Saturday, March 26, 2016

2 Weeks in Sabah Borneo

Borneo is an absolute dream and the only negative thing I can say about our time there is that we regret not spending more time there.  We had planned to spend much more time and for some reason we got there and realized we would have to cut our time short. It was just poor planning on our part, but it gave us a good taste of what there is on offer there and we have no doubt we will be back.

As you know if you follow along, I am a rainforest jungle junkie. Whenever we get a chance to get out of the city into a forest or jungle I am completely in my element, so you can imagine that visiting the equatorial rainforests of Borneo was a highlight for both of us. There is just something about the sound of nothing, the sound of distant birds and crashing monkeys that just makes me feel at peace.  Borneo delivered on this aspect.

Top that off with some of the most stunning islands and underwater life we have ever seen and we are raving about this destination. Simply put, we cannot wait to get back and it seems our list of places to revisit in Southeast Asia continues to grow.

Now that I have told you about our new found love I’ll divulge on a couple other things. This island is an adventurers paradise with a variety of things to do on the ground, in the clouds and under the water. The opportunities are endless if you have the energy. Getting around the country in really easy with efficient bus routes and perfectly scattered airports. Transportation is affordable as well.  There really isn’t a real reason to not come here and just explore all that it has to offer, other than time of course. That will be your only limit.

Where Did We Go?

We visited the Malaysian State of of Sabah, leaving Sarawak State and Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of Borneo unexplored for now. Our stops included Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Sukau, Kinabatangan River, Sepilok, Semporna, Mabul, Kapalai, Siamil and Sipadan.

What We Loved:

Borneo is stunning and the few parts we saw delivered on all aspects of what we expected.

Adventure. Sabah is an adventure lovers paradise. There is a trek, climb, safari, dive and more around every single corner. The cities of course are modern and it is easy to find your every day comforts but once you get outside of them, nothing but adventure awaits you in the undeveloped areas.

Prime Equatorial Rainforests.  Ah, I get goosebumps just thinking about it and regret not spending more time exploring them. I am genuinely fascinated by dense rainforests and after seeing many different versions of them around the World, there was only one that swept me off my feet, the Amazon Rainforest. That was until we paid a visit to Borneo, while it’s not as big, the rainforests here are a close second and well above many others we have trodden through over the years.

World Class Scuba Diving. Well, I had to mention this as Sabah boasts one of the World’s top 5 dive sites with Sipadan Island. Of course we couldn’t resist the urge to dive here, so we spent 5 days living on an island diving Sipadan and the surrounding islands of Mabul, Kapalai and Siamil. It really was world class.

The Wildlife. Borneo is home to so many endemic species, I can’t even remember them all. This makes for spectacular wildlife viewing just about anywhere you go. We even went out birding and on a wildlife safari where we spotted Proboscis Monkeys, Silver Langurs, Orangutans, several varieties of Hornbills and other endemic species.

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