"WE have just arrived back from our trip which was absolutely fabulous, thanks for organizing it, the company out there were brilliant and we had some great diving in layang layang and saw hammerheads! Anyway brilliant holiday, we will look to use you guys again when booking our next trip!"
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Borneo lies 200 miles from peninsular Malaysia across the South China Sea. A wonderfully diverse island of spectacular mountains, tropical rainforests, and deserted coral beaches. Beyond the beaches some of Malaysia's finest diving. Off Borneo's west coast are the Borneo Banks a magnet for pelagics with magnificent walls rising 2000 meters from the sea bed. Off Borneo's eastern, Celebes Sea, coast are a handful of coral islands perched on the continental shelf each fringed by shallow reefs and an incredible diversity of macro-life. Beyond, a 600 meter high limestone pillar is capped by a mop of emerald green forest encircled by a narrow strip of white-gold sand. The legendary walls of Sipadan buzz with schooling fish of all size and variety. Diving the Celebes Sea is an absolute must dive! Topside Malaysian Borneo boasts primal forests, ranging from shoreline mangrove to mountaintop oak. Rainforest covers almost three quarters of the land, an area equivalent to almost the entire United Kingdom. One can walk for hundreds of miles in Malaysia under a continuous canopy of green, marveling at an abundance of plant and animal species. A single half-kilometre plot of land in Borneo's lowland dipterocarp forest, can contain more than eight hundred different species of tree alone, not to mention the divers profusion of flowers, birds, ferns, and insects.
Borneo enjoys a sunny tropical climate year-round with temperatures generally between 75° and 85°. The rainy season is November to February, but is somewhat unpredictable as tropical showers rarely last for any length of time. Light clothing is advisable as the climate is generally warm and humid. Women are asked to dress modestly inland in keeping with the local customs. The coolest time is September to March - average 27 degrees Celsius. The warmest is April to August - average 29 degrees Celsius. The wettest is November to March. Borneo can be dived whole year round. Heavier rains can be felt only during typhoons around the region but diving conditions are still acceptable.
Borneo's offshore islands are of legendary beauty. Remote dive Island resorts such as Pulau Sipadan, a small oceanic island off the eastern shore of Borneo, which rises in a sheer column more than six hundred metres from the seabed. Completely encircled by sheer drop-offs and walls, Sipadan is one of the world's foremost dive sites. In many places, you can get 100 + feet of visibility. Also, the country has become increasingly aware of the biological and economic importance of its marine heritage, and each year brings better access to and protection for the unique marine life. Because of the hundreds of islands, there are many dive options.
Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) sits north on the island of Borneo, which is the third largest island in the world. This is the home to thousands of species of trees, flowers and plants, wild animals, some of which are rare and others found only in Sabah. Most diving areas are in the north-eastern state of Sabah, a largely mountainous state with lush tropical rainforests, a long coastline dotted with powdery white beaches and some of the most spectacular coral reefs and marine life in the world. It was named 'The Land Below the Wind' by the maritime traders of old as it lies below the typhoon belt, making diving possible all year round. The peoples of Sabah are a melting pot of not less than 32 ethnic communities, making up a culturally diverse population of about 2.3 million. The multi-racial Sabahans who speak their many dialects and still maintain their ethnic traditions, give the place a most enchanting character.
One of the main attractions of Borneo, aside from the world class diving, is the host of adventurous tours on offer.At the very least we recommend a visit to the Oran Utan sanctuary at Sepilok. Other fantastic trips include rainforest trekking, white water rafting, mountain trekking and river canoe safaris. A paradise for naturalists, botanists, bird watchers, divers, mountaineers or just about anyone who wants to be close to nature.
Nightlife is very low key except for the main city of Kota Kinabalu where there are excellent bars, restaurants and evening entertainment for all tastes.