Borneo is a big place so give yourself time to get around! We only managed to spend time in the Malaysian part of Borneo, we have heard great things about the Indonesian side too but unfortunately we ran out of time! If we could do it all again we would fly into Kuching for a couple of days to see Bako National Park and Semoneggoh Nature Reserve and then fly straight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu. Theres a lot more to do in Sabah than Sarawak and it seems to be a lot more catered for tourism. Borneo is full of nature, wildlife and has some of the best diving spots in the world. Heres our tips when travelling around Borneo.
- Don’t book tours – Every tour we looked at was ridiculously over priced, some times it cost £50 for something you could get a bus to for £2 and entry was free! and if you think but it will make my life easy, you can book a grab to most places or just ask someone who’s local and they will point you to the right bus.
- If you have to pick between Sarawak and Sabah, choose Sabah – It’s easy to travel and they have everything within a 9 hour drive from orang-utan to mountains to diving.
- Book in advance for diving if you want to go to Sipadan – The nice resorts that offer diving in Sipadan get booked up really quickly.
- If you’re travelling over land through Brunei, take into account you have to stop off at Labuan Island – we got stuck here for one night thinking we had got a ferry from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu.
- Get a ‘Hot Link’ sim – Endless you in the very touristy areas wi-fi is very poor and sometimes unavailable.
- Try Mee Hoon Ayam – It translates to fried noodles with chicken and its a great meal that most food places/stalls will sell and it tastes like Chow Mein from the Chinese at home!
2 nights/3 days in Kuching – stayed at Gibbon Guesthouse, really clean and comfy beds, very close to the main town.
1 day/1 night in Sibu – We got a four-hour boat here from Kuching and stayed at ‘Comfort Inn’, the rooms were brand new and really comfy, just slightly out-of-town.
1 day/ 1 night in Kapit – We got a six-hour boat here from Sibu and stayed at Hotel Meligai. The rooms were comfy but needed a face lift! But I don’t think your find anything better in Kapit.
1 day/ 1 night in Belaga – We got a six-hour boat here from Kapit and stayed at Hotel Belaga, the rooms here were awful but nearly everywhere we looked at was bad! Try to stay at Dans Levoh’s Guest House If you can.
2 days/2 nights in Miri – We stayed at Nova hotel which was really comfy and not far from the centre of town either.
1 evening/ 1 night in Labuan Island – We stayed at Expo Hotel for 70RM for one night, clean comfy rooms easy to walk everywhere from
3 days/2 nights in Kota Kinabalu – We stayed at Space Cap Hotel, walking distance from most places and a comfy clean stay. Very different to anywhere we have stayed before.
4 days/3 nights in Sandakan – We stayed at Hotel Livingston, it was brand new hotel with comfy beds and a pool for 120RM a night, slightly out-of-town though.
4 days/3 nights in Semporna – We stayed at Island Backpackers, 36RM for a dorm bed or 109RM for a double room (breakfast included), walking distance from everything, very clean and lovely staff.
1 day/1 night in Tawau – We stayed at Promenade Hotel, reasonable at 130RM per night for a double room, it could do with a face lift but perfect for one night.