"Borneo Island in the Clouds" Borneo by MaryannPteo

Borneo Travel Guide: 83 reviews and 289 photos

Introduction of Borneo

Covering an area of roughly 287,000 square miles, Borneo is the third-largest island in the world. It is divided into four political regions: Kalimantan belongs to Indonesia; Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia; a small remaining region comprises the sultanate of Brunei. Located southeast of the Malay Peninsula and southwest of the Philippines, Borneo is primarily mountainous, with dense areas of rain forest. The highest peak in Borneo, Mt. Kinabalu, stands at 13,455 ft. With a generally hot, wet climate, rain is more common than not, with some portions of Borneo receiving between 150 and 200 inches of rainfall annually.
Borneo is also the home of many national parks and an abundance of tropical wildlife and nature. Four of the most popular parks are Mulu National Park , Niah Cave, Bako National Park in Sarawak and Mount Kinabalu in Sabah.

Borneo remained isolated from the rest of the world. Located further from Indian trade routes than other parts of the Malay Peninsula, Borneo was less often the destination of traders and immigrants.

Many many years ago, emissaries of Spain and Portugal reached Borneo's shores. Soon after, the Dutch and British arrived, and it was these two nations that held power in Borneo from the 17th century into the modern era. In 1949, Indonesia became a foreign state, and in 1957, Malaysia gained its independence. Today, the population of Borneo consists of non-Muslim Dayaks and Islamic Malays, as well as Chinese and Europeans. The Ibans are the largest indigenous group in East Malaysia.

Sabah and Sarawak are multi-cultural states. Brunei is an independent country. Kalimantan, which is part of the Republic of Indonesia is the largest part of Borneo. Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei, and Kalimantan are inhabited by several different ethnic groups. Many interesting cultural festivals and celebrations are still celebrated throughout the year.

Borneo offers some of the most fantastic opportunities for divers. These include coral feefs, shipwreck drop off, unspoiled shallow reefs with a huge diversity of corals and the latest discovery in Miri is the Hatano reef Shipwreck MV Sri Gadong. Mountain climbing, golf, fishing, and rafting are well known too in the island of Borneo especially Sabah and Sarawak.

Orang Utan

Once widespread throughout the forests of Asia, orangutans are now confined to just two islands, Sumatra and Borneo. There are two genetically distinct species: the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). The two species show slightly different physical characteristics. Sumatran orangutans have lighter hair and a longer beard than their Bornean relatives, and Sumatran males have narrower cheekpads. Both species are highly endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

Orangutans breed more slowly than any other primate, with the female producing a baby on average only once every 7-8 years. Infants are dependent on their mothers for at least five years, learning about survival in the forest. Orangutans live for around 45 years in the wild, and a female will usually have no more than 3 offspring in her lifetime. This means that orangutan populations grow very slowly, and take a long time to recover from habitat disturbance and hunting.

Proboscis Monkeys

Proboscis monkeys have large prominent noses. They have large bellies, and the color of upper bodies of the monkeys are generally in pale grayish-yellow to reddish brown. The fur on their upper back tends to be darker while the lower section of their body paler. Adult male have much larger nose than the female, the monkeys’ nose will swell and turns red when the monkey is excited or angry. Proboscis monkeys are also known as the “Dutchman Monkey”. Locals thought the monkeys and Kalimantan’s farmer colonial rulers. In Malaysia they are called Örang Belanda" means Dutch nose monkeys

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Borneo still maintains the culture and nature of the people
  • Intro Updated Mar 23, 2008
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