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Borneo is the third-largest biggest island on the planet and the biggest in Asia. It is situated at the geographical prime point of Maritime Southeast Asia and is north of Java, west of Sulawesi, and east of Sumatra. The island has been divided into three states: Malaysia and Brunei from the northwest, and Indonesia into the south. Approximately 73 percent of this island is ancestral land. From the north, the East Malaysian parts called Sabah and Sarawak constitute about 26% of this island. Moreover, the Malaysian national territory of Labuan is located on a little island just off the coast of Borneo. Kalimantan is the Indonesian part. This Borneo, Indonesia side covers 73 percent of the island. The remaining approximately 1% is part of Brunei. Kalimantan means ‘Burning Weather Island' and derives from the Sanskrit word for Kalamanthana because of the very hot weather all year round as the island is situated near the equator. The town of Pontianak is where you can look at the equator in person. Here you come across acres of lush jungles, snaking countryside, and rivers. As you would anticipate, hiking and trekking at the unspoiled rainforests are a favorite activity here and you'll be able to check out of the fauna and flora like proboscis monkeys. If you like nature, Kalimantan is a superb choice.


Location: east of Sumatra, west of Sulawesi, and north of Java

Area: 743,330 square kilometers

Nearest Railhead: None

Nearest Airport: Balikpapan Sepinggan Airport

How to reach: By air from Indonesia or Malaysia

Famous for: Untouched forests, trekking and mountain climbing

Months Open: All year round

Best time to visit: March to October

What's Here: Tropical rainforest, wildlife, marine life and beaches


Mount Kinabalu

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Sipadan Island


North Borneo steam railroad



For three centuries in the 15th century, the west and north shore of Borneo such as the island of Labuan was a part of this Sultanate of Brunei. From the 18th century, attention was attracted by Labuan. James Brooke obtained the island Britain throughout the Treaty of Labuan together with the Sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddin II on 18 December 1846. A British naval officer, Rodney Mundy, seen Brunei together with his boat HMS Iris to maintain the Sultan in line before the British authorities made the last decision to spend the island and he chose Pengiran Mumin to watch the island's accession into the British Crown on 24 December 1846. Some sources say that throughout the signing of this treaty, the Sultan was jeopardized by a British infantry warship prepared to fire the Sultan's palace when he refused to sign the agreement while the other source claims that the island was ceded to Britain as a reward for help in combating temples. Throughout World War II, Labuan was inhabited by Japan from 3 January 1942 until June 1945 and garrisoned by components of this Japanese 37th Army, which commanded Northern Borneo.

What to see

Mount Kinabalu

Climb Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest summit - a constant 2-day scale, but attaining the summit and viewing the sunrise makes everything worthwhile

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Unwind on among those lush tropical islands across Borneo's Sabah shore -- the gorgeous islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park are only a 20-minute boat ride from Kota Kinabalu

Sipadan Island

Discover an underwater paradise from Sipadan Island - It is ranked among the best dive sites on the world

Kuching, Sarawak

Learn more about the cultural heritage of Kuching in Sarawak - It is a beautiful riverside city steeped in history

North Borneo

Ride the North Borneo steam railroad - It passes through towns and coastal cities, metropolitan areas, rainforests and areas of coffee and rubber.


Bamboo shoots (puluh from Kelabit)

Produced from quite a young bamboo and Frequently increased in people's gardens; at the Kelabit Highlands, plus are sliced thin, boiled then stir-fried with pepper, salt, and little local fish

Bitter legumes (beta)

Vibrant green beans which grow in long pods; they look in dishes like petai gulai Kerala (stir-fried with wild ginger blossoms, onions, and anchovies)

Tempoyak Preserved durian

The Bidayuh recipe (you can also find three versions) involves mixing deseeded durian pulp using crude sugar, which makes it simmer for a day or 2, then draining the juices off

There are a few more delicacies that you may want to try here like the Belacan Fermented shrimp paste, Bubur Rice porridge, Ikan Bilis Tiny dried anchovies, Kangkung belacan Water quick-fried at a wok, Kam put me and Foochow (the signature dish of Sibu).

How to reach

There are multiple airports on the island of Borneo that have frequent flight connections with nearby locations like Bali, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei, Singapore. If you are flying from anywhere else, usually you will have a connecting flight via one of the major international flights of SouthEast Asia.

Balikpapan Sepinggan Airport and Syamsudin Noor Airport Banjarmasin from the Indonesian side.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching International Airport from the Malaysian side.

Brunei International Airport from Brunei side.

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