Resources

Brunei Tourism (http://tourismbrunei.travel) Lots of great info.

Sabah Parks (www.sabahparks.org.my) Sabah's national parks.

Sabah Tourism (www.sabahtourism.com) Official tourism site.

Sarawak Forestry (www.sarawakforestry.com) Sarawak's national parks.

Sarawak Tourism (www.sarawaktourism.com) Official site.

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Top Tips

  • Have your heart set on diving at Sipadan, trekking in Gunung Mulu, remote jungle exploration in Kalimantan or scaling Mt Kinabalu? Make arrangements months in advance for high season.
  • Don't spread yourself too thin: pick the Borneo highlights you'd like to focus on, rather than trying to see the whole island in a short space of time, and allow for weather-induced delays and cancellations that may affect your travel in remoter parts of the island.
  • Bring plenty of local cash (in small denominations) if planning to travel extensively in remoter parts.
  • Manage your expectations. If you're looking to immerse yourself in indigenous culture, bear in mind that many communities now live with trappings of modernity rather than exactly as their ancestors did. As for Borneo's impenetrable primary jungle of yore, tracts of it now frequently border palm-oil plantations.

What to Take

  • Good trekking shoes
  • Rain poncho – they don't call it a rainforest for nothing
  • Warm jacket, hat and gloves if planning on ascending Mt Kinabalu or Mt Trusmadi
  • Leech socks – to avoid becoming a moveable feast
  • A UK electrical charger
  • Mosquito-net tent

What to Wear

Borneo has a tropical, humid climate, with the exception of the highlands, where you'll want warm layers, particularly at night. Pack quick-drying T-shirts, shirts and trekking pants, shorts and swimwear for beaches and diving resorts and casual footwear: hiking shoes, hiking sandals and boots if planning on trekking, and flip-flops for everywhere else. If planning on eating out in fancier restaurants in KK and Kuching, pack smart casual wear; there's no dress code anywhere else. Since there's strong Muslim culture in Borneo (particularly in Kalimantan and Brunei), you'll want attire that covers your shoulders and knees if you're female, and something other than shorts if you're male. A rain poncho is indispensable.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date
  • Get your Indonesian visa in advance and check whether you need one for Malaysia and Brunei
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company you’re heading away
  • Arrange for appropriate travel insurance
  • Get all your prescription medicine, inoculations and antimalarial treatment in advance