Backpacking in Borneo-11: Epilogue

Okay folks! Time to wind up living in Borneo!

Filipino market

This is mostly a meta-post about previously written posts to give a better perspective of my trip. Also, I will try to cover a couple of things I haven’t spoken about yet.

First, thanks to the people who made this trip possible and a successful one.

  • My wife who was pretty cool about me leaving her and going to an exotic location for 10 days
  • Adarsh for being a wonderful companion and for all the painstaking research on Borneo
  • The kind-hearted taxi driver who helped us at Kota Kinabalu
  • Tong Ali, our amazing and friendly guide at Uncle Tan
  • Lan, Olong and other friendly guys at Uncle Tan
  • Yunus, our soft-spoken and gentle guide for the Mt Kinabalu climb
  • Jenny, the energetic guide at Gunung Mulu

The itinerary we followed is available in this post, the trip expenses here and a few tips on what photography equipment to carry here.

Immediately after the trip, I became quite busy with work at office and could not blog as frequently as I wanted to and the posts took quite a bit of time to come. Few things that I wanted to blog about, but haven’t, are listed below.

  • bird watching at DeVilla – this place below Mt Kinabalu national park had amazing bird life and I spotted a lot of birds in just 3 hours in the morning
  • the cramped shared-taxi ride from Mt Kinabalu to Kinabalu city, then walking 5Km with a 22kg backpack to the bus terminal to catch the bus to the airport (and saving almost 80MYR in the process) and meeting a lot of interesting people and fellow travellers
  • flash photography in a rain forest – I will probably write about this after my Sri Lanka trip
  • life in a rainforest – Adarsh wrote a good post on the same topic, so I think its better for me to point you to it rather than write another post on the same

Also, I could not spend enough time on processing my photos and quite a few of them are lying untouched in my hard disk. The few I processed are available here.

And below is the list of things I wish I had done in Borneo. 10 days is just not enough time. Lack of time meant I had to skip these. Perhaps, will do another visit to cover these :-).

  • the head-hunters trail in Gunung Mulu
  • Pinanacles trek in Gunung Mulu
  • visiting a long house of the Iban tribes
  • visit Sukau / Danum Valley
  • fly in a small MA Swings plane
  • visit Tunku Rahman national park
  • visit the small town of Kundasang
  • and of course, cover the Brunei and Indonesian parts

Recommendations from my experience

  1. Uncle Tan is pretty good and costs 385MYR for 3 days 2 nights (ask for Tong as your guide)
    1. Do not miss the night trek
    2. Do as many boat rides as you can and if crowd is less, ask for a separate boat for your group
    3. The jungle trek is wonderful
    4. Do not waste your time in the cafeteria playing games – I saw quite a few people do this
  2. Gunung Mulu is a must visit in Borneo for its sheer variety
    1. Caves – Deer, Langs, Clear water and winds
    2. Pinnacles – I regret not doing this. It takes more time and is strenous.
    3. Though the canopy walk is expensive, it is a MUST DO
    4. The night jungle walk is pretty good too, but make sure you go with someone like Jenny
    5. Try the head hunters trail… I didn’t have the time for it, but many recommend it
    6. Visit a Iban long house or the Iban tribal market
  3. Mt Kinabalu is very expensive, but you can give it a shot if you like trekking (and if you are masochistic πŸ™‚ )
    1. After the trek, soak your feet at Poring Hot springs or spend time birding at the farm below DeVilla
    2. Spend time in Kundasang, if possible
  4. Try local food like Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng, etc

The entire Borneo backpacking series is listed below.

Okay folks, bye for now. Do keep an eye on this blog for more…

SriLanka is next!!

Happy backpacking!

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