Lost Girls' Borneo Gear Guide

How do the Lost Girls, minimalists by no stretch of the imagination (we believe in lipstick!), pack light without sacrificing creature comforts? See what we couldn’t live without on our Borneo trip.

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The Lost Girls have traveled across 4 continents together, and now they’re back on the road again. This time, they're on a PADI scuba diving trip in Borneo. 960 1280

  

The Lost Girls scuba dive off the magical island of Sipidan, popularized by Jacques Cousteau and believed to be one of the top diving destinations in the world. 960 1280

  

“Live karaoke with the hipsters and cool kids of Sabah Island, Borneo.” – The Lost Girls 960 1280

  

Bako National Park -- the oldest national park in Sarawak -- is famous for seeing the rare proboscis monkey. 960 1280

  

The Lost Girls got a chance to see orangutans in their natural habitat at the Sepilok Orang Utan Santuary, set in the lush Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. 960 1280

  

Amanda, Holly and Jen take a boat to see the wildlife at Bako National Park. 960 1280

  

Amanda takes the wooden walkway through the mangrove forest in Bako National Park. 960 1280

  

Amanda, Holly and Jen surrounded by their new friends in Borneo. 960 1280

  

Jen and Amanda have a little fun with the signs in Borneo. 960 1280

  

A look at a traditional village in Sabah, Borneo. 960 1280

  

Fried bananas. Yum. 960 1280

  

Jen, Holly and Amanda are suited up and ready to dive! 960 1280

  

“On Sapah, we found a village town with the happiest children we've ever seen. Perhaps that's because there's 6 kids to every adult!" -- The Lost Girls 960 1280

  

The Lost Girls’ new friends in Borneo. 960 1280

  

“Just your average monitor lizard, showing up from out of the blue when you're eating lunch.” -- The Lost Girls 960 1280

  

“Meet the world's smallest bear, the Sun Bear. It's sad to see them in a cage, but they actually have a lot of room to run around (and it’s sadly, the only way to protect them, for now).' -- The Lost Girls 960 1280

  

The Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary's mission is to train orphaned or displaced apes to climb in their natural habitat. While being retrained for life in the jungle, visitors can get an close-up view of the orangutans. 960 1280

  

The Lost Girls hiked Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia's tallest peak. 960 1280

  

Jacques Cousteau put Sipadan on map with his film Borneo: The Ghost of the Sea Turtle (1989): “I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago, but now, no more. Now, we have found again an untouched piece of art…” 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem off the island of Sipadan. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

Channeling Charlie’s Angels, Jen, Holly and Amanda get pumped for their underwater adventure. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“Always be respectful of the underwater world. One of the most amazing feelings is to be able to swim alongside a Barricuda or see a shark up close. But you have to remember that you are in their world now, and to not touch the fish you see, you don’t want to hurt yourself or the wildlife.” -- Holly 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

If you plan to dive off Sipadan, stay in the handful of dive resorts in Mabul. Tourists are not allowed to sleep on the protected island of Sipadan, and the government allows only 120 passes to the island a day (which you should secure prior to traveling from a dive resort). 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

The Lost Girls dove with Borneo Divers, the original operators for the region who first introduced ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau to Sipadan, which then turned the area into a world-famous diving destination. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

When diving Sipadan, you’ll see turtles everywhere, dining on the sponges and algae, or lounging on the wall ledges. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

The camouflaged crocodilefish found hiding in Sipadan waters is much tamer than its lookalike reptile. 960 1280

  

The best-known snorkeling and dive islands are Mabul and Sipadan, located at the southern end of the archipelago. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

Sipadan draws divers from across the globe, with famous dive sites such as Barracuda Point where you can swim alongside a school of circling barracuda in a tornado-like formation. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“The second I took that giant stride from the boat into the water, descended down to about 30 feet, I looked up and saw the entire sky above me. It was this incredible, open, free feeling of floating in the water. “ -- Amanda 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“Scuba diving for me, no matter where I go and how I dive, is always a new experience.” -- Jen 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“I live so much of my life in automatic pilot, and I love that diving puts you in that mindful mode, like yoga, where you focus on your breathing -- you’re living totally in the moment. “ -- Holly 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“With any sport, scuba diving takes practice. If you are interested in learning to dive, I recommend what I did a few years ago. I fully immersed myself in diving by going to an all-inclusive dive resort, which helps you to hone your skills and be more comfortable as a diver. “ – Jen 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“No matter where you go in the world, you’ll always find other people who love scuba diving, too. It’s like a secret club that you will be a part of the second you get your scuba certification. If you go to Borneo or Mexico or anywhere in the world where there’s great scuba diving, you’ll find this incredible group of people to share the experience with.” – Amanda 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com