Many people think coming to borneo is very expensive. Backpackers coming to the land are schocked with the prices here. Compare to other asian countries borneo is consider one of the most expensive place in Southeast Asia. But actually if you plan well your holiday, you might be surprised that here in Borneo you can travel with little budget. Here is the website that maybe can help you to plan your borneo travel : www.borneotribestours.com . This Travel Agents can arrange you Off The Beaten Path Tours around borneo. You will be travelling with locals and travel to where no tourist places..
A Malaysian cultural heritage: an untouched rainforest reserve the size of Singapore! With a unique geology in the shape of a basin and unique plant species, many different animal species and magnificent waterfalls! The Maliau Skybridge Canopy Walk spans eight trees
A local Expedition Leader in Kota Kinabalu has recently published a guide for independant travel into some of Borneo's best rural/jungle areas using homestays and local village guides with a trekking route map. Its found at: www.worldtrekkingguides.com
To get in some exercise before climbing Mt Kinabalu we climbed the hill behing the town centre. There is a really nice view of all the islands from the top. To get there go to the tourist information centre and walk 3 or 4 blocks back untill you get to a soccer pitch. Hint take plenty of water with you.
Mulu is not the most convenient place to get to, but it is worth the hassle. You will have to fly into Mulu on a tiny plane from Miri, Borneo. Flying into Mulu you will be shocked to see all of the logging roads and the deforestation of the area.
Mulu is a tiny place to visit and is only for the true adventurer. There are many caves to explore with easy access, and then more difficult ones you can explore with ropes. Those you will have to squeeze into sometimes on your belly. Prepare to get very dirty for those. The easier ones you can reach by boat along the river. Hire a guide to take you to the cave entrances. You can find your way on your own if you prefer, or actually hike there instead of going by boat. It will take much more time to hike in rather than using the boat.
Many of the caves have raised wooden pathways leading to them. The cave system in Mulu is the second largest in the world, and one of the cave systems there has the largest underground river which you can hear flowing beneath you as you wander through the cave in darkness. The caves are very dark, but the park rangers will get the generators going when they see you approaching.
In the caves you will see stalagtites and stalagmites, and unusual limestone formations. Wind cave was my favorite cave.
If you visit Deer Cave, go in the late afternoon. It is a huge cave and you will witness thousands of bats leaving the cave in search of food, and then returning. Standing back at one of the observation areas you can see swarms of them departing and then entering the cave.
You may get an invitation to go and stay at the Iban Longhouses (we were on an Intrepid tour). The Iban used to be called the headhunters of Borneo, although they no longer hunt! If you are inited you must remember to take plenty of gifts such as rice, beans and if you really want to be appreciated a pigs head!
Whole communities live in a long house, yes they are basically a long house with long community hall, no furniture then each family has 1 room going off the hall.the one we atayed in had 13 families, average size 10 per family. Each family owns chickens which live under the long house so canbe very noisey. dogs are considered to be vacuum cleaners. The longhouses are by the rivers were you are expected to watch. Same as in the MESCOT houses in Sabah you will need 2 sarongs one for washing/swimming one for drying.
Watch out for the rice wine introductions again!
The MESCOT homestays are in Kampung Batiu Puteh. This is an approx 5 hrs drive from Poring hot springs. This is another oppertunity to staywith local people. Their house basically have no furniture, although most have TVs! They are known as river people. When you stay with a local family you will be invited to take a shower. Out of respectyou should not refuse, plus its so humid you probrablywill want to butyoushould use their traditional way. Women should wear a sown up sarong, men may just wear shorts. You should have 2 sarongs, one for bathing/showering and one for drying. In some of the houses they have bathrooms, over houses they have buckets by the river,
While staying at the homestay we were also invited to a party were we were given traditional clothes to wear. So much food, the sweets are really sweet. You are expected to use your hand to eat and sit on the floor. itcanbe messy.
If you go to far away places like Borneo its worth while spending time with the local people. Kiau is a villiage not far from Mount Kinnabalu, infact it was from here that we saw our first real look of the mountain. Most of the men in the villiage are porters and guides to the mountain. The other main source of income/food is from their farms. the local Dusan people showed us round their farm and invited out group for a meal and rice wine. In the Dusan culture its traditional to introduce yourself by downing a whole glass of rice wine and then holding the empty glass over your head. If you do not drink it in one go you get given another glass. The whole villiage gets drunk, the idea being to forget about the huge task of climbing the mountain.