Going to Borneo in a few weeks

Jun 11th, 2015, 01:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
Going to Borneo in a few weeks

I've just had some vacation I didn't expected to have, and I really want do something exciting.

Have read a lot about Borneo, but it's difficult to know how much you can do in around a month there.
First, I'm not really sure to go to the Indonesian or Malaysian part. I'm a 24 year old woman. I've been travelling with a friend before, but this time, I'm going on my own. Is it uncomfortable to travel around there (both parts) as a single girl?

I would like to go to places where I might meet other travellers, but still be able to go and see some wild life and nature. Any ideas?
I love diving, and really want to have some experiences with that - can you recommend a good place?
I'm from Denmark, and as far as I can read, it's not necessary with a visa for the Malaysian part, but it is for the Indonesian part. Can I have a visa for the indonesian part faster, than the three weeks it takes here, if I apply for it in the Malaysian part?

Hope you will share your experiences!
slemmeemma is offline  
Jun 11th, 2015, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
Malaysian Borneo, both Sabah and Sarawak, have better infrastructure than the Indonesian part of Borneo (Kalimantin). So for ease of travel, Sabah and Sarawak win. But Kalimantin is more off the beaten track. I haven't traveled in Kalimantin, but we've had trip reports here from single women who have, and they have not reported any difficulty. Sabah and Sarawak were easy travel and the people very welcoming.

You are more likely to meet other travelers in Sabah and Sarawak. If you want to see wildlife, you'll want to stay at one of the jungle lodges. There are many, all a bit different from each other. We stayed at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge years ago and just loved it. Note that there are a number of "rehab" centers for orangutans, but you will be seeing orangutans in captivity.

To get to Malaysian Borneo, you'll need to fly into either Kota Kinabalu or Kuching. There are flights from both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

There have been a number of recent reports on Malaysian Borneo here, go to the top of the page and choose Malaysia form the drop-down menu, then go down the page until you get to trip reports.

As far as an Indonesian visa is concerned, check to see whether you can get one on arrival at Kalimantin. Some entry points don't have visa on arrival, but most do.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 12th, 2015, 12:38 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,247
Sipadan and the Semorna achipelago in eastern Sabah are world class diving destinations. Trips can be arranged in Kota Kinabalu. There is also diving in that area but it's not too great.

Recently spent a month in Sabah and Sarawak and found plenty to do. It is very easy to get around - Air Asia seem to fly everywhere and are very cheap if you book in advance a little.

I did speak to the Indonesian consulate in kuching and was told that they could provide a visa in one day. It is possible to cross into Kalimantan near the border about 50 k from Kuching. Personally I would just stick to Malayasian Borneo.

Sandakan is great for Orangutans, Mulu is a not miss and, if you are feeling energetic you could do the "head hunters " trail which takes around 3-5 days. The Kelabit Highland are off the beaten track and worth a visit. Kota Kinabalu presents a challenge but, as you may have read, had recently had an earthquake resulting in some deaths.

I am not single, not a woman and definitely not 24 but Borneo felt very safe. There have been reports of recent kidnapping in eastern Sabah recently but they were involved locals rather than tourists. We met several young single women on our travels there and nominees mentioned any issues and all seemed to be having a great time. Meeting fellow travellers is dependent upon staying in the right places. Check out http://www.travelfish.org/country/malaysia for good info and ideas on places to stay.
crellston is offline  
Jun 12th, 2015, 05:13 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 305
Sarawak and Sabah are very friendly to visitors. Provinces of Malaysia, the type of governance you would expect anywhere in a civilised part of the world, which SEAsia definitely is. If you are sensible, you will be safe.

Definitely visit Kuching for a few days. it's unique in Asia. this is partly because it was established as a Chinese trading port in the 15thC, and was run as a fiefdom by a mad English rajah in the 19thC, and has lots of Diak hill tribe people who used to be head-hunters, plus a majority Christian population and very friendly Malay Muslims. None of whom have a working majority, so they all have to get along.

There are orangutan sanctuaries and coastal & forest national parks close to Kuching.

Also, Kuching is the city of cats.

Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu are also good, with lots of wildlife and trekking opportunities.
mareeS55 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2015, 05:18 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 305
PS, I should have mentioned the food in Sarawak/Borneo.. It's subtly different from mainland Malaysia, especially the laksa.
mareeS55 is offline  

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