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Holidays to Borneo

Borneo is the epitome of rural life. All things urban are left behind when you travel to this country that is adorned with lush jungle, scenic rivers, and vibrant villages. Mountain vistas and hot springs provide the perfect home setting for the infamous indigenous orang-utans and the friendly native people. If that wasn't enough, smouldering volcanoes and glistening beaches also form part of the stunning make-up of this diverse island.

Malaysian Borneo fractures into the two states of Sarawak and Sabah, and the sovereign state of Brunei lies in-between. Known primarily for its vast rainforests and stunning array of wildlife, much of which is endangered, Borneo is the ideal destination for lovers of nature and adventure. Straddling the equator, Borneo is the third biggest island in the world. The island boasts tribal cultures and is home to over half of all animal and plant species known to man; thousands of unique flower species also call Borneo their home. In addition to the orang-utans, the Borneo pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino are also native to this land.

The diversity of the religion and culture of Borneo means that, especially in the Muslim north, women are expected to dress respectfully, covering shoulders and legs. The warm climate dictates baggy clothes; loose trousers and oversized shirts are ideal attire to explore this magical country. Hawker markets offer the chance to sample numerous dishes from a variety of different food stalls that align the perimeters of central eating areas. It’s a fantastic way to really embrace the eating culture and engage with the local people, as everyone comes together to dine.

Borneo is one of South-East Asia's few summer destinations as the ideal time to travel is between March and October. The climate is relatively unpredictable, as is typical for much of this part of the continent, so rainfall can be expected at any time. By their very nature, rainforests are continually hot and humid but have a wet climate.

Many visitors to Borneo insist that any trip to the country must include a trek through the mountains and rainforests. Kalimantan, the Indonesian (and largest) part of Borneo, is another must-see region as this is where the orang-utans can be seen. The jewel-like tiny island of Lankayan lies north-east of Borneo and is where many people come to experience a dive in the crystal clear waters. Lankayan is also home to sea turtles, and visitors flock in their hundreds to witness the reptiles nesting and foraging. The green and hawksbill turtle are the most common to be seen here, and during June and September, baby turtles will hatch here.

The majority of visits to Borneo start in the south at Kuching, the coastal capital of Sarawak, which has a charming attractive waterfront and pristine jungle. There is a plethora of national parks to explore nearby, while further inland, Batang Ai is known for its indigenous tribes. Gunung Mulu is the region's largest national park and lies further north; it is noted for its diverse eco-systems including peat-swamp and limestone terrain.


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