Welcome to Borneo

Ancient Rainforests

If you've always longed to experience the humid fecundity of a real equatorial rainforest, Borneo will fulfil your wildest dreams. The island's jungles conjure up remoteness and adventure, with their impenetrable foliage and longboat trips into the 'heart of darkness'. But look a little closer and nuances emerge: the pitcher plants, lianas and orchids of the lowland forest give way to conifers and rhododendrons as you ascend the flanks of Mt Kinabalu. Deforestation makes for depressing headlines, but significant parts of the Bornean rainforest remain intact, protected by conservation projects whose viability depends in part on income from tourists.

Jungle Wildlife

For many visitors to Borneo, their most memorable moment is glimpsing a wild orangutan or proboscis monkey swinging through the jungle canopy, spotting an Irrawaddy dolphin in the shimmering waters of the South China Sea, or locking eyes with a pygmy elephant, clouded leopard or saltwater crocodile. Jungle animals are shy by nature, but a good guide can help you tell the difference between a vine and a vine snake, between a twig and a stick insect, and between the call of a gibbon and the cry of a hornbill.

Cultural Riches

Borneo brings together an astonishing array of cultures and languages, and age-old traditions of hospitality mean visitors are welcomed. Most cities have significant Chinese communities, the picturesque coastal kampung (villages) of Sabah and Sarawak are populated mainly by Malays, and you can interact with the Iban, Dusun, Murut, Penan and other indigenous groups in the interior, and with the Rungus and Bajau along the coast. Borneo's Dayak groups stopped headhunting long ago, but ancient customs and ceremonies live on in longhouse communities – overnight and multiday stays, accompanied by local guides, are possible and better than a fly-by day visit.

Culinary Melting Pot

The varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds of Borneo's people means the island's cuisines are as wide-ranging as they are delicious. Seafood from the South China Sea is served fresh at Chinese restaurants, smoky satay stalls beckon at Malay night markets and Indonesian eateries set your taste buds on fire with spicy sambal. Even tiny Brunei has its own culinary traditions, as do Borneo's numerous indigenous groups. From the sublime cooking of the Kelabit people – including Bario rice and pineapple curry – to Iban dishes such as bamboo chicken and midin jungle fern, Dayak cuisine is unlike anything you've ever tasted.

Top experiences in Borneo

Recent articles

Borneo activities

$119.98 Day Trips & Excursions

Kota Kinabalu to Orangutans Rehabilitation Center on Day Tour

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center, located near the town of Sandakan, is one of the best places on earth to see the famous wild man of Borneo in its natural habitat. After pickup from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu, be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sandakan (flight surcharge subject to change, please see Additional Info for more details). Upon arrival, be taken to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center, the largest and oldest of its kind on earth where a dedicated team of professionals work tirelessly to assist orphaned, abandoned or abused Orangutans to learn the survival skills they need to return to their natural habitat - the teeming jungles of Borneo. Follow your guide on a walk along a raised wooden walkway to the observation deck where Orangutans slowly emerge from the rainforest to be fed by the rangers. The Sepilok centre supplements the rehabilitated Orangutan's diet with a feeding at 10am and 3pm. Please note that wildlife sightings are not guaranteed as the Orangutans roam freely in the jungle. Afterward, head to a local restaurant for a delectable lunch of Malaysian specialties. Then, enjoy an afternoon of touring around Sandakan beginning with a tour of a local market offering a variety of fruits, vegetables and unique local handicrafts. Learn about traditional Chinese architecture on a guided visit to a the Puh Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, situated on a hilltop. Admire the views of the city skyline from the observation point The temple is situated on a hill-top looking and provides great photo opportunities of the breathtaking views over Sandakan Bay. At the end of your tour, transfer to Sandakan airport to catch your flight back to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival, be transported back to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu

$37.32 Day Trips & Excursions

Semonggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre Tour from Kuching

The best place in Sarawak to view semi-wild orangutans, who have been rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding forest reserve. The rehabilitated animals roam freely in the rain forest, and often return to the centre at feeding time. Thanks to the successful breeding programme at Semonggoh there is a good possibility of experiencing one of the most heart-warming sights in Borneo - an orangutan mother with a young baby. The centre is a 30 minute drive from Kuching and another 20 minute by foot into the jungle. Along the way visitors pass by the ethno-botanical gardens, with their unique collection of rain-forest plants. Semonggoh also has a number of short jungle trails and optional forest walks that can be incorporated into the tour.

$114 Day Trips & Excursions

Bako National Park Full-Day Tour from Kuching

Bako National Park is only reachable by a 20-minute longboat ride from Kampung Bako. Travel one-hour from your Kuching hotel by car plus longboat to Baku National Park, home to seven distinct rainforest ecosystems giving it a remarkable diversity of animal and plant life. Constant erosion over millions of years had turned Bako into a picturesque coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands, and many stretches of sandy bays. Bako's most famous residents are the bizarre Proboscis monkeys, and it is also home to silvered langurs (leaf monkeys), long-tailed macaque monkeys, wild boar, flying squirrels and monitor lizards as well as hundreds of different bird species. Fascinating plant life includes mangroves, strangling figs, carnivorous pitcher plants and symbiotic ant plants. Unique geological features mark the coastline, including the famous Sea Stack, whilst well-marked trails lead to rugged jungle-covered hilltops and secluded beaches. A packed lunch is included.

$20 Transfers & Ground Transport

Kota Kinabalu Shared Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel

Travel from Kota Kinabalu International Airport to your Kota Kinabalu, Rasa Ria or Nexus area hotel. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed within 24 hours and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver. Don't forget to book your Hotel to Airport transfer! Vehicles used: • Air-conditioned Minicoach

$20 Transfers & Ground Transport

Kota Kinabalu Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport

Travel from Kota Kinabalu, Rasa Ria or Nexus area hotels to Kota Kinabalu Airport. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed within 24 hours and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver. 24 - 48 hours prior to your Hotel to Airport transfer, you will be required to reconfirm exact pick up times and places (the contact number will be provided on your travel voucher). Vehicles used: • Air-conditioned minicoach

$12 Transfers & Ground Transport

Kuching Shared Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel

Travel from Kuching International Airport to your Kuching city hotel or Damai Beach hotel. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed within 24 hours and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver. Vehicles used: • Air-conditioned MinicoachDon't forget to book your Hotel to Airport transfer!