10 Top Reasons to Holiday in Borneo
- Borneo has something that other parts of Malaysia and South East Asia simply don’t. Borneo has some of the finest wildlife on this planet. Man or Beast? What might be referring to? What else but the ‘Wildman of Borneo’. There is nothing like the experience of seeing such a magnificent creature in the flesh (or fur). The last wild orang-utans in Northern Borneo can be seen at the famed Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve in the State of Sabah. The State of Sarawak in Borneo is famous for its ‘Wildman of the Jungle’. That is at the Semonggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Kuching. Both places are worth a visit for some stories you can tell the grandkids about one day.
- Breathtaking scenery on the planet is another reason for tourists to travel and holiday in the island of Borneo. The Bako National Park established in 1957, is the oldest national park in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. Although Bako is one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting, with its rainforest, abundant wildlife (literally), jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. For those tourists heading to the State of Sabah, many visitors may enjoy the Kinabalu National Park and the Crocker Range Park. I personally prefer the Bako National Park.
- Bushwalkers would love the various national parks mentioned in these article. The jungle trekking can be really considered ‘jungle trekking’ if you choose to be just a bit adventurous. A friend of mine went off the beaten track but luckily found their way back using plastic bags tied to trees as their roadmap. Obviously previous trekkers left them there. But the ‘lost trekkers had a ball, seeing many wildlife such as wild boars, monkeys etc.
Sea/Ocean lovers/Divers who visit the island of Borneo would come to enjoy the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Situated just off the west shore of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, the five emerald isles that comprise this park are fringed with white sandy beaches, surrounded by the sparkling aqua waters of the South China Sea. The islands’ offshore reefs are filled with exotic corals and sponges and abound in tropical marine life. The islands are easily accessible, and each of the five possesses its own particular charms. Another diver’s paradise is the Pulau Sipadan. Acknowledged as one of the best diving and unique spots in Southeast Asia, Pulau Sipadan is located off the small coastal town of Semporna on Sabah’s eastern coast. Myriad of colourful tropical fish swim in the warm water near the surface whereas huge groupers nose about.
- Festivals are one of Borneo’s tourist programs. From Borneo’s rainforests, look up and be dazzled by another spectacular sight. Once a year, see the launch (quite literally) of the fifth Borneo International Kite Festival. The extravaganza attracts thousands of visitors who can sign up to compete in the numerous kite flying and kite making competitions. Keep 30th September to 3rd October, 2010 in your diary as the time when you must be in Bintulu, Sarawak to see some of the most colourful, intriguing and strange looking kites from around the world.
- Environmentally Aware Borneo is another name that tourists are aware off and environmentally awareness is definitely on the increase. One of the universities in Borneo is even offering a program on this and is attended by many international students. So you can kick back in your luxury eco-villa without having to worry too much about offsetting your carbon emissions.
- Golf Lovers, well now you don’t have to sweat in the heat whilst playing golf in Asian countries. Sitting on the mountain plateau, 1,000 meters above sea level, on the Penrissen Range amongst the world’s oldest and second largest rainforest, Borneo Highlands Resort in Sarawak offers a myriad of attractions, from the enchanting Jungle Spa to the spectacular Hornbill Golf Course. Bask to Nature, back to basic is their logo and that is true the only restaurant on the resort only offer organic and vegetarian food. Yes, I have been there and the food is delicious even though I am a carnivore!
- Culture is what differentiates one country/state with the next. In Sabah there is the famous Mengkabong Water Village about some half an hour drive from Kota Kinabalu. This famous Mengkabong Water Village are populated by people whose houses are built on stilt and linked by a maze of rickety plank walks. An ever increasing population has seen the water village gradually expanding into the sea! However in Sarawak, the indigenous people are mostly living in the jungle in longhouses. Yes they are literally long houses! The longhouse I visited is the famous Annah Rais Longhouse in Kuching. It is a large & old Bidayuh Tribe’s Longhouse that houses over 80 families. Majority of them still live in a traditional way of longhouse’s living. It has 175 years old written history to date. Visitor may participate in our Longhouse Adventure Program, which include longhouse accommodation, traditional meals & tours to surrounding tropical rainforest in search for astonishing waterfalls & natural Hot Spring.
- Beaches of Borneo is another reason one must visit. They may not be as good as some of the Australian beaches but they certainly beat some of the European beaches by far. One of the best and worthwhile beaches is the Turtle Beach and Golden Beach, Similajau National Park, Sarawak. This park consists of 30 km of golden sand and cliffs with tropical wildlife all around and jungle streams, waterfalls and 185 species of bird and plenty of animals – including gibbons, macaques, turtles, wild boars and crocs. There are also other beaches not far from the main town area but they are medioca in my opinion.
10. Lastly and not in that order, the people in the island of Borneo. They range from Malays, Chinese, and Indians to the local indigenous people. They are the friendliest bunch of people I have ever met. You can now tell that I am a ‘Borneo’ lover by now. Generous and obliging and making sure you have a great time on their island. Language is not a barriers as most speak English and their other currency of communication is their ‘Great Big Smile’.