With the US and its allies seemingly preparing for war against Iraq, would it be wise to plan a trip to Malaysia (or other predominantly Muslim countries in SE Asia) at this time? I’m going to be there in about 2 weeks, and don’t want to find myself caught up in an anti-Western uprising. Any advice – especially from those who have intimate knowledge of Borneo island – would be greatly appreciated!
I’m not sure that I would cancel my trip, but I would be very vigilant. Where in Malaysia are you going? K.L.? An Island?
I would consider Malaysia as pretty safe, they are not what you would call fanatics or extremists.
As well the government there has an interest in keeping the place out of bad news, so they have certain measures to counter any such situation.
That said I can of course not guarantee you total safety and perhaps some people might actually show their “dissatisfaction” towards foreigners, so it might be good to stay away from typical expats hang-outs.
Haven’t been to Borneo but IMHO there are also lot’s of Christians there … and the girls from there are very pretty, too.
believe sabah is predominantly Christian.
More reason to stay away from there then?
I spent last Chinese New Years in Borneo. I would stay away from some areas like Sandakan, which even in normal circumstances is not one of the safer places to go. I think you will be fine going somewhere like Kota Kinabalu and also Kuching in the south. Both places are worth visiting, and if you waqnt to be conservative, I would say Kuching appears the safest bet. Make an effort to climb Kinabalu or at least see the park if you go to KK. Bako Park near Kuching is also fantastic for hiking among spectacular jungle scenery and monkey watching.
Borneo is an incredible mixture of people. This appears to have led to a lot of understandimng and tolerance of different groups and different beliefs. So I say go for it.
There has been some documented serious violence on the Island of Borneo. While Borneo is a big place with three separate countries having carved it up, I would be relcutant to go there. There are many other places to go that would be considered safer.
By the way, if I remeber correctly it was precisely in the Christian areas that had violence. There were marauding mobs attacking the Christian settlements.
This was in the Indonesia part of Borneo.
The news that you pasted happened a year ago. It happened right in my hometown. My lil bro was there to witness the indigenous dayak slaughter the Madurese. He was terrified to see a man riding a Yamaha motobike and another man sitting at the back holding a cut-off head on each hand by the hair.
It’s not a good memory indeed. But it’s not the first violence in Borneo. The first agression of Dutch occupation came in thru West Borneo, many Chinese and indigenous were killed at that time in self defense. Another big masacre were the killling of Chinese at Soekarno’s time when they try to get rid of Chinese, because China was communist at that time. Many Ethnic Chinese were killed and hunted down at this time.
It’s pretty sad. I sometimes hope I can go back there and get fight for a new independence west Borneo:) West Borneo used to be a great Kingdom.
Thanks for your post ax. Would you reccommend Borneo as a safe place for an American man and a Taiwanese woman to travel to?
Perhaps you could comment on what parts are safe in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. I assume that Brunei is fine, am I wrong?
Brunei is fine. And today, American can travels anywhere in Indonesia without any trouble. The locals do love the Bule (Slang for Whitey) But for taiwanese female to travel to Borneo will not be very safe. If you look Chinese in Indonesia, you could always get into trouble. If you are beautiful, more trouble. If you are beautiful and dress up like a peacock, that’s a trouble plus plus.
Recommended tips for Chinese to travel to Kalimantan.
- Get tan.
- Don’t speak Chinese (English is good enough)
- Don’t tell them you’re from Chinese countries. Say you’re from Monaco or somewhere exotic.
- Bring some mosquito repellant.
- Solve your problem with money.
Safe for Americans to travel to Indonesia? I heard there were marauding mobs going to hotels with Foreign guests and telling the manager to evict the tourists by sundown or they would get rid of the vermin themselves?! I think this was on Java island or somewhere near Borabadur.
I don’t know that. Never really an anti-american clash happened in Indonesia untill the 911. I really don’t know now the situation in Java. But I guess the general people still love americans. Correct spelling for the temple in Java is Borobudur. Another big temple is called Prambanan or Roro Jongrang.
I’ve never been to this wonder of the world even as Indonesian. I haven’t gone out too much I guess.