The tropical days in Borneo are hot and humid, so we recommend lightweight cotton clothing. Casual wear is acceptable for most occasions in the city while tours to the interior, long trousers and t-shirts may be more appropriate. Let’s not forget thin towels, sun hats, sunscreen, insect repellent and leech socks. For most tours, bring along your swimming costumes, as there are chances to slake off the tropical heat with a dip at a river or waterfall. We highly recommend women to wear a sarong when bathing and dipping in rivers or waterfalls. Sarongs are easily obtained locally and are usually quite cheap.
Please remember that all persons should dress modestly, especially female visitors. For general guidance, you should keep your upper arms to the elbow and upper legs to the knee covered. Tops or shirts should not finish above the waistline of your trousers and expose your midriff and your neckline should not extend down more than a few inches. If you are visiting longhouses, local villages, temples and other sacred places of worship, please show some respect by covering yourself with a sarong, large scarf or wrap. You should wear shirts with sleeves and long trousers or skirts.
Moreover, we recommend you bring light rainwear such as raincoats, ponchos and waterproof jackets because there will be encounters with rain. Please make sure you have something dry to change into and wrap all your clothes and belongings in a plastic/zip-lock bag when packing. In the evenings, you can slip into a comfortable sarong or wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts to protect yourself from mosquitoes and bugs.
If you are climbing Mount Kinabalu, you will need warm clothing such as:
For tours to the interior that require a great deal of hiking through rainforests or rugged terrain, comfortable hiking shoes that can handle jungle streams or muddy trails are recommended. Hiking shoes give good grip to walk on mud, stones or slope and they protect your toes, ankles and knees. Without a pair of shoes with good grips, it takes more body energy to balance yourself while walking and, if you are unlucky, you could slip and fall. For shorter trips that do not require a great deal of walking, a good pair of sneakers will do. A pair of tevas, sandals, slippers or flip-flop should also be included.
Another type of footwear that we strongly recommend is the famous Kampung Adidas – a popular choice among many outdoor adventure goers in Borneo for its practicality and functionality. The locals in Borneo have worn this inexpensive yet practical pair of footwear for many generations, especially among rubber tapers and estate workers.
Being made 100% out of rubber, they are light, waterproof, easy to dry and not to mention have astonishingly good grip on ground. Kampung Adidas is up for anything – they are ideal for hiking, mountain climbing, water paddling, river crossing and general outdoor wear. All shoes come in studded and non-studded soles, different sizes and laces against no laces.
Kampung Adidas is readily available in Borneo and you can buy them for MYR5 – MYR10 a pair. You will not find these shoes in malls but rather in shops at the streets. If you are interested in getting a pair, let your guide know and they will direct you to the right place.
Pros of Kampung Adidas:
Cons of Kampung Adidas:
For all sightseeing and outdoor adventures, we recommend you to:
If you are climbing Mount Kinabalu, we recommend you to bring: