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Borneo (Malaysia) vs Kalimantan(Indonesia)

Are there differences between the Malaysian and Indonesian part of Borneo island?
10 years ago, January 12th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #99337  

I dont know where to write down. I am going to borneo in july and wonder to know if there are a lot of difference about malaysian and indonesian part of this island?

Luka Reply to this

10 years ago, January 14th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #99701  
I've never been there but have done quite a lot of research into it as I nearly did go there in early 2009. The impression I have is that Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) is much more wild and undeveloped than the Malaysian parts. In the Indonesian parts there seems to be more opportunity to see indigenous culture (Dayak longhouses, fesivals, etc) and really wild orang utans. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 14th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #99711  
I have only to months to see malaysia (singapore and brunei) and indonesia. I saw that in borneo (malaysia) the transportation is not problem so it takes less time to organize things about transport. What about transport in kalimantan? So u suggest me indonesian part of borneo. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 14th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #99725  
i think the transport is pretty bad in kalimantan, thats why its wilder and less developed! I think getting to a lot of the really interesting places requires traveling by river boat.

Reply to this

10 years ago, January 15th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #99782  
We've been to both Kalimantan and Sabah and what you say is right. Transport in Sabah is generally good and will take you easily from A to B with no problem on a fairly nice bus or minibus, whereas travel in kalimantan is much more difficult. Buses in kalimantan are not so regular and you need to make sure you leave a lot of time to get from A to B, we had a few times when buses didn't run at all and we had to share a 4x4 with others to get where we wanted after waiting the whole day for the bus.

Ed is right that to get to the centre you travel by river boat, again this takes a lot of time and can also be very expensive. As an example we had a 5 hour speedboat ride which cost us $35 each.

On both sides you will see a lot of logging to make way for the palm oil plantations that go on for as far as the eye can see. When we travelled up the river to near the centre there was mass logging going on both sides of the river and it wasn't quite the wild experience we'd hoped. That said we didn't do any trekking so if you did do this you would eventually get to untouched bits and the Dayak tribes that still live there.

Orangutans live on both sides but Ed is right that if you want to get a really wild experience go to Kalimantan, we had a great trek here to see them in the wild and it was an unforgettable experience, the Sepilok rehabilitation Centre in Sabah was good but it's always better to see them in the wild.

So generally the Malaysian side is much more catered to mass tourism but if you want a more authentic and probably memorable experience then definately go to Kalimantan as it's brilliant but pack a lot of patience and a little of the local language to help you along! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 15th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #99880  
Thx a lot guys. I have some more question about indonesia. How long do u think is necessary to see indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Sulawesi, Kalimantan)? Ok this is a really big teritory. Do u know maybe if any of these island is not so interested, so I can skip or just spend a few days on it? Couse Sumatra and Java, ok Bali and Lombok i think too, are less wild than Sulawesi or kalimantan. I have about 30-45 days to spend on Indonesia? Any specail route that you can suggest me? Thx a lot!

Luka Reply to this

10 years ago, January 16th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #99908  
Hi Luka

We took basically the same route but in reverse and in total we had 2 months which is the maximum visa you can get without an extension. If you intend to visit all these islands in 30 - 45 days you will be really rushed, we felt so pushed for time with our 60 days and really didn't enjoy it as much as we should have because we were always on the move to the next place before we'd really got to enjoy where we were. We did most of it overland, only flying between Sumatra & Java and travelling took a lot of time and even more patience as the transport workers over there are among the worst we've experienced in 20 months! With the exception of Sulawesi we only spent a few days on each island which gives you an idea of how fast & hard you will have to travel to cover all these areas, our advice would be to cut something out in order to enjoy those you do manage to visit more.

All these islands were amazing though, well with the exception of Bali but we didn't like that becuase we had a bad experience with the people there, of all of them we liked Sulawesi the most as the people there are really friendly and not at all like those in the more tourist areas.

If this helps this is the route we took..
Flew into Sumatra & visited Bukit Lawang & Danu Toba
Fly to Jakarta (didn't stay there though) and visited Yogyakarta & Bromo.. Bromo is amazing so don't miss this!
Bus/Boat to Bali visited Kuta (horrible place) and Ubud (much nicer but very very touristy!)
Bus/Boat to Lombok visited the Gili Islands
Bus/Boat to Flores via Sumbawa visited Rinca here to see the dragons
Pelni ferry to Sulawesi visited Makassar, Tana Toraja area & Togean Islands. Travel here takes a lot of time.. much longer than we thought so make sure you allow enough time for travel
Pelni ferry to Kalimantan and travelled Northwards to exit to Borneo Malaysia

If you want to see more details check out our blog which gives a little more information.

It was a great part to our trip but really exhausing for the reason we travelled so far in 2 months like I said but maybe if you intend to fly that will help you out a bit.

Let us know if you need anything else.

Sophie & Dale :o) Reply to this

10 years ago, January 17th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #99986  

I know it's a huge area. Which island do u thing its less interested. I know this depends person by person but OK. What about sumatra-java-bali-kalimantan? Do u suggest another route? Just suggest i am hear to listening and learn sth. that helps me. Thx a lot!

Luka Reply to this

10 years ago, January 18th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #100127  
Hi Luka

That route sounds a bit better, Flores was really nice but it's a long way to go so maybe best to leave that out, will you fly from Bali to Kalimantan?
What sort of things are you intersted in doing out there, is there anything in particular that you want to do because each island has very different things to do so it would be helpful to know what you want to get out of your time there.
Reply to this

10 years ago, January 19th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #100231  

i have to tell u that i havent alerady made a route. For malaysia i did, but for indonesia i have to read some literature to know what to see there. All i can say is that i am looking for a places in small area that i can imagine whole indonesia (i dont know how to explain), couse i dont have so much time to visit all the places i want even i havent seen them yet how they look. (hope u understand what i meant, couse my english is not so good).

rgrd, Luka Reply to this

9 years ago, March 2nd 2010 No: 11 Msg: #105534  

I made a route where to travel in Indonesia. I think i will go directly from KL to Jakarta, make a qiuck stop and than take a plane to Jogyakarta. See the borobudur and prambanan. I found an agency who takes you to bromo for 300000 ruples. So i will take this trip and tell them to let me there. I will not go back. In java I will also stop at kawah iljen and maybe in some park that is on the way to bali (Baluran).. Then i will stay at Bali than take a boat to gili island spend a day there, go to lombok, maybe take a trek to rinjani. Back to denpasar, take a flight to labuan bajo (rinca island-komodo). Than go to kelimutu. MAybe i will stop somewhere else by the way but I dont know. Take a plane from maumere to makassar via kupang (timor). And than go to Manado, where i wanna stop and spend a week on the beaches of bunaken. I also read that wings air is flying from manado to philipines. I that is true i will do also Philippines (first i need 1500€ more :D)...etc, etc.

What is the time you need to do this?
Sophie and dale or anyone else. Go from labuan bajo to maumere how long it takes by land. How long from makassar to manado?

Luka Reply to this

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