Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
For those who are not familiar with the geography of the area, look at the small map below, to locate. I put in big black spots where I want to spend.
Do you see the thing? Malaysia covers two very different regions: the peninsular zone, an extension of Thailand, and northern Borneo. South Borneo is part of Indonesia.
Fortunately, from Kuala Lumpur (KL for the close friends), the many Air Asia routes allow to go everywhere in Malaysia and Indonesia, for cheap.
My other envy, dive question, after Sipadan is Derawan.
Only, Derawan, it's not in Malaysia, but on the other side of the border, in the Indonesian part of Borneo ... And the journey is not very simple. It takes two days of travel, mixing boat + plane + road, starting from Tawau (the Malaysian city on the other side of the border).
I have a month of freedom. In July, then. With these new projects of Asian escapades, here I am faced with terrible dilemmas. 😀
: arrow: First dilemma: to devote this trip to Borneo, exclusively?
Or give in to the temptations of Peninsular Malaysia ... and go back to Perhentian Islands, for example, to mix pleasantly lazy and quiet dives? So, I would go to Besar (the big one) that I had not had the opportunity to discover, instead of Kecil ...
: arrow: Another dilemma: go to Kuching or not?
I aim Sipadan, of course, but it would be a pity not to take advantage of this new incursion to Borneo to visit Kuching, the capital of Sarawak (Malaysian state of north-west Borneo), which all travelers tout the charm. But it's completely the opposite of Sipadan. And there are not too many dive sites in the area. It is rather a good base to shine in the surrounding natural parks.
: arrow: Third dilemma: jungle or not jungle?
I am rather aquatic, like traveler. I like the sea, the beaches and the islands. In short, the very moist treks in the tropics, I do not like the masses. Especially if it is recommended to put on anti-leech socks (Brrr, special dedication to Thib '). At the same time, if there is one place where the jungle and the natural parks are sumptuous, it is Borneo ... Good. On this one, I'm going to play it jaded, but never mind: I have already done a lot of jungle walks during my previous trips, Thailand and Vietnam for example. And then, during my trip to Borneo in 2006, before going to Sipadan, I took the time to stop at Sepilok Center to admire the orangutans: a piece of jungle landscaped with comfortable wooden walkways (perfect for the poor hiker that I am). So, here, uh ... I think I will dispense with trip jungle and tribes, even if it is in principle a "must" trip to Borneo.
: arrow: Last dilemma: after Derawan, which way do I come back?
If I leave by Balikpapan, a big oil town with no great interest further south, it is relatively easy to reach by plane a lot of enticing destinations in Indonesia ... If I take the road to Malaysia again by Tawau, it is also relatively easy to join many tantalizing destinations on the Malaysian side.
So many dilemmas that I have not decided yet ... (Yes, I know, I'm sorry to have such problems.)
And yet it is not for lack of having received several e-mails from readers of Bubbles Underwater & Beyond, giving me advice and possible itineraries. Thanks, among others, to Ludovic and Olivier, for their suggestions!