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Thread: Borneo

  1. #1
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Borneo

    So for probably going on the majority of my life now, I have wanted to go to Borneo. I've been flirting realistically with the idea for a while now, maybe a year. I haven't done anything concrete in setting up a plan yet though, aside from a buying a Malay language book.

    In the next few weeks, I plan to maybe solidify these ideas and just do it. I plan on shelling out the bucks to join some volunteer program for a few weeks seeing as I have no other realistic idea of what to do there, and I feel that traveling alone will be extremely intimidating and that the program will be mostly an awesome exprience. Has anyone on here joined such a volunteer program? If so, which one and what was your experience like. If anyone has been to Borneo I would much appreciate tips or things that they found helpful or that they would do differently.

    I am a 19 year old white American male, I will probably be traveling by myself the entire time. I realize that this may not be the best or safest idea, but I'm at a point in my life where I need to get out of here, and do something that I have always wanted to do.

    So from anyone who has experience traveling to Borneo or any other equatorial jungle nation for that matter, please give me some pointers.

    - Clothing?
    - Accessories?
    - Shots, greencards, paperwork?
    - Things to do?
    - Awesome Programs?


    If I feel I have enough money then this trip might also turn into a South East Australasian tour, I really want to visit Australia and New Zealand too, though I like I said I don't know if I will have enough money for that entire plan.

    Please guys, give me some pointers.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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    swords's Avatar
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    Well if you're thinking of joining something like the Peace Corp keep in mind you may not have time to hike Kinabalu and look for Neps. Building a well or bridge or a school is going to use up most of that youthful exhuberance. Not that I want to dissuade anyone from humanitarian work but construction work will take a lot out of you!

    If you would like I can put you in touch with the owner of a local plant nursery who runs (or used to) excursions for Nep and Orchid freaks to Borneo. When i spoke to him about it years back he said to expect to spend at least $5500 on the whole adventure including two way travel, food and all that.

    Plastic leggings to try and ward off the waving land leeches would be essential in my book!

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Inform your bank or credit card company that you will be accessing your account from overseas

    Don't ask where the washroom/bathroom is, you ask for the toilet

    and be prepared for "round abouts", driving on the right of the automobile and on the left side of the road... it will mess with your head for a bit

    take out a travelers medical policy with coverage to get you home if need be

    ketchup is "tomato sauce"and coffee with creme is "white coffee"

    have a big time, and don't advertise being American

    and when the locals tell you not to go somewhere... listen


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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    Don't ask where the washroom/bathroom is, you ask for the toilet

    have a big time, and don't advertise being American
    lol, aren't they both in the same place? (toilet and bath/washroom)

    And why is being American a bad thing?

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    lol, aren't they both in the same place? (toilet and bath/washroom)

    And why is being American a bad thing?
    umm no and it just makes life simpler and safer depending on the area

    sad, but fact of life...
    Av

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    and when the locals tell you not to go somewhere... listen
    LOL, unless you're in China and they're telling you not to go because it's boring. I saw a hilarious travel show a while back where all of these cool-looking local people were telling the host, "No, don't go there, there's nothing to do," and then the host went there and it was outrageously beautiful. But to be serious, that is a really good point.
    Find some friends to travel with, first off. If you haven't traveled alone before, that's not exactly the safest or easiest starter destination. Try to find a volunteer program with a community stateside and maybe try to make penpals with some of the people you'll be meeting while volunteering. I'm not sure about opportunities in Borneo specifically, but I have heard of a number of volunteer farms in Australia and Indonesia, and I bet you could find some online forums with people who are also interested in those places. There are a number of charities that work on improving remote villages - building wells, houses, schools, etc. If you're lucky, you might be able to find some ecology program that needs volunteers for surveying or something.
    On the topic of online resources, I've heard of a number of websites specifically for finding penpals in certain places. Whether or not you can find someone to accompany you on your travels, you should almost certainly assure that you have people to meet in your destination, both to make your trip enjoyable but also as a safety practice. Make sure that your family and friends know about your travel plans, agree on a schedule to check in with them, and give them points of contact where you'll be in case something goes wrong. If you were planning to stay at high-class hotels the whole time and return to your room each night, it might be sufficient to just leave the hotel's phone number with your family, but if you're on a budget you should really find some locals to watch out for you.
    Talk to your doctor about shots. You may even just be able to call your clinic and ask a nurse - at the very least, they should be able to give you some basic idea of what will need to happen. Get your passport well in advance. You should have your passport before you even get to paying for plane tickets, ideally. Also, before you finalize your plans, do a lot of research on the political and economic happenings in the places you're considering, as well as local customs. It's been so long that I don't even remember what it was now, but when I did exchange to Korea in high school, there was some faux pas that we were absolutely never to do, and I remember thinking that it was incredibly bizarre and I would never have thought to be mindful of it otherwise. There were actually a couple of things, but the one that they really made dire seemed particularly obscure.
    Generally speaking, try to avoid talking about politics or money. Learn appropriate courtesies and polite language for the area, but if you're going to try and actually speak the local language, pay special attention to getting your pronunciation right. Some people think it's cute when foreigners visit with horrible accents, but most just find it irritating and occasionally it can land you in hot water.
    Sounds fun. I hope your planning goes well and you're able to put a trip together. I'd love to do some traveling in that area - I really want to go to Thailand - but I've got to get my college debt reined in before I get to thinking about any transcontinental vacations.
    ~Joe

    PS - Oh yeah, if you have trouble finding the information you're looking for, you can always try contacting your destination's local embassy, or the US embassy there.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #7
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    Well if you're thinking of joining something like the Peace Corp keep in mind you may not have time to hike Kinabalu and look for Neps. Building a well or bridge or a school is going to use up most of that youthful exhuberance. Not that I want to dissuade anyone from humanitarian work but construction work will take a lot out of you!

    If you would like I can put you in touch with the owner of a local plant nursery who runs (or used to) excursions for Nep and Orchid freaks to Borneo. When i spoke to him about it years back he said to expect to spend at least $5500 on the whole adventure including two way travel, food and all that.

    Plastic leggings to try and ward off the waving land leeches would be essential in my book!
    Hmm interesting, indeed. Yeah it wouldn't be Peace Corp but it would probably be something similar, building things in remote villages and such, with some hiking, tree replanting, you know that sort of stuff. I was planning, however, on actually going to Kota Kinabalu seperately, because if I am going to Borneo, I am climbing the mountain, of course.

    5500.... was about what I was looking at spending. I have a little less at the moment, but my parents will help with Airfare so that will knock a good chunk off.


    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    Inform your bank or credit card company that you will be accessing your account from overseas

    Don't ask where the washroom/bathroom is, you ask for the toilet

    and be prepared for "round abouts", driving on the right of the automobile and on the left side of the road... it will mess with your head for a bit

    take out a travelers medical policy with coverage to get you home if need be

    ketchup is "tomato sauce"and coffee with creme is "white coffee"

    have a big time, and don't advertise being American

    and when the locals tell you not to go somewhere... listen

    Thanks, great tips. I plan on telling people that I am an Alaskan, it gets much more favorable feed back for some reason. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    lol, aren't they both in the same place? (toilet and bath/washroom)

    And why is being American a bad thing?
    Something about being the biggest war-mongering wasteful consumers on the planet has left our global reputation a bit marred, unfortunately, especially in relatively undeveloped countries.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

  8. #8
    swords's Avatar
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    You just can glue a maple leaf on your bag and tell everyone you're from Canada eh. lol

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