Blogger: Lauren Lucy Crowley
Have you ever looked at holiday brochures and seen photos of glistening turquoise crystal clear water and soft white sand and wondered if places like these really existed? Well they do in Borneo! I honestly felt as though I was living in a postcard!
Having flown into Kota Kinabalu airport and hopped on a quick 20 minute transfer to our hotel, it was time to explore! With delicious restaurants, and an abundance of shopping malls (with excellent shops!) Borneo is the perfect winter escape into an exotic paradise you dream of on a rainy day!
Although there are no beaches on Borneo itself, there are hundreds of stunning islands just a short boat ride away! There are plenty of tour operators offering day trips, however we decided to go down to the pier ourselves where we rented our own boat and chose our own islands for a fraction of the price of an organised day tour! (OntheQT tip: The tour operators charge almost 10 x the price of what we paid, and most people fall into this trap as they don’t realise you can do your own trip!)
We had two boat drivers who recommended what islands would be best, we rented snorkels from them for €1.00 each and off we went island hopping for the day! Each time we arrived at an island, we arranged a pick up time and our drivers were there to meet us at the port!
The islands were the most idyllic places I have ever been… in fact they were so picturesque our surroundings almost felt surreal! Although it was December, the temperature was well above 30 degrees celsius which made sun bathing a little difficult! We had great fun exploring the islands, eating at the trendy restaurants and snorkelling (imagine the water was so clear we barely even needed the snorkels we could see the fish and coral reefs around us perfectly from above sea level the water was so clear!).
Each morning we woke up early and headed down to the port for about 7.30am to bargain our boat price and head out for the day, (as the islands close at 4pm its best to get an early start!). Each island we visited had its own character, if I had to choose a favourite (they were all like paradise!) I would choose Manukan simply because the beach is a little more spacious and quieter than others! I would also recommend Sapi (which has a zip line), Mamutak and Mantanini (further away than the rest – almost a 2 hour boat trip from Borneo!).
I assure you if you decide to make a trip to Borneo you will fall in love with the islands just as much as I did! As always if you have any questions about Borneo be sure to e-mail OntheQT.email@example.com or Lauren@OntheQT.ie! Be sure to follow the #OntheQTontour live on snapchat (username: ontheqtie), and watch out for our daily updates on Facebook and Instagram!
Over and out for now! x