My wife and I went to Borneo for our honeymoon. It was not the obvious choice and I am yet to meet anyone else who has been to this island of dense, steamy rainforest. But that feeling of the unknown is alluring, and I urge you to visit and sample it for yourself. The coastline is guarded by mangroves, seawater tributaries, and crocodiles. Indeed, you will fall in love with Borneo for its majestic wildlife. Morning jungle treks bring sightings of wild hogs, monitor lizards, rhinoceros horn bills and the famously naughty macaque monkeys. The other must-do escapade is two-man paddle boarding. The South China Sea is wonderfully calm with a gentle current to nudge you along the coastline. It gives a unique view of the marine life. I omitted to tell my wife, as she sunbathed on the board with me paddling away, that we were floating above a fever of stingrays on the ocean floor. Borneo set the tone perfectly for a post-wedding adventure.
A rich fusion of cultures pervades Malaysia. For city lovers there is the soaring splendour of Kuala Lumpur, its iconic Petronas Towers overshadowing the colonial architecture below, the busy night market stalls filling the air with the aroma of spices. The cooler climes and tranquil tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands offer time to reflect before heading to the white sand beaches and crystal seas of Langkawi. This is honeymooners’ heaven, cocooned in a picture-perfect bay wondering whether to join a rainforest walk before succumbing to massage in the spa. For intimacy and romance, beach hedonists can sail to Pangkor Laut, a private island where stilted villas overlook emerald waters. On Borneo, the tangled mass of tropical vegetation is alive with the sound of squawking parrots, and all manner of colourful creatures. At Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre orange primates stare out from between the trees with large brown eyes, safe in their protected surrounds. Opportunities for adventure abound, from trekking the steamy jungle of mighty Mount Kinabalu to watching turtles hatch on a secluded beach. Ninety minutes from the mountain lie the lively markets of Sabah’s capital, Kota Kinabalu…but the lure of the ocean is strong and we know just the place to unwind on nearby Pantai Dalit beach. Between them, luxury Malaysia and Borneo holidays offer a wealth of experiences, with beach, city, island and highland permutations to suit all desires. British Airways has now resumed direct flight to Kuala Lumpur from London Heathrow.
Malaysia and Borneo are generally very hot and humid all year. The winter months from November to April are the most popular time to visit Langkawi, with the monsoon season occurring from July to October. Most rain in Kuala Lumpur falls from March to April and from September to November. Borneo experiences sunshine and rain year round, but the heaviest rainfall normally occurs between November and April.
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