60+ Things To Do In Borneo For Your Travel Bucketlist

Borneo conjures mystical images of an unknown world. Redolent landscapes set the scene, tropical jungle undulating across wild mountains. Orangutans and indigenous tribes occupy the trees, while sea turtles and sharks dominate the water. This may be the world's third largest island but the things to do in Borneo are far beyond the beach. Add some of these to your travel bucketlist.

Orangutan Feeding on Bananas, Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Best of Borneo Adventure

A nice sunset captured in Kota Kinabalu seaside.

Catamaran Charter Around North Borneo

Borneo Pygmy Elephant, photographed in Malaysian Borneo

Pygmy Elephant Spotting at Sukau

Female orangutan hanging with a baby on the rope in Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

Ethical Orangutan Feeding at Semenggoh

Closeup and macro shot of the Western Clownfish or Anemonefish during a leisure dive in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Malaysia, Borneo.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island Hopping

Huge swirling school of Bonito off the coast of Layang Layang in Malaysian Borneo

Diving Day Trip to Layang Layang With Private Air Charters

Closeup and macro shot of the pregnant Ornate ghost pipefish or harlequin ghost pipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus

Dive Lankayan Island Wreck with Pro Photographer

Sunrise at Libaran Island, Borneo

Turtle Sanctuary & Glamping, Libaran Island

Mt. Kinabalu Aerial View and layers of mountains

Helicopter Ride Over Mount Kinabalu

Malaysia: Iban Traditional Dance

Longhouse Experience With the Iban Tribe


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Immersed in Nature and Wilderness on Borneo Island

Thick jungle tumbles onto white beaches. Waterfalls hide in ancient monkey-filled ecosystems. Volcanic mountains soar above the canopy, natural spas evoke all the senses, and tiny islands invite lazy days in the sun. Borneo makes the wilderness accessible but even in the most iconic places you will find privacy and intimacy.

Fogs and mist over dipterocarp rain forest in Danum Valley Conservation Area in Lahad Datu, Sabah Borneo, Malaysia.

Danum Valley Sunrise

Mount Kinabalu, at 4095 meters it is the tallest mountain in the Malay Archipelago.

Crocker Range Jungle Trek & Mountain Trail

Happy person jumping on a pier in Borneo, Malaysia

Volcanic Mud Bath on Survivor Island

Maliau basin, Sabah, Malaysia, Cascade Range, Flowing Water, Forest, Rainforest, River

A Tour of Imbak Canyon's Waterfalls

A year round waterfall in the Danum Valley, which is one of the world's oldest and last rainforests.

Trek to Purut Camp and Waterfall

Senior man photographing the Rafflesia, the biggest flower in the world, Sarawak, Borneo. Side view.

Trek Kinabalu National Park

Kudat Night Star Gazing in Tanjung Simpang Mengayau

Sunset from the Tip of Borneo

Rainforest Discovery Centre, Borneo

Walk the Rainforest Discovery Centre

De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of your muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, deemed to have healing properties and very popular among the locals.

Bathe in the Poring Hot Springs

Lush forest scene at morning sunrise in Gunung Mulu Borneo Malaysia

Walk the Canopies of Gunung Mulu NP

View of Ulu Temburong National Park or fathul park, in Temburong District in eastern Brunei from canopy walkway

Hike Ulu Temburong National Park

Amazing beautiful of night sky Milky Way Galaxy

Stargazing Beneath the Milky Way at Lasau Podi

Kids on Mabul island sunset, Sipadan, Borneo Malaysia

Snorkelling and Sunset at Mabul Island

Low angle view on very high tree in rainforest on Borneo island.

Witness the World's Tallest Tropical Tree


Really Wild Borneo Adventure

Ancient jungle stretches all across Borneo. While the island has famously become the poster child of anti-deforestation campaigns, most of it remains completely unchanged for millennia. Very few people live here. Very people ever even visit Borneo and you can go completely off the beaten path into wilderness. On this island of wild nature the thing to do in Borneo is explore, with expert guides crafting moments in all kinds of landscapes. Here the adventure truly is as adventurous as you dream it to be.

Sunlight burst or sun flare coming from top of underground cave mouth opening.

Adventure Caving and Overnight Camping, Sarawak

Angle Head Lizard attaches to a tree in Borneo, Malaysia.Close Up angle background bokeh. Danum Valley Field Center.

Danum Valley Night Walk

Scene from a tropical rainforest floor.

Jungle Survival Skills Course With a Local Guide

Names: Wagler's pit viper, temple viper, temple pit viper

An Afternoon Exploring Snake Island

Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes mirabilis) at Maliau Basin Conservation Area Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Trek to the Top of the Maliau Basin

Going down from the peak of Mountain Kinabalu, Borneo Island

Sunrise From the Top of Mount Kinabalu

Quad Biking, Kiulu Valley

Quad Biking Adventure in Kiulu Valley

Coral Flyer Zipline, Sabah

Coral Flyer, the World’s Longest Island Zipline

Paraglider chasing the sunset on Windmill Viewpoint. Phuket, Thailand.

Paragliding across Kokol Hill

Seascapes of beach, with parasailing in background. Penang, Malaysia.

Parasailing over Sapi Island

Kayaker having fun in white water rapids

White Water Rafting Along the Padas River

Aerail view of cross country biking woman cyclist with mountain bike walking on tropical rainforest trail

Full-Day Jungle Mountain Biking

Black sunset silhouette of paddle boarder standing on SUP

Sunset Paddle Boarding at Tanjung Aru Beach


Best of Borneo Wildlife Experiences

Borneo is an animal realm, both in the forest canopy and beneath the waves. The scuba diving is unparalleled, revered by Jacques Cousteau among others. Deep in the rainforest you will find orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and so many unusual species. The whole island can be a wildlife safari as you add moments like these to your bucketlist.

Barracuda School and Scuba Diver

Scuba Diving Barracuda Point, Sipadan

A sun bear peaks its face through the branches of a tree it has climbed while foraging for food.

Bear Spotting at Sun Bear Conservation Centre


Proboscis Monkey Spotting at Bako NP

Turtle swimming over the reef at Layang Layang in Malaysian Borneo. Loads of space for copy.

Turtle Nesting on Turtle Islands

A Long-tailed Macaque fishing out fruit floating in the Kinabatangan River from in the trees on the island of Borneo in Sabah, Malaysia

Wildlife Boat Safari on the Kinabatangan River

Very lucky and rare shot of a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) in flight. This endangered species is hardly seen in wildlife. Nikon D3X. Converted from RAW. Ambient light. Slight Noise. ISO 400.

Birdwatching at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

woman snorkeling with Martigias Papua Jellyfish, Jellyfish Lake, Kakaban, Indonesia

Swim With Stingless Jellyfish, Kakaban Island

Tourists spotting Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River on a sunny day near the town of Kratie in Kratie Province, Cambodia.

Irrawaddy Dolphin Spotting Cruise


Immersed in Borneo's Unique Culture

Borneo is home to ancient tribes and remarkable scenes. Some travel moments will fully immerse you in traditional lifestyles, deep in the wilderness. Others will provide a contemporary take on island culture, perhaps with yoga or a gold-domed mosque in Brunei. From food to tiny jungle villages, a connection with culture can always be part of the experience.

Portrait of Two Beautiful Malaysia Borneo Native Girls in Traditional Costumes

Learn the Traditional Sumazau Dance, Sabahan

A view of the rainforest treetops and distant hills, dotted with clouds, in the heart of Danum Valley, Borneo.

Walk Coffin Cliff Trail, Danum Valley

Kiulu Farmstay, Borneo

Explore the Villages of the Kiulu Farmstay

Borneo Sea Gypsy.

Meet the Sea Gypsy Communities of Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Beautiful young girls from Kota Belud Kadazan Dusun ethnic performed traditional dance during state level Harvest Festival in KDCA, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia.

Traditional Food and Dance at Mari Mari

Yoga, silhouette of woman meditating on the beach, vertical background.

Sunrise Yoga on Kelambu Beach

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - July 19 2014: Local people sell BBQ chicken in Kota Kinabalu night market by the seafront in Borneo Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu Night Markets Food Tour

Nanggiu is a kadazandusun traditional dessert of people in Sabah Borneo

Cooking Lessons at a Sabahan Homestay

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque during sunset with reflection in the calm pond water in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Explore Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Brunei

Kuching, Malaysia - 26 Jan, 2018 The weekend food market on the centre of Kuching city.

Sarawak Cooking Class With Local Chef Guide

Activities at Lok Baintan Floating Market - Indonesia

Canoe Down the Canals of Banjarmasin

Dorian fruits and pinapple at Kuching sunday market

Fruit Tasting at Sibu Market

Couple of wineglasses against beautiful sunset in Hawaii.

Tour of Supirak, Sabah’s Ship-Shaped Island of Sorrow


Where to Stay on Borneo Island

A travel designer will craft an itinerary to your style and interests. There are glorious beach resorts and jungle lodges to cut you off from the rest of the world, along with eco options that help preserve the rainforest. This is also an island for a different kind of stay, where the luxury comes from location and experience, such as a glamping dome where few people ever venture.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Uma Glam Kundasang, Borneo

A Night at Sabah’s First Glamping Dome

Borneo Rainforest Lodge Danum Valley

Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley