There are two states of Malaysia on the island of Borneo – Sabah in the northeast and Sarawak.in North-west. The most common holiday in the northern part of the island – in the state of Sabah. The name “land below the wind” has long been preserved behind this land. It is located below the typhoon zone. Sandy beaches are protected from the waves by coral islands that line the 1,440 km long coastline. It is here that Mount Kinabalu is located, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia (4,101 meters). Wildlife lovers are attracted by the diverse flora and fauna of the island: orangutans, long-nosed Proboscis monkeys, buffaloes, civet cats, many species of birds, fireflies – an extravaganza glowing in the night. The symbol of Borneo is the Rafflesia flower during the flowering period, reaching up to 2 meters in diameter. The waters around the coast of Sabah are famous for their transparency and abound in coral reefs that attract scuba divers.
The capital of the state is the city of Kota Kinabalu, you can get there by flying from Kuala Lumpur (2.5 hours) from Singapore (3 hours).
The population of Sabah is very ethnically diverse, representatives of more than 32 tribes live here, representing the ancient indigenous population of Kalimantan. Each of them has preserved its centuries-old traditions and culture.
Sandakan is a small town located a 30-minute flight from Kota Kinabalu, known for having the world’s largest orangutan reserve – here injured animals or small cubs left without parents undergo rehabilitation and then they are released into the jungle. For tourists, special tours are organized to the reserve, which are recommended to be combined with the turtle islands on Selingan Island, where you can observe the process of hatching baby turtles. On the way back, you can look into the caves of Gomatong where you can see the famous “swallow’s nests”
The western part of Borneo – Sarawak is called the country of the hornbill, because this amazing animal lives only here. It is the largest state in the country.
You can get from Kuala Lumpur (2.5 hour flight) from Singapore (3 hour flight) from Brunei (1 hour flight).
Excursions to Borneo – Sarawak
Introduction to the city of Kuching, the state capital (duration 3.5 hours)
The tour starts at the giant cat statue, the symbol of Kuching, and continues through Chinatown with a stop at Tua Pek Kong Temple (1876). The temple overlooks the elegant Fort Margarita (1879), which now houses the Police Museum. Visit the Civic Center with an ascent to its tower for panoramic views of the city, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Shariah Muslim Palace, Satok Suspension Bridge and traditional Malay stilt houses. Pay attention to the magical Astana (1870) – the former palace of the White Raja, now serving as the official residence of the government of the Sarawak region, as well as the old building of the Colonial Court, crowned with a clock tower and a granite obelisk in honor of Raja Charles Brook. The highlight of the tour will be a visit to the Sarawak Museum, famous as the best museum in the world.
Semengokh Orangutan Sanctuary (duration 3 hours)
The Semengokh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is located 22 km from Kuching (about 30 minutes drive). Opened in 1975, it covers 740 hectares of virgin forest and is home to orangutans, bears, storks, eagles, deer and monkeys. Many of these animals have been rescued from extermination and relocated to a rehabilitation center where they live in natural conditions.
Gunung Gading National Park (full day tour)
Gunung Gading National Park (about 2 hours drive from Kuching). On the way, visit the Fairy Cave and the trading town of Bau. The 120-kilometer journey will pass through a picturesque province with rice fields, rubber, cocoa and pepper plantations, adjacent to tropical forests, rivers and mountains. Arrival in Lundu. Lunch. Walk in the Park, during which you can get acquainted with the local flora and fauna and discover the largest flower in the world – rafflesia.
Crocodile Farm (3 hours)
The farm is located 30 km from Kuching. The road passes through a picturesque province with rice fields, plantations of rubber, cocoa and pepper, adjacent to a lush tropical forest. A visit to the mini-zoo with its collection of reptiles, numbering about 1500 crocodiles. All these amphibians live in different environments depending on their age. A trip to the crocodile kingdom gives you the opportunity to observe the life cycle of the last representatives of the dinosaur family. Other animals are also kept at the Jong crocodile farm: monkeys, pythons, deer, wild boars, peacocks, bears, turtles, lizards and so on.
Cruise on the Lemanak River (3 hours)
The modern history of the province of Sarawak is associated with the name of the English traveler James Brooke, who reached the headwaters of the Sarawak River on his schooner in 1839. By Brook we will go on a cruise on the river, which still attracts tourists. During the trip, we will see the panorama of the rapidly developing city of Kuching, where old buildings alternate with modern ones, which creates an unusual impression. The cruise passes the waterfront and many historical and scenic spots such as Fort Margaret, Astana Palace, Golden Domed Mosque, Brook Wharfs, Market Square, traditional Malay stilt houses, Chinese Fisherman’s Village.
Bako National Park (Full Day Tour)
Departure from Kuching in the morning towards the fishing village of Bako (45 minutes). The road goes through the mangrove forest with its unique palm trees. Next, a motorboat cruise (30 minutes) along the coast of the South China Sea to the Bako National Park. Visit the information and exhibition center and hike to the western part of the Park through the mangrove. Here you will see blue crabs and proboscis monkeys. Then we will climb the plateau, which has become a haven for various botanical curiosities and some species of carnivorous water lilies. After lunch, visit the eastern area of the Park with its dense rainforest and a large population of wild animals and birds.