Sarawak, Sabah & Brunei
Kuching, the town of our landfall in Borneo, is the capital of Sarawak. To the north of it is Sabah, another state belonging to the Malaysian Federation. The two enclose the small sovereign state of Brunei.
In 1838 when James Brooke, an English adventurer, on his boat "The Royalist", sailed by, the sultan of Brunei, to whom Sarawak belonged, happened to have some trouble with unruly Dayaks, the local headhunters.
Brooke helped solve the problem and in return was given the kingship of the territory of Sarawak.
He graciously accepted and so it happened that Sarawak became a family fiefdom of the Brooke family, the "White Rajas" who paternalistically ruled it until it joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963.
Brunei is a souvereign nation, an absolute monarchy, one of the richest countries of the world and ruled by a sultan who is one of the richest persons of the world and lives in a palace with 1788 rooms.
He also is the decendant of a family that ruled Brunei for more than 600 years without interruption. But he does not own Sarawak any more.
Brunei produces oil, has a manageable population of 400.000 and is considerd a developed country.
Sabah, with the capital Kota Kinabalu, is the territory in the very north of Borneo. Seafarers called it "The Land Below The Wind" since it is just below the typhoon area. In the 7th century it was under the Hindu Srivijaya empire and changed hands until it became a British protectorate in 1888. The British encouraged the joining of the Malaysian Federation in 1963.
Sabah and Sarawak are of colourful ethnic mix. Dozens of indigineous ethnic groups with distinctive languages and cultures live along with ethnic Chinese and Malay populations.
The jungles of Sabah and Sarawak are classified as tropical rainforest and they host a diverse array of plant and animal species. Many areas have been designated national parks or are otherwise protected. Outside of these areas the virgin jungle was ruthlessly logged over, because the economy of the countries was based on wood export. Most of nowadays jungle is secondary.
A few jungle based cultures struggle hard to survive the change.
On the shores of Sabah and Sarawak lie some shallows, reefs and islands that are very rich in underwater life and have fantastic reef formations, which made them a sought after destination for the diving community.
Borneo Cruise 1 *:
We sail north, with stops in Brunei, Labuhan, Pulau Tiga, Kota Kinabalu and the Marine parks in the vicinity, then proceed north until Pulau Banggi at the northern tip of Borneo.
Duration: 14 days.
Naga Pelangi Spice Route Passage, Westbound:
Departure: Kota Kinabalu in November.
With the beginning of the NE-monsoon in in December, Naga Pelangi wants to leave Borneo and sail to the west coast of the Malay peninsula, visiting historic ports along the way. This is a major passage and a lot of sailing!
Naga Pelangi will be heading west and sail to Tioman as a first leg. For info on the next leg heading west, round Singapore for Malacca click Destinations map Tioman.
Duration: 4 - 7 days.
Availability: Beginning of NE-monsoon, December only.
* Cruise mentioned above is available during the SW-monsoon from May - November if the Naga Pelangi came to this area for the season. Naga Pelangi might have taken the Pearlstring Islands Hop and might be sailing in Kuala Terengganu area, or she might have proceeded to the Gulf of Siam and sail near Koh Samui.
The cruises are proposals. Naga Pelangi offers private charters and the charterer is encouraged to propose destinations and schedules within the frame of the monsoon weather pattern. We are looking forward to your suggestions.
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