Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Chronicles of the cross Borneo road trip

I have been adequately full filled by the wild nature of Sabah and in a 6 day journey I was able to thoroughly travel it’s cultural counterpart, the Malaysian state of Sarawak. This is the story…

Many people save themselves time by simply flying from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching but of course, I can’t handle taking the easy way out of anything.

I decided to travel overland between capital cities in order to see whatever was hiding in between the borders, such as the indigenous tribes and traditional long houses that Sarawak is known for, thus, the Cross Borneo “Roadtrip” was born.

The reason for putting “roadtrip” in quotations is because there is a surprising amount of water in and around Borneo. It is third largest island in the world and is home to Malaysia’s longest river, the Batang Rejang.

With that being said, sometimes taking a boat was by far the most sensible and sometimes the only way of travel. One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Borneo in the first place was to view with my own eyes one of the world’s oldest natural rainforests which is in a very vulnerable state of constant change and compromise.

I wanted to be able to get to know the “real” Borneo before it changes any more than it already has. Also, hearing stories about the mighty, mysterious Batang Rejang river “highway” (more quotations! Whaaaat!?) gave me fantasies of paddling down it in a little wooden canoe picking wild mangoes from the over hanging trees and fighting off crocodiles with my bare hands. Ok, it sounds a bit extreme but a girl can dream, eh?

The plan was to get to the small river trading port of Belaga and make my way down the river to the point where it eventually spills out into the South China Sea, stopping along the way to have local-made rice whiskey at some long houses. Seems rather simple except the only way to Belaga overland is by four wheel drive truck from the city of Bintulu, over the mountains via logging roads.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Chronicles of the cross Borneo road trip