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Where is Borneo?

The Third-Largest Island in the World Remains Surprisingly Unknown


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  • Exactly where is Borneo?

    I was asked that question repeatedly after visiting there in 2010 and sharing amazing photos of wildlife and outdoor adventures with friends.

    Borneo is actually the third-largest island in the world, situated in the center of Southeast Asia just east of Singapore and southwest of the Philippines.

    Technically known as Kalimantan, Indonesia claims a lion's share -- around 73% -- of Borneo. The northern edge, which is also the most visited and developed, is owned by Malaysia. Made up of two states, Sarawak and Sabah, Malaysian Borneo is an outdoor lover's dream.

    Tiny Brunei -- an oil-rich, independent country -- separates Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. With a population of just over 400,000, Brunei is famous for being the most Islamic country in Southeast Asia, as well as for the fact that citizens do not pay taxes there. The government is funded by oil and natural gas, which makes up for 90% of the GDP.

    Arguably one of the wildest places on Earth, Borneo is unfortunately also one of the most rapidly deforested places on the planet as well. Logging has dwindled down once-pristine rainforests to make way for sprawling palm oil plantations. Palm oil turns up in a wide range of products from chocolate to cosmetics.

    Borneo is also one of two places on the planet where endangered orangutans can still be found -- Sumatra in Indonesia is the other -- however, they are also being threatened by habitat loss due to palm oil plantations.

    With unbeatable natural attractions, friendly people, and great food, Borneo is a favorite for nearly all who visit. You can score cheap flights to either the capital Kota Kinabalu in Sabah or Kuching in Sarawak from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    So while others are still asking, "where is Borneo?" get yourself to this green paradise before it's too late!

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