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Straddling the equator, Borneo is the third largest island in the world. Largely covered in rainforest, with a magnificent coastline, it is easy to see what attracts visitors. Comprised of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei, Borneo's unique biodiversity and cultural kaleidoscope appeals to both adventurers and those looking for a unique cultural experience. Updated throughout, this revised guide caters for all with information on how to trek through one of the region's national parks, catch a glimpse of an orang-utan, spend the night in a longhouse, or shop in the bustling markets. From the highlands and islands of Sabah and Sarawak, to the mosques and mysticism of the Sultanate of Brunei, Borneo is a mesmerizing mix of cultures, endangered animals, tropical rainforest and carnivorous plants. This new edition of Borneo provides the most comprehensive information available on the island, from its ethnographic and natural history, to accommodation and tours.
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Table of Contents

Introduction vii PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1 Chapter 1 Background Information 3 Geography 3, Climate 4, History 5, Government and politics 9, Judiciary and law 12, Economy 13, People 15, Language 22, Religion and spirituality 23, Culture 27 Chapter 2 Natural History 33 Biodiversity 33, Geology 34, Ecosystems and flora 35, Fauna 45, Deforestation 60, Conservation 62 Chapter 3 Practical Information 69 When to visit 69, What kind of holiday? 69, Highlights 70, Suggested itineraries 72, Tourist information 75, Tour operators 76, Red tape 79, Embassies and consulates 80, Getting there and away 82, Health 84, Safety 91, Women travellers 91, Disabled travellers 92, Families 92, Single travellers 93, Gay and lesbian travellers 93, What to take 94, Money 95, Budgeting 95, Getting around 97, Getting your bearings 101, Accommodation 102, Eating and drinking 105, Public holidays and festivals 111, Shopping 113, Arts and entertainment 114, Sports and other activities 114, Photography 119, Media and communications 119, Business 121, Living in Borneo 121, Studying in Borneo 123, Cultural etiquette 123, Travelling positively 125 PART TWO BRUNEI 129 Chapter 4 Brunei Darussalam 131 History 132, Getting there and away 135, Local tour operators 137, Bandar Seri Begawan 137, Excursions from Bandar Seri Begawan 152 PART THREE SABAH 159 Chapter 5 Kota Kinabalu 163 History 163, Getting there and away 164, Getting around 166, Tourist information 168, Where to stay 168, iWhere to eat 173, Entertainment and nightlife 176, Festivals and events 177, Shopping 177, Other practicalities 178, What to see and do 179, Excursions from Kota Kinabalu 181 Chapter 6 West Coast Sabah 187 Kota Belud and Kudat Peninsula 187, Gunung Kinabalu National Park 192, Kundasang and Ranau 199, Poring Hot Springs 202, Tambunan to Tenom 204, Beaufort - Klias Peninsula 208, West coast islands 210 Chapter 7 Northeast Sabah 211 Sandakan 211, Excursions from Sandakan 217 Chapter 8 Southeast Sabah 225 Tawau 225, Excursions from Tawau 230, Semporna 232, Lahad Datu 236, Excursions from Lahad Datu 239 PART FOUR SARAWAK 241 Chapter 9 Kuching 243 History 244, Getting there and away 244, Getting around 246, Tourist information 247, Where to stay 248, Where to eat and drink 253, Entertainment and nightlife 256, Festivals 257, Shopping 257, Other practicalities 258, What to see and do 259, Excursions from Kuching 262 Chapter 10 Southern Sarawak 263 North of Kuching 263, Bako National Park 267, West of Kuching 269, South of Kuching 271, Southeast of Kuching 273 Chapter 11 Central Sarawak 277 Sibu 277, Excursions from Sibu 283 Chapter 12 Northern Sarawak 289 Bintulu 289, Excursion from Bintulu 293, Niah National Park 293, Miri 295, Excursions from Miri 300, Gunung Mulu National Park 302, Kelabit Highlands 305, Limbang and Lawas 306 Appendix 1 Language 309 Appendix 2 Further Information 315 Index 319

About the Author

Tamsin Thiessen is a freelance author and broadcaster and spends many months each year in Borneo.


'Invaluable.' The Independent

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