Assistant Team Leader Lauren Gets Intrepid In The Borneo Wilderness

28 May 2014
Read Time: 1.9 mins

Lauren Potter from Flight Centre Macarthur Central in sunny Brisbane recently shared with us her tales of Borneo, Sabah, Malaysia on a 'Classic Borneo' Intrepid tour: what it feels like to wake up in the jungle with a monkey at your window, to lay on an idyllic deserted beach and to learn how tea is made at sunrise at the foot of Mount Kinabalu. Lauren's key tips? Don't forget the insect repellent! And having a camera on hand at all times is a must.

“It’s nice to go somewhere a bit different from your usual New York, London, Paris – Borneo is somewhere lots of people haven’t been. Go see it before it becomes developed. The people are friendly, there’s Malaysian food which foodies will love.

"The tour is very much set in the jungle, staying by rivers with monkey’s freely swinging from the tress outside. It’s really a great place for nature and photography lovers. English is widely spoken, however I’d still recommend taking a tour,” Lauren says.

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Manukan Island Waves

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"The water here is really beautiful. While diving is very popular, you don't need a snorkel to see the fish - you can just go out onto the jetty and watch the fish below the water is that clear! Waist deep in the water, you can still see your toes – it's tropical paradise comparable to the neighbouring Philippine Islands."

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Taking in the fresh air on Manukan Island

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Here's Lauren having a real 'postcard moment' laying under a tree on a untouched beach, free from pollution. "You won't find any litter or washed up plastic on the beach here. The skies are blue and the water is crystal," she says.

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Sabah Tea House & tea fields

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"The Classic Borneo Intrepid Tour included and overnight stay at the Sabah Tea House – we walked through tea fields at sunrise with Mount Kinabalu in the distance.

That morning, we took part in a tea tasting and also a factory tour where we learnt about different blends of tea, from herbal to naturally flavoured teas, how they press the leaves and make the tea from start to finish. We were given tea to take home, which I'm pretty sure is sold as Twinings in Australia."

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Practically human Sepilok Orangutans

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"98% genetically human, we watched these orangutans from within a nature reserve set up as a rehabilitation centre designed to help orangutans that have been displaced due to the controversial and unsustainable palm oil industry that is wreaking havoc on their natural habit.

"These guys are technically wild and are free to come and go within the reserve – the idea is the centre provides two feeding times a day for less independent orangutan. Sometimes none will show up as they have rehabilitated and can find their own food out in the jungle, however most days between three and 20 will show up. The centre tries to make the food bland so the orangutans will be motivated to find better nourishment out on their own," Lauren explains.

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The curious long-nosed Proboscis Monkey

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"These monkeys are also native to the area and are facing the same issues as the orangutans, with the loss of their natural habitat. The tour was very much set in the jungle. The little huts we stayed in were often by a river and we'd frequently see these monkeys swinging in the trees outside our windows! Here they are at Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary."

Flight Centre's Consultants

At Flight Centre, our consultants have travelled far and wide to offer you informed assistance when it comes to booking your next trip. These blog posts showcase just some of the experiences our consultants have had on recent adventures. We hope you enjoy reading these blog articles.