Thursday, May 19, 2016

The best beaches of Borneo


This guide will provide you with a brief overview of the best beaches in Borneo. Choosing your seaside experience can depend on various factors, you may want to consider geographical location, snorkeling and diving opportunities and FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK) advice. Here I give you an overview of the best beach options to help you make the right decisions for your Borneo holiday.


Borneo’s beaches are mainly clustered in the eastern state of Sabah including Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park’s beaches, Tanjung Aru Beach and Shangri-la's Rasa Ria Beach near the major city of Kota Kinabalu. In the western state of Sarawak there is the rustic Permai Rainforest Resort with a wonderful private beach. Finally there are some incredible choices to the far east of Malaysian Borneo’s coast. In this area of the island though we must consider FCO advice and factor in whether travel insurance will cover your stay in this region.

Sabah Beaches

Shangri La Rasa Ria beach

Pantai Dalit Beach is surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation making it the perfect location for beach and nature lovers. The hotel itself is host to numerous amenities, beautiful gardens, and is set right on a private beach making this option ideal for families. There are a vast array of places for food and drink in the hotel and you will not be disappointed by a sunset cocktail at the Sampan Bar.

Tanjung Aru beach

6 kilometres south of Kota Kinabalu near the Shangri La Tanjung Aru is Tanjung Aru beach, a very local area with few tourists and an abundance of restaurants and food stalls in the evening all of a great variety. It’s the perfect place to sample some of the local cuisine, our favourites being the fresh seafood, steaming bowls of Laksa and Roti Chenai. This is a great place to visit if you’re looking to soak up everyday Bornean life.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

A 15-minute speed boat from Kota Kinabalu, Gaya Island is largest of 5 islands with three great resorts – Gaya Island Resort, Bungaraya Island Resort and Gayana Ecolodge. The latter two share a beach, being sister properties, Gaya Island Resort has a rather magnificent setting on its own beach whilst also providing guests with access to a very secluded private beach at Tavajun Bay a short boat ride away.  The sand here is a perfect white colour with crystal clear waters and an abundance of marine life. Here you can also explore Gaya’s vast rainforest and visit the resort’s own marine centre where incredibly knowledgeable naturalists can tell you all you need to know about the wildlife and conservation efforts of the area.

Other surrounding islands that are worth a visit are Manukan, Sapi, Mamutik and Sulug, all beaches that are lined with barbeque stalls teeming with activity, giving visitors a great glimpse into the local way of life. Gaya and Sapi are also excellent places for diving, with the calm surrounding sea being a great advantage.

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