top of page

Borneo & raj ampat 2024


Borneo and Raj Ampat  Itinerary  2024

        Fly to Singapore

        Meet David O, tour city

        Fly to Kota Kimbalu, Borneo

        Forest wildlife tour

        Fly to Jakarta, tour city 

        Fly to Sorong, New Guinea

        Snorkeling trip based on Yeben Island

        Fly home

Add the Wallace line




Bird aviary 

Night cruise

Otters in Marina &  Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Asian Civilisations Museum. Here impressive displays cleverly document some of the many cultures found in Asia.

Chinatown, one of Singapore’s most historically intact areas.

Among the highlights are Amoy Street with tastefully renovated shophouses, the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple and stunning Thian Hock Buddhist Temple. The nearby Chinatown Heritage Centre is our favorite museum in Singapore.

Fullerton Hotel, Mandarin Orental, Raffles, Rendevous


Borneo Wildlife 

Seplok Orangutans, Sun Bear recovery

Kinabatangan Wetlands - wild orangutans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, and riverine birds. night walk to search for nocturnal species such as mousedeer, western tarsiers, and civet cats as well as reptiles and insects.  pygmy elephants.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve - Mammals inhabiting Tabin include flying squirrels, Asian palm civets, Malayan civets, and pig-tailed macaques. Two of the larger mammals in Sabah, the Borneo pygmy elephant and the banteng (known locally as tembadau) are found within the Tabin reserve, along with nine species of primates. Tabin is also one of Borneo’s best birding areas, home to sought-after species such as the rhinoceros hornbill and the endemic blue-headed pitta.

Danum Valley - Danum is home to extremely rare and endangered mammal species including the banteng wild cattle, clouded leopard, mousedeer,
gibbon, and maroon-leaf langur. Bird life is also extensive and varied, with over 300 species recorded.   In evening, look for tiny mousedeers, slow loris, and bioluminescent fungi.

Chance to see a biturong - a large chimp sized civit cat relative with a prehensile tail.

Borneo is situated on the Asian side of the "Wallace Line", which is another example of the effect of geographic isolation  on evolution. The Wallace line  was first noted by William Wallace on the same trip as he understood evolution. The Wallace  Line that separates the biogeographical realms of Asia with elephants and tigers, and 'Wallacea', a transitional zone between Asia and Australia also called the Malay Archipelago and the Indo-Australian Archipelago with marsupials.   Wallace noticed this clear division in both land mammals and birds during his travels through the East Indies in the 19th century. The line runs through Indonesia, such as Makassar Strait between Borneo and Sulawesi (Celebes), and through the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok, where the distance is strikingly small, only about 35 kilometers (22 mi), but enough for a contrast in species present on each island. The complex biogeography of the Indo-Australian Archipelago is a result of its location at the merging point of four major tectonic plates and other semi-isolated microplates in combination with ancient sea levels. 


Grand Hyatt Hotel in Central Jakarta

Museum National in Central Jakarta

Museum Tekstill in  South Jakarta

Shopping - Streets of Kemang in South Jakarta & Pasar Tanah Abang market

Indonesia culture

Raj Ampat Wildlife

Raja Ampat is on the Australasian side of the "Wallace Line",  and  is considered the global center of tropical marine bio-diversity and is referred to as The Crown Jewel of the Bird's Head Seascape, which also includes Cenderawasih Bay and Triton Bay. The region contains more than 600 species of hard corals, equaling about 75 percent of known species globally, and more than 1,700 species of reef fish – including on both shallow and mesophotic reefs.  Compared to similar-sized ecosystems elsewhere in the world, this makes Raja Ampat's biodiversity the richest in the world. Endangered and rare marine mammals such as dugongs, whales (such as blue or/and pygmy bluebryde's, less known omura's,  sperm), dolphins, and orcas occur there.  In the northeast region of Waigeo island, local villagers have been involved in turtle conservation initiatives by protecting nests or relocating eggs of leatherback, olive ridley and hawksbill turtles. 


Coral is the animal with a skeleton and tissue with multiple mouth parts (polyps).  Inside the the animal are algae that photosynthesize during the day to create food. At night the polyps come out to harvest the food. 

Mellissa Garden lovely little butterflyfish, shy dottybacks and pretty basslet. these pretty small fish. Schools of barracuda, trevally, fusiliers, surgeonfish, snappers, sweetlips, Maori wrasse and several large tasselled wobbegong sharks. 

There are four species of Cenderawasih in Sawinggrai Village, including the Red Bird of Paradise, the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, the Lesser Bird of Paradise, and the Greater Bird of Paradise. The best place to see the Cenderawasih or the Bird of Paradise, is a 30 minute climb up Manjai Hill, which is just behind the village.

Recommended Highlights 

- Mayhem, Citrus Ridge
- Melissa’s Garden (s), Anita’s Garden, My Reef
- Manta Cove, Meos Mangara
- Yeben Shallow, Yeben Corden
- Rufus Wall, Rufus Ridge
- Manta Sandy, Arborek 

Raj Ampat Trip

Mon Sorong to  Waigeo  to Yeben

Tues Cove Eco Resort - Yeben

Wed Cove Eco Resort - Yeben Excursion 1;  Piaynemo, Star Lagoon, Lagoon Kecil

and Melissa’s Garden

Thurs Cove Eco Resort - Yeben

Fri Cove Eco Resort - Yeben  Excursion 2: Arborek + Yenbuba +

Pasir Timbul (Kri Sinking Island) + Sawingrai (bird watching) 

Sat Cove Eco Resort to Sorong 

Take Gopro 10, long stick, lamps for night snorkle. 

Dotty fish.jpg

Singapore History 

Singapore's history dates back at least eight hundred years, having been a maritime emporium known as Temasek in the 1300's and subsequently a major constituent part of several successive maritime  empires. Its contemporary era began in 1819, when Stamford Raffles established Singapore as an entrepôt trading post of the British Empire. In 1867, the colonies in Southeast Asia were reorganized, and Singapore came under the direct control of Britain as part of the Straits Settlements. During World War II, Singapore was occupied by Japan in 1942 and returned to British control as a separate Crown colony following Japan's surrender in 1945. Singapore gained self-governance in 1959 and, in 1963, became part of the new federation of Malaysia, alongside Malaya, North Borneo, and Sarawak. Ideological differences, most notably the perceived encroachment of the egalitarian "Malaysian Malaysia" political ideology led by Lee Kuan Yew into the other constituent entities of Malaysia—at the perceived expense of the bumiputera and the policies of Ketuanan Melayu—eventually led to Singapore's expulsion from the federation two years later; Singapore became an independent sovereign country in 1965.


Borneo history 

Figurative art painting, over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old, of an unknown animal, in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh near east coast of Borneo. Western coastal cities of Borneo had become trading ports by the 100 AD.  In Chinese manuscripts exports included; gold, camphortortoise shells, hornbill ivoryrhinoceros horn, crane crestbeeswaxlakawood (a scented heartwood and root wood of a thick liana, Dalbergia parviflora), dragon's bloodrattan, edible bird's nests   The Indians named Borneo Suvarnabhumi (the land of gold) and also Karpuradvipa (Camphor Island). The Javanese named Borneo Puradvipa, or Diamond Island. Archaeological findings in the Sarawak river delta reveal that the area was a thriving centre of trade between India and China from 500 until about 1300.

Stone pillars bearing inscriptions in the Pallava script, found in Kutai (SE Borneo) along the Mahakam River 360AD, constitute some of the oldest evidence of Hindu influence in Southeast Asia.  The religion of Islam entered the island in the 900's, following the arrival of Muslim traders who later converted many indigenous peoples in the coastal areas. By the 1300's, Borneo became a vassal state of Majapahit (a Java maritime empire), later changing its allegiance to the Ming dynasty of China.

The Sultan (local Islamic ruler) of Brunei declared independence from Majapahit. During its golden age under Bolkiah from the 1400-1600's the Bruneian sultanate ruled almost the entire coastal area of Borneo (lending its name to the island due to its influence in the region) and several islands in the Philippines. The Sultans  engaged in trade with China by means of the frequently-arriving Chinese junk.  Borneo's interior region remained free from the rule of any kingdoms.


British flag hoisted in 1846. While Borneo was seen as rich, the Portuguese did not make any attempts to conquer it.  At the beginning of British and Dutch exploration on the island, they described the island of Borneo as full of head hunters, with the indigenous in the interior practicing cannibalism, and the waters around the island infested with pirates, especially between the north eastern Borneo and the southern Philippines.

Map of the island divided between the British and the Dutch, in 1898. The present boundaries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei are largely inherited from the British and Dutch colonial rules. Further expansion by the British continued into the Borneo interior. The British administration then established the first railway network in northern Borneo, known as the North Borneo Railway During this time, the British sponsored a large number of Chinese workers to migrate to northern Borneo to work in European plantation and mines, and the Dutch followed suit to increase their economic production.  By 1888, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei in northern Borneo had become British protectorateIn 1895, the first  oil concession in  east Borneo, and based on oil seepages in the Mahakam River delta,  and the Seria oil field (N Borneo) in 1929.  When independent Malaysia was formed in 1963, the northern British part was included as the province of Sabah. The Sultan of Borneo rules a small west coast region. The biggest southern and eastern region joined Indonesia which was now  the independent ex-Dutch colony. 

Indonesia History 

Since centuries BCE the islands were part of migratory and commercial exchange within south-east AsiaIndiaArabian peninsula and east-Africa. From classical antiquity on the archipelago was also a major part of the global spice trade. For centuries Hindu-Buddhist civilizations were dominant, increasing trade links instigated the spread of Islam. By the 16th century, a large part of the Archipelago was ruled under Islamic states, except Bali that retained a Hindu majority. Sultanates, city states, local kingdoms and tribes were all connected through trade, creating a mixed Hindu-Buddhist-Islamic culture, and Malay as lingua franca throughout the region. The islands were  visited by expeditions such as that of Marco Polo in 1292. The first Europeans to establish themselves in Indonesia were the Portuguese in 1512 who established a network of trading posts and fortresses throughout the region, including at the spice islands of the Maluku islands.  

Following disruption of Dutch access to spices the first Dutch expedition set sail to reach the East Indies in 1595 to access spices directly from Asia. After many skirmishes and hardships, two-thirds of the crew did not return, the ships made it back to Holland and other Dutch expeditions soon followed. Recognizing the potential of the East Indies trade, the Dutch government amalgamated the competing companies into the United East India Company (" VOC"). The VOC foremost goal was to wage war, capture Portuguese ships and fortresses, disrupt and take over their trade routes, and replace their treaties with rulers across Asia and install a local slave workforce.  A capital was established in Batavia (now Jakarta), which became the center of the VOC's Asian trading network.[15] To their original monopolies on nutmegpepperscloves and cinnamon, the company and later colonial administrations introduced non-indigenous cash crops like coffee, tea, cacao, tobacco, rubber, sugar and opium, and safeguarded their commercial interests by taking over surrounding territory.[15] Smuggling, the ongoing expense of war, corruption, and mismanagement led to bankruptcy by the end of the 18th century. The company was formally dissolved in 1800 and its colonial possessions in the Indonesian archipelago (including much of Java, parts of Sumatra, much of Maluku, and the hinterlands of ports such as MakasarManado and Kupang) were nationalized under the Dutch Republic as the Dutch East Indies.


The Dutch East Indies 1800-1949  was a Dutch colony that became Indonesia in 1949. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, the Dutch ceded the Dutch Malacca to Britain, which was previously a governorate of the Dutch East Indies. This has consolidated modern-day rule to Malacca state of Malaysia. The Dutch East Indies was formed from the nationalized trading posts of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Dutch government in 1800.


Japan's World War II occupation dismantled much of the Dutch colonial state and economy. After1945, Indonesian nationalist  leaders Sukarno and Hatta declared independence instigating the Indonesian National Revolution. The Dutch  fought the Indonesian nationalists in attrition warfare. The United States threatened to terminate financial aid for the Netherlands under the Marshall Plan if they did not agree to transfer sovereignty to Indonesia, leading to Dutch recognition of Indonesian sovereignty in1949.  Dutch–Indonesian  Indonesia became one of the leading nations of the independence movement after World War II. In 1962, the Dutch turned over their last possession in Southeast Asia, Dutch New Guinea (Western New Guinea), to Indonesia under the provisions of the New York Agreement.[10] At that point, the entirety of the colony ceased to exist.

bottom of page