A couple of weeks ago, Karen (one of our trusty Asia/Australia experts) was lucky enough to be invited on a trip to Borneo. For those of you who do not know anything about Borneo, it is the third-largest non-continental island in the world (after Greenland and New Guinea). Located in Southeast Asia, Borneo is divided among three countries; Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Here is Karen’s lowdown on her trip to Beautiful Borneo…
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip, and I am definitely placing it on my “beautiful places” destination list! Borneo is not a place that is too familiar with Irish people. However, I am determined to change that! Here is the first step in my attempt at doing that…
Accommodation in Borneo
After a long (but admittedly, painless) flight, we arrived in Kota Kinabalu airport. We were swiftly escorted to the 5 star Shangi-La Rasa Ria Resort which is located on Pantai Dalit Beach. Words cannot describe how stunning the accommodation itself was. My room had a Malaysian theme, and was perched on a verdant hill. I enjoyed a spectacular beachfront view, and I was within view of Borneo’s lush tropical forest which spreads for around 400 acres. As well as being beautiful, the hotel was seeped in luxury, character and sheer comfort. I would DEFINTELY recommend staying here.
Animals and Other Wonders of the World
Orangutans are one of Borneo’s star attractions. We visited an orangutan sanctuary at the Shangi-La Rasa Ria Resort. This sanctuary is a reserve on the resort grounds, which caters for orphaned orangutans. I had never seen an organutan before (apart from in an episode of David Attenborough, of course – and in fact, it was in Borneo that David Attenborough first encountered organutans in the 1950s!); they are such beautiful and majestic creatures.
We then travelled to Sepilok Sanctuary in Sandakan, which is the world’s oldest reserve for orangutans. The aim of this sanctuary is to rescue orphaned and abandoned juvenile orangutans and to teach them to fend for themselves in the big bad world.
We also visited the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, which is located very close to the Sepilok Sanctuarty. Sun bears are the smallest and least known members of the bear family. They are the CUTEST animal I have ever seen. Sadly, they are nearing extinction, as their habitats are being destroyed by deforestation. Horrifically, these cuties are also being brutally killed for commercial exploitations. The aim of the conservation centre is to rescue, conserve, and rehabilitate sun bears, as well as to put a stop to their nearing extinction.
We also visited the Sukau area located at Kinabatangan River. We went on a few short river safaris, which were so much fun. We were treated to all kinds of wildlife, from monkeys and crocodiles to funky-looking birds…
We spent two nights in the Malaysian capital, the glorious Kuala Lumpur. We did the city tour and had drinks at the open-air rooftop Skybar in Traders Hotel. We sat there sipping on our cocktails overlooking the famous Petronas Towers (which we’ve spoken about previously in our Australia Stopover
post). Pure, epic bliss.
Interested in visiting Borneo, just like Karen?
We don’t blame you! We were all very jealous of Karen and her stories when she got back.