"Borneo - Malaysia" Borneo by bwk_michael
Borneo Travel Guide: 66 reviews and 200 photos
Borneo has 15,721,384 inhabitants (January 2005) and thus a population density of 16 inhabitants per square km. The population lives mainly on the coast, furthermore in the cities. The hinterland is occupied at most in small towns and villages along the rivers. The population consists mainly of Malays, Chinese and Dayak ethnic groups. The Chinese, who make up 29% of the population of Sarawak and 17% of total population in West Kalimantan, originally migrated from southeastern China. The majority of the population in Kalimantan is either Muslim or practice animism. Approximately 15% of the Dayak are Christian, a religion introduced by missionaries in the 19th Century. In Central Kalimantan there is also a small Hindu minority. In the interior of Borneo are also the Penan, some of who still practice a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence. In some coastal areas of marginal settlements are also found Bajau, who were historically associated with a sea-oriented, boat-dwelling, nomadic existence. In the northwest of Borneo, the Dayak ethnic group is represented by the Iban with about 710,000 members.
There are over 30 Dayak sub-ethnic groups living in Borneo, making the population of this island one of the most varied of human social groups. Some sub-ethnicities are now represented by only 30-100 individuals and are threatened with extinction. Ancestral knowledge of ethnobotany and ethnozoology is useful in drug discovery (for example, bintangor plant for AIDS) or as future alternative food sources (such as sago starch for lactic acid production and sago maggots as a protein source). Certain indigenous Dayak people (such as the Kayan, Kenyah, Punan Bah and Penan) living on the island have been struggling for decades for their right to preserve their environment from loggers and transmigrant settlers and colonists.
Kalimantan was the focus for an intense transmigration program that financed the relocation of poor landless families from Java, Madura, and Bali. In 2000, transmigrants made up 21% of the population in Central Kalimantan. Since the 1990s, violent conflict has occurred between some transmigrant and indigenous populations; in Kalimantan, thousands were killed in fighting between Madurese transmigrants and the indigenous Dayak people
Gunung Mulu National Park near Miri, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses incredible caves and karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting. The park is famous for its caves and the expeditions that have been mounted to explore them and their surrounding rainforest, most notably the Royal Geographical Society Expedition of 1977 - 1978, which saw over 100 scientists in the field for 15 months. This initiated a series of over 20 expeditions now drawn together as the Mulu Caves Project
The national park is named after Mount Mulu, the second highest mountain in Sarawak.
Mulu is a very inaccessible area; the only practical way of getting to and from it is by air, mainly from Miri airport. It is possible to travel to the area by riverboat, but it requires a chartered long boat for the last part - and the whole trip by river would take around 12 hours to complete from Miri, while the flight takes only 30 minutes. Prior to the opening of the airport, and the opening of a helipad in 1991, this was the only way to reach the national park.
Excursions to Mulu continues to retain the sense of adventure associated with its original exploration through the provision of adventure caving and other adventure activities. The primary focus however has shifted to the promotion of an awareness of the significance of the park and its environment through the provision of ecotourism activities that foster understanding and appreciation of the parks values. Accommodation is available at the five star luxury resort Royal Mulu Resort, the tropical-style boutique hotel The Matumau Lodge, or there are cheaper lodgings across the river. The park HQ also has limited accommodation.
The island of Borneo is divided administratively into 3 parts, the only island in the world that is a recognised part of 3 countries:
The Indonesian provinces of East, South, West and Central Kalimantan
The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak (the Federal Territory of Labuan is located on nearshore islands of Borneo, but not on the island of Borneo itself)
The independent country of Brunei (main part and eastern exclave of Temburong)
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