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There is a special intrigue associated with an ancient, dense jungle where life is seemingly tucked into every possible corner. Star players in Borneo’s forests are the primates. A visit to the pristine forests of Sabah, with their enormous sentinel trees, offers viewing opportunities of the idiosyncratic Proboscis Monkey, Pig-tailed Macaque, Red-leaf Monkey, Bornean Gibbon and one of the best-loved animals on Earth: the Orangutan – an animal that gives new meaning to the term “gentle giant”. The myriad blooming flowers – including the 65 cm-wide blossom of the Rafflesia plant – attract legions of exotic butterflies. Equally impressive birds such as hornbills, broadbills, kingfishers and pheasants enchant. Rich cultural traditions also endure here. The towns of Sibu and Kuching feature tropical-colonial architecture mixed with old Chinese shop houses. Floating along the Rajang River takes you “into the heart of Borneo” as described by Redmon O’Hanlon in his classic text. Here, the welcoming Iban people live in concert with a land that is as bountiful as it is magical.
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