1. Swimming With Turtles in Sipadan
Picture this: you are at the seabed with a hawksbill turtle an arm’s length away. This is what you are going to experience when you visit the waters of Sipadan Island in Borneo. Travelling there is easy with Borneo Dream and you can do things you have never experienced before.
Sipadan Island is a beautiful small island with 40 acres of forest, but the thing that will impress you the most is the marine life. You will not only see the turtles. The island is rich in shallow reef plateau which can be found on the eastern part, and there is also the brilliant-yellow snappers and curious batfish surrounding you. You can glide over black corals, and see turtles at West Ridge, and also google at groupers. You will not run out of things to see because there are over 3,000 different species of fish.
2. Climbing the First UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malaysia
Mount Kinabalu stands at 4,095m above sea level and it is the highest mountain between New Guinea and the Himalayas. The paths are well maintained and accessible and it is also the highest in the world via Ferrata which is 3776m above sea level.
Whichever of the routes you decide to take, you should always make sure you look up the path you are going to use. The jungle is the Mecca of a botanist. It has 5,000 species of plants, and 1,200 varieties of orchids and also the largest carpet of mosses in the world. You will see more than just plants, it has over 300 species of birds and 100 species of mammals. You should be on the lookout for orangutans, gibbons, and frogs that are the same size as your fingernails.
3. Heading Up the River
The Kinabatangan River is the acting pathway to the deeper part of Borneo. This is a land that has proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, and traditional tribesmen, and this will look like something out of Boys’ Own adventure. Taking the river tour gives you the best chance of getting to see the smallest elephants in Asia and other beautiful wildlife. You will be cruising along the Kinabatangan looking at the banks to watch for other animals like crocodiles, monitor lizards, and even orangutans. Looking at the sky, you will see kingfishers and hornbills.
You should also check out the Gomantong Caves which is nearby. The intricate system has at least 19 caves buried beneath the largest limestone hill, but you will only be able to see one cave because only one is open to the public. The one open is the largest one and is known as the black cave, and its name should tell you something about the cave. You have to be brave because of darkness, and you also need to have a strong stomach because there is a strong stench, there are swarms of bats swooshing over your head, and cockroaches scurrying underfoot. This experience is terrifyingly fantastic. The best time to visit is at dusk.
4. Spicing Up Your Life
Borneo hasn’t been considered one of the culinary capitals in the world, but this will change. The food is never boring with the Malay, Indian, and Chinese influences. The locals like to season their food using spices from the rainforest, and there is a good chance you are going to taste a flavour you have never tasted before. Go and look for Nasi Lemak hawker then let him give you a taste of his favourite jungle spice.
Fish, noodles, rice, and vegetables that are grown locally are the staples in Borneo. This is why you will see the traditional dish of clay pot soup. Whether the fish is a squid or prawns thrown in, or vegetables and tofu, then noodle-based broth will end up keeping you both full and happy. Try Hinava if you are interested in something that has a kick. This dish is the most popular in Sabah, and it is made from filleted mackerel that has been smothered in ginger, chilli, lime, and bambangan seed.
5. Making Music in the Rainforest
The Sarawak Cultural Village is deep at the heart of Borneo rainforest and it preserves and showcases the life and culture of the local tribes of Borneo. There is an annual Rainforest World Music Festival takes place here and it is three days long. The event draws up to 24,000 people.
This festival has been happening since 1998 and the performers come from all over the globe, and they get to be with local and indigenous musicians. You will get the chance of experiencing the local life first-hand, learning their dances and music, and customs. You will also the traditional longhouses at the foot of Mount Santubong. There are also educational workshops during the day, while you have the evening to dance along with the music. There are food and drinks stands all over the grounds. You can also get gifts and souvenirs from the art and crafts areas.