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Getting Around (and to) Borneo

How to get to Borneo and how to get around locally

During your trip to Borneo, you’ll take a few different types of transport, each one with its own benefits and charm. From domestic flights to boats down the river, we’ve compiled some handy information for your trip to Borneo.

Getting to Borneo

As there aren’t any direct flights to Borneo from the UK, you’ll need to connect in one of the major Asian hubs. There are quite a few options when it comes to this and the most direct routes are via Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines), Singapore (Singapore Airlines) or Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific). These airlines all have direct flights from London Heathrow and can be combined easily with connecting flights on to Kota Kinabalu or Kuching with various airlines.

If you’re combining your trip with Brunei you can also take Royal Brunei Airlines, with a short touchdown in Dubai en route. If you’re starting in Sandakan you can take an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur. As a budget airline this is a very economical option.

If you don’t mind a couple of stops along the way then Qatar and Emirates are also great options.

Price-wise you’re looking at £800-£900 per person during high season for return flights to Borneo from the UK. But we’ve seen them as little as £550 return in less busy months. Your travel specialist will be able to go through the best options available to you for your travel dates, budget and itinerary.

Borneo Lankayan Island ariel view
Local plane Borneo

Domestic flights

When travelling in Borneo you’ll no doubt take at least one domestic flight, as some destinations are quite far apart and the roads are less developed. There are usually several flights a day connecting the main cities and highlights. For more remote areas, you’ll need to take a propeller plane. These are commonly used for jungle areas. Domestic flights are relatively inexpensive and can be booked in advance as part of your itinerary.

Private car and driver

Most of your transfers during your Borneo adventure will be by private car and driver. This is a quick and easy way to cover long and short distances and they’re completely flexible to your itinerary, with stops along the way.

Indonesia Bali Ubud transport car
Borneo long boat in jungle


Whether it’s getting to paradise islands off the coast or meandering up the Kinabatangan River, boats are commonly used in Borneo to cover areas not accessible by road or where the experience of cruising up the river is all part of the adventure.

Local transport

During your time in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching or Sandakan you can walk very easily between the main highlights. For areas a bit too far on foot you can take local buses and taxis, these are inexpensive and easy to use – for taxis just make sure they are using a meter or agree on a price before you set off.

If you want to explore in a more eco-friendly way you can hire bikes in rural areas to see the countryside at a relaxed pace.

malaysia local transport pink