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10 Beautiful remote Islands around Borneo

Are you one of the few others looking for the furthest islands away from civilisation? Borneo is a HUGE island full of uncharted corners. Aside from its’ famous untouched hundreds of million-year-old rainforest, Borneo is surrounded by copious little islands just waiting to be explored. There are so many beautiful islands to be discovered and new cultures to learn.

Pack your sunblock and beach slippers. We’re visiting the least visited parts of this humble island to bring you 10 beautiful remote islands around Borneo. By the way, did I mention that Borneo is an amazing place to visit especially if you are travelling within a limited expense? We’ll talk why in my future post.

10. Experience the Islander life on Pelapis Island, west Kalimantan, Indonesia

The locals of Pelapis island are friendly and they often offer free foods to outsiders. There’s little development on the island. If a back-to-basics experience is what you want, then you’ll find it here. Here you get to partake in the local activities, swim in the beaches or jungle trek. If you have the proper equipment you can also do a dive. There are no hotels on the island. If you would like to stay the night, this can usually discuss with the villagers of the island.  

To locate the island, start at Ketapang Port in West Kalimantan Province. Get a boat service, head to Karimata Port, then find another boat service to reach Pelapis Island. Take note that the trip takes about 8 hours.

9. Floating island of Tihi-Tihi, west Kalimantan, Indonesia

There is no sand on this island. Located south of Bontang waters. Tihi-Tihi island is a fishermen-made island. Their homes and pathways made from kayu bakau (mangrove wood). The island’s majority settlers are the Bajau Laut people (sea gypsies/sea nomads). Their famous saying goes, ‘from the ocean we eat, on the ocean we live’. Although the waves are calm in the area, the settlers are still disturbed by strong winds once in a while. And the smell of fish fills the air.

Make friends with the locals and join them on their daily activities such as fishing or jump into the ocean. Get rid of the gadgets and take a boat ride around the island. You cannot find any hotels on this little island, but the locals are more than happy to offer their homes for those who would like to stay on the island. The island, similar to its’ neighbouring islands, are famous for their seaweed export. It is a common sight to find seaweeds dried out in the sun as you explore the island. 

8. Visit the colourful village at Daat Island, Labuan, Malaysia

The island of Daat is bustled with fishermen activities. Seen decorating the beautiful coastline of the island are colourful fishermen houses and little fishing boats used by these fishermen. Settlers of the island have difficulties communicating in English, but are known to be very friendly. The children are more shy; it takes a while for them to gather the courage to talk to you. While on the island you can also visit smaller islands nearby which is the Kuraman Island and Rusukan Island. To get to these island you will need to locate a ‘water taxi’ which can be found nearby the waters/beach.

7. Private getaway at Lakei Island, Sarawak, Malaysia

Tranquil and serene are often used to describe the island. Shoreline strewn with seashells and coral chips, the island’s beach faces the south. On all other sides of the island, tall rocky cliffs fringe the island and at the bottom of the cliffs, lay huge sandstone boulders broken off by the strong waves. Aside from enjoying the powdery white sands on the beach. You also get to climb up to the highest point of the island and gaze upon the beautiful shoreline below.  

Lakei (or Lakey) Island is located just 1 hour from Bako National park, which is 30 minutes from the city of Kuching. However, before arranging a trip to the island, it is strongly advised to first check with the park authorities about the conditions on the island as storms and strong waves can sometimes wreak havoc and damage structures on the little island.

6. Lonely island of Samama, east Kalimantan, Indonesia

Blue waters beckoning you to come visit. This little island is among the cluster of islands within the Derawan Archipelago. Samama island is placed in between of Sangalaki island and Derawan island. It rarely sees any visitors, yet the island’s beautiful and unique underwater biota makes it worth visiting. 

The water around the island is so clear you can see the roots of the trees growing underneath. Sadly, you can only circle the little island. Stingrays surrounds the island, so swimming is also prohibited. 

5. A unique experience at Bum Bum Island, Sabah

Known for its breathtaking underwater seascapes. Bum Bum Island has a world-class view, warm beaches and a beautiful underwater coral life. An island perfect for a honeymoon trip, there are plenty of option to spend the few nights at on the island. 

Some of the activities you can do on the island are snorkelling and diving. If you make friends with the locals on the island they’ll also take you to fish with them and ride on their boats along the beach waters.

4. Diving paradise at Bengkayang Regency Islands, west Kalimantan, Indonesia

You may have known Bengkayan Regency for its beautiful beaches. But have you seen its remote islands? The still remote Randayan Island, Lemukutan Island, and Kabung Island is where you go if you want to be surrounded by little else but nature with clear water and perfect underwater view. This tropical islands offers is a diving paradise for underwater adventurers. 

To get to the island you first must get to Teluk Suak by bus or a car. Then continue your trip to Randayan Island by using a motor boat.

3. Rock climbing at Berhala Island, Sabah, Malaysia

An island just off the the coast of Borneo. Previously a home to the leper colony during the world war II. Berhala island of Semporna is famous for its impressive orange sandstone cliffs that you can climb.

Although according to some climbers the rocks are too soft for climbing, the island still make for a picturesque getaway. Aside from that, it is a haven for nature lovers! Explore the island while you’re there. Sunbathe on the beach or trek into the jungle. At the moment island is undergoing development, so there isn’t proper amenities yet for visitors and tourist. If you would like to stay on the island, you can negotiate with any locals willing to offer a room to stay.

2. Island hoping in Derawan Archipelago, east Kalimantan, Indonesia

The perfect tropical paradise with warm local weather, isolated islands surrounded by white sands and crystal clear seas. Located in eastern Kalimantan, the archipelago has four main islands including DerawanMaratuaSangalaki, and Kakaban and a newly developed island Nabucco.

The best things to do here are staying in Maratua, snorkeling in Derawan, visiting sea turtle conservation and hatchery in Sangalaki, last but not least playing with non-stinging jellyfish in the biggest jellyfish lake on earth in Kakaban.

1. Coral garden in Karimata Islands, west Kalimantan, Indonesia

Sapphire waters overrun by coral gardens. This small archipelago of little islands consists of two big islands called Serutu and Karimata and smaller island including Belian Buluh, Kelumpang, Busung Genting, SegunungKeraand SerungganingThis palm ornated island is made up of a small exceptionally friendly fishermen communities. 

Snorkelling and boating are one of the more popular activities on the island. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of some sharks or monitor lizard swimming by while on the waters. Or you can just explore the islands until your feet hurt while you make friends with the locals. You won’t get much mobile phone service or WiFi here. A boat ride is needed to explore the smaller islands, the locals are usually the ones to arrange this with. 

It’s probably difficult to tell, but I really appreciate you reading the whole post on ’10 Beautiful remote Islands around Borneo’.. I really do. If you have any suggestion feel free to recommend them to me in the comment section. If you have an experience in any of the island mentioned and you would like to share with us, do so. I’d love to read about them. As of now, stay safe happy travels!

If you’re new to the island of Borneo, and you’re wondering what to do or where your next destination might be. May I suggest you read about Waterfalls in Sabah. If you’re interested, follow Foreign Flavours on Facebook.


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