On this trip, we journey to a place where tropical wildlife, jungle rivers, and flowing waterfalls share the land with some of the rarest mammals on earth. It is one of only two places on earth where you can spot the endangered orangutan in the wild. It is a place that will challenge you with its adventure and bring you back to nature with its landscape. It's time to visit the road less traveled in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, Malaysia.
Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia and our adventure combines eco-tourism with relaxation. The island is divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south.
On this trip, we visit the Malaysian state of Sarawak where we explore the Kuching, the state capital. One of the best ways to experience the region's nature is by longboat, which have been used for centuries. We ride along the lake in Batang Ai, a national park known for its extensive tropical rainforest. The boats zip across the waters like speedboats mixed with the tranquility of a canoe.
Next, it's time to get up close and personal with the region's jungle landscape. We take a canopy walk through the jungle treetops, which includes several suspended bridges high above the forest ground.
Set on the edge of the worldâs most ancient rainforest on the mystical island of Borneo is the Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat, inspired by the architecture of the traditional Iban longhouses. The resort provides the ideal getaway for those seeking a one-of-a-kind escape that is adventurous yet fully relaxing at the same time.
To get to the orangutang wildlife reserve, we arrive via kayak along the swift-flowing river in Kampung Danu. Kayaking in the Borneo Highland area is truly a fascinating way to be surrounded and intimate with Mother Nature and an ideal introduction to rural Sarawak. It is also a fun-filled activity to see the stunning scenery of massive rocks among pristine river.
Finally, we reached one of the most unforgettable experiences in our travels - a chance to view one of the most endangered mammals in the wild. We visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, an orangutang sanctuary where we encounter the orangutans in their natural habitat. This wildlife center was established in 1975 to care for the orangutans previously held captive as illegal pets, injured, or orphaned in the rainforest.
The moment when we see the unmistakable orange great apes, it inspires a collective "awe" from the group. Everyone marveled in silence as we watched the orangutans effortlessly climb and swing through the treetops, feast on bananas, and lounge in the jungle. Their expressions and behaviors were so human like. Today they are critically endangered, which makes it such a special treat to see them up close.
Orangutans can live 35-35 years! We watch as an older orangutang eats bananas while the younger ones swing through the trees like a trapeze! Their balance is remarkable as many of them hang on by one branch.
To sum up our trip, a quote comes to mind:
It's better to look back at life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of "I wish I did that".
âThis was the trip to do something different. It was a chance to go to a land less traveled and experience nature unlike any other. Sarawak Borneo opened our eyes to the purest nature, rarest mammals, peaceful wilderness, and of course, the Malaysian hospitality. We hope you get a chance to experience it very soon.
One of my favorite ways to explore a city is with the Free Walking Tour groups. Before visiting Rio de Janeiro, I had seen images of Corcovado, Sugarloaf, and the world-famous beaches, but hardly ever the city center. I was curious to know what Rio is like outside of the touristic areas, so I booked a walking tour. I was surprised to find European style architecture, colorful street art, many city improvements since the Olympics, and much more.
Here are the top places to visit in the Rio De Janeiro downtown:
Lapa is a neighborhood in the downtown with a bohemian vibe, buzzing with nightclubs, street art, and music
One of the most touristic and recognizable sights in Rio is the "Seleron Stairs", a sweeping staircase made up of tiles from the colors of the Brazil flag. It was created by Chilean born artist Jorge Selaron in 1990 who started renovating the dilapidated staircase in his neighborhood.
Today, there are over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries,. The line to take a photo on the steps is buzzing with tourists and locals, and can last for over 20 minutes long. This work of art is proclaimed to be a tribute to the Brazilian people and is admired by people from around the world.
This two story coffee shop was ranked as one of the most beautiful in the world, found right here in Rio Centro.
Centro features European architecture inspired by France and Portugal, with a unique Brazilian flair. It is mostly a commercial district and much of the area is closed on Sundays, so be sure to visit during the week to catch the downtown during its liveliest moments.
This stunning Art Nouveau opera house is a highlight of Rio De Janeiro's classic architecture. The theater was created during the early twentieth century with a luxurious facade. The interior is just as grandiose, and features nightly dance and musical performances.
Selina Hostel and Coworking Space
One of the best ways to enjoy the city center is from a rooftop. Check out the top floor of Selina for an epic view of Centro, where you can spot Rio's most unique architecture highlights all in one place, including the Petrobas Building, Carioca Aqueduct, Rio Cathedral. You can even grab a caipirinha at the bar and catch a musical performance.
Our Brazil Tour: https://www.latinescapes.com/country.asp?country=3
What are your favorite places in the Rio downtown? Comment below! Stay tuned and subscribe on YouTube for more Rio travel videos.
âIn this vlog, we travel to Djerba Tunisia, the largest island in North Africa known for its Mediterranean beaches and traditional seafaring culture. Djerba is culturally rich and has a thriving Berber, Jewish and Muslim culture. We visit the artisan pottery shops in Guellala, the fisherman in the Houmt El Souk, and the traditional souk.
âDjerba Tunisia - Tour and vlog:
To get to Djerba, we take the ferry from Tunisia mainland. The ferry ride only takes a few minutes. We arrive in time to hear the evening call to prayer as we travel an hour across the island to our hotel.
We walk through the cobblestone streets of Houmt El Souk to find some of the country's most expressive street art. The area is called "Djerbahood" and we find murals down every corner.
El Ghriba Synagogue - The synagogue is Africa's oldest synagogue and the interior is richly decorated in blue and yellow ceramic tiles. The island of Djerba has a Jewish population of over 1,000 people.
Houmt Souk - The souk is known for its blue and white architecture, reminiscent of Santorini. In the markets, the merchants sell everything from leather sandals, jewelry, spices, and fresh squeezed orange juice.
From the harbor, we take a pirate ship (yes a real pirate ship complete with a pirate show!). We watch as the pirates perform an entertaining show, balancing on the ship's beams, jumping from bow to bow.
âAfter an hour, we reach a windswept island off the coast. The island appears almost completely barren except for a few huts where the locals cook a traditional Tunisian seafood feast, wild horses, and beautiful calm turquoise beaches. In fact, it is the best place on the island for swimming due to the calm and clear water.
Tour of Tunisia: Off Season Adventures
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.