The world’s third-largest island, politically divided between Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south, Borneo is a tropical paradise with unspoilt, endless white sandy beaches, the oldest and most bio-diverse rainforest on Earth, and an abundance of natural wonders.

"In complete contrast to Peninsular Malaysia, East Malaysia (the northern half of Borneo) is a mysterious world of coral islands and lush rainforests harbouring exotic creatures and isolated tribes."

The world’s third-largest island, politically divided between Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south, Borneo is a tropical paradise with unspoilt, endless white sandy beaches, the oldest and most bio-diverse rainforest on Earth, and an abundance of natural wonders, (including the orangutan – one of man’s closest relatives – and a host of other endangered species).

It’s also one of South East Asia’s few destinations that’s great come summer. Wedged between the Bornean jungle and the South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu is the launching point for explorers to head out and enjoy Sabah’s surrounding jungle and marine-life, coral atolls, tropical islands, pristine beaches, giant rivers and abundance of nature.

KK’s centre is based around its waterfront area, where trendy bars, restaurants and hotels mingle with traditional markets, fishing ports and hawker stalls.

Further afield, Kinabalu National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its many carnivorous plant and orchid species, and home to Mount Kinabalu) is an unrivalled attraction for nature-lovers and climbers alike; while Sipadan Island, at the heart of the coral triangle (the most diverse marine environment in the world) is one of the planet’s best destinations for scuba-diving.

What you need to know

  • Capital City

    Kota Kinabalu

  • Time Difference

    GMT +7

  • Best Time to Visit

    March to October

  • Currency

    Malaysian Ringgit

Borneo

Explore

Choose from the cream of Borneo's finest resorts.

  • Gaya Island Resort Kota Kinabalu

    Set on an exotic island in the midst of the South China Sea (only accessible by boat), fringed by a golden beach, and backed by lush rainforest, Gaya Island has a real ‘back-to-nature’ appeal.

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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  • Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu

    Mount Kinabalu in the distance. A stunning nature reserve setting. And – unique to the resort – the Nature Interpretation Centre, gateway to the Nature Reserve: this resort enchants everyone with its super, natural magic.

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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Or get in touch 01244 567000

Inside Knowledge

Creating special moments

  1. Go to Rehab

    Go to Rehab

    Take the full-day trip across the island to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Meet with the island’s iconic orangutans and watch as they’re taught the survival skills they need in order to return to their natural habitat, the jungles of Borneo.

  2. The River Wild

    The River Wild

    A riverboat trip on the beautiful Kinabatangan River offers up some great opportunities to spot rare animals in the wild like orangutans, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, pygmy elephants, snakes, insects and many bird species, like kingfisher and hornbills.

  3. Jungle Trails

    Jungle Trails

    Explore Sabah’s Rainforest Discovery Centre's fantastic array of plants, insects, animals and rare birds, touring the well-manicured botanical garden, education centre and impressive matrix of canopy walks elevated above the dense trees.