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Hotels in Borneo

Long regarded as one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, Borneo is home to a plethora of exotic flora and fauna. Whether you are an animal lover or simply an intrepid explorer, a jungle trek is the best way to see the island's incredible interior. There are many conservation projects and wildlife reserves that can be explored and all of them offer the opportunity to see rare and beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

If you are visiting the Malaysian part of the island, Sabah, then make sure you pay a visit to the Tabin Wildlife Refuge. Founded in 1984, the refuge includes 1,225km² of virgin rainforest and is home to some of Borneo's most famous inhabitants; the Borneo Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, the beguiling Orang Utan, and many more fascinating creatures. There's a wide choice of operators offering tours of Tabin, most of which you can book before you travel to the island.

Kalimatan, the Indonesian sector of Borneo, is also a paradise of stunning landscapes and exotic wildlife. The legendary Cross-Borneo Trek, for the more intrepid among you, is the best way to experience this enchanting land. Most of these tours will start in the east of Kalimatan, after which you will make your way, on foot and by boat, through deep jungle and down raging rapids through the island's luscious heart.

Diving at Derawan

By now you will have realised that there is more on this island than you could see in a lifetime. However, for those more interested in what goes on away from land, under the waves, Borneo is a diver's paradise as well.

The Derawan Archipelago, on Borneo's east coast, is home to miles of white sand beaches and pristine coral reef. Set off from Derawan Dive Lodge on the archipelago's main island and swim with friendly green turtles and coy clown fish.

Cultural diversity

Borneo is the epitome of natural beauty and diversity. If, however, your idea of an exciting break is more about urban life, the island has plenty to offer you as well. Brunei is a tiny resource-rich Sultanate on the north of the island. Bandar Seri Begawan is the sleepy capital and from here you can explore all of this small nation. Make sure you visit the water village at Kampong Ayer for a true exhibition of human ingenuity and oriental mystique.

Samarinda is the biggest city on the island and where most cross-Borneo treks will end. Like the other areas of Borneo, it is an Islamic city and as such has a number of interesting religious sites. For those interested in the Islamic life of Borneo, the Samarinda Islamic Center is a must-visit. A magnificent building, it also houses a number of exhibitions on religious life in Indonesia.

If you do find yourself in Samarinda, make sure you visit Amplang Indah Sari for out-of-this-world seafood. All of the fish is as local as it comes and the restaurant gives a truly authentic evening out.

With spectacular natural beauty, diverse wildlife and great cultural attraction you will relish your stay in your Borneo hotel. Though it may sound clichéd, a trip to Borneo is nothing less than a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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