5 reasons you should Visit Borneo

Happy #traveltuesday readers! Today’s guest blogger is my buddy Adventure Rob, from the U.K. and this is the same guy we went to the Malaysian Night Market with. Rob had a great amount of time to explore South East Asia on his last trip here and one of the places he finds totally intriguing is Borneo. Anyway, here is Rob with his Travel Tip on 5 reasons you should visit Borneo..

Don’t Forget North Borneo

The majority of people I’ve met who travel to South East Asia will visit Malaysia but not Borneo Island, which contains not just half of Malaysia but Indonesia in the southern part of the island and a whole country in the shape of Brunei in the center-north. This is a real shame because Borneo has many hidden gems to be discovered!

5 reasons you should Visit Borneo:

1. The World’s Biggest Flower
Borneo Island is made up mostly of tropical rain forest landscape and it is unique at that. The worlds biggest flower (the Rafflesia arnoldii to give it’s full name) calls Borneo it’s home. Spanning 1 metre in width, however they rarely bloom so do your research and planning in advance if you want a glimpse of it, not to mention its corpse like smell up your nose! Insects and small animals are attracted to its smell and fall prey.. straight into the center of the flower. Still this red  massive beauty is a real sight to behold.

via saidaonline

2. The Proboscis Monkey & the Orang Utan


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If you prefer wildlife to fauna and flora, then you are well catered for too. The Proboscis monkeys are endemic to Borneo island. They have unique noses and a beautiful color. The gorgeous monkeys are not found elsewhere in the world. There are a few places to see Orangutans in the wild too. Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (Sabah, Malaysian Borneo) is perhaps the most popular option, where wild orangutans are the easiest to see.

3. The Food

ambuyat

Food wise, Borneo opens up new boundaries too. Plenty of places will feed you “the rain forest” in their meals. Like any good place in Malaysia you’ll find different Nasi Lemak, but Borneo varieties will include some spices from the forest, not to mention the famous Kolo Mee from Sarawak and Ambuyat from Brunei that is an experience that will really “stick” with you!

4. The tallest Mountain in South East Asia

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Of course in the north central you have the tallest mountain in South East Asia too – Mount Kinabalu, and it’s sports happy neighbouring city Kota Kinabalu. If the appeal of climbing a 4000M+ tall mountain doesn’t interest you then maybe the epic diving locations, white water rafting or jungle trekking nearby will.

5. The Oil rich country Brunei

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If for some reason you want to up your spending and experience another culture, then Brunei is the place for you. A generally restrictive and expensive country, Brunei (Bandar Seri Begawan) has it’s own currency which is kept at a 1:1 exchange with Singapore. Oil is the word that comes to mind when Brunei is involved, and you can see why when you’re there. This place is opulent, full of majestic mosques and hotels,  clean with roads that are wide, traffic free and in perfect condition (no pot holes whatsoever unlike other neighbouring South East Asian countries). It’s also a tax haven so a few rich expats have it as their country of choice if they are after a quiet life, quiet being the keyword here. This place is so dead by 8pm you’ll be wondering if you are in the twilight zone! Since no alcohol is served in most “known” places around town, the city literally is party free and shuts down by the time the sun sets. Yes, activities available are quite scarce, but you can certainly learn a bit about how Islam and oil combined can develop a country.

These are some of the interesting things available to do in Borneo, so don’t miss it when you’re in South East Asia. It is a cheap flight away and enhances your experience by leaps and bounds.

About this weeks Guest writer:

His name is Robert Fitzsimmons and he is a twenty-something year old from Portsmouth in England. He left his job on Christmas 2008 and started travelling and blogging about travel and the world! True to his word, Rob called me one fine day, when he had touched down in Kuala Lumpur and we met up for dinner and drinks and a stroll through the Malaysian Night Market. Cumi & Ciki spent hours chatting with this dude and found him a top notch guy – a streetwise traveler with a passion for photography.

Rob’s hobbies as you can guess, are primarily photography, writing, culture and travelling. You can find him on Facebook tweet him on Twitter. Here is his website AdventureRob !

13 Comments

  • Ted Nelson says:

    Borneo is on my list. Thanks for the information and the tips. When I come I am going to pick the flower in number 1 and give it to Ciki in a vase 🙂 Ha, just kidding of course.

  • I so wanna find a Rafflesia one day… I know how, just “look” for its scent! 😛

  • Apple says:

    What a beautiful flower….. so HUGE!

  • I think Borneo is just blessed by natural growing things. The fruit and vegetables seemed even a little fresher in Borneo than anywhere I’ve been. I also went to Brunei and sampled some of the sago Ambuyat along with cacai binjai sauce, it was on another level of flavors…and ridiculously sticky, very filling. 5 great reasons to visit Borneo among many! Nice shot of the Rafflesia!

  • AdventureRob says:

    Probably your best guest post ever!

    Lol, thanks for putting it up 🙂

  • LeslieTravel says:

    Whoa… amazing flower! I’ve never seen anything like that. Ditto for the monkey and the food. I have to get to Borneo asap!

  • John says:

    Few wrong informations about Brunei.

    Brunei is not expensive, food is cheap and movies are cheap too, except the taxi fare.

    The place is not dead after 8pm. Obviously you have not been to the Gadong and Kiulap areas. Those places come alive after sunset!

    There are activities around, you just have to ASK.

  • Amy says:

    I gotta agree with John. It’s cheaper for movies and petrol here. Everything else is pricey though. And it’s funny that you say that there are no potholes, because I saw quite a number on my way to work today. 😛 Hehe, jokes aside, I guess I can say that Brunei does have better road conditions than some other places.

    When you said that the place is dead by 8pm, I suggest that you visit Brunei again by the beginning/end of every month. The major popular areas, i.e. Gadong, Kiulap, will be packed to the brim, and no, “Bandar” doesn’t count, unless there was a special occasion. There are activities, you just need to know where to look. You can have a read more about it on the newspaper, or on the internet.

    I say you have yet to fully experience Brunei. 😀 Come again soon and maybe you might find something unexpected! 🙂

  • J.T. says:

    Brunei restrictive? Perhaps in some ways esp with the prohibition/night- entertainment department but expensive? hardly as compared to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

    Potholes? Of course we have em…i commute weekly from one end of the country to the other for work so we’re not spared from them but again our road conditions really aren’t so bad as again compared to our big neighboring cities and the traffic jams aren’t as bad as Jakarta or Bangkok which i have both experienced.

    oh and another thing Robert…Singapore is the smallest country in SEA…we just feel small because our infrastructure/development.

    Forget the spotter that brought you to on this trip…hook up with the ‘locals’ like John,Amy or myself and we’ll show you the real Brunei.

  • baDboyzs says:

    wild & beautiful this place. should be really fun to come here – if only we could.

    stby : we have just the place also near PD 😀

  • Runaway Juno says:

    The flower!!!! Only saw in cartoons or something. Wow, that’s in Borneo.. didn’t know. Look how much I learn every day 🙂

  • Sysilia says:

    Great post 🙂
    Borneo has so many nice places to visit.
    btw, the highest mountain in South East Asia is Carstensz Pyramid or Puncak Jaya(Irian Jaya,Papua,Indonesia),about 4,884 metres or 16,024 ft. It’s listed on the 7 summits 🙂

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