Borneo is an off-the-beaten track destination, mostly visited by only the most adventurous backpackers. Borneo consists of two Malaysian states, Sarawak and Sabah. Indonesian Borneo is called Kalimantan, which is the lower 2/3rds of the island. Brunei is the oil rich kingdom situated between Sarawak and Sabah. Certainly, Borneo conjurs up images of fierce Headhunters, white rajas, pirates and Sea Gypsies, but while there are still reminders of these things all round, modern-day "Borneo" is relatively tame. Despite its proximity to Thailand and mainland Malaysia, Borneo is often overlooked by rock climbers. Perhaps this is because of this "exotic" image Borneo inspires and the perceived difficulty in getting there. However, the two Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah are easily and cheaply (check out AirAsia) reached by plane from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and now Hong Kong (to Sabah). Sarawak contains numerous limestone crags, of which only a few have been developed, near Kuching and bouldering at nearby Bako National Park. Sabah's main appeal is climbing 4000m Mount Kinabalu. However, Berhala Island, off Sandakan, is a vast sandstone playground, with only a handful of sport routes put up. There is much potential for putting up new routes in this area. Borneo is reserved for the motivated adventure climber, who will be rewarded with uncrowded crags, seclusion, challenging limestone and sandstone sport routes, and very welcoming and hospitable local climbers, who will no longer take your head!
Sarawak is easily reached from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore. Sabah is reached from Kuala Lumpur and now Hong Kong.
Browse More Classics in Borneo
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Borneo:
Featured Route For Borneo
Kapur Chimney 5.10d International : Asia : ... : Batman Wall
The crux is the start. Pull hard from the undercling traversing right to reach small holds where you can heelhook over the lip to gain a stance above the lip. Otherwise, an easier start goes straight up to a hidden pocket deep in the hollow, then traverse right, then up the vertical smooth wall. Do an armlock in the chimney to ascend. A second crux comes in the smooth chimney with no feet (or step on the bolt like my wife) to gain an easier ground to big holds finish. ...[more] Browse More Classics in International