Nature is.

This is my ride! (kidding!)
Mike, our guide taking picture of Borneo Wildlife
4WD vehicle to go for wildlife sightings
Encounter this rare insects

We woke up early the next day to try our luck at finding more wildlife. We were greeted by very enthralling sounds of birds singing, and Gibbons greeting each other from afar. The sun was rising slowly from a distance and bursting high in the sky in between the old dipterocarp forest. As we rode deeper into the forest, we saw an Orang Utan! It was basically going from tree to tree in search of food. It amazes me at how serene these animals look and how they jive with other animals living in their habitat, yet, being the most intelligent species on planet Earth, we snatch this away from them and banish them from their natural habitat, slowly endangering them into extinction. How reckless and cruel can we be? Very, I should say.

My favorite bird that we came across was Rhinoceros and Wreathed Hornbill. The Rhinoceros Hornbill had a very striking bill and casque, which was red and orange in color. It has white legs and white tail with a black band across its tails. Its whole body is predominantly black in color. The Wreathed Hornbill, however, got its name from the wrinkled band formed at the base of its bill, each hornbill are able to have more than one band in a year. Distinct way to identify male or female is through the pouch below its bill; yellow for male and blue for female. All hornbills are categorized as ‘threatened’ due to major habitat loss.

Mike, our guide taking picture of Borneo Wildlife

We came across a very old and unused logging road and drove through it. The forest was denser here compared to the road we were at before. Before we know it, we were greeted by thick vegetations from both sides of the vehicle. We had to keep ducking in order not to get hit by some of the plants which were quite heavy in thorns! One was lucky enough to attach itself to my backpack which I clung on to very strongly, to the point where it was already outside of the vehicle’s vicinity! I laughed when it happened, but in my heart, I was also thinking that maybe this was Mother Nature’s way of telling us to leave them be. My bag got torn up of course, and I was cursing inside after that. Apparently, a guest had it attached close to his eyelid once; he bled profusely. Thank goodness my bag couldn’t bleed!

We also came across loads of elephant poop within this less-traveled-road. I was getting my hopes up of meeting a herd of them whilst being in the thick dense forest, but a part of me was also afraid. What if the elephants went on a rampage? What if we couldn’t turn the vehicle on time? The road was already quite narrow, and a probability of being stomped by an elephant was 50-50 if we were to encounter some angry ones along the way. Thank goodness for us all, the elephants only left their poop behind without having so much said hello” to us. Once the vegetation grew too thick for the vehicle to go through, Mike, our guide, decided to have the vehicle turn back to base camp. I was quite stoked of the idea trekking into the jungle, but the rest of the guests weren’t as much. So having to respect everyone’s decision, we made a turn back.

On the way out, after being hit several times by overgrown wild ginger and other plants (forgive me, my knowledge on plants aren’t much), one of the guest had a very weird looking liquid (I’m being nice here) from the top of her head, all the way towards her back. We were laughing of course, and we were about to gag as well after closer inspection, it really looked like vomit (imagine vomiting after having too much to drink on an empty stomach), but it was also quite starchy when touched. It was foamy, yellow to brown in colour, and had some white remnants in it. It was quite hard not to laugh and gag at the same time. After she had herself cleaned up (thanks to her amazing friends), Mike told us it was frog eggs, thousands of ‘em! Everyone literally got a bit of a “gift” that morning stuck to them in unimaginable places.

Fancy for a wildlife adventure in Sabah Borneo? Check out the video below:

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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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Best Places to Explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part I)

Best Places to Explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part I)

Best places to explore in

Malaysian Borneo (Part I)


October, 2017
Borneo Tour Packages
  • Mount Kinabalu Cimbing Package
  • Mulu Showcase Tour
  • Bako National Park
  • Iban Longhouse Tour

It’s a big world out there – so big that it can be daunting to decide which destination in Malaysian Borneo to visit for your Borneo holidays. From natural wonders to man-made masterpieces, from Borneo wildlife to cityscapes, the choices are endless. Don’t let indecision get you down, or worse, delay the planning of your next trip. Don’t worry, we’re going to save you from this misery as we provide you the best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo. You are free to pick one, or pick them all, it’s your choice!

1) Mount Kinabalu, Sabah Borneo

Mount Kinabalu

Standing majestically at 4,095 Meters, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, which in turn attracts trekkers from around the world to climb the summit. The climb to the summit is not technically difficult but it is long and steep, so you may need to build some post climb recovery time into your trip. Mount Kinabalu is the centerpiece of Kinabalu National Park, which was established in 1964, and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. If you are not planning to climb Mount Kinabalu, you can go for easily navigated trails around the Kinabalu National Park, while getting the chance to experience a diverse array of flora and fauna species. Up until today, Mount Kinabalu become one of the many reasons travelers visit Malaysian Borneo.

Want to know more about Mount Kinabalu? Click here to know the Legends of Mount Kinabalu.

2) Sipadan Island, Sabah Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part I)
Swimming with turtle in Sipadan Island

Discover an underwater paradise off of Sipadan Island, the only oceanic island in Malaysia, becoming a legendary destination amongst divers and known for being one of the world’s best diving spots. Sipadan island is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the center of one of the richest marine habitat in the world. Hence, Sipadan island fulfills every divers’ imagination and dream, for being rich in various marine life species. Apart from that, Sipadan Island is also well known for Green and Hawksbill sea turtles gather there to mate and nest. There is a total of 12 dive sites in Sipadan, but the most recommended dive sites would be Turtle Cavern, Barracuda Point, South Point, and Hanging Gardens.

3) Mulu National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Mulu Pinnacles

Mulu National Park is in Miri Division of Sarawak Borneo, and it is the largest national park in Sarawak Borneo. Mulu National Park was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in November 2000, for its high biodiversity, cave and karst formations. Mulu National Park dominated by Mulu Mountain (second highest mountain in Sarawak Borneo), with its height about a 2,377m-high of sandstone pinnacles. Moreover, Mulu National Park also famous for its largest natural chamber (the Sarawak Chamber) and its four main attractions of show caves (Wind, Clearwater, Deer and Langs Cave). The main attraction will be to witness the bat exodus from the viewing station, going for rainforest canopy skywalk, caving adventures, climbing up the Mulu summit, trekking into the Pinnacles trails and going through the historic Headhunter’s Trail through the Borneo Jungle.

4) Bako National Park, Sarawak Borneo

Bako National Park

Established in 1957, this coastal national park is easily accessible by boat from the capital city of Kuching. Bako National Park is the oldest and smallest in Sarawak Borneo, but home to diverse range of Borneo wildlife, which includes about 150 species of birds and the rare Proboscis Monkey (also known as Long Nose Monkey). This park has about 16 Borneo Jungle trails that offer hikers an interesting walk ranging from a short stroll to full-day hikes. Bako National Park offers a high chance to spot some of the Borneo wildlife, such as the Proboscis Monkey, Long-Tailed Macaque Monkey, Silver-Leaf Monkey, Wild Boar, Squirrel, and Monitor Lizard.

5) Kinabatangan River, Sabah Borneo

Spot Borneo Pygmy Elephants in Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah Borneo and second longest in Malaysia, stretching over 560 km from the Crocker Range, to its mangrove swamp estuary, into the Sulu Sea on the East coast of Sabah. Going through Kinabatangan River by small boat offers a unique and rich experience, as well as the high concentration of spotting Borneo wildlife, is remarkable. You may encounter a lot of Borneo wildlife there, which include Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey, Snakes, Crocodiles and many Borneo bird species, such as a variety of Kingfisher and Hornbill.

6) Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part I)
Maliau Basin’s famous 7-tier waterfall

If you are more into nature and off-the-beaten destination, Maliau Basin is the one for you! Get into the “Lost world of Sabah”, which is Borneo’s last untouched wilderness. It is situated in a remote southern area of Sabah Borneo and was recorded the first human entry as recent as the early 1980s. Eventually, Maliau Basin is protected by the government and designated as a Class One Protected Forest Reserve, where there are still many unexplored places in this pristine Borneo Jungle. This is perfect for jungle trekking and birding activities into this pristine Borneo Jungle, especially trekking up to the awe-inspiring 7-tier waterfalls. Bliss!

7) Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah Borneo

Best places to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part I)
Orangutan in their natural habitat

Take the opportunity to go to Sandakan, Sabah Borneo, to see the “man of the forest”, which is Orangutan in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Set within protected Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve that covers an area of 4,294 acres of Borneo Jungle, this centre welcomes orphaned and captive orangutans, provide them medical and nutritional support, as well as teaching them survival skills with the hope to release the Orangutan to the wild. In addition, the center also aims to educate visitors and locals on the importance of rehabilitation as well as protecting the Orangutan species before it becomes extinct. You can witness Orangutan in their natural habitat through the viewing platform during the feeding times. Apart from that, you can also see the playful Orangutan toddlers from the indoor nursery viewing area which has been opened to the public in October 2014.

8) Iban Longhouse, Sarawak Borneo

Inside verandah of the Iban Longhouse

A unique experience for your Borneo holidays, where you can learn the culture of Sarawak Borneo indigenous group (Iban people), and stay with them at the longhouse. A better option is to visit the Iban longhouse farther from the city, to get more authentic experience that you will enjoy. In addition, get the chance to ride on a longboat to reach the longhouse, and you will get a glimpse of luscious landscape of Borneo Jungle. Enjoy a chance to interact with the Iban people on their culture and listen to their story about their ancestor once prided as headhunters. The best part of staying in an Iban Longhouse is you’ll get a chance to sample authentic local food, watch and learn the traditional dance, as well as shooting a blowpipe gun too!

After reading this, are you excited to plan your holiday destination to explore Malaysian Borneo? What are you waiting for? Book your next adventure and plan your visit to see these best places in Malaysian Borneo. Stay tuned for our next blog post on best places for you to explore in Malaysian Borneo (Part II).

Related articles: Backpacking to Sabah Borneo? Here’s how to saves your money…

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5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations in Sabah Borneo

5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations in Sabah Borneo

5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations in Borneo

October, 2017
Our Related Tour Packagest

Long Pasia trekking expedition

Lupa Masa Jungle Trekking

Borneo Wildlife Adventure Tour

Travel to Unknown Places and Discover Unknown Passions.
– Anonymous

Traveling to unknown destinations is like stepping into a whole new world of foreign cultures and experiences. While it is fun to visit the world’s famous cities and landmarks, travel should also be about you discovering the unknown and unheard of. So… Where is Borneo?

Borneo is not a country, it is the third largest island in the world behind New Guinea and Greenland. Borneo Island consists of three different countries – Brunei, Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak), and Indonesia. Dominated by the oldest Rainforest Jungle, in which, according to WJEC GCSE Geography, stated that Borneo Jungle is thought to be around 140 million years old. From the unspoiled sandy beaches to the abundance of natural wonders, Borneo Island is truly ready to blow your socks off with its amazing tropical adventures.

Still wondering where Borneo island is? Click here to see the Borneo Map!?

Instead of going to the usual overrated tourist attraction, why not go someplace less traveled for your Borneo trip? Here, we’ve got you covered with a list of off-the-beaten-path destination in Sabah Borneo and should be put on your travel bucket list in Borneo.!?

Long Pasia

The lush rainforest in Long Pasia Trekking Expedition.

A trip to Long Pasia will guarantee you an exotic experience with its treasure of some of Borneo’s beautiful jungle. Unknown to many travelers, Long Pasia is overflowing with historical heritage and nature in the heart of Borneo. Long Pasia is a place for you to immerse yourself into the authentic life of one of Sabah Borneo’s indigenous tribe – Lundayeh tribe. Lundayeh tribe (also known as Lun Bawang) is known to be natural agriculturalists in Borneo. The love and care they have for Mother Nature still lives strong in their hearts. Long Pasia is located in the south-western part of Sabah, adjacent to the border of Sarawak and Kalimantan. It’s a challenging journey to reach the villages, but you will be rewarded with lush green Borneo Jungle, untouched rivers, waterfalls, caves, and more.

Are you an avid trekker? Then, Long Pasia is the one for you to experience in your Borneo trip! Do you want to know more alternative trekking in Borneo? Check out our other blog post on “Top 5 Alternatives for trekking in Borneo”.

Melangkap Campsite

Off-the-beaten-path destinations in Sabah Borneo
Mount Kinabalu Morning view from the Mealngkap Viewsite

Here’s one place that is unknown to many travelers. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, recreational, and camping outdoors with your family/friends or travel buddies, head out to Melangkap Campsite. Melangkap Campsite is located in Kota Belud, Sabah Borneo, about one and half hours drive time from Kota Kinabalu city. Melangkap Campsite is also near to the Mount Kinabalu’s “Low’s Gully” outlet, which is a hidden nature paradise to travelers. Crystal cool water from Mount Kinabalu flowing down to Melangkap campsite area, making Melangkap Campsite a popular holiday destination for locals.

Apart from camping, you can also go for a swim in the cool water, riverside dining/barbeque, enjoy the sunrise/sunset, stargazing at night, and be amazed by the picturesque Mount Kinabalu view! This place is perfect for those who are seeking tranquility away from the busy life in the city due to its relaxing and peaceful ambiance. Don’t forget to enjoy the moments and capture some pictures for your Instagram!

Looking for more places in Sabah Borneo that are Insta-worthy? Read here where you can make your Instagram followers amaze by the beauty of Sabah Borneo!

Batu Punggul

Off-the-beaten-path destinations in Sabah Borneo
Borneo jungle view from the top of Batu Punggul

Venture into the remote Sapulot region, hidden within the Borneo Jungle and home to one of Sabah’s indigenous tribe, which is the Murut tribe. Murut tribe are known as the last ethnic group in Sabah Borneo to renounce headhunting, which is similar with that of Iban tribes in Sarawak Borneo. Batu Punggul is a massive limestone, soaring 200 meters above Sungai Sapulot (Sapulot River), surrounded by a jungle of cave structures, being fairly near to the Kalimantan border. A trekking expedition into the Borneo Jungle to reach Batu Punggul offers you a chance to look back on an ancient way of life, a rustic place which still has no phone or internet network coverage available when you are there.

The local Murut villagers believed there were old spirits residing in Batu Punggul and considered sacred to them. If you are interested to climb up the limestone, don’t forget to seek permission with the Murut tribes living in Tataluan Village, in a way to show respect on their culture and beliefs.

Before reaching the Batu Punggul, you will go on a boat ride excursion and witness the lush green of Borneo jungle. Scaling about 800-ft limestone pinnacles, you will get the chance to explore Borneo cave at the foot of the mountain before climbing up Batu Punggul. This cave is unlike Deer Cave in Sarawak Borneo, you can walk straight into it without climbing up and down. Nonetheless, another real challenge of the area would be to climb up the limestone pinnacles, Batu Punggul. It is truly a mind-blowing experience for if you manage to conquer the Batu Punggul, and a chance to immerse yourself to the spectacular view of Borneo jungle canopy below!

Berhala Island

Off-the-beaten-path destinations in Sabah Borneo
Borneo jungle view from the top of Batu Punggul

If you missed the chance to climb Batu Punggul, you can also go for rock climbing at Berhala Island, which has the same medium intensity level as climbing Batu Punggul. Berhala Island is a small forested island located in Sandakan, Sabah Borneo, which is approximately about 5 hectares in size. This place is not known to many travelers, but Berhala Island has a history to share. Berhala Island was a quarantine station for laborers from China and Philippines, as well as being shelter to the leper colony, afterward becoming a prison camp during the World War II.

The most striking features of Berhala Island would be the dramatic sandstone cliffs that drop straight into the ocean. Rock climbing activity is one of the fun things to do on the island. Apart from that, you can challenge yourself for some hiking and be amazed by the magnificent view from the top of Berhala Island. If you are not the adrenaline junkie type, check out the water village and learn how the local villagers go on with their daily lives.

Seeking for more hidden gems in Sabah Borneo? Why not check out our blog entry on “Hidden Gems in Sabah Borneo”? Hope it can inspire you to travel to Sabah Borneo in the near future!

Deramakot Forest Reserve

Borneo jungle view in Deramakot Forest Reserve

Coming to Sabah Borneo, is home to some of the world’s most fascinating Borneo Wildlife, such as Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, and more. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, Deramakot Forest Reserve is the place that you should go. A place that is unknown to many travelers and a hidden gem in Sabah Borneo, Deramakot Forest Reserve has about 70% of Borneo’s wildlife and known as one of the best Sabah Borneo wildlife destination. 4-wheel drive is the only vehicle that is accessible for your journey into the Deramakot Forest Reserve, due to its bumpy gravel tracks.

Upon arriving at the base camp site of Deramakot, take the opportunity to spot some of Borneo wildlife by going for morning safari walk around the base station or hop on the Safari vehicle for a night safari. Deramakot is also a perfect spot for wildlife photography. A visit to this destination will never disappoint you, especially when you are a wildlife enthusiast!

Seeking for more hidden gems in Sabah Borneo? Keen to extend know more nocturnal Borneo Wildlife? Read our other blog post on Mammals of Borneo: Kinabalu National Park.

After reading this, does it trigger you to plan your next holiday destination to Sabah Borneo? Then, put Sabah Borneo now into your travel bucket list and get ready to experience Borneo first-hand! Want to know how Backpacking to Sabah Borneo can save your money? Click here to read.

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