Cheap Holidays to Borneo, Indonesia

Travel Information

Language: Malaysian (also Chinese, Tamil and English)
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (Malaysia), Indonesian Rupiah (Indonesia) and Brunei Dollar (Brunei)
Local Time: GMT +8 hrs
Flight Time: 16 hours

Borneo is packed full of incredible beaches, incredible wildlife viewing opportunities as well as a rich cultural heritage waiting to be explored.

Home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world, the island of Borneo has a wide diversity of different plant and animal life, making it one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with all kinds of different wildlife.

The majority of people flock here to try and catch a glimpse of the local orangutan population, but there’s also the likes of elephants, rhinos, monkeys and more, as well as hundreds of different types of colourful birds.

The best place to the orangutans is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, where you can also meet the adorable baby orangutans.

Aside from the local wildlife population, the island is also home to some incredible beaches, with gorgeous rainforest backdrops.

The beaches themselves are also an opportunity to see some of the marine life too, with plenty of snorkelling and diving activities.

Whether you want to adventure through the rainforest, relax by the beach or do a bit of both, Borneo is a holiday that you’ll never forget.

When to Go

Borneo is one of the few summer destinations in Southeast Asia, where the island is at its driest between March and October, which is also one of the best times to spot orangutans and other animals in the wild.

Throughout the rest of the year, Borneo experiences a tropical climate with hot and humid temperatures between 27°C and 32°C and lots of rain.

Events for Your Diary

Gawai Dayak – Also known as the Harvest Festival, this festival is one of the most important dates of the year for the Sarawak (Malaysia) side of the island. Beginning at sundown on May 31st, the celebrations include traditional costumes, ritual music and lots of rice wine, a local speciality.

Rainforest Music Festival - The island is also home to one of the biggest music festivals in Southeast Asia, taking place in early July. The festival draws acts from all across the world but be sure to book tickets in advance if you’re interested.

Things to Know About

Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (Malaysia), Indonesian Rupiah (Indonesia) and Brunei Dollar (Brunei)
Capital City: Kuching (Sarawak) & Kota Kinabalu (Sabah)
Language: Malaysian (also Chinese, Tamil and English)
Key Phrase to Learn: Adakah anda bercakap bahasa Inggeris? (Do you speak English?)
Time Difference: Borneo is 8 hours ahead of the UK
Average Flight Time: 16 hrs
International Phone Code: +60 (Malaysia), +62 (Indonesia) and +673 (Brunei)
Emergency Services Number: 999 (Malaysia), 110 (Indonesia) and 993 (Brunei)
Sabah & Sarawak Public Holidays: New Year’s Day (January 1), Pulau Labuan Federal Territory Day (February 1), Chinese New Year (February 5), Good Friday (April 19), Labour Day (May 1), Buddha’s Birthday (May 19), Sabah Harvest Festival (May 30-31), Sarawak Gawai Dayak (May 31-June 2), Birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong (1st Saturday in June), Eid al-Fitr (June 4), Independence Day (August 31), Eid al-Adha (August 11), Sarawak Head of State’s Birthday (September 8), Malaysia Day (September 16), Islamic New Year (August 31), Sabah Head of State’s Birthday (1st Saturday in October), Deepavali (October 27), Prophet’s Birthday (November 9), Christmas Day (December 25)
Brunei Public Holidays: New Year’s Day (January 1), Chinese New Year (February 5), Brunei National Day (February 23), Prophet’s Ascension (April 3), First Day of Ramadan (May 6), Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day (May 31), Gawai Dayak (May 31-June 2), Korean Revelation Day (May 22), Eid al-Fitr (June 4), Sultan of Brunei’s Birthday (July 15), Hari Raya Aidiladha (August 11), Islamic New Year (August 31), Prophet’s Birthday (November 9), Christmas Day (December 25)
Links to FCO Travel Advice: