Four Incredible Wonders of Borneo
Presenting Borneo. Third largest island in the world, and home to cheeky, yet elusive members of the primate family – the Orangutans. Lush green forest canopies stretch on for miles on this island, providing shade to a bewildering array of exotic wildlife and plant species. To the island’s outer reaches lie a plethora of unspoilt coastlines, survived by endless pristine beaches. Here, coconut and palm trees sway overhead to the sound of scattered waves lapping away at rugged shores. As we will soon discover, this island is home to an abundance of majestic natural wonders you are neigh to find elsewhere in the world.
Mount Kinabalu, Sabah
Mount Kinabalu credit: iStock.com/paulwongkwan
One can only wonder in awe at the immensity of this majestic rocky wonder. Few have attempted the climb, and fewer still have laid eyes on the awe-inspiring splendor that spreads out from below its peak. Standing at an astounding 13,345 feet above sea level, Mount Kinabalu is the extraordinary home to over 5,000 different species of plants, birds and mammals combined. The climb to its peak is piled with wizened grey sediments and huge jagged boulders. From far, this unique rock-cracked terrain provides a rather deceiving façade to the near-freezing temperatures that climbers face at its summit. Should you make the ascend to its peak, rest assured that the sight of scattered clouds and tiny landmasses stretching out below will be quite the spectacle to behold.
Underwater region off Sipadan Island
Sipaden Island credit: iStock.com/whitcombeRD
Our next destination brings us to the Sipadan Island. This picturesque paradise is the gradual work of vibrant corals multiplying atop an extinct volcano, spanning over thousands of years. The oceanic island of Sipadan is world-renowned for the incredulous marine life that exists below its tranquil shores. Here, one can find an unusual abundance of green and hawksbill turtles navigating their way through turquoise-blue waters. Legions of vibrantly-colored fish shuffle about their business as sundry corals flap to the gentle tug of currents below foamy waves. Needless to say, a dive into the sublime, life-teeming waters here could most probably be your best one yet. That being said, do remember to book your adventure in advance as a 120-diver cap is in place by local authorities to preserve the water’s exotic flora and fauna.
Exotic wildlife on Kinabatangan River
Cute Orangutan baby – CREDIT iStock.com FredFroese
For the lot of us that might grimace at the extremities of mountain climbing and ocean diving, the idea of a little lazy river ride might seem more appealing. Bear in mind though, that this river might not be as ‘little’ as aforementioned. The mythical Kinabatangan river finds its origins high up in the mountains of southwest Sabah. Its path takes it through an entire landmass, before eventually dissipating through a swampy mangrove region and into the Sulu Sea some 300 miles later. Crested Serpent Eagles, Proboscis Monkeys, Orangutans, Stork-billed Kingfishers and Borneo Pygmy elephants are just some of the many species that can be spotted along the abundant banks of this snake-like river. Visitors can easily hop onto one of the many river cruises available as trusty guides take you downstream.
Lagoon of Bohey Dulang
Bohey Dulang credit: iStock.com/Cn0ra
Undoubtedly the most beautiful point of Borneo, Bohey Dulang is the second-biggest island in the Tun Sakaran Marine Park archipelago. A majestic lagoon, coated in gorgeous shades of cyan and turquoise spreads out below – the genesis of an extinct volcano that provided fertile land for new life many centuries ago. Remnants of its crater trails out into the vast ocean by means of a jutting coral reef in the southern reaches of this dazzling lagoon. A venture below its calm inviting surface will conjure the view of inquisitive green turtles on patrol alongside gleeful fishy counterparts, darting back and forth in effervescent display. Over 50 species of mammals and birds, including long-tailed macaques and smooth-coated otters roam its shores.
For the intrepid adventurer, a breathtaking view of the lagoon beckons atop a 353m-high peak on Bohey Dulang. Along the way, one will encounter a rugged ladder lodged between two massive boulders – charmingly dubbed the ‘stairway to heaven’. A fitting title indeed for such a ravishing, scenic haven.