The Things You Absolutely Must Do While In Borneo
If you have booked a holiday to Borneo, here are a few ideas of some activities that you can do in Borneo.
1. Visit Sipadan Island And Go Swimming With The Turtles
The Sipadan islands are known for their huge hawksbill turtles and you can actually swim with them! It is possible to get within an arm’s length of these majestic creatures as they are fully visible in the clear waters.
This island is quite small and is no larger than about 40 acres. It is covered in forest but the marine animals are the true treasure. In addition to viewing the turtles, you can also go further into the reef plateau on the eastern end of Sipadan. There, you will see lots of amazing fishes such as batfish, yellow snappers, groupers etc. There are actually over 3,000 different species of fish in this area, so there will literally be so many things to look at and enjoy.
2. Check Out And Climb Their UNESCO World Heritage Site
If you enjoy hiking, then you may want to consider checking out the Unesco world heritage site, Mount Kinabalu. This mountain is located between new Guinea and the Himalayas. This particular mountain path is maintained and extremely accessible. Also, it is actually 3776 metres above sea level which makes it the highest point on earth via ferrata.
Of course, there are multiple paths that you can take, but while you’re hiking, don’t forget to look up! There you will see over 5000 different plant species which includes approximately 1,200 different orchid varieties. There is even a carpet with the largest mosses on earth! Additionally, look out for the fauna where there are over 300 different species of birds and 100 different species of mammals. Be sure to keep at eye out for orangutans, gibbons, frogs etc.
3. Go Up The Kinabatangan River
Next, make your way to the interior via the Kinabatangan river. This area is home to traditional tribes as well as probosci’s monkeys, pygmy elephants and more. If you’re really interested in viewing these pygmy elephants, then you should definitely go on a river tour where you will have the highest chance of seeing them. On this river tour, you will have quite a lot to see such as crocodiles, orangutans, lizards, kingfishers, hornbills etc.
If you love a river cruise, make sure you go on the Klias river cruise. A great way to spend the day.
While you’re on the river tour, you should also consider visiting the Gomantong caves which are closeby. There you will see an intricate cave system that has 19+ caves. Unfortunately, only one of these caves is available for public viewing. However, this particular cave is the largest and is called the black cave. It certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted since there is a very strong stench as well as cockroaches, bats etc. Of course, its also pitch black and quite the scary experience if you choose to visit around dusk.
4. Add Some Spice To Your Life
When it comes to food, Borneo has Indian, Chinese and Malaysian influences which makes the food quite exciting. The locals generally use the spices from the forest to season their dishes, which means you will taste flavours that you’ve probably never experienced before. If you want to explore jungle spices, be sure to look for any Nasi Lemak hawker and they’ll show you a world of spices you’ve never known before.
Some of the main foods that are eaten in Borneo include rice, noodles, fish and local vegetables. There is a traditional clay pot soup which is made that is quite popular and it is usually made up of a various type of fish or even squid or prawns. This is in addition to vegetables along with a broth that is not only delicious but will keep you feeling filled and satisfied. if you want something a bit more interesting, then be sure to try Hinava. This dish is made from mackerel that has been covered in ginger, chillis, lime and bambangan seed and it is the most popular Sabah dish.
5. Visit The Rainforest World Music Festival
Within the Borneo rainforest, there is the Sarawak village that actually hosts a yearly Rainforest World Music Festival that is meant to showcase and celebrate the music and culture of the local tribes. This festival is extremely popular with around 24,000 people visiting just to experience it for three days.
This festival started in 1998 and there are performers and musicians that come from all around the globe. These musicians play along with local musicians and is truly an experience that teaches you so much about local tribes, their music and dances etc. During the day, there are typically numerous educational workshops whereas, in the evening, the music and dancing starts. So, be sure to check out this amazing event, enjoy the food and drinks and check out the various local indigenous crafts that you can take home as a souvenir or gift.