These tropical shores have a glorious diversity. Float down the Kinabatangan River, the most biologically diverse rainforest in the world; see the sun rise over Mt Kinabalu; meet mischievous orangutans in Sepilok; chow down on a tasty laksa or take in the incredible underwater scenery snorkelling in Tunku Abdul National Marine Park. Borneo’s wild bounty awaits.
Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.
When travelling with us in Borneo you may find yourself staying in a:
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information.
Tipping isn’t customary in Borneo but leaving a small token of appreciation is always welcome if you feel the service has been particularly good.
Internet is easy to access in large cities and tourist areas, though it can be quite slow. Access is more limited in remote and rural areas.
Mobile phone coverage is good in major cities, but there is little to no coverage in the mountains and in remote areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.
Squat toilets are the norm in Borneo, though some hotels and tourists areas have Western-style, flushable toilets. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as these are not always provided.
The currencies of Borneo are the Indonesian rupiah, the Malaysian ringgit and the Brunei dollar in each of their respective countries.
Bottle of beer = USD 3
Laksa from a food stall = USD 1–2
Simple meal at a local restaurant = USD 5–12
Tap water is not considered safe to drink in Borneo. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, pack a reusable bottle that can be filled with filtered water. Your leader can tell you where to find filtered water or pack your own purification tablets.
Most places only accept cash, especially small businesses, though you might be able to use your credit card at larger hotels, shops and restaurants in tourist areas.
You’ll find ATMs in Borneo’s large cities and urban areas, though they are less easy to find in rural and remote parts.
Since Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei all have claim to Borneo, different parts of the island celebrate different public holidays. The ones listed here are celebrated in all three nations. For a more complete and current list of public holidays go to:
No vaccines are required in order to enter Borneo but some are recommended for protection against disease. Always visit your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.
Discretion is highly advised for LGBTQI-travellers in Borneo. Homosexuality is illegal in both Malaysia and Brunei, where it can be punished with long prison sentences or even death. While homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, few people are openly out. Regardless of which part of Borneo you are visiting, discretion is strongly suggested.
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
In Borneo, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.