If you plan to visit Malaysia, then Borneo should be on your travel list!
Borneo is third largest island on earth, a tropical paradise with crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, the oldest and most bio-diverse rain forest, impressive wildlife and an abundance of natural wonders.
I’ve visited a lot of places in Asia but this is definitely one of the places that I would like to go back to.
» Book your domestic flights ahead as far as possible. Often tickets will be cheaper than traveling by bus and it saves you a lot of time.
» Air Asia & Malindo Air are your best friend. They offer low fares online across Asia. Make sure to bring your credit card, the only other option you have is to book a flight at one of their shops.
» Ask the locals for help! They speak very well English and they like to help. It saved me a lot of time and money!
» You will find the best food on the street food markets in Sabah Borneo
» I made the mistake by not setting my bankcard to International before I left
I took a 2.25 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu (KK) with Malindo Air. KK is the capital of Borneo and a part of the Sabah province. I decided to stay just for a few days because I wanted to have enough time to explore Kuching and it’s nearby jungles. KK maybe isn’t as vibrant or diverse like Kuching, but it is still worth visiting for a couple of days.
Most travellers who come to KK don’t come here for the city itself but to travel further into Saba to the numerous idyllic islands, jungles and other various nature sites in the area, but if you do want to spend some time in KK, you should definitely pass by the Filipino night market. This famous food court in Borneo located at Jalan Kampung Air is open from 5PM until the last paying customer is ready to leave. Over here you will find a diversity of a culinary mix of food dishes from South East Asia.
Another thing you should do is snorkeling in KK, simple, easy, cheap and a fun activity. It’s easy to arrange a snorkeling trip via an agency, but if you want to save money you need to take the local bus to the jetty at Jesselton Point and book your trip over there. You will find various tour operators inside who can bring you to one of the 5 islands for about RM100 and RM200.
“Borneo has a typical equatorial climate with sunshine all year round”
If you ever wondered what heaven looks like? This is the closest you will get!
Near Kota Kinabalu, just a 15 min boat ride, you will find a place that is a wonderful treat to nature and adventure lovers, talking about Manakan. It’s one of the five tropical islands – Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sulug and Pulau Mamutikis – of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) and the second largest of all 5 islands. TARP is full with colorful fish, crystal clear waters, idyllic beaches and a turquoise sea.
Plenty of tourists come here for the underwater activities, so it can be a bit crowded but still Manakan is the best island for diving and snorkeling.
» Don’t forget to go up hill for a great walk in the jungle. After 1.5km you will see some of the best views.
» You need to buy a ticket for about RM40 when you arrive to enter the island
» The last boat will head back to KK at 4PM
Up next, wildlife in Kuching.
For tips in Kuala Lumpur, check here: