When is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Borneo?
If you are thinking of going to Borneo, Borneo Dream has put together this guide on the most frequently asked questions. Although travellers can go to Borneo at all times of the year, there are two quite distinct seasons that the country experiences. The dry season is from March through August, while the wet season goes from September through February. Typically during the wet season rainfall tends to be very sporadic, with some weeks being completely drenched while others do not see any rain. That creates the potential for planning a Borneo trip with smaller crowds, fewer tourists and maybe some great weather to experience during the wet season. Altitude also affects temperatures, with high elevation area in the region being much cooler compared to the coastline. The whole region experiences consistent temperatures all year long, which range from 65F to 75F in the mountains, and 80F to 90F in the lowlands.
What Kind of Accommodation Does Borneo Offer?
There are plenty of choices in Borneo. They range from boutique luxurious island hotels to family-run, unique bed and breakfasts. A majority of hotels offer comfortable, clean rooms and private baths except where noted, family-run rural guesthouses, or Laban Rata climbing huts located on Mount Kinabalu. Hotels can be found in good locations, whether they are deep within the jungle where prime wildlife viewing is offered, or within walking distance of major attractions. In metropolitan areas, bigger hotels are used, since those tend to be the only options that are available.
What Typical Kinds of Food Does Borneo Offer?
It is impossible to fit Bornean cuisine into neat categories. In the state of Sabah in northeastern Malaysia, there are more than half a million ethnic Chinese and 28 indigenous groups that are recognised, with each having their own distinct kitchen styles. When eating out in Sandakan or Kota Kinabalu, staple ingredients include fresh water fish and seafood. Pork or fish may be barbecued, grilled, fried with rice, added in spicy soup with noodles, or sautéed with locally grown vegetables like ginger and garlic, and topped with a rich sauce. It is easy to make dishes vegetarian, and a majority of restaurant staff do speak English, so you don’t need to hesitate about customising your orders.
Is Borneo Safe?
Malaysia is a fairly safe country in both the larger cities and rural countryside (Borneo is an island, with our tours operating in Sabah, a northern state in Malaysia). Like anywhere else, travellers should always use common sense and be aware of their surroundings, especially when going out at night. In general, however, crime rates are quite low, especially against tourists. Pickpockets in shopping areas or crowded marketplaces is the issue that is most commonly reported. Be smart and keep your belongs hidden under your top clothing layer to prevent your ideas from being stolen.
How Worried Do I Need to be About Altitude?
Travellers who are planning to hike the Crocker Range, climb Mt. Kinabalu or go to Kinabalu National Park, need to be aware that there are altitude differences between sea level and those places. The headquarters of Kinabalu National Park is at 5,000 feet, Crocker Range Trek reaches 5,000 foot altitudes, and the Mt. Kinabalu summit is 13,435 feet. For travellers who plan to climb Mt. Kinabalu, remember that it is rare to experience severe altitude sickness. The best treatment in that case is going down to a lower elevation as soon as you can. Many severe altitude sickness cases are due to a pre-existing condition getting aggravated by the high altitude. It is very important to speak with your doctor to find out whether or not it is advised for you to travel in high altitude areas, particularly if you have a pre-existing lung or heart condition like angina, asthma, or high blood pressure. You may also want to speak to your doctor about getting a prescription for Diamox, which is a diuretic that numerous travellers say helps them adjust more readily to the altitude.
Is It Safe to Drink the Water?
In general, it is not safe to drink the tap water anywhere in Borneo. In tourist areas, restaurants, and hotels, bottled water is widely available, and hot tea or hot water (that is boiled in order to make it safe) is usually offered in restaurants with meals. Travellers may use bottled water as well when brushing your teeth for extra caution.