Jungle Trekking in Sarawak, Borneo

Posted on January 21, 2011 by

In the balmy heat of Borneo, the deserted beaches of the Similajau National Park offer a welcoming respite. But further inland lies a starkly different world: within the thick foliage of the coastal rainforest, there is an explosion of greenery and humidity. I am trekking through a Bornean rainforest – a jumble of skysoaring Bintangor trees, wildlife, insects and a myriad of environments ranging from marsh to tropical rainforest.

It’s the second half of my sojourn through Sarawak, Borneo. After paying a visit to the last Tatau tribe in Sarawak, I continue to explore the surprises that Bintulu has to offer. Bintulu, Borneo is a destination better known for oil and gas than cultural attractions. Few tourists make it out here except for local visitors but I’ve heard it is all about to change. The Malaysian hotel chain, Tune Hotels group, has recently opened a new branch in downtown Bintulu and I’m here to check it out and explore the area.

Borneo Sarawak jungle

Similajau National Park

30km away from downtown Bintulu is the sprawling Similajau National Park. The protected area features exotic rainforest, swamps and rocky beaches facing the South China Sea. There are over 7,064 hectares of virgin forest, starting from Sungai Likau as far as 30km stretch to Sungai Similajau.

Jungle trail at Similajau National Park

From the gatehouse, our group of journalists/bloggers begin the 14-km walk along the jungle trail, with the Turtle Beach as our final destination. As weave our way through the tropical rainforest, we spot wild orchids, pitcher plants, moss patches and a series of swamps while crossing make-shift bridges and climbing muddy slopes.


Our forest guide tells us that the park boasts 24 recorded species of mammals, including gibbons, banded langurs and long-tailed macaque. 185 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including hornbills and Storm’s Stork. The lucky ones might even be able to spot saltwater crocodiles or dolphins swimming in the sea off the park’s coast. Occasionally, green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Although we didn’t spot any wildlife, we did come across some gigantic insects.

Insects in the Bornean jungle

At times we would have to duck our heads to avoid prickly trees like these….



marsh in the jungle

After almost 3 hours of walking, we reach the much-anticipated Turtle Beach – secluded, calm and a world of serenity.





Tune Hotels - Bintulu : LobbyMy trip was made possible by Tune Hotels, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels through Sarawak, Borneo in next week.

Traveling to Bintulu, Sarawak? Book a room at the brand new Tune Hotels at Bintulu, prices starting from 9.99RM.


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

12 Responses to “Jungle Trekking in Sarawak, Borneo”

  1. Stephen January 21, 2011 9:36 pm #

    Looks awesome! I've got a Borneo Jungle trek planned for April. Can't wait.

  2. baconismagic January 21, 2011 10:07 pm #

    Very cool photos Nellie, Borneo looks amazing!

  3. Camels & Chocolate January 22, 2011 2:55 am #

    Did you encounter any leeches in the jungle? My husband and I were in Borneo last summer for our honeymoon and stuck to the coast and the islands to avoid any unfortunate encounters…

  4. Jack Norell January 22, 2011 8:22 pm #

    Great pictures of Borneo, that's some real wilderness! Definitely a destination for the bucket list.

  5. Leigh January 25, 2011 2:01 am #

    I'm more a mountains than jungles kind of hiker but I love the look of the beach at the end. And trekking through virgin forest is always an interesting experience. It's the snakes & creep crawlie things that turn me off the jungle hikes….and the high humidity.

  6. Migrationology January 25, 2011 11:38 pm #

    Great pictures! I visited Sabah a few months ago and had an amazing time, the plant diversity is just incredible! I'd love to visit Sarawak someday too!

  7. Rajasthan Tours January 27, 2011 8:42 pm #

    The place seems to be very thrilling!!

  8. Rebecca February 6, 2011 10:17 am #

    I have a bit of a soft spot for the jungle, and this trip looked amazing. Except for those prickly trees… they just look nasty!


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  3. Tune Hotels: A New Breed of Accommodation | Wild Junket - February 2, 2011

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