After spending a week or so exploring the sights and delights of Borneo you may have some extra time on your hands and are wondering how to make the most of your time – whether you are an active traveller, culture vulture, intrepid foodie, wildlife lover, there is something for everyone!
For active travellers: Climb Kinabalu
Haven’t had your fill of Borneo’s spectacular landscapes and verdant rainforests? Covering more ground than the whole of Singapore, Kinabalu National Park in Sabah is home to a remarkably diverse range of flora and fauna, and was Malaysia’s very first UNESCO World Heritage Site. But at the heart of the park – and what attracts tourist in their throngs – is Mount Kinabalu. Standing at over 4,000m it is the highest mountain in Malaysia, and rivals some of Southeast Asia’s most impressive peaks. Despite its height Kinabalu is a relatively easy climb, and upon reaching the summit at sunrise you’ll be greeted by spectacular panoramic views.
For culture vultures: Stay in a local home
There is no better way to get to know the culture of a destination than by completely submerging yourself in it, and in Borneo staying with a local family is the perfect way of doing just that. Homestay opportunities can be found in abundance here, whether it’s spending a few nights in a water village – sleeping in houses built on stilts, or in a traditional longhouse surrounded by the flora and fauna of the jungle. Tuck into traditional meals, enjoy the natural surrounds and get to know the people that live and breathe Borneo.
For intrepid foodies: Try local cuisine
While some travellers like to get to know a destination by exploring on foot, others like to uncover the flavour of a place through their taste buds. Foodies should track down a plate of laksa, a spicy dish made up of chicken, prawns, chilli, coriander, coconut and rice noodles with a squirt of lime. Kuching is the ‘food capital’ of Borneo, so be sure to track down some laksa and other local delights at food halls, street vendors or restaurants. When tucking into a tasty dish, just remember to always eat with your right hand only.
For wildlife lovers: Adopt a turtle
So you’ve got up close and personal with endangered orangutan, submerged yourself in the flora and fauna of the rainforest and perhaps spotted a pygmy elephant – now here is your chance to really get dug in and make a difference. Travel to the Talang Talang Island in Borneo for the chance to work firsthand with the forestry wardens as they strive to conserve the future of the majestic sea turtle. Learn about all their conservation activities, patrol the beaches to locate turtle landings and monitor their nesting activities, tag and measure the turtles, offer a helping hand in the hatchery and collect data while snorkelling with these incredible creatures. You can even adopt a turtle and be updated on its process once you have returned home.
Discover Borneo for yourself on a group tour or private holiday.