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The third largest island in the world, Borneo, is considered to be one of the most exotic and welcoming destinations on the travel map.

If you’re interested in taking a trip from the mainland, or perhaps you’re checking out the southerly delights of Indonesia and are intrigued as to what the north of Borneo has to offer, read on because this article is for you.

Stay in a long house

This is no ordinary tree house in the back garden. Whole communities live within the shade of a long house and if you’re visiting, particularly in the westerly state of Sarawak, there’s no better chance to find out more about the culture and lifestyle of Malaysia’s rural people. As many of the long house inhabitants speak English staying overnight presents an ideal opportunity to make friends as you eat, sleep and laugh as part of the community.

Climb Mount Kinabalu

Obviously the highest mountain on any island is going to attract a fair bit of attention and Mt Kinabalu is no exception. If you are considering making the trek and scramble to the summit of Low’s Peak (just over 4,000m) then a good level of fitness and a local guide is required. Although it is possible to climb to the top and back in four hours, most people tend to use a couple of days either side to acclimatise as they ascend and come back down to earth.

Visit Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

This famous nature centre is one of the most fascinating and enthralling locations on the island and from getting up close to our long-armed cousins to finding out more about the sanctuary’s conservation quest, Sepilok is an amazing experience. No matter what your reasons for visiting western Malaysia: adventure tours, family fun or plain and simple R and R, a trip to Sepilok often proves to be an inevitable highlight.

Venture into the Mulu Caves

As far as limestone cave systems go, Mulu really does have to be seen to be believed as it’s not only the biggest in the world, but is also over 60 million years old. Amateur geologists and adventurous young explorers will be in their absolute element and from insects and bats to snakes and swiftlets, there’s plenty of cave-dwelling inhabitants to get your pulse and imagination racing. Located in Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu National Park, this is the perfect place to explore and discover natural underground beauty.

Dive into Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

If you’re looking for an idyllic island paradise whilst visiting Borneo, then Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park provides more than its fair share. With a cluster of five tempting white sand shores to entice intrepid adventurers, there are plenty of different ways to discover the islands for yourself. Additional water sports activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, banana boats and scuba diving, make the half hour trip from Kota Kinabalu well worth the price of the ferry and park entrance fee.

The best way to get to Borneo is by air from Kuala Lumpar. Flights will take you to either Sabah, in the east, or Sarawak, in the west, once you arrive the best way to travel is by river boat or passenger boat as there isn’t a proper railway system in place.

My friends are both teaching English in KL for the British Council and I’m eagerly hoping to join them soon with the express wish of climbing Mount Kinabalu and visiting the orangutans at Sepilok. If you’re going to Malaysia in the near future, I hope you have a fantastic time and I look forward to reading your blogs and personal accounts online – have fun and keep safe and well.

Biog: Nicola is a trained TEFL teacher who is looking forward to her next adventure tours and safari holidays in Southeast Asia.