Asia Travel Guide

A Walk On The Wild Side: Borneo

A Walk On The Wild Side – Borneo By Nicole From

Every year in late March, the Mister and I take a weeklong vacation. This year we were uncharacteristically uncertain about how best to spend this gift of time. Then, in the middle of one night, as if by dream – it was decided. Borneo!


Wait? Where?

Yes. Borneo, as in Malaysia. Sure.

The itinerary was built around a deep desire (not mine) to climb Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. The excitement was palpable and I couldn’t let the air out of his tires, so mountain climbing we’ll go! But I’m not completely self-less. Thanks to knowing ones spouse – the holiday was broken into three parts, with the climb cleverly sandwiched between two activities that were exactly my speed (aka zero miles per hour).




Everyone knows the best part of a safari is the close encounters with exotic wildlife. But are you aware of the second best (and most underrated) thing about a safari? It’s the passenger seat adventures. Win! Plus with the twice daily outings to find animals at their liveliest, pre-dawn and dusk – most of the day is your very own to fill with these options:

a) nap
b) read
c) swim
d) get a massage or
e) all of the above

Did you just take the best multiple choice of your life?

The accommodation at Sakau Rainforest Lodge was pretty tremend, having been included in the Unique Lodges of the World by National Geographic. Don’t believe me? Sir David Attenborough stayed at the same spot in 2011 when filming around the area.
The highlights included: Orugutans, Pygmy Elephants, a Gibbon, coupla Crocs, some Snakes, all the Birds, and Monkeys for days.

PRO TIP: Wait for the rain, then book a massage. Never has a spa had a more authentic soundtrack.



12+ hours of hiking over 2 days (and 1 sleepless night) – we reached to the top of Mt. Kinabalu (4,095 metres/13,435 feet). It’s safe to say this is my single greatest physical achievement. I don’t anticipate any marathons in my future, so this may hold the top title for my lifetime. Looking around at fellow climbers, it’s pretty motivating to see what they may lack in fitness, they more than make up for in determination.

Question: So how did I make it to the top, without that innate desire?
Answer: Snickers. Turns out, hiking and snickers were like a marriage made in chocolate + peanut-y heaven. I prescribed myself 1x fun size on the hour, every hour. Ding, it’s snickers o’clock again!

PRO TIP: Find yourself a new podcast to tuck into. For me it was 2 Dope Queens. Girlfriends had me lolling my face all the way up to the top and back down.

And just like that, you’ve climbed a mountain!



I am a firm believer that there is no finer finale to a holiday than horizontal bliss. Bunga Raya Resort is barefoot luxury at its best. Located on a secluded island just off the Borneo coast, with 48 stand alone villas that live on a stretch of paradise where the jungle runs smack into the ocean.

PRO TIP: Do not miss happy hour. First drink every night is free. Free is the tastiest!

Bunga Raya did all things right; The rooms, the food, the view, the staff, the setting – all systems GO!

By Nicole From
Instagram: @hinesighted

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