Venturing to the Borneo Rainforest

Borneo - the 3rd largest island in the world

I had heard of the Borneo rainforest, but I had no idea where it was.   When we started planning this trip we bought Lonely Planet’s Guide to Southeast Asia on a Shoestring. When I looked on the map I saw that Borneo was located in Malaysia and Indonesia- countries we were planning to visit!  So I added Borneo to our list of destinations.  I still had to figure out which places to visit in Borneo.  The island is controlled by three countries: the largest section is part of Indonesia (Kalimantan); then there are the two Malaysian states- Sabah and Sarawak; and the tiny country of Brunei is also located on Borneo.   I found the most information on Malaysian Borneo, so we decided to visit there, as well as Brunei.

The mere mention of “Borneo” conjures up images of tropical rain forests full of wildlife.  Its mystical allure is kind of like “Hawaii” or  “Laos” for those who have never visited those places before.  So of course our vague and magical notions of what was in store were not exactly what we encountered.

We flew from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Kota Kinnabalu, the capital of Sabah State, in Malaysian Borneo.  Kota Kinnabalu (KK) is a beautiful little sea side city.  Right off the coast are the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) National Marine Park.  We took a morning flight into KK and were planning to head out to an island that day, but after waking up at 3am to catch our flight we were too exhausted.  We had also been warned that it rains every afternoon, so if we got too late of a start we would just get rained on.

Instead, we went by the National Parks Office and Tourist Information Center to get some more info about the places we were planning to see.  We found out from a very helpful lady at the Tourist Info Center that there was currently a Rafflesia flower blooming in Sabah, so we hurried out on our first Borneo adventure…

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