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Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Guildford, United...
1 post
Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Hi, I am trying to get a definitive answer when is a good time (drier) to visit Borneo for a 6/7 day trip.

I have asked travel agents and as usual they give conflicting answers!

Any ideas/ recommendations from people who have visited would be much appreciated please?

I would also like to know if it is better to arrange tours on arrival from local agents or to use U.K. agents to book before we visit? I would hate to arrive and not be able to use a guide to show us the highlights.

Thanks in advance

16 replies to this topic
Wangaratta...
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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1. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

You are probably getting conflicting answers because Borneo is the third largest Island in the world. It consists of four distinct areas. The semi-autonomous Malaysian States of Sabah and Sarawak, Kalimantan which is part of Indonesia and the Independent Sultanate of Brunei.

The weather can vary quite a lot between coastal areas, East and West coasts, and due to geography, different parts of the island.

For example the weather on the west coast of Sabah is fairly stable all year due to being protected by a mountain range (see https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g29… ), while the north east coast can be effected by the monsoon.

If you have a particular destination in mind, let us know and we can give a better answer.

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2. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Hi i jave just come back from borneo and the weather was warm not too hot. Thunderstorms of a night and afternoon but didnt last long. Hope that helps

United Kingdom
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for Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan
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3. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

CLAIRE H,

You will get conflicting reponse's from travel agents, as yet I have not encountered one that has actually been to Borneo/Sabah. I was recently asked if I could give an account of our trip so that the agent could use it as a training aid for their staff.

As Bigw mentioned if you can tell us where you intend to stay/visit we may be able to give some more help.

If you intend to go trekking in the interior it rains all the time at various times of the day and night, if you plan on staying on the west or east coasts doing touristy visits/days out there is normally somewhere to take cover.

Occasionally it rains all day, but mostly it is only for short periods.

Just too balance this a little the rest of the day time can be very hot direct sun which soon dries everything as if it never rained in the first place.

We have stayed in Sabah in Nov, Dec, May & June and the weather was as described above and did not stop us from doing visits/day trips out.

The jungle smell is amazing after it has rained as is any part of Sabah.

Booking trips from the UK can be dearer.

For example; a driver and our own A/C vehicle for as long as we want(one day) is MR400(£80), ask your travel agent what their price is?

There are plenty of tour operators in the centre of Kota Kinabalu, also some excursion shops in the Hyatt and Tanjung Aru and Rasa Ria where you can book.

Wisma Sabah shopping centre has plenty on the ground floor, too choose from, we use Borneo Trails.

Hope that helps.

just re-post here if you need more help.

London, United...
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123 reviews
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4. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Hi Sorry to intrude on your post. David N, you mention hiring a driver, is that an easy thing to do? We are going in April/May. Thanks

Kota Kinabalu...
2 posts
5. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Hi! The best time to visit Borneo which is March-October. This season are known as "DRY" season. However, June-Aug is a Summer month which is the most tourist visit especially Jul-Aug. And, Dec-February is a "WET" Season in Borneo.

I can recommend you a local travel agent. I have used his service on past 2 months ago. The tour guide and travel agent staff are very friendly and good knowledge for the package. You can whatsapp at +60168321890 (Chin). I have booked a 5Days 4Nights Kundasang & KK Tour with him and a Marina condominium at KK. His price and package are very reasonable. I suggest you to make a advance booking

Hope This Help.

6. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

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United Kingdom
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for Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan
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7. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Ray C,

Yes!

As I mentioned, that is a daily rate from a tour operator in KK in Wisma Sabah( a mall).

It is easy to get about and make arrangements with local taxi drivers as nearly all speak English, if you get stuck use finger language to agree a price, your hotel/hostel staff will gladly help you if you need them.

I hope you can see this now we are in June!

London, United...
Level Contributor
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8. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Hi David, thanks for your reply, I should have said - April/May - next year :) We are planning on having an oldies "gap year" and want to start off there. Your information was really useful and good advice on agreeing a price, it's easy to forget that when you are used to accepting the price in the UK. Thank you

United Kingdom
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for Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan
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1,363 posts
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9. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Ray C,

Generally the prices are fixed in and around KK and other towns.

The problem arises when you visit these areas and do not know the local prices.

You can ask and pay up on arrival at your destination.

or you can haggle for a lower price, you will get MR10 (£2) off and not much more.

As I mention in a previous post, if you do not pay the price asked for there is a good chance the driver will drive slower and you will not see all that you expect to see.

Sabah is not cheaper than the UK if you continue to live to UK standards. If you catch local buses eat in roadside kedai(shops) as a backpacker it can be cheaper and more fun.

As I said most drivers and nearly all tour operators speak very good English and are used to dealing with putih orang (white people).

Carry a pencil and notebook to aid your requests, you may not need it as everyone is very helpful.

Lately there is a shift towards using Grab/Uber taxis in KK as they are a 5th of the cost of the real fare.

Hope that makes sense.

repost if you need more help.

London, United...
Level Contributor
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123 reviews
81 helpful votes
10. Re: Best time of year to visit Borneo?

Thanks for all the useful information David N

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