No matter where you have traveled, you will never have been anywhere quite like Borneo. The world's third largest island accounts for just 1% of the world's land, yet hosts 6% of global biodiversity, discovered in the endless swathes of lush, tropical forests. In Borneo you discover the oldest and most undisturbed rainforest on the planet, where rare wildlife thrives and exoticism is found in abundance; the famous orangutan experiences are just the start of what you can discover.
Beyond the rainforest there's much more. Think deserted beaches, exceptional snorkeling, an intriguing diverse culture and epic mountains. And on Borneo luxury tours a few days in Malaysia provides another distinctive angle, from Kuala Lumpur to other delights on the Peninsula.
"We were pleased that Indochina Travel was small enough to provide the things larger companies cannot, yet with all the benefits of using a larger one. In Saigon, we were honored to visit our guide's family. The BEST parts of our trip were the PEOPLE we met, especially the real, local people, not just the famous ones (though they were fascinating as well). Cuong made this possible throughout our time with him."
—Ric Haas, Menlo Park
"Chris and I had a wonderful journey. Thanks to you, everything was flawless. All of the guides were superb (especially Thiha in Burma). The accommodations were top-rate in most cases, the special activities and personal service much appreciated!"
—Ann & Chris McMurray, Alexandria, VA
"Overall, we had an excellent trip! Don and I both loved Bhutan and Myanmar. Both countries are beautiful, each in their own way. Our main comment would be to say how wonderful our guides were. As we've discussed in the past, it's really the difference between a good trip and great one. It was really nice to have the same guide for the entire itinerary, you really get to establish a rapport and they get to know us. We thought both guides were very professional, knowledgeable and personable, and we learned a lot from both."
—Irene Ing and Don Ershig, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Boating - "Thank you for an amazing adventure, we were delighted at every turn and the activities and people we met were thoroughly fascinating. We really the appreciated the authentic experiences we shared. Our girls are still talking about the trip, please give Linh and Duc our best!"
—The Anderson Family
Halong Bay Kayaking - "This was our fourth trip with you guys and it couldn't have possibly been any better. Your crew is outstanding in every way-well prepared, attentive, and professional. Again, you planned some very special things for us which we really enjoyed. Thank you for another amazing experience."
Family adventure abounds in the jungles of Borneo. While the untouched island isn't particularly suitable for the youngest of children, the activities make for something absolutely unique and unforgettable. Travel by traditional long-tail boat, visit tribal longhouses, overnight in jungle lodges amidst the lush foliage and river ways, and that's all in the first couple of days. Spend time with indigenous tribes getting to know their ancient cultures. Enjoy intimate encounters with Pongo pygmaeus, better known as the orangutan – a Malay term for “man of the forest” and the star attraction of a Borneo trip.
Continue the Borneo family holiday, every day offering something new and thrilling. Hike through canopied jungle, witness pygmy elephants, find proboscis monkeys and rhinos in their natural habitat, and when the adventure is coming to an end you can quickly switch mood. Borneo family travel usually starts with the jungle adventure. Then it concludes with lazy days on idyllic beaches, snorkeling in the blue waters of the South China Sea.
While the concrete cityscape of Kuala Lumpur may suggest otherwise, Malaysia is a delightfully exotic country. Gibbons chirp, turtles lay their eggs, bat hawks hunt, and it's easy to be enveloped by the rainforest. The country has found a good balance between protecting the natural landscape and offering contemporary comforts. Rainforest lodges don't match five-star Western luxury standards; instead, they're a little more rustic, ensuring you're comfortable without interrupting nature's spell. Likewise, visitors love how the unassuming approach of boutique beach resorts makes tropical islands feel more natural. Luxury Malaysia travel is all about this balance, taking you to rare and remote destinations while still making you feel at home.
In a land of cultural diversity, almost every dish offers fresh insight into history and tradition. Beef rendang, a traditional dish on the mainland, traces its origins from the Minangkabau ethnic group of the highlands of Western Sumatra and is many a traveler's favorite, the soft chunks of beef served in a deliciously thick coconut-milk curry sauce. Pulses, dried beans, peas and lentils form the basis of many Indian vegetarian dishes, including the ubiquitous breakfast meal of dosa, paper-thin rice-and-lentil crepes served with coconut chutney and curry.
In the jungle areas, aago palm is the main starch component of some tribal meals. Sago-based boar and deer are Sarawak favorites, and vegetable dishes made with jungle ferns and fern shoots arouse the senses when you're staying at a jungle lodge. Fruits are served ripe and sliced on a large mixed fruit platter, or sometimes used in salads such as rojak (salad with shrimp-paste based dressing) and kerabu tau geh (bean-sprout salad).
Two unusual fruits are not attractive on the outside but really worth trying. The red, leathery and hairy skin of rambutans conceals a sweet, succulent, semi-translucent white flesh. Jackfruit doesn't look appealing, but its bright yellow flesh is sugary sweet and very fragrant.
One of the most unique facets and surprises for first-time travelers to Malaysia is how the country redefines multicultural. Traditions collide in capital city Kuala Lumpur, where Indian and Chinese heritage holds a harmony with Malay culture. Beautiful mosques send out the call to prayer, close to old churches and colorful temples. Distinctive neighborhoods keep you charmed and entertained, the flavors of the past stretching out beneath the towers of the present.
Travel to Borneo and the people of of Sabah and Sarawak share a total of over 150 dialects, along with a huge variety of religions. Our luxury Borneo tours can create intimate encounters and exposure to these varied cultures, showcasing how the island is more than wildlife and lush jungle canopies. Don't visit the tiny villages simply wanting great photos of remote tribes; come for an immersion in their life and a chance to share stories with rare and remarkable people.