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Malaysia forum

Ramadan in Borneo

Posted by Gillian1950 on 10/2/2018 at 23:39

Just realised that we will be in Borneo - Sabah and Sarawak - during Ramadan. Is it likely to have a big impact on travel?

#1 Gillian1950 has been a member since 5/12/2017. Posts: 4


Posted by flijten on 12/2/2018 at 00:21

I wasn't on Borneo during Ramadan, but I did hit Java over Ramadan. Travel, getting around, was no different then any other period. Near the end of Ramadan however Indonesians are on the move en masse to celebrate the end of ramadan. In this period you had better already have lodging down and you should avoid travelling yourself.

Considering food, you'll find it here and there, but a lot of the restaurants were closed down during daylight hours. Some where open, but looked closed as to not give offense. You sort of need to know so ask around. Obviously evenings and mornings are less of an issue and there is always a local Indomaret, alfamart or k-mart somewhere with food.

Considering general behaviour, we went for long trousers, avoided drinking a liter of water in a bemo full of old ladies, etc. A bit of common sense and empathy basically ;) We did eat and drink during the day though, just a bit less in the open.

#2 flijten has been a member since 19/12/2016. Location: Netherlands. Posts: 60

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Posted by Bungkus on 12/2/2018 at 08:52 TF writer

Hi Gillian,
Short answer: No. I haven’t been in Sabah or Sarawak over Ramadan for a few years, but in the past when I have it’s had very little impact on travel. The population of these two states is relatively small and there is a large Christian presence, so the impact is far less than in West Malaysia and nothing compared to the transport and road disruptions in Java when the whole country “pulang kampung” - returns to their village. However, it is polite at this time to not eat on the street during the day, but rather sit down inside to eat. What you will encounter is fantastic Ramadan markets each evening with a huge choice of delicious festive food. Enjoy!

#3 Bungkus has been a member since 28/8/2015. Posts: 13
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