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Borneo travel guide

Adventure doesn't get more exciting than Borneo. With luscious rain forests, endangered wildlife and diverse culture - this destination is perfect for adventure and nature lovers

Straddling the equator and dominated by luxuriant rain forests, Borneo is the world’s third-biggest island. Its territory is apportioned unevenly between the countries of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The two East Malaysian states Sabah and Sarawak, lie in the north, surrounding the rich Islamic Sultanate of Brunei, while the Indonesian state of Kalimantan occupies most of central and southern Borneo.

The island boasts remote jungle beauty, tropical adventure and tribal cultures, and is home to half of all known plant and animal species in the world. This wildlife wonderland has orang-utans, the Sumatran rhino, the Bornean pygmy elephant and thousands of unique flowering species. A colourful paradise combining relaxation and adventure with its idyllic beaches, scenic mountains and rich culture.    

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Visit the historic temples and harbourside market in stunning Sandakan
  2. Go trekking through the lush rain-forests and experience walking among orang-utans in Kalimantan
  3. Head to Lankayan for a truly unique sight and see where the Green Turtles come to lay eggs all year round
  4. Explore the caves of Sarawak by longboat and take a dip in the shaded pool near Clearwater Cave

Wanderlust tips

Hawker markets offer opportunities to try a variety of dishes from the numerous stalls ranged around a central eating area; order enticing-looking treats from any stalls, take them to your table and tuck in. Only eat with your right hand.

The thumb or whole hand should be used to indicate something, or to wave down a taxi.

Especially outside urban areas, and more so in the conservative Muslim north, women should dress respectfully by covering shoulders and legs. The ideal is baggy clothing; loose trousers with a modest long-sleeved tunic or baggy shirt is fine.

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