Best Time to Visit
Borneo is tropical, and you should expect high humidity and rain at any time of the year. Having said that, the best time to travel to Borneo is between March and October. December and January are usually the wettest months and this makes it impossible to sight animals in the wild. You must carry light cotton clothes, a raincoat, insect repellent and tones of sunscreen.
Getting there and around
The easiest route to get to Malaysian Borneo is to fly to Kuala Lumpur and to then take a connecting flight to Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan depending on your plans. The cost of the flights is also included for this itinerary. Air Asia offers affordable flights and they are usually in the range of INR 15000-25000 if booked ahead of time.
All the top spots in Borneo are well connected by road. Frequent buses connect Kota Kinabalu with Sandakan and prices are in range of INR 400-600 one way. You may even choose to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. Air Asia has amazing prices (as low as INR 1200) for this route but you must book well in advance. Within Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, you can easily get around on buses or on foot. Cabs can be expensive and it is advisable to haggle at all times!
Indian nationals need to apply for a 15 day tourist visa that costs about INR 2800. However, if you are entering Malaysia from Thailand, Singapore or Indonesia, you may be eligible for Visa on Arrival. My immigration experience was smooth, and I was not asked any questions.
Where to Stay
Borneo is big on backpacking and finding budget accommodation is never an issue. In Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, you can find hostel dorms for as little as INR 500 a night. Sharing a dorm also gives you an excellent opportunity to meet people from all over the world and to make travel plans together. My favorite hostels were Akinabalu Youth Hostel at Kota Kinabalu, Harbourside Hostel at Sandakan and Sukau Bilit Rainforest Lodge at Kinabatangan.