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Borneo’s most beautiful natural spots

Sabah Borneo
Borneo, the third-largest island in the world and the largest island of Asia has an abundance of natural wonders, from virgin jungle and intriguing rare wildlife to world class diving and one of the biggest network of caves in the world. From our trip to beautiful Sabah (one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo) here’s our favourite beautiful natural spots in Borneo…

Gaya Island

Gaya Island

Boats on Gaya Island_Snapseed

Just a twenty minute boat ride from the mainland, is this is a truly idyllic island where visitors can explore their own slice of tropical paradise. Perfectly secluded and teeming with natural beauty this island forms part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Walk the jungle trails (the island has 20 km of hiking trails in total) and spot exotic birdlife, varied flora and fauna. Tropical hardwood trees, unique medicinal plants, coastal vegetation and mangrove forest can all be seen on the island. Alternatively take a dip in the ocean and watch tropical fish swimming, laze on the uncrowded beaches, grab a kayak, opt for a traditional massage at Gaya Island resort or take a ride on the world’s longest island to island zip wire.

Sepilok

Jungle-640x480

Orangutan

The little hamlet of Sepilok is most famous for the loveable auburn creatures that reside in the organutan rehabilitation centre here. It’s one of the best places in the world to see an uncaged orang-utan and the residents are captivating, entertaining and very mischievous. Around 75 orangutans roam free within the forest reserve and here watching them play, eat and interact in their natural habitat is a privilege not to be missed. If you can, stick around for the adorable sun bear sanctuary, nature walks and try and catch a glimpse of the elusive proboscis monkey.

Kinabatangan River

Jungle-River-boat

River Borneo
Sabah is home to some of the the oldest undisturbed rainforest on the planet. Head for Kinabatangan River – arguably one of Borneo’s premier wildlife hot spots – to immerse yourself in forest life and get a chance to meet its many intriguing inhabitants. Here visitors can take boat trips to spot wild proboscis monkeys, herds of Borneo Pygmy Elephants and the ever-popular orang-utans. Their habitats are equally as fascinating and include mangrove swamps, oxbow lakes, limestone caves and many different types of tropical forests.

Mount Kinabalu

Mountain

Mount
At just a whisker below 4100 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea. It’s also the single most popular attraction on Borneo. The climb will be strenuous and requires a little planning (and plenty of stamina) but seeing sunrise once you’ve made to the top will make it all worth it. Also expect to see beautiful flora, interesting animals and unbeatable vistas along your journey.

Fancy a trip to Borneo?

Flower

Gaya Island Resort

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria

Why choose Sabah for your romantic trip? Here’s the#LoveSabah video

All words by Becky Padmore. Images by Becky Padmore and Lee Hubbard. We visited Sabah as part of the iambassador #LoveSabah trip in partnership with Royal Brunei Airlines and Sabah Tourism. As always all opinions are our own. 

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

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