Destination of the week: Borneo
Why you should go
If you’re the kind of person who never fails to find the zoo exciting, notably for its unpredictable animal antics such as possum-tossing orangutans, Borneo is the destination for you. It’s paradise for animal-lovers and equally, the animals themselves. Orangutans remain the biggest drawcard but venture into the rainforest and highlights include gibbons, sun bears, tarsiers and proboscis monkeys, the latter distinguished by their extra-long conk. The entertainment value is high in these parts.
The state of Sabah is in East Malaysia, occupying the northern part of Borneo. It’s flush with idyllic beaches, reef and rainforest. In 1963, a 43sq km stretch of land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve was transformed into a protected orangutan rehabilitation site. You can spy wild orangutans during feeding time (10am-2pm) and observe adolescent ones just about ready to leave the rehabilitation programme.
On multi-day treks within Tanjung Puting National Park, spot the agile gibbons and wild boars in their element. Venture further to the Kinabatangan and Danum Valley and sail the Kinabatangan River, the second-longest river in Malaysia. Observe the orangutans, pygmy elephants, and proboscis monkeys up close. Mount Kinabalu, Borneo’s loftiest peak, challenges you at 4095m. Reach the top, and the vistas are unmatched.
At Kota Kinabalu’s waterfront, seafood is the star – like the Hinava, a tangy fish salad, and grilled stingray. Tuaran Mee serves up springy egg noodles, while Laksa Sarawak is a rich noodle soup with prawns and chicken. Experience ayam pansuh, where chicken is cooked inside bamboo tubes. Begin days with roti canai, a flaky flatbread, alongside frothy teh tarik, a popular hot milky tea. Challenge your palate with durian, the pungent fruit that always divides opinion.
For more things to do in Borneo, visit sabahtourism.com/