A diverse culture, rare wildlife, and impenetrable rainforests make Malaysian states such as Sarawak and Sabah in Borneo the ideal destination for nature and adventure lovers in your Borneo Dream holiday .
1 Climb Malaysia’s Very First UNESCO World Heritage Site
Standing 4.095m, above sea level, the majestic Mount Kinabalu is located between New Guinea and the Himalayas. It is also among the more accessible mountains that include the highest Via Ferrata at 3776m above sea level, and well-maintained paths. Regardless of which route you decide on, keep your eyes up while climbing any of these paths. This mountain is well-known as a botanists’ jungle-clad Mecca. There are more than 5,000 plant species, including 1,200 orchid varieties, and carpets of the biggest mosses that you will ever find.
2 Swim With The Turtles In Sipadan
Imagine wading knee-deep into sandy seabeds where you can take in the magnificent sight of big hawksbill turtles. These are the types of encounters you can expect under the clear crystal waters just off Borneo’s Sipadan Island.
This stunning island is just under 40 acres and covered in a breathtaking forest, but it will be the amazing sea life that steals the show. This includes much more than just the turtles. On the eastern side of Sipadan, you will find a shallow reef plateau where you can swim with brilliant-yellow snappers and curious batfish. Glide gently over the black corals and take in sights of groupers, along with up-close sights of the turtles at West Ridge. With over 3,000 fish species, there is no shortage of amazing sights to see.
3 Take A Trip Upriver
The powerful Kinabatangan River acts as the pathway into a tangled and intricate interior of Borneo. This is where you will find traditional tribesmen, Proboscis monkeys, and pygmy elephants, just like the story told in a Boy’s Own adventure. The best way to see the smallest elephant in Asia, along with the other stunning wildlife in Borneo is to schedule one of the river tours. These tours cruise the Kinabatangan where you can watch the crocodile, monitor lizards, and even a few orangutans along the river bank. Turn your sights skywards to watch for kingfishers and hornbills.
4 Enjoy The Spicy Cuisine
The Borneo staples are locally-grown vegetables, noodles, and rice. This also explains the island’s traditional dish, of pot soup prepared in clay pots. Whether it squid or prawns, vegetables, or tofu, these noodle-based broths are sure to satisfy. If you would like something spicier, we suggest trying the Hinava. This is a very common dish in Sabah, prepared with a filleted mackerel topped with bambangan seed, ginger, lime, and chilli.
5 Attend The Annual Rainforest World Music Festival
In the depths of the Borneo rainforest, you will find the Sarawak Cultural Village that has preserved the culture and life of Borneo’s local tribes. This site is the home to the Rainforest World Musical Festival, which is a 3-day event that attracts up to 24,000 people every year.
Running since 1998, this festival attracts performers from across the globe where they perform on stage alongside indigenous and local musicians. This site allows visitors to experience the way of the locals first-hand. You will also learn about the different tribes’ dances, music, and customs, along with the traditional long-houses along the bottom of Mount Santubong. During the day you can attend educational workshops and when the sun goes down there are many live performances to enjoy. There are also lots of drink and food stands available along with a chance to browse an arts and craft area where you will find fantastic souvenirs and gifts.