The world’s third largest island, Borneo is divided into three countries: Indonesia across the south and central region, Malaysia and Brunei to the north. Here’s your guide to the region.
The Indonesian part of Borneo is known as Kalimantan and is little touched by tourism. Cloaked in a tropical rainforest that stretches for thousands of kilometres, here adventure trekkers, extreme watersporters and wildlife enthusiasts will find their wilderness paradise. It’s not just a jungle above ground either, with the Derawan Archipelago offering some of the world’s best diving.
Much like Kalimantan, the Malaysia region of Borneo (known as East Malaysia) is practically untouched by the outside world and is a stunning place to get away from the tourist trail. The number one thing to do here is head to Kinabalu National Park and climb Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in South East Asia (you don’t need any experience, just a lot of willpower!). Afterwards, soothe your aching muscles in the natural hot springs of Poring or head to the beautiful beaches of Sipadan, which is also known for its world class diving.
Despite its tiny size, there’s no doubt that Brunei is a fascinating enclave in the north of Borneo and a country full of contrasts. Immensely wealthy thanks to its oil economy; Brunei is devoutly Muslim, with glittering mosques dotted all over the country and alcohol prohibited throughout. The rainforests of Temburong and beaches of Pantai are paradise, whilst the designer malls and lavishness of the Istana Nurul Iman palace are pure decadence.
The currencies of Borneo are the Indonesian rupiah, the Malaysian ringgit and the Brunei dollar in each of their respective countries. As of October 2015, 1 Australian dollar is worth around 102,93 Indonesian rupiah, 3 Malaysian ringgit, and 1 Brunei dollar.
Here’s a roundup of what you can expect to spend in Kota Kinabalu, in the Malaysian north of the island. Prices are in Australian dollars:
|Inexpensive meal for one – $2.50||Bottle of water – $0.40||0.5 litre beer – $3.85|
|Mid-range restaurant meal for one – $11||Cappuccino – $3.40||Local bus ticket – $0.65|
Need to convert your Aussie dollars to rupiah, ringgit or Brunei dollars? Order them here.
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Travelling around Borneo
There are plenty of buses that will take you across the border from Brunei into surrounding Malaysia without any hassle, serving Sibu, Bintulu and Miri along the way and ending in Kuching. You’ll also find buses between Pontianak in Indonesia and Kuching.
Travelex in Borneo
Whether you need Indonesian rupiah, Malaysian ringgit or Brunei dollars, it’s easy to pick up your travel money from us before you jet off to Borneo. Simply place your order online and you’ll be able to pick up your travel money from us in store or choose to have it delivered right to your home. Check out our store locator to find your nearest Travelex.
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