Rustic Travel is Travelife Certified

Rustic Borneo Travel receives Travelife Sustainability Partner Award

Official Press Release from Travelife   Amsterdam, March 1, 2019. The Travelife Partner award was received today by Rustic Borneo Travel. The award is a recognition for the long-term efforts and frontrunner position of Rustic Borneo Travel regarding sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Rustic Borneo Travel complies with more than 100 criteria, related to an […]

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Famous sabah food

Food You MUST Eat in Sabah!

Thanks to the her eclectic melting pot of culture, Sabah is as much a food haven as it is a nature haven! If this is your first time coming to Sabah, check out this list of some of the food to try out while you’re here! Ngiu Chap Be sure to try the famous ngiu […]

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Danum Valley Canopy Walkway

Exploring Sabah’s Trekking Playgrounds

Every once in a while, everyone needs to break away from civilization and delve into the thrilling world of magnificent trees, majestic mountains and sometimes, creepy crawlies for a refreshing jungle trekking expedition. Luckily for us, Sabah is blessed with an abundance of trekking playgrounds to get down and dirty in—just be sure to have your […]

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Street food in the snack capital of Malaysia, Penang

Exploring the KK Food Trail!

While Sabah is well known for her spectacular sights and wonders of nature, there is also something else that makes Sabah a destination to-die-for: glorious food! The city capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is teeming with places to eat as well as large varieties of cuisines to sample – ranging from local favourites to international […]

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Gong Factory

Visiting Kampung Sumangkap Gong Factory

Less than one hour away from Kampung Gombizau is the Sumangkap village (92 kilometers and 2 hours drive away from Kota Kinabalu) which is famous for its gong-making cottage industry. The gong is the most important Rungus musical instrument which is played during festivities and grand occasions such as weddings. The gongs that are sold […]

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sabah's best islands

Your guide to Sabah’s best islands

There are a total of 878 islands in Malaysia and Sabah records the most number of islands with 394 — among these islands, about 182 are still unnamed — which only means that there still more for us to discover! With its beautiful white sandy beaches and azure blue waters, the islands in Sabah are […]

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islam in sabah

Islam in Sabah

As a melting pot of more than 37 ethnic races throughout the state, Sabah has people of various different religions living together in perfect harmony. The majority of people in Sabah are Muslims (approximately 66 per cent), followed by the Christian community which represents more than 26 per cent and the rest being Buddhists and […]

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kdca cultural village

Let’s Celebrate Harvest Festival at KDCA Cultural Village!

If you’re looking for a holistic cultural experience in Sabah in conjunction with the Harvest Festival month of May, the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Cultural Village makes an ideal destination. Situated only 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city, a tour around this cultural village will give you an interesting overview of the ethnic groups […]

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Tamu Donggongon

Let’s go Tamu!

Looking for an interesting place to sight-see and do your shopping? Head down to Tamu Donggongon and experience a culturally-imbued open air marketplace that is unlike any other! The tamu, which is a local term for open air market, is usually a weekly happening for every district in Sabah. In Donggongon township, the tamu takes […]

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North Borneo Railway Train Journey

Nostalgic Journey on North Borneo Railway (NBR)

Established in 1896, the North Borneo Railway – NBR in short – is one of the main valuable artefacts in Sabah following the British Colonial era. History has it that the railway was built by an English engineer with the help of his assistant who is a Murut man. The North Borneo Railway features a […]

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timugon murut people

Warrior tribe: the Timugon Murut people

Before Tenom was famous for the aromatic Tenom coffee, it was primarily known as home to the most fearsome warrior tribe Borneo has ever seen: the Timugon Murut people. The Murut were the last of Sabah’s ethnic groups to renounce headhunting, with Antenom (1885-1915) being their most influential and renowned warrior. The Timugon Murut people reside […]

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Sabah Agriculture Park

Visiting the Sabah Agriculture Park

There is a lot more to Sabah beyond Mount Kinabalu, Sipadan Island and Sepilok in Sandakan. Enter Tenom — a lesser-known district in the Interior Division that is the birthplace of the illustrious Tenom coffee and another lesser-known gem: the Sabah Agriculture Park. The Sabah Agriculture Park (Taman Pertanian Sabah) is situated on a sprawling 200 […]

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Pulau Tiga

Pulau Tiga ‘Survivor Island’

Make your way to the district of Kuala Penyu and hop on a boat to Pulau Tiga! The island’s claim to fame is none other than being the first ever ‘secret’ location for the hit reality series, ‘Survivor’. Hence, many refer to Pulau Tiga as Survivor Island. Located just 10km offshore on the West Coast […]

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Sabah State Mosque

Sabah’s Famous Architecture: Sabah State Mosque

One of the most outstanding pieces of architecture in Sabah is none other than the State Mosque. With its majestic dome and stunning gold inlay motifs, the mosque sits a stone’s throw away from the city centre, it is a unique combination of prevailing Islamic architecture and contemporary design. The mosque can accommodate up to […]

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Tanjung Aru beach

Visiting Sabah’s Tanjung Aru Beach

One of the biggest perks of visiting Kota Kinabalu is the opportunity to enjoy the beach practically at your doorstep! Enter Tanjung Aru Beach — one of Sabah’s most cherished iconic destinations that is situated merely 10 minutes’ drive away from the city centre. Taking its name from the swaying aru (casuarina) trees that fringe […]

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monsopiad cultural village

A day at the Monsopiad Cultural Village

Monsopiad was a brave and honoured headhunting warrior, known for his heroic deeds and fearless ways. Today, his name lives on at the Monsopiad Cultural Village, which is built on the very land where the famous warrior and his people roamed some three centuries ago. Established by Monsopiad’s descendants in 1996, the village is cultural […]

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Sustainable Traveller

Be a Sustainable Traveller!

Travelling is fun and awe inspiring! What more, it leaves more impact — social, economical, cultural and environmental — than you think. This year, make it your resolution to become a sustainable traveller and make a difference to the place and community you’re visiting. Here are some tips to get your started: Minimize your carbon […]

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Your 2018 Sabah Travel Wish List!

As we bid goodbye to 2017 and say hello to 2018, it’s also a good time to take out your planner an work out your travel plan for next year. What would you like to see and experience in 2018? Whatever it is, Sabah promises a smorgasbord of wonderful sights, sounds and experiences for your […]

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iban people

The Iban People

The Iban people trace their origins to the Kapuas Lake region of Kalimantan. They are one branch of the Dayak tribe of Borneo. In the past, the Ibans are known as a warrior tribe, having fought members of other tribes aggressively and even practicing head hunting over the years. Today, the Iban people reside mainly […]

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Kinabatangan

A Kinabatangan Rendezvouz

Spanning 560km from the Crocker Range in the southwest of Sabah to the Sulu Sea in the east, the Kinabatangan River sustains one of the world’s richest ecosystems. The surrounding areas along the river consist of five distinct habitats — dipterocarp or dry, waterlogged and limestone forests, and freshwater and saline swamps. The lower basin […]

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sabahan good time

Your guide to a Sabahan good time!

Pic by Amelia Robert Welcome to Sabah — land of adorable orangutans, handsome proboscis monkeys and waddling pygmy elephants! Here you will encounter a chock-full of surprises, from wildlife encounters to flavourful dishes. Sabahans are also some of the most effervescent people that you’ll ever meet. So, be excited as we bring you an in-depth […]

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sabah

There’s a Sabah for everyone!

Beyond the adorable faces of baby orang utans and the lush verdant jungles that are older than the Amazon, there are other parts of Sabah waiting to be explored. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a wildlife aficionado, a bargain hunter or a beach lover, Sabah will wow you with its immense diversity and astounding […]

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fish massage

Traditional Fish Spa at Kampung Luanti

If you’re in Sabah and looking for a unique foot spa experience, head on down to the Kampung Luanti fish ‘spa’ for a fun and tickly experience that leaves you with baby-smooth feet! Located in Kampung Luanti, Ranau; 131 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu (2 hours and 40 minutes’ drive away), this fish massage ‘spa’ is […]

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Mari Mari Cultural Village

A day at the Mari-Mari Cultural Village!

The Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated amidst a remote forest setting in Kionsom, Inanam; 25 minutes away from the hustling and bustling city. Its surrounding atmosphere may faintly remind you of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’; in the Sabahan sense. The beauty of untapped nature is guaranteed to capture your eyes and […]

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Kerosene frui

My visit to Mount Kinabalu & Kundasang

After breakfast, our friendly guide Uncle Lukh and our driver, Ken picked me up to drive to Kinabalu Park. Our guest Mr. Raj and his family from western Malaysia were already in the bus and ready to go. During our drive Uncle Lukh explained the sights appearing on either side of the bus and gave […]

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Canopy Walk at Poring Hot Springs near Kinabalu Park, Sabah

Frolicking in Poring Hot Springs

Got a couple of days to spend in Kota Kinabalu? Make a plan to visit one of Sabah’s most iconic destinations: Poring Hot Springs! Situated 40 kilometres (25 miles) slightly northeast from the Parks HQ, Poring is located in the lowlands—a contrast to the Parks HQ. De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of […]

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Famous sabah food

Try this for size: Famous Sabah Food

Travelling in Sabah means eating the food—traditional food, that is. Sabah has plenty of simple yet delicious dishes which are mainly pickled or preserved. This is mainly due to the Sabahan partiality to all things tangy. At the same time, it also dates back to the olden days when there were yet to be refrigerators […]

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Mahua Waterfall

My day to Tambunan and Mahua waterfall

This blog post was written by Lucie, a student from Kinabalu International School during her internship in July 2017.  This trip was made to go to Mahua waterfall which is couple of hours away from Kota Kinabalu. We took a mini bus at around 7.30 a.m, we drove out of the city while admiring the […]

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scuba diving

How to become an environmentally-responsible scuba diver

Scuba diving is an exciting recreational sport and everyone is encouraged to try it, given the chance. However, as scuba diving becomes increasingly popular as a sport, so do the chances of the marine ecosystem being damaged. The ocean, like every part of nature, undergoes stressful impact with human presence. Therefore, when scuba diving, whether […]

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Pandan Pandan Island near Usukan Cove

A weekend staycation at Usukan Cove

Looking for a relaxing staycation destination? Just head off to the west coast to Kota Belud and book a stay at the Usukan Cove Lodge. Usukan Cove is situated in the coast of Kota Belud, right next to Kampung Kuala Abai where the jetty to Mantanani Island is located. From Kota Kinabalu, the journey to […]

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Pekan Nabalu

To market, to market! — Pekan Nabalu, Kota Belud

On your way to Kinabalu Park, just before the Kundasang Town, you will come across a quaint little market with a giant pineapple landmark just at by the side of the road. This market is known as Pekan Nabalu. Located 12km before Kinabalu National Park, Pekan Nabalu is the last market township in the district […]

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Mount Trusmadi

Conquering the hardy Trusmadi

As I am huffing and puffing away, wondering whether an extra month of training would make my climb breezier; my mountain guide, Deo (spelling un-confirmed), turns around and say in consolation, “don’t worry, kita pelan-pelan saja (let’s just go slowly).” Meet Mount Trus Madi, the second highest mountain in Sabah and Malaysia (2, 642 meters […]

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orang sungai

The Orang Sungai of Sabah

The Orang Sungai, literally ‘River People’, is one of Sabah’s officially recognized 32 ethnic groups. They reside mainly in the rural areas along the Kinabatangan River, Paitan, Labuk and Kudat. The majority of the Orang Sungai community embraces Islam as their religion, being one of the few ethnic groups in Sabah to have inherited Islam […]

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diving

Diving into the depths of Sabah’s waters

The state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, is often promoted as an outdoorsman’s paradise. And Sabah’s Semporna archipelago — particularly the island of Sipadan – has been described by Jacques Cousteau as some of the best diving in the world. The teardrop-shaped island is perched atop practically sheer sea walls that plunge some […]

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botanical garden

Nature-touring the Mount Kinabalu Park Botanical Garden

When you are in Kinabalu Park, be sure to make your way to the Botanical Garden where you can enjoy a refreshing short hike while feasting your eyes on the beautiful things of nature. Nestled somewhere in between Liwagu Restaurant and Kinabalu Hall, Mount Kinabalu Botanical Garden, which is also known as the Mountain Garden […]

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Linangkit tapestry seen on the traditional Dusun Tindal costume

The Beautiful Linangkit Tapestry of Sabah

The term linangkit in general is used to refer to a special kind of needle work technique that is practiced by the women of several ethnic groups in the West and North of Sabah. The process of making this special Sabahan tapestry weave is somewhat similar to the European technique of ‘tatting’ or ‘frivolite’. Basically, […]

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sabah family holiday

Your guide to a Sabah family holiday

Family holiday in Sabah is always a grand affair! There is something for absolutely everyone–whether it’s an island vacation, a camping trip in the jungle or a relaxing weekend at the countryside, we’ve got you covered. Here are six great places in Sabah to go on a family vacation in Sabah: 1. Kiram’s Village Cabin, […]

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jari jari spa

Pampering time with Jari Jari Spa

With the modern challenges of climbing the career ladder, looking great at every age and raising children, a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do to keep sane. The best and easiest way to do this is to make a spa appointment and treat yourself to an hour or two of decadence! Enter Jari […]

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kiulu countryside ride

Exploring the Kiulu Countryside on a Mountain Bike

If you’re the adventurous type, there’s certainly no better way to get a feel of Sabah’s bucolic surroundings other than by touring on a mountain bike. There are plenty of cycling tours in Sabah to match your fitness level and risk aversion quotient. If you are the uber-adventurous with boundless energy type, you will love […]

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Rustic Borneo's YouTube Channel all about Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Rustic Borneo YouTube Channel

We’ve been working on adding more content to the Rustic Borneo YouTube Channel, because if a picture paints a thousand words, the each video is a library. That’s why whenever the team from Rustic Borneo goes out to experience the products we offer, we often take a camera or two with us to capture the […]

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Sabah Food Cooking Class with Rustic Borneo

Cook like a Local

Sabahans are fiercely proud of their culinary scene and with so many delicious dishes, who can blame them? From noodles to rice, pork to lamb, Chinese, Indian and Malay all mixed together, the tastes and aromas are endless. Acquire some of Sabah’s food secrets with our cooking class activity. Many a visitor returns from their […]

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Free Things to do in Kota Kinabalu - Rustic Borneo

5 Free Activities in Kota Kinabalu

There’s a good deal of organized tours and activates in the city, but are there any free activities in Kota Kinabalu? The answer is “yes, there is”. As a nature resort city, Kota Kinabalu has plenty of free activities that will cost you nothing, get you out enjoying nature and might even get your heart […]

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Kota Kinabalu International Airport Information BKI

Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is the second busiest airport in Malaysia serving the bustling city of Kota Kinabalu. KKIA previously consisted of 2 terminals located on opposite sides of the runway from each other, but since the start of 2016, all commercial passenger traffic now arrives and departs from the main terminal, Terminal 1. […]

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Do the via ferrata with Rustic Borneo in Sabah, Malaysia

Via Ferrata at the Peak of Mt. Kinabalu

Via ferrata, from the Italian for iron road, is an impossible trail on the side of a mountain made possible with the help of foot-struts, guide cables and a mechanism that secures climbers. Popular in the European Alps, the highest via ferrata in the world can be found near the peak of Mt. Kinabalu in […]

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Rustic Borneo Paragliding in Ranau, Sabah

Paragliding Adventure near Mt. Kinabalu

Paragliding is an adventure activity that is now available as a day-trip from Kota Kinabalu. The Rustic Borneo team set out early one morning recently to explore Sabah’s paragliding options, hoping to discover what it’s like to soar above the clouds. Our chosen site was the area just outside the town of Ranau, famous for […]

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Traders Hotels Kuala Lumpur with Rustic Borneo

Traders Hotels Kuala Lumpur Luxury Package

Live it up in Malaysia’s capital with our Traders Hotels Kuala Lumpur Luxury Package. Even as on-the-ground experts in the most beautiful, natural Borneo, Rustic Borneo appreciate the value of a quality city break. It’s the best way to take in the the hustle bustle of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. That’s why we know you’ll […]

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The mighty Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo with a beautiful dawn sky

Climb Mt. K in Nov & Get 1 Night Resort Stay for Free

Book and climb Mt. Kinabalu with us in November 2015 and we’ll throw in 1 night accommodation at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, absolutely free! That’s right, a free night accommodation in one of Kota Kinabalu’s top, 5-star resort hotels for you to recover in after climbing the mighty Mt. Kinabalu. What’s the catch? […]

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Book Padas River White Water Rafting with Rustic Borneo

Our Intern’s Padas River White Water Rafting Experience

Padas River White Water Rafting by Rustic Borneo’s intern, Amelia Robert Jenet. As part of her internetship at Rustic Borneo, Amelia, a student at University Malaysia Sabah, is gaining experience of Sabah’s travel industry and, of course, the tourism products on offer here. To that end, she took on Padas River White Water Rafting and […]

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A view from Laban Rata with the Mt. Kinabalu massive in the background

Mt Kinabalu is Open for Climbing to Laban Rata

Mt Kinabalu is open for climbing to Laban Rata again! The 1st of September saw climbing Mt. Kinabalu recommence with a small group of 24 multi-national climbers taking on the route to Laban Rata, under the watchful eye of 12 mountain guides, Borneo Post reported. Sabah Parks director, Dr Jamili Nais, told the Borneo Post […]

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Kawa Kawa River Cruise

Enjoy Life with Discounted Tours in Sabah, Borneo

Now is a great time to travel to Borneo to take advantage of great prices. Not only is the currency favourable, but Rustic Borneo is offering additional discounted tours in Sabah. The variety of tours below is just too good to resist, so read on to see what we have in store for you.   […]

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Join Rustic Borneo for Kiulu River White Water Rafting in Sabah, Malaysia

Intern Takes on the Kiulu River White Water Rapids

Kiulu River White Water Rafting by Rustic Borneo’s intern, Amelia Robert Jenet. As part of her internetship at Rustic Borneo, Amelia, a student at University Malaysia Sabah, is gaining experience of Sabah’s travel industry and, of course, the tourism products on offer here. To that end, she took on Kiulu River White Water Rafting and […]

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Cultural Dance at the Mari Mari Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

Visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village by Rustic Borneo’s intern, Amelia Robert Jenet. As part of her internetship at Rustic Borneo HQ, Amelia, a student at University Malaysia Sabah, is gaining experience of Sabah’s travel industry and, of course, the tourism products on offer here. To that end, she visited the Visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village […]

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Kawa Kawa River Cruise

Kawa Kawa River Cruise Experience

Kawa Kawa River Cruise Experience by Rustic Borneo’s intern, Amelia Robert Jenet. As part of her internetship at Rustic Borneo HQ, Amelia Robert Jenet,  from University Malaysia Sabah, is gaining experience of Sabah’s travel industry and, of course, the tourism products on offer here. To that end, she went on the Kawa Kawa River Cruise […]

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Kota Kinabalu's Pasar Besar or Grand Market, Sabah

Fish Market at Kota Kinabalu’s Pasar Besar

The Fish Market is located right on the water’s edge, directly behind the main building visible from the street, called Pasar Besar Kota Kinabalu – Kota Kinabalu’s Grand Market, also known as the Central Market. Sabah is known throughout Malaysia as having some of the best and cheapest seafood and its all on display at […]

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Year of the Goat

Happy Year of the Goat

The Chinese  Year of the Horse draws to a close tonight as the new Year of the Goat is heralded and celebrated when the  calender flips to 19 February at midnight. Welcome the Year of the Wooden Goat The goat is the 8th sign in the Chinese Zodiac, a sign that can also be interpreted […]

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Buga Korean Restaurant - in The KK Waterfront, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

The KK Waterfront

The KK Waterfront is, as you walk down from Oceanus Mall, the next stop on our Free Kota Kinabalu City Map and is arguably the heartbeat of Kota Kinabalu’s nightlife. Find it on our map grid at P9. During the day The KK Waterfront is hot and relatively quiet, but towards later afternoon, as the […]

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Oceanus Waterfront Mall, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Oceanus Waterfront Mall Kota Kinabalu

Oceanus Waterfront Mall Kota Kinabalu quietly opened December 2014. It lies on a prime piece of waterfront realestate fronting the city, with Gaya Island and the marine park greeting visitors to this centre. Immediately adjacent Anjung Senja that we wrote about previously, Oceanus Waterfront Mall is to be found on our Free Map of Kota […]

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Anjung Senja, local food court on the waterfront promenade in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

Anjung Senja

Anjung Senja is on the Kota Kinabalu waterfront promenade, tucked away in a corner to the south of the city’s waterfront area, which on Rustic Borneo’s Free City Map is to the far right of Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen. Originally established to accommodate displaced vendors from the nearby bus terminal some 4-or-so years ago when […]

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Rustic Borneo's Free Kota Kinabalu City Map

Free Kota Kinabalu City Map

Even though the locals in Kota Kinabalu are exceptionally friendly and anyone you pass on the street is usually happy to help with directions, it’s always handy to have some local knowledge in the form a free Kota Kinabalu City Map. Rustic Borneo, as your experts on the ground here in Sabah, Borneo have packaged all you need to know […]

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Dutch Intern’s First Experience of Sabah

Rustic Borneo’s Dutch intern, Esther Schotanus, have been hard at work getting to know her temporary new home, Sabah.  Recently she took to the rural areas outside of Kota Kinabalu, called Donggongon in Penampang, for her first unadulterated experience of local life. Here’s what she had to say: “The thing that makes my stay here Borneo so […]

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Gaya Street Sunday Market is a Popular Attraction in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Gaya Street Sunday Market in Kota Kinabalu

The colourful Gaya Street Sunday Market is a once-a-week must-visit for anybody who finds themselves in Kota Kinabalu on a Sunday morning. From long before sunrise, traders gather along Kota Kinabalu’s historic Gaya Street to set up their stalls for the day’s market, which is one of Kota Kinabalu’s busiest Sunday attractions. When trading officially […]

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Sutera Harbour Resort

Win 2 Nights at Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu

Win a 2-night stay at Sutera Harbour Resort’s The Pacific Sutera in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah simply by signing up for our newsletter. Just Sign up for our Newsletter Yes, it really is that easy. Our Rustic Borneo Newsletter is sent out once a month packed with excellent seasonal promotions, fascinating articles about local attractions and interesting, relevant news. We want to […]

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Cruising Down the Kinabatang River for a wildlife safari in the Borneo Jungle

Best Prepaid SIM for Internet Data in Sabah, Borneo

While it’s relatively easy to find free WiFi spots throughout the state at places like Starbucks or your hotel lobby, it’s still handy to know who has the best Prepaid SIM for Internet Data in Sabah, Borneo in places outside cities and the bigger towns. If you’re not visiting Borneo to ‘get away from it all’, worry not, Rustic Borneo […]

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Two Bornean Elephants walking Tail-in-Trunk through the jungles along the Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Borneo

Borneo Pygmy Elephants

Borneo pygmy elephants are on top of the list of must-see wild animals for every wildlife enthusiast keen on a jungle safari in Sabah, Borneo. Borneo pygmy elephants are distinct in their appearance as the smallest of the Asian elephants with larger ears, longer tails and straighter tusks. Perhaps because they are quite tame and passive, Borneo pygmy elephants were […]

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holiday package creator

Borneo & More – Additions to your Sabah Holiday

At Rustic Borneo we appreciate that you want to maximise your holiday time and get as much as possible out of travelling. That is why, through Rustic Travel, we are offering additional destinations to either combine with your Borneo holiday or to make an entirely new, exciting holiday with. Through our Holiday Package Creator you can now indicate destinations of interest with additional choices, some […]

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Gomantong Caves

Gomantong Caves & Bird Nests

The Gomantong Caves are included in Rustic Borneo’s comprehensive Sabah holiday itineraries and can be booked as part of your customised Borneo holiday too. Gomantong Forest Reserve The Gomantong Caves are a roughly 2-hour drive from Sandakan, but it’s one of the east coast’s must see destinations easily visited to or from a stay along the Kinabatangan River. Carved out […]

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An orangutan on the rail, as if leading a tour group at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre

A Visit to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is included in Rustic Borneo’s comprehensive holiday itineraries and can be booked as part of your customised Borneo holiday too.   Visiting the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre Sepilok orangutan sanctuary is one of Sabah’s biggest tourist attractions, attracting more than 90,000 visitors a year to either one of 2 daily feeding times. It’s the entrance fees from these […]

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Mantanani Island

Holiday on Mantanani Island

Mantanani Islands are often overlooked in favour of the much nearer to Kota Kinabalu islands of the TAR Marine Park, but offers an escape worthy of the extra travel time. Possibly named for the dugongs, or manatees, that used to be found there, Mantanani is actually 3 islands consisting of Mantanani Besar (big), Mantanani Kecil […]

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North Borneo Railway Train Journey

Train Journey on the North Borneo Railway

North Borneo Railway is a niche attraction in Kota Kinabalu. As Borneo’s only remaining steam locomotive, the British Vulcan steam engine attracts train-spotters from far and wide in addition to tourists eager to experience old-school train transportation. Dating back to the 1900’s when Sabah, then called North Borneo, was just developing, the modern incarnation of […]

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Sabah sunsets

Sabah Sunsets

Sabah sunsets are a magical, daily occurrences and, as somebody who lives here and gets to see it most nights, I can tell you it never gets old. I guess everybody thinks that the sunset in their hometown is the best, but so many people refer to Sabah sunsets as “the most beautiful sunset in […]

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Ktobian Tadau Kaamatan - Traditional Harvest Festival Wish in Sabah, Malaysia

Sabah Public Holidays

Sabah has a long list of public holidays, which could increase on occasion should the state feel another holiday is in order for, example, a worthy national achievement. The good news is that due to the cultural diversity of Sabah’s population, from a tourist point of view, a public holiday almost never affects your fun. […]

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bike borneo

Bike Borneo 1 Day Trip in Tuaran

A mountain bike tour is the ideal way to discover rare gems on the less-travelled paths of Sabah’s backroads, by-ways and jungle paths. Rustic Borneo went to try for ourselves… Video of Bike Borneo’s 1 Day Tuaran Tour for Beginners A beginner ride, the tour took us along the rural areas surrounding the town of […]

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culinary

Kota Kinabalu Culinary

Sabahans love their food. Video Preview of Culinary Tour in Kota Kinabalu From the moment you arrive in Borneo you will notice that food and eating is a big thing in Sabah where everyone has their own list of where is best for what and Culinary Tours should really be mandatory. Being a cultural melting […]

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coral flyer zipline kota kinabalu

Coral Flyer Zipline Experience

Coral Flyer Zipline, new as it is, was a good reason to abandon the desk yesterday and go see for ourselves what fuss is all about. It was a very short boat ride from Kota Kinabalu’s harbour that brought us to Padang Point, one of the jetties on Gaya island and the closest point from […]

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Shangri La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa is a 5-star resort hotel in Sabah, Borneo conveniently close to both Kota Kinabalu International Airport and the city centre. Yet, when staying at the resort it is easy to forget these facts, as tucked away on it’s own little 25-acre peninsula, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa is […]

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Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village

One of the first things you may read about Sabah before visiting is how many different peoples, cultures, languages and dialects you might find here. However, unless intently interested in finding out more, most tourists might breeze through Sabah enjoying the tourist attractions, without ever knowing or learning more about the people they’ve encountered. Mari […]

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mountain biking

Mountain Biking & Cycling Tours in Sabah

Mountain biking and cycling tours in Borneo is great alternative way to get intimate with the Sabah country side. Rustic Borneo offers various day trips and even an overnight stay or a 3 night getaway for those who like cycling along rivers, through villages and experiencing Borneo’s tropical jungle and local life in a different […]

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Bunga Raya Island Resort

Gaya Island’s Bunga Raya Resort & Spa

Tucked away in a cove on the northern shore of Gaya island, hidden from view of Kota Kinabalu, which is just 15 minutes away, lies the 5 star property of Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa. Featuring 48 timbered villas, Bunga Raya Island Resort is nestled on a hill amongst the lush tropical rainforest of […]

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iban

Iban People of Borneo

Borneo is a melting pot of cultures, traditions and languages and every ethnic group has various subgroups, each with readily identifiable differences. Borneo’s Iban People The Dayak people are one of Borneo’s native people, found mostly in the island’s interior where more than 200 subgroups live along the hills and rivers. One of the major subgroups […]

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shangri-la's rasa ria resort

Luxury Holidays at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort is arguably the top resort destination for the most luxurious resort holiday in Sabah, Borneo. Set amidst the lush greenery of a nature resort, fronted by Sabah’s widest, softest, white sandy beach, which is gently lapped by the waves of the South China Sea, the sight of Rasa Ria Resort alone […]

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tip of borneo

Rungus People at the Tip of Borneo

It’s hard to read about north Borneo and not find something about the Tip Of Borneo or, as the locals refer to it, Simpang Mengayau, home to a lively community of Rungus people, one of Sabah’s local tribes. During a community development project I was involved in, we would visit the Tip of Borneo quite often. […]

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timugon murut people

Into the Heart of Murut Borneo

“I cannot make you happy,” relayed the headman of Kampung Saliku wisely as he pondered the Murut mindset. “My facilities are limited, my people are shy, I am simple. And so are you” he opined. “To make your home here, you have to be at peace with yourself.” The Heart of Murut Borneo My mission […]

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White Water Rafting

Padas River – More than just White Water Rafting

A Padas River White Water Rafting daytrip is but one of the adrenaline-packed options we offer for thrill-seekers planning a Borneo travel itinerary. But a quick search of Padas River delivers nothing but white water rafting related pages. What do we know about the Padas River? Where does it originate and is it more than just a adrenaline junky’s […]

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Signboard on Gaya Island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

The Islands of Kota Kinabalu

The islands of Kota Kinabalu are unique in the way that they form part of a national marine conservation area that is very close to the city. Gaya island, for instance, lies just at 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu and the other four islands that make up the conservation area are between 10 and 15 […]

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Collection of handmade Borneo souvenirs at Rustic Borneo's Traveller Service Centre

Borneo Travel Centre

Borneo Travel Centre, Sabah – Our brand new Borneo Travel Centre recently opened quietly in the heart of Kota Kinabalu. Although we’re still putting the finishing touches on the shop, we are open for business and ready to help visitors, travelling through Kota Kinabalu, to book the best experiences that Sabah and Borneo have to […]

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golf holiday

Golf Getaways in Sabah

It is not a well-kept secret that Sabah has a wealth of golf courses and golf facilities dotted, not just around Kota Kinabalu, but throughout the state. With more than 20 golf courses and driving ranges, you can spend a fantastic 2 week golfing getaway in Sabah, Borneo and never have to play at the […]

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TUR Logo

Sweden Travel Exhibition 2014

Meet Rustic Borneo at TUR 2014 in Gothemburg, Sweden Rustic Borneo will be attending the TUR exhibition in Gothenburg 20-23 Marc 2014. Please visit us at the Malaysia Tourism, booth B09-28. Please drop by and hear about our tailor-made Borneo holiday packages. For agents please contact Peter Stenberg, peter@rustic-bornoe.com and learn more about our DMC […]

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White Water Rafting

Cycling and White Water Rafting Tours

At Rustic Borneo we don’t just encourage our guests to see a destination, we encourage guests to experience it. Our Cycling & White Water Rafting Holiday is a prime example of experiencing Sabah & Borneo, in this itinerary via bicycle and white water raft. Tours often include a pick up from point A and drop off at point B […]

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A Swedish & Danish Encounter in Sabah, Borneo

A Swedish & Danish Encounter in Sabah, Borneo

Last year Rustic Borneo’s interns Linda Nilsson from Sweden and Sebastian Ellefsen from from Denmark took on a whirlwind exploration of Sabah to learn more about Sabah’s tourism industry. Journey with them as they discover this land below the wind. The Journey Starts Our trip started at Rustic Borneo’s Head Office and headed towards Kinabalu […]

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borneo beads

Borneo Beads – Beautiful Status Symbols

If you are a bead lover, you might have a large collection. In olden-day Borneo beads were an integral part of the the indigenous people of Borneo, the Orang Ulu. Designed and shaped from durable materials, like stone and glass, it was believed that each bead‘s reputed age indicated its power, and some believed that […]

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Heart of Borneo

21 Days in the Heart of Borneo

Heart of Borneo is one of our longer itineraries. It’s a 3 week Borneo adventure that introduces you to the highlights of Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah. Through this itinerary you will get to meet local tribes, visit traditional long houses and encounter amazing wildlife whilst exploring unspoiled rainforest along with the best of modern city […]

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Nightlife in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

Borneo Nightlife

Sabahans are always up for a party and as such there’s no shortage of things to do when the sun goes down. Nowhere is this truer than in the capital, Kota Kinabalu, where there is plenty of variety regardless of your preference of a night out. Such is the nightlife scene that, save for a […]

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bird watching

Brilliant Birding in Borneo

Co… co… co… co… coooocoooo. “Can you see it?” Osman whispered enthusiastically, his eyes sharp eyes and ears alert, making us turn our heads in an effort to pin the location of the sound. From just a short distance away the composer of this Partridge tune remained hidden within the deep lower mountain forest in […]

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A view from Laban Rata with the Mt. Kinabalu massive in the background

Climbing Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo

Mt. Kinabalu is Malaysia and Borneo’s highest peak, and being able to walk to the peak at 4,095m, it’s one of the most accessible peaks in South East Asia. An allotment of 120 people per day are allowed to climb this monolithic mountain. Towering above the coastal plains of Sabah, Mt. Kinabalu is visible from […]

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Tun Mustapha Gallery

Sabah’s Tun Mustapha Gallery

  “When the Cobbold Commission was about to visit Kudat, Mustapha gave me $250 and told me to gather villagers to come to the place where the hearings were to be held. He then told me to distribute 50 cents to each of them and to instruct them to shout “KAMI MAHU MALAYSIA!” He knew North Borneo […]

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A typical river that cuts the path while jungle trekking the Salt Trails in the Crocker Range Mountains

Jungle Trekking the Crocker Range

Borneo’s most obvious attraction is the dense rainforest jungle, and no visit would be complete without spending a few days jungle trekking. The Crocker Range Mountains offers a spectacular opportunity to enjoy a stretch of unspoiled rainforest, no too far from Kota Kinabalu, during a 4-day hike. Called the Salt Trails, the path starts near the […]

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Crossing a wooden hanging bridge while on a Sabah Borneo mountain biking adventureCrossing a wooden hanging bridge while on a Sabah Borneo mountain biking adventure

Discovering Borneo on a Budget

Borneo is a beautiful destination that doesn’t have a to break the bank to enjoy. Although Rustic Borneo offers a variety of premium product packages, we also cater to those who would like to explore Borneo on a Budget. Our Borneo on A Budget package, for instance, is a 5 day itinerary that constitutes great […]

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Chinese New Year - Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year

Another new year dawns on us this week. January 31st is the lunar Chinese New Year. Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is one of the most important celebrations on the Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is traditionally not counted in numbered years as per Western conventions. However, scholars outside of China have […]

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Borneo Hornbills - Two of them sitting together, comparing horns on their bills perhaps?

Borneo’s Best Kept Secrets

Borneo, 3rd largest island in the world, is one of the most exciting eco-tourism hubs in South East Asia. The island of Borneo has a combined population of about 20 million which inhabits its approximately 750,485 km². A magical and mystical island, more than 130 different races live in harmony, peace and unity. North Borneo, […]

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A young girl at one of the markets in Sabah, Borneo

Kapit – Small River Town in Sarawak, Borneo

The quaint little riverine town of Kapit lies along the banks of the mighty, 563km long Rejang river. To reach Kapit from Sibu town, a two hour boat journey along this, the longest river in Malaysia, is required. Founded by Charles Brooke, The White Raja of Sarawak in the 1880s, Kapit was also a garrison against […]

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rungus longhouses

Rungus Longhouse On the Way to Kudat

Due to work, I’ve been doing day trips to the northern tip of Borneo, almost every week for the past couple of years, often passing the Rungus Longhouse on the way to Kudat. The journey takes you out of the capital of Kota Kinabalu, along roads with gradually worse conditions, to some parts where the […]

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Rainforest World Music Festival

Rainforest World Music Festival

Calling all music enthusiasts. And all cultural enthusiasts. In fact, calling everybody who is up for a great time in Sarawak set to thumping beats originating from the Borneo rainforest! Take note: the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is not to be missed! The Rainforest World Music Festival is a notable culture event in Kuching, […]

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Rustic Borneo at the annual Harvest Festival in Sabah, Borneo

Sabah’s Harvest Festival Spirit

During May each year Sabahans across the state celebrate the Rice Harvest Festival, or Kaamatan as it is known locally. Observed by the Kadazan-Dusun, the Harvest Festival is a religious ceremony between Creation and Creator, directly connected to the paddy fields, the source of life for the community. Short History of the Harvest Festival In […]

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The Bario Highlands in Sarawak, Borneo is a source of nutrient rich salts

Bario Salt – Healthy Benefits

Today we look at another mineral rich product from the Bario Highlands in Sarawak; Bario Salt. With everything we hear against salt these days, it’s hard to imagine it having a health benefit, but with Bario salt being consumed by many people from all walks of life, that is exactly the claim. In moderation, of […]

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Traditional Borneo Tattoos to be had in Sarawak & Sabah

Borneo Tattoo Art

Tattoos have a rich history of tradition and ritual, but through tribal connections and rites of passage, Borneo Tattoos perhaps even more so. Here it has always played an important role in rituals and signified connections to clans or societies. The adolescent Dayak for instance, ready to venture into the jungle with only his blowpipe […]

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Bario Highlands

Bario Rice – Borneo Premium Staple Food

Bario rice is premium staple food, which is surely the best in the region. Bario rice is named after the Sarawakian highlands where it is cultivated. The Bario Highlands has rich, fertile soil, temperate weather and ample access to water an irrigation, which makes for a mineral and vitamin rich rice that is sweeter than […]

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Traditional Coconut Palm Handicraft from Rustic Borneo in Sabah

Coconut Palm – The Tree of Life

In ancient Borneo the coconut palm was once considered the Tree of Life. The go-to tree that provided income, food and a source of material for construction of houses and the weaving of everyday items. The entire coconut palm can be used. The trunk, roots and leaves, plus the functional fruit. The fruit itself is a small […]

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Baby Bornean Elephant emerging from the Kinabatangan River in Sukau, Sabah

Sukau Rainforest Lodge on the Kinabatangan River

Sukau Rainforest Lodge is located on the Kinabatangan River, which at 560km long, is Sabah’s longest river. The Kinabatangan River’s floodplain is amongst the most wondrous places in north Borneo and Sukau Rainforest Lodge offers visitors a change to experience its splendour first hand. Waking up at Sukau Rainforest Lodge An incredible habitat, the Kinabatangan […]

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Nukenan Festival in Sarawak, Borneo

Nukenan Festival in Sarawak, Borneo

Pesta Nukenan (Nukenan Festival) in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, Borneo is gaining popularity as it grows in size each year. A showcase and celebration of the indigenous Kelabit people’s food, wild fruits and traditional games, the Nukenan Festival started out 7 years as a very small exhibition. Each year, through experience gained from the […]

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Wedding Door Gifts Handicraft - Handmade Soap

Wedding Door Gifts by Rustic Borneo

Wedding door gifts are small, but memorable trinkets that can remind you of a couple’s big day years down the road. It was with this in mind that just over a year ago, Rustic Borneo was given the opportunity to take charge of a friends of our’s wedding door gifts. We were excited to introduce […]

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Borneo Cinnamon Wood Dinnerware - Handicraft Handmade

Borneo Style Dining Affair

Isn’t it interesting how just a simple change of dining style can illuminate your mood for an entire weekend? We had an encounter with a Borneo style tropical dining set, creatively made with care in Kalimantan in the southern part of the island, which did exactly that. With the help of stylish Borneo handicraft, our […]

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Mantanani Island

Christmas Holidays in Borneo

Christmas holidays are an occasion for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus. In Sabah, and even other parts of Malaysia, many people, even if they are not Christian, participate in the acts of gift giving,  preparing special meals and decorating their homes with Christmas cheer. Perhaps the season is so inclusive because the Christmas Holidays […]

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Iban Longhouse in Sarawak, in the Heart of Borneo

The Humble Beginnings of Rustic Borneo

Rustic Borneo actually came to be during my involvement working with a NGO at the northern part of Borneo near Kudat. I had the intention of using it as a vehicle to help eliminate poverty amongst the local community and help build their economic capacity by making their handicraft accessible to the world. My methodology […]

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Macaques in a tree in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Kinabatangan River, Sukau

In the Malaysian state of Sabah, on Borneo’s east coast is the Kinabatangan River – a river whose district has one of the world’s richest ecosystems. The main attraction here, the reason you come here, is the river cruises on Kinabatangan River. The wildlife in this area is amazing and if you are lucky you […]

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orangutan

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is a center in Sandakan that takes care of abandoned, injured or displaced orangutans. They help them to learn everything they need to be able to survive on their own – like climbing, what to eat, what is dangerous, how to build their nests, etc.  Things that their mother normally would […]

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Beautiful bay along the coast of Gaya island in the TAR Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

Christmas in Borneo

Are you still wondering where to spend your Christmas holiday? We have some of the best options for you – the islands of Borneo. Forget about the snow and the cold winter in Europe – these tropical islands will provide you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. In Borneo the Christians celebrate the birth […]

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Gomantong Caves

Gomantong Caves

Gomantong is located on the east coast of Sabah and we got here by car, driving through these bumpy, bumpy roads. We passed the palm groves, mountains, small rustic villages and lots of other things that made the journey more fun than boring. After the hours spent in the car we finally came up to Gomantong […]

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The rolling hills of the Sabah Tea Garden in Kundasang, Sabah

Sabah Tea Garden

We woke up early at Sabah Tea Garden and were welcomed by blue skies and sunshine. We had spent the night in one of Sabah Tea Gardens beautiful and modern cottages. Fresh, newly renovated bathrooms and a small living area with a sofa and TV for those who want to relax a little in front of […]

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