I am looking at going to Borneo as part of my trip in the summer, and will probably be there some time at the start of August.
I am planning on flying into Borneo from Kuala Lumpa with airasia but i have a couple questions.
How easy is it once u get there? Where is the best place to stay? And how long do you recommend staying there for.
And any comments from people who have been or looking at going would be good!
For how long to stay, I would say it depends if you're going to Sabah and Sarawak, or just one of them. I went to both (and also Brunei) and was there for about three weeks. It was quite hectic though, and I didn't have many spare days, so a few extra days might have been a good idea. Basically, there's so many class places and cool things to see in Borneo that I ended up doing more than I originally planned.
I went round Sabah on a pre-booked tour so it was therefore easy to do, but if you're doing it on your own I would suggest adding a few extra spare days into your itinerary, just cos some of the more popular places (specifically Mount Kinabalu and Turtle Island) sometimes get fully booked and you might have to wait a day or two. Or you could probably make bookings yourself in advance which, if you're on a tight schedule, I would recommend doing.
I visited Sarawak and Brunei independently though, and it was straight forward enough. AirAsia flies to a lot of places in Borneo so there were a couple of occasions where I just decided where I wanted to go next on the night-time and then just turned up at the airport the next morning and got a flight. I was probably quite lucky flight-wise though, so it's best to have at least a general (but maybe flexible) plan before you go.
You probably know where you want to go already but my personal favourites were Mount Kinabalu (worth doing some fitness training before climbing it though), Turtle Island, Mulu Jungle (where they have caves with millions of bats in which all fly out together and it looks impressive) and I also liked taking a speedboat through the water village in Brunei.
Hope this is useful but basically though, Borneo was one of my favourite places I've visited (and very under-rated in my opinion) so you've made an excellent choice by going to Borneo.
THanks for the reply! It really is useful! I thought i would choose Borneo as so many people seem to do the Thailand, Laos thing, but so many people seem to miss Borneo it seems.
Ill look into the things you suggested doing, it does sound good.
Also, regarding accomodation on the island, is it easy to find? I can only picture it as getting off a plane into rainforests with know where to stay.
If you're flying into Kota Kinabalu then that's pretty much a developed town (in an slightly old-fashioned sort of way), so it's probably not what you'll expect, but other parts of Borneo, especially Mulu and also maybe Sepilok (where the orangutangs are) are probably just like you imagine, except only better in real life. Flying to Mulu from Miri was excellent (it was a small 50 seater plane and the scenery was class), and then Mulu itself is class. The scenery reminded me of sort of prehistoric scenery and the airport is just a runway with one building and the whole attitude of the airport staff was so laidback, so from the moment I arrived I just thought, 'Aye, I'm gonna like it here, like.'
For accomodation in Borneo, there's quite a few hostels in Kota Kinabalu, so it's easy enough to find somewhere to stay there, but I pre-booked somewhere anyway just to make sure. For the rest of Sabah I was on a pre-booked tour so they sorted out all the accomodation, but most places we went to seemed to have spare rooms/beds. The exceptions to this were Turtle Island, which I think you would definitely have to book in advance, and also the overnight place halfway up Mount Kinabalu which again you would have to pre-book. But if you're climbing the mountain (although it's actually a hike not a climb) then I think you have to do it with a guide so you would book your bed as part of the whole deal anyway.
For Sarawak and Brunei, I traveled round with people I'd met in Sabah and in almost every case we just turned up and found somewhere straight away. At the place we stayed at in the Mulu jungle though, we would probably have been better off booking in advance cos they only had space in the dorm, and the cost of the private rooms was only a bit more than the dorm so mebbees if you go there I would recommend booking in advance, but other than that I didn't have any problems.
Also, in Mulu the official tourist board place is definitely the best place to stay as it's right at the entrance to the park and all the treks. There's a smart hotel a couple of miles down the road from the park, and it's a nice hotel but really if you're going to Mulu then it's to see the caves with the bats and to do the treks and stuff, so the official place is definitely much better located.
I regret not going to Brunie when I was in Borneo.
You can go to Brunie via LABUAN island...
Sabbah is beautiful and Sepilok has nice resort hostels and hotels...
Yeah, I'm glad I went to Brunei. I went from Miri in Sarawak so it was quite awkward to get to but it's worth going if you've got a spare couple of days. I think it's easier to get to from Sabah though, so I probably did it the wrong way round.