This is not the kind of wildlife I was expecting to see in Borneo.
Alas, I am proven wrong again. Borneo is not nearly as removed as I had expected when I booked a flight to the land of head hunters, wild animals and poisonous snakes.
Some cool things about Borneo that I know now, that I didn’t know before:
- What Country?! Borneo is the world’s 3rd biggest island and is split between the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Brunei remained an independent country thanks to the discovery of oil. It’s damn small.
- White Rajah. Brunei used to control Malaysian Borneo but during a serious bout of piracy and tribal warfare the Sultan hired a Briton, James Brooke, to fight against the tribes. Brookes managed to quell the warfare using ONE boat. He then assumed control over Sarawak and was named the Rajah! You can read more here.
- Off with their heads! The Japanese gained control of Malaysian Borneo during WWII and used Bornean oil to power their military. The Australian military sent Tom Harrison to Borneo to gather intelligence about Japanese troop movements. Instead he convinced the Dayaks tribes to fight against Japanese and through their traditional guerrilla techniques successfully defeated the Imperial army. Many of the Japanese soldiers returned sans heads.
I’m not going to say anything else about Kuching, other than if you’re going there, eat at Junk. Also the New York Times had a rather lengthy article on the city. If you want a 1,000 word essay on Kuching, you can read about it there.