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Asia » Indonesia » Borneo

No matter how well travelled you are, you won’t have been anywhere quite like Borneo. The third largest island in the world has become best known for its orang-utans, the most charming primate in the animal kingdom. But there is so much more to this hotspot of eco-tourism than its monkey business. Book a Borneo holiday with us and discover some of the oldest undisturbed rainforest on the planet, rare wildlife around every corner and one of the most diverse cultures in South East Asia.

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Borneo is the third largest non continental island in the world and is located north of Java, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the north occupy about 26% of the island. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo's land area. Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

 

 

Geography

 

Borneo is surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Celebes Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, and the Java Sea and Karimata Strait to the south. To the west of Borneo are the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. To the south is Java. To the east is Sulawesi, and to the northeast, the Philippines. Borneo has significant cave systems. Clearwater Cave, for example, has one of the world's longest underground rivers. Deer Cave is home to over three million bats, with guano accumulated to over 100 metres (330 ft) deep.

 

 

Weather & when to go

 

Borneo benefits benefits from year-round temperatures averaging between 27 °– 32°C, with a relative humidity of around 80% for much of the year.  Rainfall can exceed 4,000mm per annum in pockets of Borneo although in most destinations an average of about 220mm per month is the norm. The weather on land is affected by the weather patterns of the South China, Sulu and Sulawesi Seas and the seasonal winds or “monsoons” which can bring either warm dry weather or heavy rains depending on their nature and origin.

 

Whilst there are peak months in terms of tourism (May – Sept), it is advisable not to put too much emphasis on weather prospects when planning a trip to Borneo. Generally speaking a peak in rainfall occurs between November and March, although even in these months rainfall can be sporadic, and it is difficult (in fact impossible) to pre-determine which will be the wet weeks and which will be the dry. Furthermore there are many benefits of lower visitor-numbers to be enjoyed in the traditionally wetter months, and the National Parks, wildlife sanctuaries, jungle lodges, caves and dive sites may be far more appealing with fewer fellow visitors to share your experiences with.   

 

 

Hotels and B&Bs

 

* Hotel Menara Bahtera, address: Jl. Jendral Sudirman 2, Balikpapan 76113, Indonesia

 

* Guest House Kota Air, address: Jl. Jendral Sudirman No. 10A, Kuala Kapuas, Indonesia

 

* Hotel Sagita Balikpapan, addressJl. Mayjend Sutoyo No. 69, Balikpapan 76113, Indonesia

 

* Nabucco Nunukan Resort, address: Berau, Maratua Atoll, Indonesia

 

* Rimba Lodge, address: Sekonyer River | Kumai, Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia

 

* Mercure Pontianak, address: Jendral Ahmad Yani No. 91 | West Kalimantan, Pontianak 78124, Indonesia

 

* Aston Balikpapan Hotel & Residence, address: Jend. Sudirman No. 7, Balikpapan 76114, Indonesia

 

* Swiss-Belhotel Borneo Samarinda, address: Jalan Mulawarman No. 6, Samarinda 75112, Indonesia

 

* Mercure Banjarmasin, addressJl Achmad Yani Km 2 N 98, Banjarmasin 70232, Indonesia

 

* Blue Sky Hotel, address: Jalan Letjen Suprapto No 1, Balikpapan 76131, Indonesia

 

 

Restaurants

 

    Cendrawasih Restaurant, Balikpapan - Cuisines: Bakery, Dessert, Indonesian

 

    Ocean's, Balikpapan - Cuisines: Seafood

 

    Dapurku, Samarinda - Cuisines: Indonesian

 

    Pondok Borneo, Samarinda - Cuisines: Indonesian

 

    Kepiting Kenari, Balikpapan - Cuisines: Chinese

 

    Warung Lamongan Pak Ari, Pontianak - Cuisines: Indonesian

 

    Tanjung Bara Aquatic Club Restaurant, Sengata - Cuisines: Indonesian

 

    Rumah Makan Ombilin, Kuala Kapuas - Cuisines: Asian

 

    Rumah Makan Sadulur, Kuala Kapuas - Cuisines: Indonesian

 

    Oriental Kitchen, Balikpapan - Cuisines: Chinese

 

 

Things to do

 

1. Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan - Category: National Parks

 

2. Camp Leakey, Central Kalimantan - Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas

  

3. Kakaban Island, East Kalimantan - Category: Islands

  

4. Tahai Lake, Palangkaraya - Category: Bodies of Water

 

5. Meratus Mountains, Banjarmasin - Category: Mountains

 

6. Equator Monument, Pontianak - Category: Monuments/ Statues

 

7. Monsopiad Headhunter Village & Cultural Train Ride - Category: Historic Sites

 

8. Equator Monument (Tugu Khatulistiwa), Central Kalimantan - Category: Landmarks/ Points of Interest

 

9. Keraton Kadriah, Pontianak - Category: Historic Sites; Architectural Buildings

 

10. Gunung Palong National Park, West Kalimantan - Category: Forests

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