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5 Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations in Borneo

October, 2017
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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

Off-the-beaten-path destinations in Sabah Borneo
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

Off-the-beaten-path destinations in Sabah Borneo
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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