Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. Borneo offers breathtaking beauty, a storied history, and a vacation that you'll never forget! A few days in Borneo can take you to an exotic world reminiscent of centuries past.
Borneo offers many magnificent attractions:
- Sabah, which is located on the northern tip of Borneo Island, is Malaysia's premier nature adventure destination. It is popular for its rain forest, wildlife conservation attractions, surrounding nature and islands, tropical white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and its warm, friendly people. If you're considering a vacation in Borneo, these places of interest and activities will certainly whet your appetite!
- Mount Kinabalu (4,093m) is my favorite place on Borneo, and is definitely not to be missed. It's the summit of Borneo as well as the tallest mountain in southeast Asia. Kinabalu is sacred to the locals. Thousands of adventurers from all around the world have hiked to its peak.
At the foot of the mountain is Kinabalu National Park, Borneo's most popular. This is quite simply a magnificent botanical paradise where many rare plant species are found, including nepenthes pitcher plants, rare orchids, and the rafflesia, the world's largest flower.
- Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center - The most popular native of Borneo is the Orangutan. The world-renowned Sepilok Rehabilitation Center enables visitors to come in close contact with these amazing primates. The sanctuary offers the chance for visitors to witness an amazing conservation program in action on Borneo.
Set in 43 square kilometers of beautiful Borneo rainforest, the sanctuary helps once captive Orangutans learn to live successfully in the wild. You can watch young Orangutans being taught to climb. And then you can climb up onto a platform where you can witness them coming back in from the forest for their daily meals of bananas and milk.
- Danum Valley Rain Forest - If you enjoy nature, then the Danum Valley is a must visit! It's nestled deep in Borneo's rain forest where nature remains at her most pristine.
As you travel ever deeper into the jungle, you'll suddenly encounter the magical paradise of the Borneo Rainforest Lodge (BRL). The lodge overlooks the magnificent setting of the Segama River and it is flanked by tall hill ranges. The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is quite an impressive resort, built on stilts using traditional timber materials yet providing all the comforts of a 3-Star Hotel.
I highly recommend Danum Valley to those who long to see wildlife in a primeval Borneo rainforest. You'll see rare Sumatran rhino, elephants, proboscis monkeys, Orangutan, and over 275 species of exotic birds, many indigenous only to Borneo.
- When you need a temporary distraction from Borneo sightseeing and you simply want to spend a day relaxing to re-charge your energy, I suggest that you take a half-hour boat trip to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.
Consisting of five beautiful islands, the park is a well-known sanctuary filled with peace and tranquility. The gorgeous white sandy beaches are perfect for just relaxing and tanning. And the crystal clear water is heaven if you enjoy snorkeling or watching the sea creatures and corals.
The park is also a wonderful place for a picnic under the seemingly endless days of golden sunshine. Other fun activities include fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, parasailing, and bird watching.
- Golfing Holidays - If you live for a round of golf, then try the numerous high quality courses in Sabah. One of the courses is a masterpiece, combining the natural splendor of the mountains and seas, with ingenious architecture to create a first class championship golf course sure to be enjoyed by top professional golfers and amateurs alike.
- White-Water Rafting - For the true adventure seeker who comes to Borneo looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity, Sabah offers some of the most exhilarating thrills in the entire world.
My scariest experience (because I'm a poor swimmer) is white-water rafting down the Padas River (grade-3). While trying to negotiate the rapids of this raging river for a distance of about 5 kilometers, you're sure to enjoy the breathtaking view that the surrounding rain forest provides. Be warned, however - don't take your eyes off the rapids for very long!
- Scuba Diving - Sipadan, a tiny jewel of an island, lies off the northeastern coast of Borneo. Sipadan boasts a marine ecosystem so unique and perfect that it is world renowned as one of the finest diving areas in the world.
Sipadan is actually a pristine Coral Sea mountain, rising 650 meters from the floor of the Sulawesi Sea. This lovely pinnacle off the eastern coast of Borneo is an oceanic wonderland of marine life!
As soon as you enter the crystal clear waters of the island, you'll understand right away why you have traveled halfway around the world. As you begin your descent into the tropical water, you'll also understand why its been said that no other spot on the planet has more marine life than this island.
No matter what type of natural adventure you decide to seek in Borneo, you're guaranteed to enjoy the vacation of a lifetime. Borneo offers everything from eons-old wildlife to all of the modern conveniences that a once-in-a-lifetime vacation deserves. Come to Borneo and visit an entirely different world!
About the author:
Walter Rajah is owner of Exploration Borneo Tours.
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