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Borneo Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 25, 2016
Sarawak In January, weather and accesibility of National Parks  (5 Answers)

I was planning to fly to Sarawak, Malaysia on the January 5. and spend about 5 weeks in Sarawak and Brunei. The Lonely Planet Guide says there is no particularly good or bad time to travel in Borneo because there is no real dry season and weather can vary very much from year to year, so I didn't think there is going to be a problem with travelling in Sarawak in January. But now I see that many travel-websites don't recommend to go to Sarawak in January at all due to very bad weather.
Is there somebody who has been there in January or even better lives in Sarawak who can tell me what I can expect?
Let me tell you first what I would expect from this trip. In Germany I work in nature conservation, so I spend most summer working outside. So with the right equipment some rain doesn't scare me. Also I want to spend most of the time in National Parks and am most interested in Botany (Orchids, Ferns) and also Insects, Spiders, Scorpions, Snakes. I could live without seeing Orangutans which are apparently hard to find when it's raining a lot. I would like to spend a lot of time in Nationalparks with dayhiking trails where I don't need a guide so I can take my time for taking pictures. But I'm also looking forward to expolring the caves in Gunung Mulu and Niah National Parks.
So my main concern is: Will all the National Parks and also accomadations in or around National Parks be open and accessible during January? How likely is it that National Parks will not be accessible due to floodings or storms etc. What do I have to expect exactly from the weather. Does it rain all day long, or is it more very strong but short raining episodes and then long periodes without rain during the day. Is it raining more during the day or at night? (I've been in Java during rainy season three years ago and it rained mostly during the night.) I wouldn't mind it too much If there is some rain every day but I also need dry periods for taking pictures. What I woldn't like is to be stuck in my hotels for days because it is raining non stop.
Also will there be any other tourists in the Parks? I don't want the places to be crowded of course, but honestly I don't like it when I'm always alone or the only guest in a hotel because I'm travelling alone.
The thing is that i will spend three month in Southeastasia, and right now I'm planning to start in Sarawak, but I could also reschedule and visit Sarawak in March. The weather is supposed to be much better in March but are the most attractive National Parks allready crowded in March? What would you recommend under the circumstances I described, go in January or reschedule and go in March? Also, does anybody happen to know when most of the Orchids are in bloom? I suspect it is in the wettest months.

A lot of questions here, I know. I would be very grateful for any advice.
And Merry Christmas to everybody!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 06, 2015
Anyone know a cheap tour agent for Borneo?  (2 Answers)

I am planning a trip to Borneo (Malaysia).
From Sarawak Kuching to Sandakan. For about 20days in august.
i'm thinking, Kuching 1 week than Miri and Mulu 1 week an then 1 week in Sandakan.
But the plain tickets to Mulu are very expensive, is there another way to get to Mulu.
I've read about boat trip but its seems very dangerous.
Does anyone know a guide or someone ho can make travel easier?
I am thinking about transportation and places to visit.
I am interested in nature travel and wildlife, caves and kayaking ,... not so much of cultural and museums.
I travel with 2 kids of 7 and 9 years old.
It is the first time I'm travelling with my kids to unknown country.
Any advice will be welcome

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 02, 2014
Do I need to take malaria medicine before going to the rainforest in Jan-Feb?  (6 Answers)

Do I need to take malaria medicine before going to the rainforest in Jan-Feb?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 05, 2014
fruit season  (3 Answers)

I have tried to find out when the fruit season is - if anyone can tell me that would be great! We are planning to arrive in Borneo around the 15th July 2015. We would like to see the orang-utangs and a longhouse, but are undecided whether KK or Kuching is the best.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 22, 2014
orangutan sanctuary  (6 Answers)

I am hoping to visit an orangutan sancturary , preferably in Borneo and was wondering if anyone had been to one that they thought was great and not too touristy?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 18, 2014
Dangerous to go to Sabah?  (1 Answer)

Hello all!
Me and my boyfriend want to go to east Borneo (Semporna and Sipadan Island). Now I read that it is not so easy. Some tourists were kidnapped last month.

Is anybody in east Bornea at the moment or went there in the last days?

How is it there at the moment? Should we avoid such a trip?

Thank you


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 06, 2014
Travelling from Borneo to Brunei  (7 Answers)

I am planning my honeymoon to Borneo & Brunei.I would like reccomendations as to how we can travel from Borneo to Brunei and the protocols involved regarding visas (whether separate visas are required for both countries) and the modes of transport available.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 12, 2013
Contact for Crystal Quest?  (3 Answers)

Can anyone give me an up to date contact for Crystal Quest? I want to go to Selingan Island. I have found an email address for for Crystal Quest (from a previous post) and have tried emailing them numerous times over a 2 week period but had no reply so I'm wondering if I have the correct details.
Thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 01, 2013
Borneo Honeymoon  (7 Answers)

Hi, we are getting married next September and looking to travel to Borneo for 2-3 weeks for our honeymoon. Would like to spend some time relaxing at the beginning to recover from all the excitement, some time with the wildlife (including some diving, and maybe kayaking), then some more time chilling at the end.
I have looked at several companies that specialise in arranging such trips, but wondered if anyone had experience of organising themselves, and how easy/feasible this is?
Also, any must see experiences while we're there? :)
Thanks a lot

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 27, 2013
Cheaper alternative to rain forest lodge  (3 Answers)

I'm planning on spending my honeymoon in Bali, Gaya and borneo. While there a rainforest trip is a must but is there a cheaper option to Borneo rainforest lodge but will still see plenty of wild life?!?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 24, 2013
natural health  (4 Answers)

I am travelling to borneo and wish to take herbal remedies with me is this going to cause trouble at the airport ?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 19, 2013
Books Writer/Journalist

I am looking for a co-writers or companion to gather photos and information regarding peoples along Kapuas River in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Travel point will be from Pontianak and estimated 10 days duration.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 16, 2013
Sandakan, Sepilok and travelling  (2 Answers)

My friends and I are planning the following itinerary for which we need travelling and accommodation advice. We fly from Bali into Kota Kinabalu on September 21st and fly on to Kuala Lumpur on the 28th (from either KK or Sandakan??). We are looking to book a 3day/2night stay at a jungle camp at Nature Lodge Kinabatungan and would like to visit the orangutangs at Sepilok along the way. Could anyone recommend any other lodgings, activities and an itinerary with the best method of transport to make the met of this short time. Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 26, 2013
Kuching to Sabah  (4 Answers)

We are thinking of hiring a car for a couple of weeks to explore Malaysian Borneo. We would be driving from Kuching to Sabah, and then to Sandakam/Sepilok and if possible the Danum Valley. Does anyone have recommendations on good places to stop along the route and which are the best roads etc.? and car hire companies? We are a couple on a budget. Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 30, 2013
Lone traveller to Borneo  (6 Answers)

I am thinking of heading to Borneo for 7-10day in December on my way back from the UK to New Zealand and was wondering if anyone had any advice around tour companies because I will be going on my own.I have had a wee look around but not finding 100% what im looking for. I am really interested in the diving in the islands and also and Orangutans at Sepilok, and if possible would love to do a longhouse stay. Any help/advice would be much appreciated!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 02, 2013
Itinerary for approx 10 days  (3 Answers)

Could anyone suggest an itinerary for Borneo which would include a visit to the orangutangs, tree top canopy walk, visit to KK National Park and POSSIBLY to climb it (not certain about that yet in our limited time frame). Also we have the possibility of going to Borneo straight from Bangkok or from somewhere in Indonesia. Could you recommend which would be the better & cheaper option? Thank you!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 30, 2013
12-day trekking Borneo in july: Sarawak/Kalimantan/Sabah:who joins me?  (3 Answers)

Hi all,
I'm doing a trekking this summer on Borneo: starting from Bakalalan, crossing the border to Kalimantan and ending in Sabah (Long Pasia).

It will start in the last week of july and end in the first week of august.

It will be great expedition: lots of rainforest, wildlife (hopefully) and of course a guide etc. It won't be an easy trekking, but what's wrong with a challenge?

If someone is interested, let me know!

Thanks a lot,
Max (NL)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 04, 2013
Safe to travel?  (3 Answers)

I'm taking a 2 week trip to Borneo mid April and 3 nights are planned in Sandakan and Bilit. FCO advice is essential travel only but anyone recently been there or planning to still go? I'm not sure whether to change my itinerary and stay around Kota Kinabalu instead..? Opions welcome!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 06, 2013
Four weeks in Borneo on my own  (6 Answers)

This April/May I'll be travelling to Malaysian Borneo. My plans for now are a bit vague, but here is what I plan to do:
Travel to KK (Stockholm - London - Hong Kong - KK)
Climb Mt Kinabalu
Take open waters certificate
Dive at Sipadan
Go on Uncle Tan's adventure
Visit Danum
Maybe visit Mulu caves and Turtle Island park
Relax on some beach for a while
Fly to Hong Kong for a few days, then back to good old cold Sweden

My main concern is when to book all these things, and with which agency. This is what I've planned right now:
Mt Kinabalu - I've heard you book well in advance, so I plan to do that ASAP. However, it's quite expensive, but since I travel alone I suppose I'll take it. I plan to go with Downbelow.
Diving - Dive Downbelow.
Sipadan - Dive Downbelow or Scuba Junkie. This I've also heard that you should book quite early, but how early is that?
Danum - the Rainforest Lodge, but it's really expensive. Is there any cheaper alternative?
Turtel island park - Crystal Quest. Is this also a place you should book months in advance?
Relaxing at a cosy island - no idea. Sibuan island perhaps, but I don't know how to get there.

Does this seem like a good idea? This is my first time travelling on my own, so I'm quite unexperienced when it comes to planning a trip.

Is there anything else I should do or have in mind while I'm there?

About me and this trip: I'm an 18-year old student from Sweden, on a gap year before starting my university studies. I'm not much for partying; my main goal for this trip is to experience the nature of Borneo, and to simply relax for a while. While I like nature, I also like big cities. My plan is to visit Borneo for about 4 weeks, and my budget is around7000 (with flights). The flights to and from Sweden are about600 for a one way ticket.

On person said that I shouldn't go to Malaysian Borneo, since it's mainly for couples. However, it does look beautiful and easier for tourists than Indonesian Borneo. What do you think?

I'm really grateful for all the help I can get :)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 10, 2013
Borneo and Bali in one trip - is that possible.  (3 Answers)

I plan to travel to Borneo in the last week of May. Was thinking if I could also go to Bali after the Borneo stint. I will be travelling from Mumbai, India. Is there convenient flight connection from Borneo to Bali.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 09, 2012
Camping Gear  (3 Answers)

I'm traveling to Borneo and staying in a jungle camp. I need to get a light silk sleeping bag and mosquito net. Will I be able to find these easily in Borneo? Any camping/outdoor gear shops? I will be flying in to Kota Kinabalu so I have a day there. Any information would be great. The more specific the better!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 31, 2012
travelling from Semporna to Sandakan during the nigth by taxi  (4 Answers)

Hi, I will need to go from Semporna to Sandakan by car as I can't flight because of the diving therefore I arranged a taxi with a travel agency. I can't leave Semporna before 17.30 as on the same day I'm diving and I need to be in Sandakan the day after for a tour already booked. The agency at the beginning told me it would have been too dangerous to travel at night but then they said me it's ok to do it. Do you think that for the taxi driver is cool to drive that road during the night? Has anyone done it already? Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 27, 2012
Has anyone helped the Orphaned Orangatanges?  (3 Answers)

Has anyone helped the Orphaned Orangatanges?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 30, 2012
Our first trip to Borneo (Malaysia)  (9 Answers)

Hi. I need some help please :-) We are traveling in February with our 12 years son. We have 18 days and we have the tickets to / from Singapore. So we can fly with Air Asia to Kuching or Kota Kinabalu.
With 18 days do we have to spend our time in Sarawak or Sabah? Or both ? we can fly in to one city and back from another, and take a cheap flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu. We want to see the rain forest, go to an island for swimming / relax go diving and see the orangutans. Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 18, 2012
Kudat to Kota Kinabalu  (2 Answers)

Can anyone please tell me if it is easy to get transport early in the morning from Kudat to Kota Kinabalu? We have a plane leaving KK at 13:40 and we know that Kudat is about three hours drive away. We're hoping to get a bus at around 07:00 or 08:00 to get us to KK airport in ample time for our plane. Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 07, 2012
A week in Borneo  (7 Answers)

Hi all,

My dad would like to climb Mt Kinabalu so I said I'd go with him in December. We would have a week in Borneo but we are unsure about what to do with it.

The climb will take 2 days, 1 day getting over an overnight flight and then we want to see the Oragutans and I would ideally like to dive if possible (dad doesn't dive but he'd snorkel)

Do we need to fly to Sandakan or are there alernatives closer to Kota Kinabalu where we can do these things? I see that Air Asia has reasonable (ish) flights so I guess money isn't the issue here.

Any advice?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 06, 2012
Seven Days in Borneo  (5 Answers)

We are a middle aged couple who will be traveling to Borneo for
7 days starting April 8th. So far, we have only our first 2 nights booked in KK.
We would like to see some wildlife - proboscis monkeys, orangutans etc. We would also like to do
some snorkeling and a jungle cruise. Would flying over to Sandakan be a viable option or would we be just as well to stay in and around KK? ( we have our flight back to BKK booked from KK on Sunday April 15 th.) We would welcome any suggestions for a seven day itinerary.
We look forward to your suggestions.
Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 15, 2012
Dangerous Fauna or Flora in Borneo?  (19 Answers)


We will visit Borneo in 1 week and I'd like to know what kind of dangerous species we can find over there:

- Fauna: Snakes and spiders mainly, but insects, scorpions, caterpillars, etc.
- Flora: Dangerously stinging plants leaves and stems.

Thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 04, 2011
Best Islands to stay  (3 Answers)

Hi all, still putting the finishing touches to our 2012 holidays in March. We will be in Borneo late February 2012 and are considering visiting the islands around Sipidan and staying on one of them for a couple of nights. We want to experience pristine white sand beaches, good snorkelling (no diving lthough we understand this area to be the finest in the worl, and good dining at the chosen resort. The Islands we are looking at are Mabul,,,Mataking,,,,,Kapalai,,,,and Pom Pom,
Any comments on these islands or other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
We will be staying at Tawau for a couple of nights before going to the Islands.
are there any better islands to visit but not from Kota Kinabalu as we visited there earlier this year.....
Many thanks for your help

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 31, 2011
communication options  (2 Answers)


Can anyone advice me about communication options in the main towns in Borneo and Brunei? Are there many internet cafes? Is Wi-fi available? does a smart phone work?


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