I was planning to fly to Sarawak, Malaysia on the January 5. and spend about 5 weeks in Sarawak and Brunei. The Lonely Planet Guide says there is no particularly good or bad time to travel in Borneo because there is no real dry season and weather can vary very much from year to year, so I didn't think there is going to be a problem with travelling in Sarawak in January. But now I see that many travel-websites don't recommend to go to Sarawak in January at all due to very bad weather.
Is there somebody who has been there in January or even better lives in Sarawak who can tell me what I can expect?
Let me tell you first what I would expect from this trip. In Germany I work in nature conservation, so I spend most summer working outside. So with the right equipment some rain doesn't scare me. Also I want to spend most of the time in National Parks and am most interested in Botany (Orchids, Ferns) and also Insects, Spiders, Scorpions, Snakes. I could live without seeing Orangutans which are apparently hard to find when it's raining a lot. I would like to spend a lot of time in Nationalparks with dayhiking trails where I don't need a guide so I can take my time for taking pictures. But I'm also looking forward to expolring the caves in Gunung Mulu and Niah National Parks.
So my main concern is: Will all the National Parks and also accomadations in or around National Parks be open and accessible during January? How likely is it that National Parks will not be accessible due to floodings or storms etc. What do I have to expect exactly from the weather. Does it rain all day long, or is it more very strong but short raining episodes and then long periodes without rain during the day. Is it raining more during the day or at night? (I've been in Java during rainy season three years ago and it rained mostly during the night.) I wouldn't mind it too much If there is some rain every day but I also need dry periods for taking pictures. What I woldn't like is to be stuck in my hotels for days because it is raining non stop.
Also will there be any other tourists in the Parks? I don't want the places to be crowded of course, but honestly I don't like it when I'm always alone or the only guest in a hotel because I'm travelling alone.
The thing is that i will spend three month in Southeastasia, and right now I'm planning to start in Sarawak, but I could also reschedule and visit Sarawak in March. The weather is supposed to be much better in March but are the most attractive National Parks allready crowded in March? What would you recommend under the circumstances I described, go in January or reschedule and go in March? Also, does anybody happen to know when most of the Orchids are in bloom? I suspect it is in the wettest months.
A lot of questions here, I know. I would be very grateful for any advice.
And Merry Christmas to everybody!
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