Thursday, January 05, 2017

My Culture Craving: A Two Week Itinerary to Sabah, Borneo

I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about visiting somewhere new as I was when I travelled to Sabah in the Malaysian part of Borneo.

The luscious jungle, majestic National Parks, diverse trekking, tropical islands and abundance of rare wildlife set it apart from the other places I’d been/was going to visit.

However, in Borneo, I found that my lack of planning before I arrived on the island really effected the amount of things I was able to squeeze in. You need a permit to climb Mount Kinabalu, permission to enter Danum Valley and a license to dive in Sipidan.

Therefore, the more organised you are before you arrive, the less stressed you’ll be when you arrive in Sabah.

Here’s my 2 week itinerary to exploring the jungle, wildlife and beaches of Borneo.

Week 1

Gunung Mulu National Park – 2 nights

Gunung Mulu National Park is a rare wonder in the very North of Sarawak, Borneo. Boasting extravagant caves, mesmerising pinnacles and lush jungle, it’s a National Park like no other.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it down to the park as by the time I’d decided I had time to fit it in, the flights were extortionate. However, if you plan ahead you can get flights to Mulu from Kota Kinabalu for next to nothing.

The people I spoke to who went to the park said that 2/3 days was plenty of time to explore.

Kota Kinabalu aka. KK – 3 nights

Most people who are heading to Sabah tend to fly into its capital – Kota Kinabalu. A sleepy city on the west coast of the island, KK is definitely worth a few days stop over to uncover its diverse terrain.

Offering beautiful albeit, touristy islands just half an hour off of the coast, the best night food market I’ve ever been to and a ginormous National Park with the world-famous Mount Kinabalu at its centre, there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Depending on whether you choose to climb Mount Kinabalu or not will affect how long you’ll need at the park (the trek is 3 days/2 nights). If you choose not to (like I did), I’d recommend a day or two in the city centre and another day or so staying close to the park (it’s around a 1 1/2 hours bus ride from the city).