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Borneo forest fires

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Hi,
I'm thinking of taking a trip to Borneo in August 2016 but have heard that fires associated with controversial palm oil farming on the Indonesian side affect air quality on the Malaysian side of Borneo and beyond onto the peninsula. Has anyone experienced this over the summer months as I'm worried that it could impact on internal flights being cancelled.
Thanks for any advice.

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    We spent most of last year in the region and most of May in Borneo and had no problems at that time. However, when we flew out of Bali in early July, the burnings were beginning to hit the news and a week or so later, flights were being cancelled due to the smoke. As I recall it went on for a few weeks.

    I know KL and Singapore were also badly affected for quite some time after that. Whether Malaysian borneo was badly affected, I don't know. A lot depends on when the dry season arrives the prevailing winds at the time which seemed to be directing the worst of it away from Sabah and Sarawak.

    It doesn't happen every year but does seem to be becoming a more regular occurrence.

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    In September, 2016, I spent three weeks in East Malaysia (Borneo), and I divided my time between Sabah in the north, and Sarawak in the south. Once I arrived in Sarawak, I developed a horrible cough that stayed with me for the rest of my visit. I refused to let it curtail my sightseeing, but I had difficulty sleeping.

    I typically bring along an entire pharmacy when I travel, but I usually don't carry cough syrup since it's so bulky. A Chinese-Malaysian friend sent me to a Chinese pharmacy in Kuching, and I got some herbal cough medicine, but it did not help. The cough continued when I was in KL as well. And yes, there were some flight cancellations between Mulu and Miri when I was there, but it didn't impact my travel path.

    The Malaysians explained to me that the worst burning season is in September, so I got unlucky. I am a neurotic, hyper trip planner, but I never dreamed that I would have to research "Indonesian burning." All of the Malaysians are getting sick as well. The 35 year old assistant manager at my Kuching hotel has just developed asthma. All in all, it's a really bad situation.

    I would advise you to thoroughly research when the burning will occur this year, and avoid traveling during that time. My trip was absolutely wonderful otherwise. The people are friendly and mellow, and the flora and fauna are fascinating. Do try to get to Bario in the Kelabit Highlands. Crellston enlightened me about the area, and it is so very beautiful.

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