Borneo: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

Borneo: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Borneo


Borneo, a giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, is shared by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Indonesian Kalimantan, and Brunei. Dense tropical rainforests, mangroves, swamp forests, and massive rivers make up the diverse landscape. The forests of Borneo are home to creatures like orangutans, probosci's monkeys, sun bears, clouded leopards, Bornean elephants, and over 15,000 known plants.


Currency: Malaysian ringgit

Area: 748,168 km2 (288,869 sq mi)

Time Zone: Central Indonesian Time

Emergency Number: 999

Outlet: Type G

TrovaTrip Waterfall Borneo
TrovaTrip Monkey Jungle Borneo

Packing List

Speak the Language

Malay is the official language but English is widely spoken everywhere. There are multiple languages and dialects spoken in Borneo including Malay, English, Mandarin, Hokkien, and those of many local tribes. 


How are you?  Apa khabar (apah ka-bar)

Please  Tolong (toh-long)

Thank you  Terima kasih (te-ree-mah ka-seh)

Where is the toilet?  Di mana tandas (DEE muh-nuh TAHN-das)

Yes/no  Ya/tidak (yah)  (tee-dak)

Goodbye  Selamat tinggal (S'LAH-maht TING-gahl)


Google Translate: Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 




Fun Facts

  • It’s the third-largest island in the world
  • Borneo has the world’s oldest rainforest. At an estimated 130 million years old, Borneo’s rainforest is two times as old as the Amazon rainforest in South America. 
  • Orangutans are endemic to Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia. These are the only two places you can see them in their natural environment.
  • In 1970, around 75% of the island was covered in rainforest, but now it’s just 50%
  • The forests are being cut down for timber, to grow lucrative crops like palm oil and rubber and to mine for valuable minerals.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $5-7 per person/per day
Drivers USD $3-4 per person/per day
Restaurants  USD 10% of total bill



Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.


Is the water safe to drink? All tap water in towns in Sarawak & Sabah is treated. It complies with Malaysia's National Standard for Drinking Water Quality which is based on WHO guidelines. In theory, tap water is safe to drink but most Malaysians will filter or boil tap water before drinking.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.


What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here. 


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all Travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner,, or from a provider of your choice.


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all Travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please take a look at our luggage restrictions below.


What about Wifi? You will find WiFi in major hotels, cafés, and shopping malls. It is, however, not always very fast or reliable. Outside the cities in the jungles, rainforests, and islands, WiFi access will be limited or non-existent. 

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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