Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Up close and personal with Borneo

When daydreaming about the perfect tropical island escape, images of palm trees, white sand and beautiful sunsets may come to mind.

But for active travellers Stephen and Carolyn Soole it was not the idyllic images akin with the tropical islands of Fiji or Samoa, but the wild jungles of Borneo that got them excited about having a real holiday adventure.

The couple went to United Travel Dargaville to put a holiday plan together, and in October they were away.

"We wanted to experience another country’s culture and natural beauty, and we didn’t want the usual run-of-the-mill holiday. Borneo fitted the bill entirely.

"For us the highlights were getting up close and personal with the jungle wildlife on their terms watching monkeys, crocs, lizards, snakes and birds in their natural habitat.

"This was a real experience," says Stephen.

The holiday started when they landed in the capital city, Bandar Sri Begawan of Brunei a small country within Borneo.

About 350,000 people live in Brunei and 10 percent of them in a village on the water, having done so since 1521 when it was first discovered.

It is accessable only by boat, the houses are built side by side on stilts, the village has everything from schools, police stations, fire brigade and shops.

From Brunei they travelled north to the state of Sabah and the capital city of Kota- Kinabalu before moving further north into the mountain region around Kinabalu park, home to Mount Kinabalu – the highest mountain in Asia, at 4100 metres.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: Up close and personal with Borneo

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