Malaysia Borneo

Untamed. Diverse. Enchanting.

KOTA KINABALU

Known locally as “KK,” this rapidly growing city it is the gateway to the island’s natural wonders. The Sabah Museum, with its collection of tribal artifacts, and the State Mosque, for a glimpse of modern Islamic architecture, are interesting diversions.

MT. KINABALU NATIONAL PARK

Mt. Kinabalu towers 13,428 feet over the landscape. There are plenty of well-marked trails to explore, including the two-day trek to the summit. Nearby Poring Hot Springs offers a chance to soothe tired muscles in one of the many pools that sit in a lovely garden.

TURTLE ISLAND NATIONAL PARK

Comprised of three tropical islands, Turtle Island National Park provides ideal opportunities to see sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Permanent research staff is stationed in the park to study and protect the turtles. The islands’ beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water also make the park an ideal place to simply relax.

KUCHING

Kuching has very little traffic or pollution and plenty of attractions. Visit Kuching’s top-quality museums, explore the futuristic Civic Centre (which houses a planetarium) or visit nearby Bako or Kubah National Parks for the chance to view exotic wildlife such as the rare hornbill or proboscis monkey.

KINABATANGAN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Centered on the Kinabatangan River, the largest waterway in the state of Sabah, this sanctuary provides accesses to some of the world’s best wildlife viewing. Labyrinthine mangrove forests are home to proboscis monkeys, Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros and a wide variety of other unusual species. The park’s Gomantong Cave is home to millions of nesting swiflets—which are collected at great personal risk to make bird nest soup, a famed Chinese specialty.

SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHABILITATION CENTER

Founded in 1964, this center was created in order to protect orangutans that had been kept in captivity or lost their homes to logging. The apes that are brought here are rehabilitated to forest life on the protected 15-square-miles sanctuary and offer a fabulous opportunity to get up close and personal with these extraordinary creatures.

DANUM VALLEY

Located on the banks of the Segama River, the Danum Valley Field Center provides facilities for education, research and wilderness recreation in a wonderfully secluded setting more than 12 miles from any other habitation. Visitors can make use of more than 100 miles of walking trails that meander through the valley’s secondary rainforest.

SIPADAN ISLAND

Located in the Celebes Sea, off the east coast of Borneo, this remarkable island was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct underwater volcano. This unique development gave rise to one of the richest marine habitats in the world with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of corals. Don’t forget your fins—it’s a snorkelers’ nirvana.

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